Question: I can't take my husband any longer because he keeps calling me fat and names like “porky,” “chubby” and even “tubby” and I want to get a divorce. I admit I've put on a few pounds but it's all he ever talks about. He even bought me a treadmill and said that I had to use it and that he would keep track of how much I used it with some computer program for fat people. Then he started saying I needed liposuction or to freeze off the fat and he said that a lot of women are having it done in North Fulton.
He never acted like this until I put on about 30 pounds over the past year. I started taking a cooking class and I started baking and I just started to get heavy. And I know all of my drinking probably didn't help that much because I like beer and wine, just like everybody else.
Around our kids he calls me the “chubinator” or “chubster” and I hate that. He plays old Chubby Checker records just because of his name. Even his mother made a comment to me that I looked a little bit “puffy” when we went out to dinner the other night and after dinner he threatened to call the “fat police” on me if I didn't lose weight fast. I know there's nothing like the fat police in this country or in Georgia. The police don't care if you're fat.
I just can't take all the insults and I want to get a divorce. I can't believe that a marriage could end just because someone gets a little heavy, but my friend told me that it's pretty common. I think my husband is a jerk and I bet he's cheating on me again. I'm really worried because sometimes he doesn't come home until late at night, but he says he's playing Pokémon at the office.
B.C. in Milton, Georgia
Answer: Sadly, weight gain has been demonstrated in many studies to be a cause of divorce. We have had clients whose divorce was attributable to a spouse putting on weight. As divorce attorneys, we can say that it isn't always a man divorcing his wife because she has gotten a bit heavier. We have seen women, as well, who have sought a divorce because their husband has put on weight. As we become a more health conscious society, some would say a culture obsessed with body image, it is likely this trend will continue.
Your husband's use of demeaning terms like “porky,” “chubby,” “tubby,” “chubinator” and “chubster” is not only rude and uncalled for, but also quite abusive. That type of verbal abuse can lead to long-term psychological issues for the person being demeaned.
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