3 reasons weight loss can lead to divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2023 | Divorce

Nearly everybody is aware that carrying excess weight can do a lot of damage to the human body. If you’re overweight, your doctor may urge you to slim down to protect your heart, reduce your levels of inflammation, take stress off your joints and reduce the chances that you’ll develop diabetes and other medical conditions that can be caused by or aggravated due to excess weight.

Increasingly, excess weight is being treated as a medical problem, and new drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic are making it easier than ever for people to shed a few pounds.

Some of those people may also end up losing their marriages along with their excess weight. Researchers have found that married people who lose weight are more than twice as likely to get divorced than those who don’t.

Here’s why researchers think it happens:

1. Shifting dynamics in the relationship

When someone loses weight, they often experience a newfound sense of confidence related to their appearance – particularly if they have carried the excess poundage for a while.

Unfortunately, some spouses don’t like it when their partner undergoes these kinds of changes. This is particularly true in relationships where there’s an element of abuse (psychological, emotional or otherwise). The abusive spouse may feel like their control over their spouse is slipping as the spouse losing weight improves their self-esteem. This can manifest in increased possessiveness to suspicions of infidelity.

2. Mismatched lifestyle priorities

Weight loss often involves significant lifestyle changes. As one spouse adopts a healthier diet, gets more active and prioritizes self-care, that can leave the other spouse feeling left behind – especially if their own established rituals and routines around food and free time are disrupted.

Essentially, when one-half of a couple loses weight, a misalignment in lifestyle priorities can lead both spouses to feel disconnected and isolated from each other. It can be particularly difficult to find common ground when the other spouse is also overweight but has no desire or ability to change.

3. Unrealistic expectations

Sometimes the spouse who loses weight has unrealistic expectations of what weight loss will do for a marriage that’s already fractured.

If their spouse has expressed a lack of physical attraction in the past to them because of their weight, they may believe that weight loss will fix the problem – but the problem is rarely as simple as it sounds. When they realize that “the weight” was just a cover for other issues or a ruse to avoid intimacy, they may be profoundly disappointed.

Whatever has led you to the breaking point in your relationship, it’s only wise to seek legal guidance. That’s the best way to fully understand the dynamics of your situation and how various issues may play out.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.

Let Me Be Your Brave

Mia Poppe, Esq.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner