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Vintage Vicki: He’ll Leave Me Because I’m Fat

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband is threatening to leave me if I don't lose weight. His threats are stressing me out and making me eat more.

I am so insecure because my husband calls me names every day. He will call me while he is at work only to say, “Hi Piggy!” He doesn’t find me attractive anymore. He doesn’t touch me in any way -- no kissing, no hugs and he doesn’t make love to me either. He said he is punishing me because I am fat. He told me, “Fatty don’t get any love.”

I’m sorry that I haven’t lost the weight since I had my two children. Losing weight is not easy.

I tried talking to his mother about his behavior towards me. She said, “A man is visual and his eyes are the window to his soul.”

I was shocked by her answer. Now I’m at a loss about what to do, and my husband is going to leave me. Please help me Ms. Vicki.

Fat Wife

Dear Wife,

Listen, I’m positive that you are a beautiful woman. You must believe that. You cannot start identifying yourself by the rude names that your husband calls you.

First of all, don’t discuss this with your mother-in-law anymore. She’s isn’t wrapped too tight and she does more to discount how you really feel.

Secondly, your husband is treating your horribly and he is being a jerk. You may need to ask yourself why you are tolerating his abuse. His words are beyond mean -- they are cruel. I would never tell anyone to leave their spouse, but I will say that you shouldn’t tolerate his behavior and name calling either.

You have to lose the weight for you and not because he is threatening you. Threats will lead to more stress and put you on a continual cycle of low self-esteem.

Right now you don’t feel good about yourself. I would love for you to attend “Ms. Vicki School” for a day. I’m not a size 8, but I’m 5’9” and I’m sexy. I try to take care of myself by dressing trendy, keeping my hair, make-up, feet and nails done, too. It’s what I do for me because I love who I am. I’m not a size 8, but I’m great!

There are a lot of issues that are going on in your life right now and I think you should speak to a therapist or counselor for more guidance. I think you have some marriage problems. Your husband is being emotionally abusive towards you and you should discuss this with a professional.

I also think you should address how food has become a comfort to you and you could be using food to cope with all of your stress and sad feelings. Losing weight is a journey, and you could use some pleasant company on the trip.

Check on your base for the availability of counseling services  -- specifically someone who specializes in marriage and family therapy, and also someone who can help you with behavioral modification around food.

This is not blaming you for being overweight; I think it would be useful and provide some insight. You should also contact Military OneSource, and they will connect you with a therapist in your local community. The services are free. You can contact them at 800-342-9647. Let me know what you decide to do.

Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki, a native of Dallas, has been the ‘Dear Abby’ for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology. Her column has appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Ms. Vicki has retired from writing new columns for Although Ms. Vicki is no longer offering new advice on, you can still email military benefits questions to our Questions and Benefits team. Need military spouse career help? Email our Dear Career writers.