Dear Robin: My Wife Lost Weight; Now She’s Dressing Too Sexy
Monday, January 26, 2015
My wife recently lost a lot of weight and I am very proud of her. She had been fairly overweight for several years and it was very tough on her self-esteem so I am reluctant to even bring up this issue to her. I hope you can help me figure out how because we have a really happy marriage and I don’t want to upset the applecart.
Since losing the weight, my wife has begun to dress very provocatively. I’m no prude and I really love my wife’s new figure but she is 44 years old and the things she is wearing are inappropriate for her age.
I had a work-related dinner last week and she met me there and I think that was the last straw because if I had seen what she was planning on wearing I would have left the house without her. It was a tiny dress that was well above the knee, more like the thigh, and cut down to “there” in the front. I was mortified and embarrassed and I could see my co-workers and their spouses glancing over and rolling their eyes.
I didn’t say anything because she worked so hard to get where she is and I don’t want to be a jerk. Help! Should I tell her people are staring and not in a good way?
Grant in Grant Park
You sound like a very supportive guy and I appreciate the consideration you are giving to your wife’s feelings as she grapples with her new body. This is not an uncommon thing when women lose weight, especially if they have been on the bigger side for a long time.
After being heavy for many years and then losing the weight, I went through something similar. I was so amazed I could fit into these “sexy” clothes that I didn’t stop to think about the message I was sending to those around me and the inappropriateness of these choices because of my age, profession (specifically: not a hooker), and status as a married woman.
I tell you this so you know I am speaking from a place of experience and empathy. I wish someone had been more direct with me about some of my sartorial choices when I was at my thinnest because I look back at some old photos now and cringe.
Your wife is reveling in the ability to wear these types of clothes, not the clothes themselves. She just doesn’t know it yet.
I caution you against telling your wife that other people are judging her because at this juncture it is unnecessary and unhelpful and could cause feelings of shame and embarrassment. Let’s try a more subtle and positive approach.
Please follow my numbered list for how to get your wife to stop dressing like a whore:
1. Meet me downtown with a current picture of your wife and I’ll help you pick out a sexy but tasteful dress AND some very racy lingerie. OK, you can probably do this on your own but I emailed you a few choices you should consider.
2. Cook a nice dinner for her and open wine because wine is wonderful and it also helps lubricate difficult conversations.
3. Tell her how proud you are of her and that you know it must have been very difficult to accomplish such a large task. Be specific in noting things you saw her doing in her efforts such as cooking healthy meals, working out, and anything else you noticed she had to do to lose the weight.
4. Bring out the presents. Chicks love presents. Ask her to open them and try them on. Hopefully these things will look fabulous – I’m a pretty good judge of fashion so I’m sure they will.
6. OK, here’s the hard part: you now deliver the following soliloquy:
“Babe, you know I’ve always loved you and supported you regardless of your weight, and the last thing I want to do is hurt your feelings, but I have to tell you something: the way you have changed your wardrobe since losing weight has really impacted me and I’m not comfortable with it.
“This isn’t Yemen and I’m not demanding you wear whatever I tell you to wear, but some of your recent choices strike me as too revealing. I want you to celebrate your sexiness without putting everything you have on display to the rest of the world.
“Look in the mirror at yourself in this dress: you look so hot and it’s sexy but not inappropriate. Can we get rid of some of your new clothing choices and fill your closet with things that don’t make me feel so uncomfortable but which also flatter your new bod?
“I bought you the lingerie to show you that I understand you want to flaunt yourself a bit but to also let you know I’d like us to keep the revealing stuff between us. Now go put that naughty nightie on and let’s have a party.”
I think this will work but if not I suggest the next time your wife puts on a dress like the one she wore the other night you tell her that while she may be able to put that on, she can’t pull it off.
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