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married people are happier and healthier than those who cohabit of any sexual orientation.
As a veteran of 5 marriages and numerous relationships I have seen a pattern over the years.
The first thing a woman does after her divorce is to lose weight. There are 2 reasons for this. First they want attract another mate and second they want the husband they divorced to feel like he made a mistake by divorcing them.
Once they get into a committed relationship both parties tend to let themselves go in a lot of areas. Men tend to lay around the house in their underwear and quit complimenting their spouse on how nice she looks, how much he loves her, how desirable she is, etc.
Women put away the pretty lingerie and get out the sweat pants so they will be "comfortable".
Bottom line is we each tend to take each other for granted and quit trying as hard to keep them as we tried to catch them.
The whole thing is a lot more complicated to solve than space here allows, but it comes down to each person having enough self esteem to want to do what they need to do for themselves regardless of what anyone else does or says.
No one is responsible for me and my health but me and to try to say the problem is with the other person is not very wise.
I typically gained weight when in a relationship because I was less active and ate differently.
When I was single, most of my weekends were planned for going out with friends or on dates, be it dancing, bowling, the beach, whatever. During the week, I had an activity, maybe volleyball on Wednesdays or something like that. Point being that I just naturally was more active because otherwise you're home alone.
For dinner, I would often just have a convenient item like a can of soup, my favorite is Campbell's Vegetable Beef (stil love it). But when you are in a relationship, you don't ask your significant other, "Which can of soup do you want for dinner?" ha ha. No, you want to show that you have domestic virtues, so you start making more comfort foods, casseroles, etc., which equals higher calories.
I love crockpot beef stew with stewed tomatoes and could eat it for a few days straight when single, but my guy doesn't have the "stomach" for stewed tomatoes and prefers the fattening floury gravy-based style. I mistakenly started only making dishes the way he liked them because it was easier than possibly hearing something akin to "why don't you make the [insert dish here] so I can enjoy it too.
After 12 years, I said to him, "I love green olives on pizza, and I just realized I haven't had any in the last 10 years. The next pizza he brought home had green olives...it wasn't him making the ultimate food decisions, it was me. you always have a choice. i love my guy.
When I lived with my future husband I joined a health spa and began working out 1-2 hours every day after work. My ass got tight and high, my legs tightened up, cellulite visibly lessened, I felt better about myself. Did he commend me or support me? I think he felt threatened, that now that I both looked better and had more confidence I might find someone better. But what he expressed was anger at having to wait while I fixed his meals. He wanted me at home, waiting for him and waiting on him with supper ready much sooner. He was a selfish pig and I wasted way too many years on him!
Ok ladies, that might be a true thing, but it's something that can be controled! this artichel made it sound like being married is a hazard for obesity,that's b.s. I lost weight after I got married, and although my husband likes hearty foods I still make healthy choices when it comes to what I eat. Moreover, being together made us both change for the best. He used to eat a lot of junk food before we got married, now we encourage each other to eat healthy and we shop for natural if not organic food. It's only up to you if you wanna be big or small.
Every time I try to lose weight, my husband sabotages it! He says he doesn't mean to, however, he still does it! He starts out by whining that he "needs" cookies baked. Have you ever baked chocolate chip cookies and not been able to eat one??? Me either.
He "needs" more food, is another excuse and then he is constantly "offering" me more.
He snacks at night next to me in his chair and brings home things that he knows I cannot resist...pizza, potato chips. He thinks I can just exercise more and the postmenopausal stomach weight will magically disapate. Not going to happen.
I am exercising more and then eating more!
I have some arthritis and back issues, so I cannot do weights or very strenuous exercises. I have decided to walk every day and have been doing that, but it seems the weight does not leave. His answer is that I should "make firewood" (hello back issues), but he doesn't seem to get that he is sabotaging me. He has said in the past, however, that when I "diet" I am too cranky and he'd rather have me "pleasingly plump" his term, I am obese by BMI standards, than cranky.
I have changed things so I buy the groceries, but he hauls "goodies" home too.
I bought myself an exercise recumbent cycle and made an area upstairs to use it in now, so that is my only hope, besides walking with the dogs. They don't bring bad food home!
There are several factors contributing to my weight gain: being postmenopausal, having hypothyroidism, naturally larger body type, and living with chronic pain which gets worse when I exercise. (All of these are legitimate factors regardless of how some people try to downplay their importance!) But by far the biggest contributing factor to my weight gain has been the emotional hell that I've been through from having married the wrong man. When I first got together with him I was so happy that I pushed myself to lose weight. I wanted to please him so not only did I make myself look great every day, but I also behaved in a way that would please him, too. But even with all that I was doing to please him, I still wasn't good enough for him. He has cheated on me with women young enough to be his daughters (make that GRANDdaughters!). He has put me down and been contemtuous of me on a daily basis. He has withheld love and affection. As I began to realize that there was nothing I could do to please him and that he didn't love me the way I thought he did, I began to become very depressed, and I no longer cared when I began to gain weight. The last few years have taken their toll on my looks, and yes, being with this man has been a major factor in why this has happened. I'm trying to plan my escape, but marriage has negatively affected my self-esteem, and it is hard as hell trying to undo the damage which marriage has caused me.
In my case, being married caused me to gain weight for two reasons: 1) my husbands did not like cooked, low-starch vegetables, so my diet shifted to please their tastes for meat and starch; and 2) birth-control hormonal treatment makes me gain weight very slowly over time so that I didn't recognize the degree of the effect for many years.
If let's assume, overeating alone or as one major factor toward gaining weight, then Obviously the one gainingbmore is either eating more, moveing less or both. To blame on marriage, or partner is not of much help because even if one's partner 'Made the other Do it' it only leads to the conclusion that the gainer is not looking after hemself/herself. I know it's the women who gain more, so the interesting question is why do they succumb to a) more eating, b) more pressure/less support. Ultimately, it's the matter of one's health and the person most efficacious is the one who ends up doing what is not right. And I am not sure why any sane responsible and self-respecting person would do something that is bad for one's health - if you really believe so.
So the real question can bestbe answered by looking at the culture that allows less autonomy to women vis-a-vis men. If women feel free to be what they most wanted themselves to be, there are no 'real' impediments. You can eat what and how much you want knowing what and how much is Good for you. Yes women end up doing more housework but share the obesity cost at leat equally!
I have read all the comments and the study and must say..."I knew it...it is my man's fault"..and now regardless of his denials, I have research to back me...thank you...lol
I have been married for30+ years and yes you do gain weight because of your partner. Men eat differently and so you cook meals that they like, i.e. meat and potatoes and when you have kids they all have different likes and dislikes. If the stuff wasn't in the house I wouldn't want it and if my husband wasn't offering it to me or asking me to help finish stuff so it won't go to waste. I have worked throughout my marriage so not much free time. I kept my weight down pretty well until I hit my 40's and then started gaining while my husband never had any real weight issues until he hit his 50's. Now we both are watching what we eat and are exercising everyday. I've lost about 30 lbs so far but it has taken me a little over a year. It is a lot of working learning how eat healthier and changing years of bad habits. It is true that you are influenced by the people you hang out with.
This study was interesting. I do not agree with the reasons for the findings in it. Being overweight in our society is caused by many things. I know many single people who are overweight. A person has to make a conscious effort to do the best for themselves in all things including regulating weight. Cohabitating with someone does not necessarily mean that there will be weight gain - age, physical activity, hereditary are just some examples of why people gain weight, especially women. If a person is not taught how, why, what to eat, no matter what, it is easy to gain weight. Too bad that the "study" has to almost be sterotypical in its results. Being overweight has many causes and all have to be looked at thoroughly to give folks knowledge on how to deal with this.
My feeling on this study is that many people just let themselves go and that may be due to getting comfortable with someone and letting themselves go. Personally, I believe that the fault is found not in the partner of the one becoming overweight, but the one becoming overweight by letting themselves decline over time with health and other areas.
This article is very interesting, but I am offended by the hetero-normative title. I think a more appropriate title would have been "Romantic relationships with men increase risk women's risk of being overweight." Thank you for the work on women's health!
Elizabeth - The study's authors acknowledge that one limitation of this study is that the couples subgroup included only heterosexual couples.
Does this data apply to lesbian women as well? I would say women in relationships with women also settle down and gain weight. Out of the 7,000 adolescents followed in the study, since it is not mentioned, can we assume some are gay? It would be nice if all your readers could feel included in this analysis/article. Thanks!
While the research may be true, I am still a firm believer that anything is possible. My boyfriend (David), and I live together, and were unhappy with our weight and lack of fitness. So, in March 2009 we began a program called P90X, and it has changed our lives! What better way to get in shape, and start eating right than with your partner or spouse? We love our results so much that we became coaches for Team Beachbody. Have a fit day,
Women can't eat as much as men, and they and the men have to accept that. Women complain that they can't eat sensibly because the men don't give them any support. This is silly, although true in a sense. If a man gets a lot more exercise and can eat more calories, it doesn't mean the woman should go along with it. But I've been with some men who insist I drink beer with them, and have made fun of me eating a low calorie, low fat meal when they were eating fries and soda with theirs. Then they have the nerve to complain when we gain weight... Part of it is sticking up for yourself and eating what is right for you. Also, recognizing when eating is for comfort, rather than nutrition. Taking responsibility for controlling your weight. Losing weight to keep a relationship, and to be healthy for the people you love. Learning to love salad more than chocolate cake. Nothing tastes as good as skinny, as Kate Moss says. We don't have to be skinny, just a normal weight. But it's a great thought--Snickers are gross, carrot sticks--yum!
as a guy who has dated many women and finally married one i can speak from experience,most women have a tendency to let themselves go after they have "found someone".a guy can drop hints once a day or all day about their lady gaining weight and its usually met with aggressive out burst like "IM HAPPY,GRRR!!" "LEAVE ME ALONE!! " " MMM,ICE CREAM". women can make a guys life a living hell if you even mention they gained 40 lbs in a year. one thing that is 100% is as soon as you break up ,leave them or get a divorce they drop the weight like a begal with creamcheese on it because they have to find someone new and they're not gonna have too much luck packing that spare tire around the waist.
its simple,if women stopped letting themselves go ,their male companions would be less likely to stare at the 18 y/o babysitter with less than 5% body fat,no stretch marks,no vericose veins and no spare tire.remember i said "stare".we're still gonna look,just not stare. thanks ladies for listening.your weight really does matter to us guys too.
I'm tired of hearing, (on Dr. Phil for instance) "Oh, I gained all this weight because I was putting my family first and I forgot about myself." I know from personal experience that it's often about uncencored self indulgence. Food can be a lazy form of personal entertainment and gratification. It is about choice and I'm making a better one now.
I enjoy going on long runs, but I haven't met any partner who likes to run for fun. So yeah, I can believe it.
I'm not surprised by this finding at all. I think many women put their family first and don't think about their well being. Serving meals that are healthy but will cause rebellion, and making time to exercise when there is a family to take care of often don't seem like an option. It may be likely that much of this behavior is self-imposed rather than coming from family and if a woman said "I need to take time to put myself first when it comes to my health", her family would support it 100%. Maybe for some it's just easier to maintain the status quo rather than trying to implement change. For others it may be what is expected and changing this dynamic is not possible without unwanted consequences. Maybe counseling and "gym dates" will work for some, but I have a feeling the issue could be more complex for others.
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