Most of us at one time or another have worried about our weight. Maybe we needed to gain or lose. Maybe we wanted to eat a little healthier than before or drink fewer caffeinated drinks.
Those are acceptable changes to ponder from time to time. It only becomes a problem when it takes over your life.
For one woman, though, she realized her appearance could take over her life because of another person: her boyfriend.
The OP (Original Poster) “ThrowRA-pinkdrops” shared her situation in the “Relationship Advice” subReddit, concerned that her boyfriend’s involvement in her appearance was becoming too much.
The OP explained to the sub:
“My boyfriend (24) has become very controlling over my (22f) diet. Last night he threw out a cake I baked because he didn’t want me to eat it. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
The OP explained that at the beginning of their relationship, there were no issues.
“We’ve been together for a year. At the start our relationship was great and I felt so lucky to have met him. He was [the] sweetest, most amazing guy I’ve ever met.”
“I was aware that he’s really passionate about fitness/health (as am I) but it wasn’t the main part of our relationship. We had other shared interests.”
But with time, more concerning behaviors began to come out of the woodwork.
“Over the months things changed. He became more and more obsessed with my appearance and started telling me what I could or couldn’t do [or] eat.”
“At first I tried convincing myself that he just cares but it’s all too much.”
“Things got especially bad during lockdown because he became so obsessed with making sure I don’t gain weight.”
The OP shared some specific incidences of her boyfriend’s over-the-top involvement.
“I think it’s easier to give some examples [of] what he does [and] says:”
“1. He makes me weigh myself every week. If I refuse he says that I don’t respect him and nags me the whole time. For the record, I’m happy with my weight and never did these weekly checks before we met.”
“2. I don’t follow a specific diet. He always pushes me to follow certain diets and says I’m not disciplined enough. Lately he’s been cooking meals for us both and he always insists that I should eat only that and nothing else. If I want something else he guilt trips me and says that I don’t care about him.”
“3. One time he said that I have to maintain my current bodyweight [and] leanness so that it wouldn’t affect our sex life. I asked him to elaborate and he said that he wants to ‘enjoy’ my body and I shouldn’t ruin it for him. His comment felt so objectifying and I said that I keep fit for myself, not for his pleasure or anybody else’s. He literally just laughed at me and said I’m not being honest.”
“4. Another time I showed him a pic of when I was a child (around 6). I was slightly chubby but definitely not unhealthy. He said he would’ve never let his kid ‘get to that size’ and that my parents should’ve done a better job. Keep in mind: I wasn’t obese as a kid. It was just a little baby fat and within the healthy range. His comments were unnecessary and mean.”
“5. He only compliments me on my looks which I don’t appreciate. I mean I don’t mind it here and there but I feel like he only focuses on my physical features.”
“One time I told him how I feel about this and he ‘jokingly’ said he can’t think of other compliments. Of course I was hurt and he said that I’m too sensitive. (Also he often makes these comments during sex I don’t like…a bit too tmi I guess)”
“6. Whenever I go out with my girlfriends he tells me to send him pics of what I ate and who with. At first I didn’t mind because I genuinely thought he’s just curious. But nope, he always has to know all the details. Once again this is something I do just to please him because he won’t stop asking.”
“When I mentioned this to my friend recently she said that it’s f**ked up and not normal at all. She actually confronted him about it via text but I’m not sure how the conversation went down because neither of them told me. (Well she did but she was pretty vague).”
“(Those are just a few examples. He has also made some comments in the past that I personally considered sexist but he insists that he’s not sexist and just telling the truth.)”
The situation worsened recently when the OP made a bake for her mom.
“This brings us to yesterday. I baked a cake for my mum and put it in the fridge. I’m not an expert baker but I felt accomplished since it turned out well.”
“I even texted my bf (who was away) a pic of the cake and his first question was ‘you’re not gonna eat all of that, are you?’. I was fed up and replied that I will finish it all in one sitting (sarcasm, of course. I even added the eye roll emoji). Afterwards I didn’t check my phone and went to take a nap.”
“Fast forward to late evening. I got up and went to grab a drink from the fridge. The cake was gone. When I realised that he threw it in the bin I was so hurt and upset (I was literally crying).”
When the OP confronted her boyfriend, he said it was her fault he threw the cake away.
“I yelled at him and he said that this wouldn’t have happened if I dropped my ‘attitude’. I told him that I don’t have an attitude at all, I’m just so tired of his bs. He said that he didn’t want to do it but I gave him ‘no choice’. He literally said that I made him do it.”
“We argued and at one point I said that the relationship will come to an end if he doesn’t stop this. He glared at me (it honestly made me uncomfortable) and said I shouldn’t say stuff like that.”
“We argued some more and he eventually hugged me and apologised but it didn’t feel sincere. He said that we should move past this and then tried to initiate sex. Of course I wasn’t in the mood at all and just left the kitchen.”
“We texted back & forth and he was acting like nothing happened and for some reason he was extra nice.”
Now that her boyfriend is acting like everything is fine, the OP doesn’t know what to do.
“I seriously don’t understand why he would do something so cruel. I had to buy another cake as there wasn’t enough time to make a new one. Why would he do this? He always says he loves me but his actions don’t match up.”
“I don’t know how long I can put up with this. I have strong feelings for him but I realise that this isn’t okay.”
“However I honestly don’t know how he’ll react if I leave. I’m very anxious and don’t know what to do. I haven’t told my parents about this because they’d just freak out and probably make the situation worse.”
Fellow Redditors wrote in anonymously, sharing their thoughts on how the OP’s boyfriend was treating her.
Some reassured the OP she was right about her feelings and urged her to leave the relationship now.
“There are some posts where people shouldn’t jump straight to ‘leave him’, but this is a case of the comments being accurate as h**l. Seriously, your boyfriend sounds f**king terrible. You deserve someone who will love and accept you at any weight, and know their boundaries.”
“He sees you as an object, and from the cake situation, also very clearly does not respect your feelings. Get the f**k out of this relationship. I know its difficult, but it WILL get worse if you stay longer.”
“He may be acting nice now, but abusers always do this. The act will absolutely drop eventually, until the next time you tell him you’re gonna possibly leave him. It’s a cycle. And you really should tell your parents about it – they can help you through the breakup, if you decide to go through with it, and give you a place to stay – or, if it’s your place that you guys live at, help you out at least if things get dangerous until he leaves and fully moves out.” – rlj_guitar
“It sounds like OP is involved with a ‘somatic’ narcissist (someone who is obsessed with physical appearances, both his and yours). He played the sweet role to hook you, then took off the mask when he got comfortable.”
“From experience I can tell you it only gets worse. I suggest you get out now. Block all contact, or prepare for a deluge of begging, guilting, promising and threatening.”
“Source: a 10-year relationship with one of these creatures.” – Throwra7485
“Yep. Dump him. He’s an a**hole. Nothing redeeming. In fact, I take his glaring and telling her not to say that kind of thing as a pretty direct threat.” – lucy_in_the_sky_0
Others specified that there’s a huge difference between dating a “gym junkie” and this guy.
“I’ve dated a ‘gym junkie’ – he was obsessed with meal prep, worked out for hours every day, and yeah encouraged me to do the same. BUT his encouragement of me was only because I’d already expressed I was interested in getting in better shape and he wanted to help me out.”
“What OP describes is not normal. Her bf is not at all accepting of boundaries and the controlling behaviour is honestly kind of scary to me. Please OP, get out now before this gets worse – you deserve someone who values you as you are and doesn’t try to objectify and control your body.” – bluebird302
“This is absolutely an abusive man, with compulsive eating disorder behaviors to boot.”
“OP I grew up with a man like this for a father, don’t walk f**king RUN from this man.” – blissando
“I used to be a personal trainer at a local gym and also into fitness. I had a decent body but dated girls not in the best shape. Not once have I ever judge her weight, what she ate or anything. I figured if she wanted fitness advice she would ask me when she was ready but I was with her for who she was on the inside.”
“Now I have a dad bod and my wife love my fluffiness” – OneDeep87
Some, like this Redditor, also stressed how serious and abusive this controlling behavior can get.
“You block him on everything.”
“You never look back.”
“You will be furious with yourself in a few years that you put up with this.”
“Tell your parents, tell your friends, bring a few male friends with you, collect your stuff and leave.”
“You make a note of abusive behaviour and take screenshots of abusive messages incase you need a restraining order.”
“He’ll beg and plead and cry that he will change but thats not real, its the realisation he’s lost control.”
“If you stay it will get worse.”
“He’ll tell you what to wear, tell you cant have male friends, and he will hit you. Not only that, but he will cause very long lasting psychological damage that you’ll carry with you for years.”
“Get out now.”
“It is that serious.” – Qalaran
Though it can be hard to leave any relationship, the Redditors are in fairly unanimous agreement that this relationship has to be thrown out with the cake. Surely by pushing for photos of dining out and weighing in weekly are enough to set off some red flags.