Weight is one of those things that generally changes with time.
More than likely, our lifestyles and healthy habits change as we age, along with metabolism and health conditions, so it’s no wonder the number on the scale would change, as well.
But some people are more accepting of that than others, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Erjki decided to be honest with their partner when they asked if they liked how he looked at the present time.
When they saw his reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were right to be honest.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my fiancé he would look better if he got back to his high school weight?”
The OP’s partner struggled with his weight.
“We are both 26 from the UK. My fiance is a bit overweight (200lb, 5’11”).”
“He used to be much more overweight but he got down to this weight and can’t seem to get any lower, despite trying new diets every other week.”
“This upsets him quite a lot, he hates his body and still sees himself as very overweight.”
“I find him attractive, but my preference is for thin/fit bodies, I can’t really help that.”
“I never told him my preference because I didn’t want to hurt him.”
“He was fit when we got together at age 21 and then started gaining a ton of weight due to a drinking and binge-eating problem at 22. Thankfully he is doing much better now.”
The OP decided to be honest while reminiscing.
“Yesterday we were looking at old pictures of each other.”
“When my boyfriend was 16-19ish, he was extremely fit and played sports. He was muscular and I have to admit, he was very good-looking.”
“He gets very depressed thinking about school, he misses it and feels like his life peaked then.”
“He told me to be honest and asked me if I thought he looked better then.”
“I said, ‘Yes in some ways, but you’re not a teenager anymore.'”
“He then asked me if I preferred his old body and if I thought he should get back to that.”
“I decided to just be honest, and I told him that he looked healthier and more confident then, and he would look great if he got back to his old weight (like 150lbs).”
“I told him that sometimes his weight and laziness with diets bother me, especially because I’m active and healthy.”
The OP’s partner was not happy to hear this.
“He got a bit upset with me. He feels like I ‘lied to him’ about being attracted to his current body.”
“Tbh (to be honest), I did a bit, but I didn’t want him to feel bad about himself.”
“He also said it’s not realistic for him to get that skinny at 26 and he thinks my expectations are too much.”
“Now he is sulking, he stopped eating, and he won’t take his shirt off around me.”
“Maybe I could have been gentler, but I’ve been gentle for months and it hasn’t helped his weight loss or body image.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were appalled by the OP’s “honesty.”
“I’m the same weight I was in high school (I’m 30 now), and although the NUMBER is the same, the weight has distributed differently. I WISH I was still a flat-stomached 20-year-old that could eat whatever I want and not notice a difference, but for the first time in my life, doing so DOES make me notice a difference, and it’s honestly saddened me a bit and sometimes I do feel insecure about it.”
“Although no one else would notice, I do, and if this is what he’s insecure about, that was the absolute wrong thing to say. It’s like being kicked when you’re already down, or asking that question and having your fear realized. There were so many better ways to phrase it. Do you want to be kind, or do you want to be right?” – spaghettiChong2
“OP knows he is insecure about his body and still told him he looked better in high school. Not only that OP said it bothers them how he doesn’t workout or do the diets. Sometimes lying is the better option.” – dhruvisbigbrain
“There are times where not being honest is okay. She said she lied ‘a bit’ about not being attracted to his current body. Bodies will constantly change throughout life and if OP can’t handle her fiance being slightly ‘overweight’ (200lb at 5’11 is still a very reasonable size) then she should not be with him.”
“I genuinely cant believe there’s a human on this planet who yearns for their significant other to be unhealthily underweight, especially after they’ve already dealt with an ED (eating disorder). I hope OP’s fiance doesn’t let what she said trigger this and that he starts eating again.”
“The other danger is once you’ve developed an eating disorder, it consumes you. There’s a chance he gets to 150 and it won’t be enough. Then he may set his goal for 135 and so on. OP is playing an extremely dangerous game with someone’s well-being.” – Commercial_Pitch_950
“YTA. If you were struggling with disordered eating and self-image issues, then your husband started to criticize you for not being your high school weight, how would you feel?”
“I know he asked, and your answer was technically honest, but the way you worded it was so cruel. You can be honest without being hurtful.”
“Also, do you seriously expect him to easily drop a quarter of his body weight? Expecting that when he’s struggling with disordered eating and self-image issues isn’t reasonable or realistic.” – ShastaWolf
“YTA, and you knew it before you even opened your mouth. There’s a difference between honest and brutally honest. You chose the brutal route.”
“I see it all the time, ‘I’ve been nice about it, but they need to know how I really feel,’ and then absolutely rip into their partner. If you really love him for who he is, then you should be able to love him at his current size. If you’re really concerned for his health, you can sit down and have a proper discussion about it, and offer possible ideas to help.”
“The point being, have CONSTRUCTIVE conversations about it. That’s not what this was. You just kicked him while he was down. Do you really think it doesn’t bother him that he gained weight but you haven’t? Do you think he doesn’t want that for himself?”
“Aren’t you a real gem. If you can’t stay with him without being resentful of his body type then you might as well just leave, because bullying him won’t get you what you want.” – IWorryTooMuchrip
Others thought the OP was incredibly unrealistic.
“I’m literally in the same age group; no one looks the same as they did in high school. People don’t realize how much your body changes between eighteen and your mid-to-late twenties. But it does – it changes just as much in that time frame as it does between your twenties and thirties; or your forties and fifties.” – lordmwahaha
“S**t, even when I was in the army and exercising like a beast every single day I still weighed a lot more than my scrawny high school self.” – Timberwolf-Zero
“Not to mention, OP said the husband was also an athlete in high school. So like no s**t his previous weight is going to be unattainable now, because it was only attainable in the first place when he was playing sports for multiple hours a week.” – matty839
“As you said, the human male grows and is developing till 26. That’s 8 years. The teen years people get their height, early 20’s is when bulk generally comes.”
“If op’s ideal of her bf was a time when the body is building height more than mass as the teenage years are, she’s idealizing an unattainable standard. She’s set him up for an unhealthy lifestyle. Asking him to try to be healthier is one thing, what she said is something else. She’s TA” – ihertzwhenip
Some were concerned the OP might perpetuate their partner’s eating disorder.
“YTA. WHat? OF COURSE HE’S NOT THE SAME WEIGHT AS HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. Few people are. I hope he’s thinking about dumping you for a GF who appreciates his current weight and his efforts to get healthier.”
“I wonder where his eating disorder came from…” – crystallz2000
“As someone in treatment for my food addiction/ED I agree they are complex. However, OP’s attitude is exactly the type to make them worse. You didn’t have to just talk about weight.”
“The judgement on dietary choices and exercise is apparent. That’s something that feeds into the shame and guilt of the disorder.” – DazzlingTurnover
“Sounds like he still engages in some disordered eating habits if he’s trying new diets every week. That’s not enough time to see changes, so it reads as someone who is desperate to lose weight quickly and will abandon a diet if it’s not achieving that end.”
“As someone in ED recovery, if my boyfriend said this to me about my weight when I was restricting, it would absolutely trigger a full relapse.” – FindersSleepers
“The worst thing is, if he’s binge eating and obsessed over his weight, he’s already developed an eating disorder. OP, YTA and you are placing unhealthy expectations on someone you say you love and care for.” – Important-Warning
After receiving comments, the OP posted an update.
“It is absolutely fine if he can’t get to that weight, and I told him that.”
“I know he isn’t young anymore.”
“I think he needs to lose around 30lbs (he agrees) but there’s no need to go below that.”
The subReddit absolutely did not agree with the OP’s version of honesty. Instead, they thought there could have been a more delicate and empathetic way for the OP to discuss their concerns that wouldn’t have hurt their partner, especially with a history of an eating disorder.
Though everyone can empathize with missing an earlier body, expecting it isn’t necessarily realistic or kind.