Fat Shaming In Marriage: Is It About Looks Or Resentment?

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A woman from UP has filed for divorce on grounds that her husband constantly shamed her for being overweight. According to her plea, after shifting to Ghaziabad, the woman’s husband, who is a software engineer working for an international firm, started visiting social gatherings but would refuse to take his wife on the pretext that she was too “fat”, reports The Indian Express. She has also alleged that he subjected her to mental torture over her weight and often made humiliating remarks about her fitness in front of other people.


  • A wife has filed for divorce on grounds that her husband fat shamed her.
  • It isn’t uncommon for partners to fat shame each other.
  • With physical attraction forming the basis of relationships, change in appearances affects relationship dynamics.
  • Being repulsed by your partner’s appearance and being concerned for their health are two different things. 

Fat shaming isn’t unusual in marriages, or long term love relationships for that matter. With attraction finding it’s roots in a person’s physical appearance for almost all of us, someone’s weight and physique matters.

We care about how our partner looks. And as a long term relationship unfolds, the change in their appearance over the course of time, doesn’t escape our notice. As years pile on our body in the form of pounds, cellulite and wrinkles, we begin wondering, is this the same person we fell in love with? When someone loses what attracted us to them in the first place, doesn’t it feel like the very foundation of our relationship has collapsed? What ensues is fat-shaming, sometimes meant in good faith to raise concerns over health or hurtful comments made in public view.

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It isn’t just women who are at the receiving end of fat-shaming in marriages. Men experience it too. A lot of fitness-conscious women loathe their husbands for letting it go. Similarly, women get openly fat-shamed by their spouses for piling on weight, especially post maternity. We can blame the beauty norms that we grow up identifying with. Thin is beautiful, fat is ugly. This isn’t about being fit or healthy, and that is what should concern us. We often do not realise the damage that lack of fitness does to our loved one’s health until it’s too late.

If you are repulsed by your partner’s appearance, could there be more it than their failure to meet normalised yet superficial beauty standards?? Could you have simply fallen out of love with them?

However, is all fat-shaming a result of our misplaced notions of beauty? Could it also be a product of the deep seated resentment that corrodes every marriage, as years pass by and grudges accumulate? As love and passion for each other withers down, we begin actively finding flaws in our partner. It could be a balding head in one, a jiggly belly in another, or thunderous snoring which may drive a wife or a husband mad. Which begets us to ask, if you are repulsed by your partner’s appearance, could there be more it than their failure to meet normalised yet superficial beauty standards?? Could you have simply fallen out of love with them? Are you channelising all the resentment you feel towards them, to this one aspect? There could be more to fat-shaming your partner, than meets the eye. It is never a good sign when you can’t see anything in your partner beyond their so called flaws.

Obesity can’t be cured by shaming. A person dealing with weight issues, who is at risk of health issues, needs to be motivated to lose weight. Partners do play a key role here, as they can be workout partners, encourage their spouse to eat right and stay off unhealthy food. It is not easy to lose weight, and there are numerous untold stories of defeat at hands of the weighing scale that go unheard amidst the din of success stories of inch and weight loss. One can be a cheerleader and support system to one’s partner in their quest for fitness, or one can let their prejudices and grudges get the best of them. What is at risk here is not just a loved one’s well-being, but our love and marriage as well.

Image Credit: Samuel Zeller, Unsplash

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.