Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that when someone gets bariatric surgery and drops a lot of weight that their intimate relationships with others change in remarkable ways.
However, a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health has come out with some startling findings: Unmarried people who have bariatric weight-loss surgery are twice as likely to get married than folks in the general population, while married people who have the surgery are twice as likely to end up divorced.
Why would you lose your marriage when you lose weight?
It’s all speculative, but there are numerous possible reasons that drastic weight loss could cause a marital divide. For example:
- If both spouses were overweight, the spouse who loses weight may come to resent their partner’s physical limitations once they no longer share those same limitations.
- The spouse who loses weight may develop higher self-esteem and find that they no longer are emotionally compatible with their spouse, particularly if that spouse is negative, neglectful or abusive in any way.
- Lifestyle changes brought on by the post-surgical routine (including dietary changes and activity levels) can put a couple “out of sync” with each other.
- Changing sexual needs (including an increased desire for sexual activity by the spouse that lost weight) can also throw off the balance of a relationship and make the other spouse feel inadequate or intimidated.
None of this should stop someone from improving their health – but if your marriage has taken a hit after your weight-loss surgery, it may help you to realize that you’re not alone. Couples drift apart for all kinds of reasons. If you’re headed for divorce, make sure you take the appropriate steps to protect your future.