Dear Annie: Why do people think it is OK to say rude things to very thin people? Acquaintances and friends say such things to me all the time: “You are so skinny! You need to gain weight.” Would they tell a heavy person that she needs to lose weight because she is so fat? I don’t think so!
I have always had a problem keeping weight on, except for a few years in my middle age. Now I have a heart condition and Type 2 diabetes, and I really have to watch what I eat. It is a real struggle trying to keep from being painfully thin. I’m getting the same comments all over again. They are cruel, hurtful and very discouraging. Why is it OK to insult thin people but not fat people? –Discouraged in KY
Dear Discouraged: Societal bias in favor of thinness leads many to think it’s fine to tell people that they’re too thin, but it really isn’t. The next time someone makes such a comment, feel free to reply, “That’s between me and my doctor.” Leave it at that. Also, try your best not to take it too personally. In my experience, anyone who makes flippant comments about another person’s body is most likely unhappy with his or her own.
Dear Annie: I have been married for 30 years. The problem is my husband and his porn. He somewhat admits he has a problem with it but will not stop and refuses to go to counseling. I have done a little research and found that he probably won’t stop without counseling. I have to either ignore it or get a divorce, which I don’t want.
Now all I do is stress over the fact that all he wants to do is look at these women who are half my age. How can he want me when all he does is look at these girls with the “perfect” body?
Recently, he let slip that he has been looking at dating sites that have personal ads. He states that he only reads them for fun. I think this is such a red flag. Seeing as how he lies about the porn, how do I trust him not to lie about everything else? Now I stress out every time he’s on his phone, wondering what he’s looking at. He’s on it as soon as I leave the room. It is all just a big turnoff for me. What can I do? – Just Stressed Out
Dear Stressed Out: Your husband’s addiction to pornography is about him, not you. So don’t take it as a reflection of any inadequacy on your part. You can’t control his use of porn any more than someone can control the drinking of a spouse who has alcoholism. But you can, and should, express how you’re feeling – hurt, neglected and concerned for him and your marriage. You can also ask him why he’s so resistant to counseling, and see whether you can’t help him work past those blocks. At the end of the day, though, he is the one who must decide he wants help. Until that point, I suggest you see a counselor on your own to help you cope with the stress you’re experiencing.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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