DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Sean" for five years. I am 27, stand 5 feet 7 inches tall and weigh 120 pounds. Sean is constantly pushing me to exercise more, and he comments on my thighs and stomach a lot. He tells me it's not a weight issue, but I need to "work off some fat and gain more muscle." He wasn't like this when we got married.
I love my body, and I know I'm not fat or overweight. I walk 4 miles round-trip to work. My entire workday is spent on my feet, walking or running. I get plenty of exercise, and I'm healthy and active.
This is really hurting my confidence. It bothers me to hear that someone I love thinks my normal body is unattractive because of barely there "fat." I don't know what gave Sean this idea. How do I deal with it?
- Just Right in Arizona
DEAR JUST RIGHT: The kind of body your husband would like you to have seems more descriptive of a skinny teenager than a healthy young woman. Is he a body builder or a gym rat? You deal with it by asking your husband why he thinks your normal body is unattractive, listen carefully to his response and, if necessary, run it by your doctor.
DEAR ABBY: I was wondering if a woman can be considered engaged to a man if she is still married to another man, but separated?
I have a friend who has been separated from her husband for two years. They live apart, but not "legally." Can she be considered engaged? Wouldn't her ring be a promise ring and not an engagement ring? Please help me clear up this confusion.
- Confounded in West Virginia
DEAR CONFOUNDED: To declare oneself engaged while legally married to another person does appear to be premature. However, your friend can call herself whatever she wants if it pleases her. The same is true for what she calls the rock she's wearing. If you value her friendship, you'll let it slide and won't contradict her.