“Love is a mutual misunderstanding,” Oscar Wilde said, and I couldn’t agree more.  By the time Paul and I ended our marriage we had been misunderstanding each other for twenty years.  There was only one thing that the two of us totally agreed upon: we had a bad marriage.  But then we couldn’t agree whose fault it was.

Paul delighted in blaming me for everything that was wrong in our marriage.  But I say that I was only fifty percent culpable, which right away shows you who was the more reasonable person.  I, at least, was willing to concede that there may have been things I had done, (unintentionally of course), that pissed my husband off.  But Paul was never willing to concede that he had had done anything during our marriage to alienate me.  Which really infuriated me, because all during our marriage I had been swallowing my anger by stuffing my frustration and unhappiness down with food to numb my feelings.  So much so that I have developed this theory: a bad marriage is fattening.  At least it was so in my case.  And I don’t think I’m alone.  I think there are millions of men and women out there who are stuffing down their feelings of frustration and unhappiness with food.

I’ve decided that in order to prove my theory I would write a blog on just this subject.  I wondered if I came forward and told my story, if other men and women would be willing to come forward and tell me how their own bad marriage or relationship with a significant other caused them to gain weight.

Maybe I’d even approach A BAD MARRIAGE IS FATTENING like a research project and then publish my results in The NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL of MEDICINE.  (Oh, my God, that would just slay Paul if, I, whom he considers such a nincompoop of an ex-wife were to be published in such a prestigious medical journal.  You see, Paul is a medical doctor.)

I can just visualize in my mind’s eye the look on Paul’s face when he picks our son up to take him out for dinner and I hand him my published article.

“What’s this?” Paul would ask me.

“It’s The NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL of MEDICINE,” I would say with a smile on my face.

“Since when do you read medical journals?”

“I don’t.  I wrote an article that was published in it.”

“You wrote an article?” Paul asks with a smirk on his face.  (His arrogance can sometimes be so irritating.)

I nod my head.  Okay, I admit, I can’t wipe the smile off of my face.  This really is going to get Paul’s goat.

“What did you write?”

I point to the table of contents.  “That article.”

Paul looks down and reads aloud, “A Bad Marriage Is Fattening.”  Paul looks up at me and shakes his head in disgust.  “Don’t tell me you’re still blaming me for your being fat?  I never took the fork and stuffed it down your throat.  I never forced you to eat.  You ate because you love food!”

“Well, maybe if you paid a little more attention to me when we were married – maybe if you had given me a little sex and love, I wouldn’t have had to turn to food and gotten fat.”

“How did you expect me to give you sex and love when I was always angry with you?” Paul says to me.

My imaginary conversation with Paul ends.  Even in my imaginary conversations with Paul I know him so well that I know exactly what he would say.  We both knew each other so well.  We had gone together for ten years before we married.  So counting our twenty years of marriage we were together for thirty years.  When you’re with somebody that long you think there’s nothing more about that person that you can learn.  That you know everything there is to know about that person.  But the truth, dear reader, is: you never really know another person no matter how long you’ve been with them.  There were secrets that both Paul and I kept hidden from one another that never came out until after our marriage ended.  And, of course, by then it was too late.

But I want to get back to my thoughts about approaching A BAD MARRIAGE IS FATTENING as not only my story, but a research project as well.  Although to be totally honest I don’t have the least idea how I’m going to get my research subjects.  I thought maybe from this blog – but as of today, January 2nd, 2010 only three people have read my blog.  My twenty-five year old son, Michael, my cousin, Kathleen, and my 87-year-old Aunt Sunnie’s niece on her deceased husband’s side.  And I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose Aunt Sunnie’s niece as a reader, which is going to knock my readership down to two.  Neither my son nor my cousin are fat.

I told Aunt Sunnie to tell everyone about my blog so I could develop a readership.  (Aunt Sunnie had no idea what a blog was until I explained it to her.  She knows nothing about computers having no interest in modern technology.)  So when Aunt Sunnie’s niece called her to wish her a happy New Years yesterday she told her niece about my blog.  (She felt very hip to even know the word blog.)  Her niece immediately turned on her computer while they were on the phone and read my blog out loud to her.  Anyhow, from what Aunt Sunnie related to me, her niece could not relate to my subject matter.  Although her niece is overweight and has been overweight all her life, before meeting her husband she lost her excess weight.  After she married she put the weight back on and kept it on all during her marriage.  However, she had a very loving and long-term marriage that ended two years ago when her husband passed away.  Which brings me to a very important point: not all married people who are fat are unhappily married.

Maybe I should make an official disclaimer so people won’t think that I’m saying that all married people who are fat are unhappily married.


The author had never said, nor has she implied that all fat people are fat because they are in bad relationships.  That idea has never been the author’s intention or thought.  The author is very well aware that there are millions of fat people who are happily married.  So please, don’t write the author to defend yourself and tell her how happily married you are and how much you love your husband or your wife, and how much your husband or wife loves you — and that your husband or wife treats you like a queen or king, and that your husband or wife makes love to you everyday and thinks that you are the most beautiful, sexy woman in the world, or you are the most handsome, sexy man in the world, because the author believes you.  Believe me she believes you.  So don’t write her because you will only make her envious that you are in a good marriage that rocks and she was not.

The author is solely writing this blog for people who believe that they have gotten fat because of their own bad marriage or bad relationship with their significant other.  Those people know who they are.  The author doesn’t have to tell them who they are.  They are aware that their marriage or relationship does not rock.

Okay, so that’s my disclaimer.  I’m sure as this blog progresses more disclaimers will arise.  I only hope I get some readers.

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10-25-2014 1-33-39 PM

It’s New Year’s morning.  What’s the first thing I do when I wake up?  What does every overweight person do on the first day of the New Year?  Why step on the scale of course and make their New Year’s resolution to lose weight.

I fling off my nightgown and try not to look at my naked reflection in the bathroom mirror as I step on the scale.  The scale reads 142 pounds – but it’s not really 142 pounds.  It’s really 242 pounds.  Ever since I’ve weighed over 200 pounds, I have never been able to bring myself to say the number two hundred when it comes to my weight.  My mind automatically reverts back to when I weighed in the 100-pound range.  I have never accepted the fact that I weigh in the 200-pound range nor would I ever admit to it on my driver’s license.

You could say that denial is my middle name.  Look up the word “denial” in the dictionary and you will find my name:  “Denial – noun – Joan Denial Oshatz.  A woman who refuses to believe what her bathroom scale says.”  There you have it.  I live in a constant state of denial when it comes to my weight.  But just so you don’t get the wrong impression that I’m totally out of touch with reality let me explain.  Intellectually I know I’m fat.  But if I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror then I don’t have to confront the reality of how fat I really am.  If you don’t understand what I just said then you’re obviously not fat.

But today, as hard as it is for me, I’m going to face reality and earnestly begin to take off my weight.  The moment of truth has arrived.

I look at myself naked in my bathroom mirror.  The best way I can describe myself is to say that I have a double chin and look like one of those smiling Buddha statues that has a humongous protruding stomach — only I’m not smiling and my breasts sag.  The next thing I can tell you is that my belly button isn’t where it used to be.  It’s lower.  My excess weight has stretched my stomach downwards.  Well, that’s enough reality for one day.

I didn’t always look like this.  I was once slim and beautiful.  I put on all my weight after I married Paul (I’ve changed my ex-husband’s name to protect the guilty).  It’s true, dear reader, a bad marriage is fattening.

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