The funny (in a tragic kind of way) thing about manipulative and abusive relationships is that sometimes you don't realize you're in one until something so ridiculous happens that you can't deny it any longer. One Reddit user is facing that realization after her husbands ultimatum, an assault by his friend, and the victim blaming that followed.
Here is her original post:
I met my husband 6 years ago when we both had just graduated college. He was a lovely guy, handsome and very well put together. He loved muscle cars and weight lifting and I loved everything about him. I fell in love with him instantly and was over the moon when he asked me to marry him.
A year into our marriage, I became pregnant with our son and gained about 30 lbs. I was 5'3" 125 lbs before the baby and 155 lbs after the baby. I still fit into the same clothing sizes so I didn't think I had gained too much weight and that it would come off with breastfeeding and some more exercise.
After the baby, my husband started pressuring me to lose the weight. He said that his friends were making comments about how fat I had gotten and that he was not as attracted to me as he was before I had the baby. He gave me an ultimatum that I either would have to lose the 30 lbs in six months or he would leave me. I was very upset about the demand, but I didn't want to lose him so I tried my hardest to lose the weight.
Every day for months I would wake up and go to hot yoga for 90 minutes. After I got home from work, I would run or do some body weight exercises. I tried to keep my calorie count below 1200 so that I would lose 2 or more lbs per week. The weight slowly but surely started to come off and I was back down to 130 lbs by the end of the six months. My husband was happy and things looked like they would be okay.
After I lost the weight, I noticed a shift in the attitude of my husband's friends. Most of them are perfectly nice guys, but a few of them are absolute pieces of shit (the same ones who called me fat). Once I returned to my old weight, these friends started to make comments about me and how sexy I was. I told my husband to make them stop and he said that he would speak with them, but the rude comments never stopped. I channeled all of my frustrations into working out and I lost an additional 15 lbs of body fat and got more toned.
This past weekend, my husband's friends were over at the house and one of them grabbed me and tried to grope me. I told my husband and even though he was angry at his friend, he was still angry at me. My husband said that I was leading his friends on by losing so much weight and that I was trying to make myself skinny so that I could cheat on him. I was disgusted by this accusation and packed my bags and left for my mom's house.
Last night, my husband called me and begged for me to come back home. He says that he knows that he was unfair and that he won't let his friend come over anymore, but I am so tired of dealing with this that I'm not sure I want him back. He's the one that told me to lose weight, but now he's blaming me for being too skinny and I'm afraid he's going to make me develop an eating disorder. But I also still love my husband and it hurts me to be apart from him.
I'm so confused and I'm not sure what to do.
Reddit swooped in with responses SO DANG FAST. Some of them had to be censored or edited because people had some CHOICE words about this.
The Crux Of It
Your husbands love and respect fluctuates with your weight. Think about that.
I have thought a lot about it. It's one of the main reasons why I don't want him back; what if I have another child and gain the weight again? I don't know if he would be upset with that and I don't want to find out.
I Can't Imagine WhyGiphy
He blamed you for his friend's decision to grope you.
He accused you of trying to cheat.
He pressured you into losing weight to win the approval of his friends.
I can't imagine why in the world you would go back to that.
Dead And Gone
WTF!? This is utter bullshit behavior. These people have no respect for you or your husband -- they're not friends. With friends like these, you don't need enemies.
My boys are like brothers to me, so naturally, the wives/girlfriends are like my sisters. I would never imagine to disrespect them like that.
The guy you married six years ago is probably dead and gone by now.
Raise A Baby
Because you were sexually assaulted, he accused you of trying to cheat. That's no person to raise a baby with.
Play By Play
What would have happened if you needed an emergency c section because the baby suddenly came in sideways? You'd be laid up and unable to exercise for MONTHS. Could he deal with having to help you get into and out of bed and onto and off of a toilet for several weeks?
So, at 155 lbs you did 90 minutes of hot yoga and ran AND ate less than 1200 cal AND lost 2 lbs a week.
That right there is the cusp of disordered behavior. I can't imagine how exhausted you were /are. Now, I know 1200 is plenty, especially at 5'3" but 1200 and exercising 2 hours daily? That's just hard to imagine, especially with a new baby. What meaningful things in your life have been completely replaced by diet and exercise? Don't get me wrong. Body building is a great hobby, but it's notorious for eating disorders and body dismorphia.
You hadn't gained much weight, and the baby weight normally can take a year to come off.. because your life priorities and sleep are really out of whack, and slow and steady weight loss is the key.
Your husband sounds like he's incapable of empathy.
Your husband and his friends are actual d!cks. It's normal for you to gain weight during pregnancy. It's normal to take a while to lose it. It's normal to want and encourage your spouse to get back in shape. It's NOT normal to give an ultimatum to lose weight immediately after having a baby or get dumped, it's NOT normal for his friends to make nasty comments about his wife and mother of his newborn child, and it's definitely not normal for him to accuse you of anything because you've lost weight, especially when that was the thing he wanted in the first place.
I would seriously reconsider leaving this piece of work for good if I were you.
Stay Away For Your Baby
If you go back, this is the man your son will model himself on. He'll think treating women like this is the norm.
I know you want better than that for your kid, it's obvious through your post.
Stay away for yourself. And if you can't do it for yourself, please stay away for your sweet baby boy, who does not need to be shaped into a sh!tbag.
A Sexy TrophyGiphy
His focus was all about making you a sexy trophy to show his friends. His communications with his (shitty) friends has made them believe your boundaries are very loose. I would be concerned with how far they will go with your husbands subtle encouragement to make you a sex object.
Don't go back. Ever.
Your husbands "friends" are pieces of sh!t. Also, your husband is also one for being so easily persuaded by them to basically hate his own wife.
And once you were "good looking" again, they came back. And showed no respect at all to you.
Leading his friends on by losing so much weight.
ARE. YOU. F^CKING. KIDDING. ME
He loved you when you were "normal weight". He blackmailed you into losing weight when his friends didn't find you attractive anymore. And then he had the audacity to make you believe his pieces of sh!t friends are like that because of you.
Hell. F^cking. No. You deserve better. And you need to be aware that he will never stop getting influenced by his friends. Their opinion will always be more important to him than you.
Red Flags AboundGiphy
There are too many people in your marriage. Your husband is weak willed and indecisive, his insecurities are making him dependent on his friends approval over you, and they are treating you like communal property. There is so much not-OK, boundary crossing, control-freak sh!t happening here even before the guy groped you. Like expressing their opinions on your post-pregnancy body to your husband. Like blackmailing you into weight loss, and then freaking out when you did it too well. It's not good enough that your husband has promised to not have the guy who groped you back in your house - he needs to cut that guy from his life. Period. Along with any other bag of dicks who went along with this shit. By not removing these people from his life, he is placing his friend's approval over your well being.
That needs to be the baseline before you can even decide IF this marriage worth saving. Other posters have mentioned that his love and respect are tied to your weight. He wants you thin, but not too thin, least anyone else notice how shiny his toy is, and is willing to be emotionally abusive to achieve what he wants. What other areas of your lives does he have control over? These are huge, communist party parade sized red flags here.
Red flags abound. Until you and your marriage matter more to your husband than what his friends think of you and your marriage, it's doomed.
Are you kidding me?!?
Strike 1) Ultimatum to lose weight RIGHT AFTER having HIS Baby.
Strike 2) Did nothing while his friends made lewd comments about your body
Strike 3) Blame you for getting sexually assaulted by his friend.
OMG girl nope the f^ck out of there! He respects his friends more than he respects you. You are clearly just a hot piece of ass to him and nothing more. F^ck that.
He was upset with you for gaining a very reasonable amount of weight after a pregnancy. He wasn't attracted to you and he told you to lose weight or he was leaving. You lost the weight. A friend groped you and he got mad at you and accused you of leading them on.
I would bet $500 right now that sometime between you gaining weight and his ultimatum, this man cheated on you (and blamed you for it.)
My heart just breaks when I see someone BATTLING for the approval and love of someone that clearly doesn't deserve or appreciate it.
I'm trying to imagine the dynamic where one of my friends would even mention my wife's weight. I can't even imagine this from any of my 5 or so close guy-friends. IF they did(I would laugh in their face and never contact them again, because they obviously don't understand any boundaries), THEN I go to my wife and tell her to lose weight because my friends think she's fat? THEN because she's so self giving, she LOSES the weight, only to be ASSAULTED by one of these friends. THEN i BLAME HER!!!!!
Here's a thought for you. Imagine how he acts with these friends of his when they are out alone? If he has the balls to tell you to lose weight, what other kind of things is he willing to do to impress his friends? Hit on the chick across the bar? These friends of his sound like absolute scum; assault artists who don't understand ANY boundaries when it comes to women. You're husband is a VERY weak man who is easily influenced by these people.
I would never tell someone to leave their husband. I will tell you that your story just breaks my heart.
You In Danger, Girl.
Don't go back, your husband is a monster. He failed every opportunity to support you. I can't even believe some of the things he's said to you.
Damn, woman, it sounds like you could do so much better. Take the baby and RUN!