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Sex Love and Obesity Part 5

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 4 we discussed the emotional end of my marriage. How I was about to move on and how I confident that having lost all that weight I would have no problem finding happiness with someone else.

Losing weight isn’t a magic “life is great!” pill.

Shocking isn’t it? I’d spent the better part of my adult life suffering from obesity and I was 100% sure it was going to fix all my issues.

My marriage was pretty much over. Whether we were admitting it out loud of not yet, we were both exploring our options outside of the relationship on a regular basis. I guess you could say that we had decided to have an open marriage.

My father had passed away and I was struggling with dealing with the grief. In my mind I had lost the only man in the world that was ever going to unconditionally love me. Losing that unconditional love made me want romantic love even more. I wanted my happily ever after. I wanted that person in my life that I could count on to be there no matter what life brought next.

In the book about my life, the next few chapters would be called “Chasing November”

I have no idea why, but November seems to be a significant month for me regarding relationships.

In November of 2011 after a long talk with my husband, I decided to try to compensate for what I wasn’t getting out of the marriage, sex, attention, companionship, by adding a third person to our household.

So, in November of 2011 I invited an “online friend,” to come for a visit.

The first visit was wonderful. Everything about the relationship was new and exciting and perfect. We spent about 2 weeks together and I was certain that adding a second relationship to my life would make me happy. I’d get what I wanted and needed out of a relationship physically and emotionally and at the same time, my marriage could go on being what it had already been for the better part of the last 8 years. I’d continue being the submissive house slave that made sure the house was clean, the laundry was done, and all the bills were getting paid on time, and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t resent it all so much if I had someone else that was making feel fulfilled.

I know it sounds crazy, but remember, I’d basically grown up in a BDSM related community. I’d seen these types of arrangements since I was 19 years old. To me, it made perfect sense.

In my mind adding a third person to the relationship would be a win/win situation all the way around. We’d be helping someone else get out of a living situation they wanted out of and putting a band-aid on our own problems at the same time.

All three of us were struggling financially. I was about to start a year-long process of reconstructive surgery to remove all the excess skin left after losing 260 lbs. We couldn’t afford for my husband to take time off work to be with me recovering from those surgeries. So, we decided to move someone to Oregon, put a roof over their head, and give them a chance to rebuild their life while helping me recover from my surgeries and see if there was any validity to the “Three’s Company” lifestyle.

My reconstructive surgeries happened in February, August, and then November. I blame a little of the failure of that relationship attempt on the fact that they were always taking care of me.

I blame some of it on the level of resentment that existed in the house. It created a level of tension in the house that just never faded.

I blame part of it on the fact that truthfully, it wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t really want an open marriage or an open relationship. I didn’t want to be with people who were willing to share me, my affection or attention with each other, or anyone else for that matter. It wasn’t who I was or how I was built.

I was still making compromises. I still didn’t value myself enough to stand up and say, “Hey this isn’t what I want,” because I didn’t think I was worthy enough to have what I really wanted.

But I blame most of it on the fact that we argued constantly and that somehow a combination of all of that had me in another sexless relationship.

Basically that “November Magic” never appeared again.

We fought the way my family had fought with each other when I was growing up. We fought the way my mother and I had fought with each other for most of my life.

Our arguments turned into full-blown fights that escalated to the point that they became toxic and volatile. We said cruel things to each other.

Since that magic wasn’t there, neither was the attention, affection and in my mind, the love, that I was so desperately searching for. Which just lead me right back into a feeling that I obviously don’t handle very well – resentment.

A year into the situation, I was sitting there thinking, “We pay for everything for you. You haven’t had to work for a year. You have absolutely everything you could want. We moved you and your things here, we furnished your room, we pay for all your food,” and I resented that after doing all of that for someone else, I was repaid with an argumentative and unappreciative attitude. But even more I resented that the fulfillment aspect of the relationship, the love I was seeking through physicality and sexuality wasn’t there.

Don’t get me wrong, every situation has a silver lining. There were some good moments. Looking back on it 7 years later it’s hard for me to remember what they were. We I traveled a lot. We went to conventions, we visited friends and family together. But usually, no matter what we were doing we ended up in a fight and I hadn’t learned that constant conflict like that was an issue for me.

It’s not that I enjoy fighting. I don’t. But I don’t know how to disengage from an argument. I don’t know how to stop. Once it starts I’m instantly in that self-defensive mode I learned to constantly live in during my childhood and it brings out ugly parts of me.

I do better in relationships with people who are non-confrontational. People who can have very calm and rational discussions rather than arguments. People who help keep me cool and grounded with their tone and demeanor.

These are things I didn’t know about myself yet.

A dysfunctional family, a childhood of arguing, a history of emotional, physical, sexual and verbal abuse had all lead me to Obesity. I knew that. But I didn’t realize that I used food as a way of coping with feelings that were associated with them.

I was married to someone who was non-confrontational. He never raised his voice, we never argued. Even when things got heated, we had “discussions” not “disagreements.” We had been married for going on nine years and I could count the number of “fights” we’d had on one hand. Suddenly I was in a relationship were we fought constantly, and I’d hadn’t had to deal with the kinds of emotions that brought with it in any relationship before.

But when faced with them in a new relationship I quickly found that I was at a handicap. Because when I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery and essentially ended the relationship I had with food and my ability to use it as a coping mechanism for emotions I didn’t know how to do deal with, I didn’t really have a coping mechanism left.

I had learned how to use exercise as an emotional outlet. But I was in the middle of the reconstructive surgery processes and each surgery would leave me unable to exercise for 6-12 weeks during the recovery time. So that outlet wasn’t available to me either.

Nobody had prepared me for this. Nobody had warned me how not having food as a coping mechanism might change my ability to deal with emotions and feelings. Nobody warned me that ending my relationship with food could dramatically change how I had relationships with other people.

Nobody had prepared me for the fact that once I lost all the weight I might still find myself in relationships with people who didn’t find sex as important as I did. In my mind, once I lost all the weight and had all the reconstructive surgery to remove the skin, I’d be super attractive for the first time in my life and finding someone who wanted to have an amazing and active sex life would be easy.

Nobody warned me losing weight wasn’t a magic “life is great” pill. I was learning that lesson very quickly though, I just had no idea what to do about it.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 6 – Finding the “U” in Weight Loss

DSSPostSig

Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

Sex Love and Obesity Part 3

Last week, in Sex Love and Obesity Part 2 we left off at the point where I had found out my insurance would not pay for bariatric surgery and I had depression eaten my way to 420 lb.

“Do you believe in the nobility of suicide?”

As harsh as it may sound it’s a question I ask people who don’t seem to understand how dramatically obesity can impact your health both physically and mentally.

At that point in my life, I did, and that is exactly what I was doing. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to die before 40 and I was digging my grave with a fork and spoon.

I was diabetic and taking insulin shots three times a day. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and severe edema – all of which were requiring medical treatment. I had a plethora of medical conditions that were brought on by my obesity, and it didn’t matter because there was no way that I was going to lose over 200 pounds and be able to keep it off without the help of bariatric surgery.

I was 35-years-old, I hated my life, and I didn’t really believe that I was worthy of anything better.

I was content to die from obesity.

Nothing in my marriage was getting better, we were still in the same holding pattern of being strangers that passed in the hallway with nothing more than a few words exchanged. I felt alone. The marriage was physically and emotionally vacant.

He continued to not try to find a job and take unemployment until it ran out. Essentially, he was sitting on the sidelines watching me drown in the mess that had become our life together.

We never fought; I wasn’t allowed to fight with him and he was exceptional at sticking his head in the sand and pretending that problems didn’t exist in a hope that they would go away. I figured that at that point in our life, I was just one of those problems he was escaping and sooner or later he would bury me and find someone more in line with who and what he wanted.

This was the life I was living when I got a call from my Father. He told me a story about how he woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare that I had passed away and confided in me that he spent his days worrying that he was going to outlive me and that all he wanted for me was a happy and healthy life.

Two days later I got a letter from the insurance company explaining that they had changed our insurance plan to include coverage for bariatric surgery.

Something inside me clicked at that moment.

I saw a light at the end of the tunnel and I was willing to chase it. I didn’t want my then 85-year-old father to spend the rest of his days worried about me and I suddenly decided that I wanted to live. That same day I started making phone calls to try to get a consultation appointment with a bariatric surgeon.

I borrowed enough money from my Godfather to pay off all the credit card debt that we had gotten into living on them to pay the bills and buy groceries while our finances were in a downward spiral. I sold him my Jeep to get us out from underneath one of our car payments and get our finances back to something we could afford to keep up with on my dwindling income.

I moved us out of the rent to own house we were living in, knowing we were not going to qualify for any sort of loan to allow us to buy it with the end of the 4-year lease terms just a few months away. We moved back into an apartment that was nearly $500 a month cheaper to give us more breathing room financially. My husband finally went back to work again, and things started to look like they were going in the right direction.

I started the process of having bariatric surgery. I started working on meeting all of the pre-operative requirements.

I still believed that if I lost the weight I could save the marriage.

I chalk much of that up to denial, delusions and an overall desire to believe that people will do the right thing.

I started exercising, a lot. I began using it as an emotional outlet and a way to get my weight down to what the Bariatric Surgeon required to put me on the table.  Between August of 2009 and September of 2010, I had managed to lose nearly 70 lb. and get my BMI was where it needed to be to meet my surgeon’s requirements.

I was about 4 weeks away from my scheduled surgery date of October 19th, 2010 when I found out that my husband had been lying to me, yet again about his online affairs.

This time the lie had been going on right in front of my face for the better part of a year. The woman involved was someone I knew from the online games I played. This time around I wasn’t sure that I could forgive him. There were letters talking about how he was waiting for his daughter to graduate from high school and turn eighteen so that he could leave me. There was talk about in person visits and emails about how the only reason he stayed with me was because of money.

I considered leaving at that point. I had a bag packed and was ready to get on a train to California and go stay with my best friend and her husband. The sting of betrayal was so deep I was almost sure there was no coming back. But he asked me not to go, and agreed to find a therapist to see together to try to fix our marriage.

My best friend, who is like a sister to me, told me I could come and stay with her as long and I wanted.  But, she also told me that she felt that I really needed to stay there. We discussed how instead of trying to fix the marriage, which we all knew was sort of lost cause at that point, I needed to focus on myself. I needed to make sure I stayed where I was because I needed to be available for all of my doctor’s appointments and to make sure that the surgery actually happened.

Stay at that point was hard. I was angry. 

The next few weeks were terrible. I was angry all the time. I buried myself more and more in exercise. During the first week, he came home with a sore on his foot and that quickly went from bad to worse and landed him in the hospital with a horrible infection in his foot. He was given a diagnosis of a rare muscle degeneration disease called Charcot Marie Tooth. The diagnosis was bad. It really wasn’t something that was treatable, he’d just have to accept that it would get worse and worse and they would just have to continue to medicate him more and more to try to compensate.

He was in the hospital for two weeks and I hardly visited. I was just too angry with him over the betrayal. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him, even if he was in the hospital, in pain and dealing with his new diagnosis.

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 4, we’ll talk about how I started putting myself first – sometimes.

DSSPostSig

Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.
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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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