Earlier this week, a woman took to Reddit for advice on her boyfriend’s attitude towards her weight, and was met with a sweet comment from another user.
‘I am an old man now, and my wife is gone. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever known, inside and out, but she often struggled to see that,’ he wrote.
The woman, 21, who said her boyfriend makes comments about her body, asked how to deal with a partner who doesn’t appreciate her beauty.
When the old man saw the thread, he quickly made a comment to reassure the woman.
His message, which revealed he was ‘full of regret’ over his attitude towards his late wife, moved many users on the social website, garnering almost 10,000 responses so far.
In the initial post, the unnamed woman wrote: ‘I’m losing weight but my partner is still giving me a hard time about my appearance.
‘We were going swimming the other day and I commented that the water was cold. I was met with the response “trust me you have more than enough insulation”.’
Many people expressed their outrage, imploring the woman to leave him and one even joked she should lose 200 pounds – in the form of her boyfriend.
But it was the old man’s comment that stood out the most.
He said: ‘I remember there was a time during our life where we (wife and I) had some trouble (I was advancing my career and really neglecting our marriage) and she started dieting and working out extensively.
‘I didn’t even notice at the time (because I was so absorbed in my work) but we finally had a pretty severe argument, where she asked me whether I didn’t find her attractive anymore because of her weight.
‘One of my biggest regrets ever, that still haunts me to this day, is that I made her feel less than beautiful.’
‘It still hurts me to think of the days and months where she was eating less in the hopes that I’d love her more. It makes me angry at myself,’ he said.
‘As the user I’m replying to said, the weight you need to lose is not from yourself.
‘I am sure that your partner has benevolent feelings towards you but he is behaving in a fundamentally unloving way to you. He is giving you unhealthy food for your soul.
‘I think you should let him know how this makes you feel. If he loves you, I think he would be horrified to realise what his words do to you. If he does not realise that, you need to feed your soul a better diet.’
The message inspired other users, who reflected on the way they approach their own loved ones.
‘I think your post helped a lot of people that read it. It reminded us to make sure we stay supportive and attentive to our partners. Reckonings are never easy, but they can be cleansing,’ wrote one user.
Another user said: ‘You’ve somehow opened up my brain to a layer of empathy I didn’t know could exist. Thank you for sharing such a deep part of yourself with everyone.’
Many comments followed in the same vein, commending the old man and supporting the woman with positive and encouraging words.
How do you talk to a partner about sensitive issues?
There are respectful ways to address concerns with your partner.
Lianne Young, a relationship expert, explains how to best approach your other half about a topic that might upset him or her.
She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘In every relationship, individuals need to understand each other’s positions – and look at it from both perspectives. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes, and see why what you say is important to them.
‘If you are genuinely concerned for their health, say so, but choose the correct time and make it clear it’s their health that concerns you. Also, make it clear you’re not just their partner but a best friend too, and want them to be happy in themselves.
‘The best way to do this is to offer to train with them, or ask what they would like to do to feel more confident in themselves around their weight concerns.
‘Moreover, unless this situation is dealt with properly, the insecurities that arise from the arguments of what you say can also lead to clinical mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
‘Feeling insecure can be damaging to your relationship and this only builds tension, which will fall back on the person being unsupportive.
‘Instead, agree to invest in yourself and your partner for the benefit of your relationship; there will be stuff about yourself that could do with improvement too.
‘The more confident people are, the more self-esteem they have and the easier it is to have positive relationships.’