A Bad Marriage Is Fattening
Can a bad marriage really be fattening? Yes it can! In my own bad marriage I went from 125 pounds to 275 pounds 20 years later. This is the story of how my unhappy marriage made me fat — and how I divorced my husband and moved on to a happier new life.

The Proverbial Question

During our marriage whenever I would do something that Paul did not approve of he would always say to me, “Joanie, have you lost your mind?”  This was Paul’s proverbial question that he was always asking me.

Like he expected me to answer, “Yes Paul – I have lost my mind.  Can you help me find it?”

“Well, Joanie, where do you think you left it.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Joanie, do you know what your problem is?”

“Yes, I’ve lost my mind.”

“The problem with you is that you suffer from delusions of grandeur.  You think that you’re funny and that you’re a writer.  I hate to break it to you, but you’re not funny and you’re not a writer.”

“I write a blog and my readers think that I’m funny.”

“You see, there you go again with your delusions of grandeur, thinking that you write a blog.”

“Oh no, Paul, I really do write a blog and my readers despise you.”

“Despise me?  First of all you have no readers.  That’s just a figment of your imagination.  And if you really had readers how could they possible despise me when they don’t even know me?”

“They know you through my writing.”

“Oh, that’s just great – how can they know me when you can’t even write.”

“But I can write!  All my readers keep complimenting me on my writing.”

“They compliment you on your writing and they despise me?  I don’t believe a word that you are saying.  Who exactly likes your writing and despises me?”

“The Redhead Riter sent me a comment.”

“Who is The Redhead Riter?  No, on second thought don’t tell me.  She’s just another figment of your imagination.”

“Oh no, Paul, The Redhead Riter is very real.  She has over six thousand people following her in her community.”

“Joanie, now I know you are totally delusional.  Nobody who has over six thousands followers is going to be following you.”

“Well, I can prove to you she reads my blog, because she left me a comment on a post that I wrote.  Here’s the comment.

Paul starts reading aloud The Redhead Riter’s comment on my computer screen:


What is it about SO MANY MEN that lead them to believe women can’t do anything without their assistance?  It is truly mind-boggling.  We can do absolutely everything a man can do except for contribute one small sperm into the mix.  That’s it.  One sperm.  I would dare say that reality is the opposite of what men believe…Men cannot live without us.  In fact, none of the men would have been born without women!!!!!

Marriage?  It is overrated LOL.  If the man doesn’t drive up in a Rolls Royce or ride in on a White Stallion fighting dragons, I say just wait.

Don’t settle.

As far as being overweight…I don’t care if you weigh 500 pounds because you are fabulously interesting.  Best of all, you make me laugh and that is a priceless gift.  Besides, who said being overweight makes a person unlovable? Your ex is a pompous, arrogant prick.  I hope his thyroid messes up and he gains 100 pounds in 3 months and his current wife leaves him for the fitness trainer at the gym.

Obviously, I like to be able to pick the vengeance.  Just another of my faults.

So does Paul read your blog?  Can I tell him that marrying a woman when you don’t really love her and then not cherishing her is evil?  I don’t know if you believe in God, but I’m sure he knows every tear Joan cried because of you. I’m glad I’m not you Paul.

I’m so glad to have gotten to know you on the internet.  I hope some day we can meet in person.  **Mwah on the cheek** and {{{hugggsss}}} to you Joan!!!

Paul stops reading and looks at me.  “The Redhead Riter doesn’t even know me and she called me a pompous, arrogant prick.  Are you serious that she has over six thousand followers?”

“Probably more.”

“Joanie, I hope you wrote a reply defending me.”

“I did write a reply.”

“Let me read it.”

“Paul, why this sudden interest in my writing?  You’ve never been interested in reading anything that I wrote.”

“I just want to see how you answered her.”

“Well okay, if you insist.”

Of course this whole thing is all an imaginary conversation in my mind — except for the fact that The Redhead Riter really did write that comment to a post I had written called A Very Resilient Woman.  But I am enjoying my imaginary conversation with Paul so much that I decide to continue on with it.

I scroll down on my computer screen to my reply.  “Here Paul, you can read my reply.”

Paul bends down to read it.  His head is so close to mine that I can practically smell him.”

“Paul . . .”


“Would you like to make love to me?”

“Joanie, have you lost your mind?  I’m a married man!  Are you asking me to cheat on my wife?”

“Well, you cheated on me with her — I think it’s only befitting that you cheat on her with me.”

“I’m not going to cheat on my wife with you.”

“Well, okay — if you don’t want to make love to me, you can read my reply instead.”

Paul starts to read aloud:

Redhead Riter, you said, “We can do absolutely everything a man can do except for contribute one small sperm into the mix.  That’s it.  One sperm.”  I have to say I agree with you.

Speaking about sperm, when I wanted to have a second child and couldn’t conceive my infertility doctor told me the reason I could not become pregnant was that my body was allergic to Paul’s sperm and I was rejecting it!  Ahhh, the wisdom of the body!

And you made me feel so good when you said,  “As far as being overweight…I don’t care if you weigh 500 pounds.”  Well, I felt like a skinny ninny after reading that remark because I do not weigh anywhere near 500 pounds.

Redhead Riter, thank you for all the love you sent my way.  Please do come back and visit my blog again.

Paul stops reading and looks at me.  He asks me the proverbial question.  “Have you lost your mind?  What type of an answer is this?  The Redhead Riter bad mouths me and all you can come up with is that you are allergic to my sperm?  Do you know how much alimony I have paid you over the last ten years? Joanie, I expected a little more loyalty from you.”

“Paul, I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to come up with anything better to defend you – but what can I tell you?  I’ve lost my mind.”

28 Responses to “The Proverbial Question”

  1. I don’t think Paul could stand up to RedHead Riter in person either! I wish it wasn’t an imaginary conversation with him, but a real one. I know ex-husbands have a habit of being jealous when their former wives excel in some way after they are divorced. It proves we didn’t need them after all and our lives are better without them.

  2. Dear Joan, You had me LOL with the first sentence! You are a brilliant writer and Jack and I want an autographed copy of your very first book. In fact, we want to be at the academy awards ceremony when your book turned movie wins it’s many awards! Much love, Grandma Patti

    • Patti, if that should happen that my memoir A Bad Marriage Is Fattening is turned into a movie (from your mouth to God’s ear) — then I plan to take Jack as my date! If I can bring a second person with me then I will bring my son. And if I am allowed to bring a third person then that would be my cousin Kathleen. The fourth and fifth people that I would bring would be my brothers. So Patti you will be number six in line. I hope you don’t mind waiting in line! 🙂

      • Oops! I just realized that some of my readers might not know who Jack is. Jack is just the cutest dog in the world and I am madly in love with him! He is writing his own autobiography called Way To Go, Jack!

        You can check my adorable future date for the Academy Awards out at Way To Go, Jack! http://pphanan.blogspot.com/2010/09/way-to-go-jack.html

        And while you are there give Jack a “Woof Woof” by leaving him a comment. Jack just loves to read his comments. Yes, it is true — Jack is a a doggy literary genius who can read and write! 🙂

  3. I love your post. My only thought is, I never actually GAS what my ex thought, not when we were married and not once I left. LOL It drove him nuts, but, oh well. I think what really gets to a man is the fact that you simply never much gave two crapolas and did things your own way.

  4. I’m glad you got a kick out of my reply. There are a few subjects that I’m a bit touchy about and if Paul is really as you depict, then I must say I hold to my original summation…Paul is an arrogant, pompous prick. He shouldn’t feel so put out because he is a member of a very large group that acts just like he does…ugly.

    So when I’m in that prickly, defensive “state,” I can definitely tell it like it is….no matter who the person is…clergy, boss, policeman, husband, etc. Why did I choose those examples? Well, I will say “been there and done that,” so I can stand behind my words. I look at it like this – If I don’t stand up for myself, who will?

    If anyone doubts the veracity of my comment, uh, simply ask my husband – ex or current. I don’t change that much when pushed into the corner. The red hair turns to flames of fire that can definitely spew from my thin little lips. LOL

    Sending LOVE to Joan and PESTILENCE to Paul. That sounds great. Acronym could be P2P LOL Wait, pestilence was sent to Pharoah thanks to Moses. LMBO Guess he is going to find lots of locusts and frogs crawling around his house soon.

    • OMG Redhead Riter! When you are upset your red hair turns into flames of fire and you can definitely spew fire from your lips? I don’t think anyone doubts the veracity of your comment, lest of all me. Remind me never to upset you. I don’t ever want to see your red hair turn into flames of fire and then see fire spewing from your lips. Never ever ever! Just the visual alone has me shaking in my pants! Leapin’ lizards! Everyone head for the hills — The Redhead Riter’s red hair has turned into flames of fire and now she’s spewing fire from her lips!

      Okay, enough drama for one reply. However, you have given me an idea for another post! Paul calls me on the phone in a panic and says, “Joanie, my house is crawling with locust and frogs — do you think The Redhead Riter had anything to do with this?”

      Redhead Riter, I think you are becoming my writing muse! Every time you comment it gives me a new idea for a post! 🙂

  5. Gotta’ LOVE RED!! ;D

    Yeah… I have a very similar Paul… but his name is Troy. He moved out of our house and into hers because he’d rather make love to someone with the figure of a little boy, I guess… He used to point out someone heavy and tell me, “If you start looking like that I’ll tie you to the bumper and drive you @$$ off…” Yeah… HE MADE me FAT!! BLEH!!

    15 years later… he’s still got her and ALL the *itchiness that came with her. He’s still with her because he can’t afford to leave… BAHAHAHA…!! What an @$$!! He wouldn’t have a chance against Red, either!


    • Holly, I am finding as I write this blog that there are so many similar variations of my ex-husband Paul. Thank you for sharing your story and visiting my blog. I am sure that you have moved on with your life since it has been 15 years.

      And I agree with you — yes, you gotta love Red! 🙂

  6. I don’t care what your Paul is saying , I think you are a marvelous writer.

    I really enjoyed reading this witty post.

  7. He wouldn’t have a chance against Jack, either. Jack loves his Auntie Joan, and he is upset that anyone would not appreciate her. By the way, Jack is so excited to hear that he will be your date for the Academy Awards. He is right now begging his Mommy Kathie to take him shopping, so he will have something appropriate to wear! He told his Grandma Patti not to feel bad that she was further down the list. He will try to slip her in to sit in the back row or something. When you give your acceptance speech for best screenplay, Jack plans to give you a “two paws up!” He also wants you to check out Grandma Patti’s latest post for a surprise dedication. He wants you to know it was his idea. When he called Grandma Patti and whispered the idea in her ear, she said, “Good idea. Way to go, Jack!”

    • Patti, it is so comforting to know that Jack will be my protector against Paul! 🙂

      Tell, Jack not to run out and buy something to wear to accompany me to the Academy Awards. When I was in my twenties, I used to buy evening gowns to wear for my appearance on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. I had this fantasy that Johnny would interview me about my bestselling novel (a novel that I had not even written yet).

      Still this did not dissuade me from fantasizing about my appearance on the Tonight Show.

      Of course, every thirty days I would have to return the evening gown that I had purchased to wear on Johnny’s show. I always gave as my reason for returning it, “Johnny cancelled my appearance on his show.”

      It got to the point that whenever the saleswomen saw me enter the store carrying a long plastic bag they would say, “Yes, we know — Johnny cancelled your appearance on his show. What a shame. We were so looking forward to seeing you on it.”

      So tell Jack to hold off being fitted for a tuxedo — and I won’t be pre-ordering a Vera Wang evening gown to wear to the Academy Awards anytime soon.

      Which reminds me, if any one reading my blog just happens to be a literary agents, producer, or publisher — you know where you can find me! 🙂

  8. I too would like to have a discussion with Paul, and then perhaps your Paul and my Moron could go bowling and discuss what truly little they know about women 🙂 Loved the post!!!

    • Suzie Q, you would like to have a discussion with Paul? Well, the line is getting longer and longer each time I post a new post! 🙂

      And I have to tell you that you’re dreaming if you think Paul and the Moron would ever go bowling together. Paul did not care to participate in any sport — except , of course, if it was cheating on me! 🙂

  9. Now my husband really is a nice guy, but where I can relate here is that he was the last person to encourage me to write. It wasn’t until several of HIS friends started coming up to him and telling him that they loved the stories I posted on Facebook that he finally sat down and read some of them. He laughed for an hour and a half! Now he’s in my corner…sort of! 🙂

  10. “Redhead Riter, I think you are becoming my writing muse! Every time you comment it gives me a new idea for a post!”

    I will try to live up to your expectations and leave fresh fodder in each comment so that we can read more of your writing!

    I want to know if Paul reads your blog and when you publish your book, if he will read it. Also, do you all still live in the same state or did he move to the other side of the world so that you don’t have to worry about running into him?

    Isn’t it strange to look at your ex-husband and remember that at one time you used to just looooooooooooooove him so much almost to obsession? Now looking at him it borders on…uh, maybe you feel like me and feel disgust, disappointment and thankfulness that you are no longer disillusioned by his charm.

    Life is awfully strange. Sometimes I feel like an alien because I don’t always seem to “fit” where I think I should or feel like everyone else feels. I guess that’s why I have red hair – it validates my alien tendencies. :o)~

  11. Okay, so I always forget that you have a wordpress blog and I can’t do my smiley face the same way!!! I wanted to do one that stuck it’s tongue out :)~

  12. Instead it gives me a face with a funky disconnected tongue. LOL

  13. I am reading as many of your post as I can find. I love your style of writing.

    You have me in stitches with your imaginary conversations with Paul. Are you sure your ex wasn’t also my ex? But no, couldn’t be, he wasn’t a doctor. But most of your descriptions fit otherwise. He endearingly called me his “Bimbolina” and his “mousewife”, I was so flattered (not).

    Thanks for surviving Paul! I say this as a fellow survivor. Well done!

    And you are right, The Redhead Riter is definitely your muse. You two could be a comedy act as well.

    • Bleb, I’ve always said that my readers have the best sense of humor! I am so happy that you love my style of writing and that it had you in stitches! Thank you so much for reading my blog. Yes, it certainly does sound like we had similar husbands. It’s nice to survive a bad marriage and know that there’s a far better and happier life after that!

  14. I love this. Can’t wait till it’s a published memoir!
    I have been there too, although I lasted about 13 years, not 20. Oh and…confession time…after my ex cheated on me with “her” (his new wife), he did come back and cheat on “her” with me. And it still gives me a jolt of evil pleasure to know that.

    • dysfunctional mom, I can’t wait either for A Bad Marriage Is Fattening to be a published memoir! So you’ve been there too? I had to laugh when you told us that your ex who cheated on you with her — came back and cheated on her with you! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

  15. Joan, what can I say, no, you are not out of your mind, and I would like to stress the fact that all men are not like your pompous ass ex….hehe… I didn’t wanna use the other word… respect for you.

    If you read my blog you will know how I feel about women in general, and about my wife. My wife and I are equal, in fact, seeing that she is much younger than me, she might be better off than me. But I have posted on the fuller figure, if you want to, please feel free to read it. I will never ever tell my wife to lose weight, not only cos I weigh a lot more than her, but because I love her too much, and I love her for who she is.

    I think to sum it all up, good riddance in your case.
    Lift your head, look the world in the eye, and be proud of yourself. I think you are a damn good writer, and not that I am an expert, but I know you have loads of potential. Just keep at it.

    Thanks for following, and thanks for the kind words on my blog, I hope you will return and read some more of my posts.

    Have a lovely day.
    Ps, over weight people can always lose weight, but nasty people will always be nasty. It is their personality.

    Take care.

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