Relationship Problems: Weight Gain after Marriage and Divorce

October 19, 2011 by

One of the relationship problems that doesn’t get discussed a lot is weight gain after marriage and divorce. In the two years after any marital transition, you are more likely than your unmarried counterparts to put on a little weight. For most, it’s relatively small, but for some, it can be significant.

Interestingly, women are more likely to experience this weight gain after marriage, and men are more likely to experience it after divorce. It’s possible this is because women tend to take on a larger burden in caring for the household after marriage, leaving them less time to stay fit. And men gain many health benefits from being in a marriage – one of which is “nagging,” which I discussed in a previous blog – that they lose when they get a divorce. However, both genders can experience weight gain after marriage or divorce, so it’s good to be aware when you are going through these changes.

If you find yourself gaining weight after marriage, this may be a symptom of ongoing relationship problems. Are the chores divided in a way that allows you to still participate in healthy activities, like exercise and cooking instead of eating out? Assess how your habits have changed since you got married, and sit down to talk with your partner about ways that you can adjust the responsibilities of the household if needed. The idea isn’t to blame your spouse for your weight gain or to get angry about the unequal distribution of the housework. Instead, explain your concern about your health and weight and ask for help. If you need help having the discussion, consider working with a Portland, Oregon marriage counselor.

If you’re coping with a divorce, it’s likely you spent a lot of time focusing on your relationship problems, but your spouse also provided many benefits that you didn’t recognize. Did he or she cook for you? You may need to learn the skill for yourself. If you’re eating out all the time, that may be a reason why you’re putting on pounds. You may also find yourself overwhelmed with household chores that you weren’t responsible for before, leaving you less time for exercise. It can be to your advantage to get extra help around the house if needed. And make sure you aren’t allowing yourself to skip those doctor appointments that your spouse may have scheduled for you and reminded you about in the past.

Confront Your Relationship Problems Early

Of course, it’s also possible that the emotional strain of the divorce is part of the reason you are putting on weight. Consider it a wakeup call, and talk to a Portland relationship counselor. Coming to terms with the end of your marriage and talking through your relationship problems can help you cope with it in a healthier way.