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“My husband fat shames me in front of everyone”

Query: My husband keeps calling me fat and casually calls me names like pig, elephant. He makes fun of my body even in the presence of our friends and extended family. We got married three years ago and last year we turned parents. I am 5’5 and I gained weight after our baby and he has been forcing me to lose weight immediately. If I confront him for mocking me for my weight, he says he is trying to encourage me to shed excess fat. Isn’t this body shaming? Do I deserve this? It’s taking a toll on my confidence and self-image. I have started to hate myself.
Response by AiR Atman in Ravi: Ask your husband to introspect – if you truly love your wife then you should restrain yourself from teasing, mocking and calling her names, alone or in front of anyone, because this can make her feel disgraced. Ultimately, it may lead to the destruction of your marriage. Marriage is an institution that is based on love, kindness, respect and communication. It is a strong relationship but also a delicate one, just like a glass. Once there is a crack in this relationship, it is very difficult to make amends. No doubt, she may have put on weight after pregnancy. Please do understand that pregnancy is a delicate time in a woman’s life. Your wife has undergone a lot of physical and emotional changes to bring a child safely into this world. You must care for her and respect her for the same. It is absolutely normal for women to gain weight on this journey.

You can be inspiring and motivate her to lose weight. Criticism and a demoralizing tone, instead of kindness and respectful words would never work as a positive solution for any problem. Understand her, care for her, talk to her that you are concerned about her health if she gains excess weight instead of mocking, teasing and calling out any kind of names to her in private or public that may make her feel uncomfortable, embarrassed and unloved. After all, if you want your marriage to work, you have to respect each other. Your love must be for all the aspects – body, mind, heart and soul. Love for the skin is not true love; love should be for the one within.

AiR Atman in Ravi, Spiritual leader and Founder of AiR Institute of Realization and AiR Center of Enlightenment

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