problems and answers | 

Dear Maura: ‘My girlfriend has put on so much weight - is she unhappy with our relationship?’

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill

My girlfriend is googling ways to lose weight FAST

Sunday World

Dear Maura

My girlfriend was in great shape when we met and gradually over the past fifteen months, she has started to eat takeouts a few nights a week and has put on weight. She gave up the gym, partly because she’s in a job she hates and is always too tired to do anything when she gets home.

We have a wedding in September and she’s panicking and looking up stuff about fasting, which is the wrong way to go.

I worry something is going on that has caused her weight gain. We’re both 28. Could it be something to do with our relationship? How can I support her?

Answer: There’s certainly something triggering her need for comfort food. I understand you feel concerned the relationship has influenced her but the only way you’ll find out is by talking to her.

Her job is clearly causing her anxiety. The fatigue after work is significant. She is so drained she can’t even think about doing anything. Would she consider looking for another job? She needs to change something, and that seems to be the issue.

She’s not happy and now she has the added stress of the wedding. Why not make a goal for both of you to get healthier? Support her by doing this together.

Dear Maura

My family is not happy with the new man in my life.

They all love my former partner. We were in a relationship for seven years and have two daughters. I understand how they feel. That’s why I don’t mind if they keep in touch and meet up with him.

But I want them to at least put on an act because it’s confusing for the kids who pick up on stuff so easily. I had an affair because at that time I wasn’t happy.

I couldn’t have said anything because they would’ve got me to work at my relationship and there was no point. We were bored with each other or at least I was.

I know their dad took the breakup badly and in the early days it was difficult seeing him call to the house to see the children. But I’m so much happier and in a better place. He hasn’t anyone in his life yet and still calls to my parents for Sunday dinner and during the week.

I think they’re upset with me too for having an affair but they’re not saying anything. I’ve talked to them and asked to give this man a chance at least. Nobody’s saying this is easy. I just want them to accept my family as it is now and let’s all move on.

Answer: You feel you’re still being judged for your affair by those close to you who are not making any effort to accept your current partner.

I understand you want them to simply acknowledge this person in your life but unfortunately emotionally it’s not easy for them.

You don’t mention how long ago your relationship ended.

In time they will accept this man when they see how happy he makes you and the children.

That will be very important for them. Invite them for a cup of tea even, anything to make a social occasion and let them see the family atmosphere in your home. They’re worried about you too and want what’s best for you. They’re not yet convinced that he fills that description.

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