How to part with big-boy clothes
Q: My partner, “Jacob,” and I live in a small apartment; that’s all we can afford right now. It has one bedroom and one clothes closet, and not all that big. We can use the coat closet for clothes, and we do, but still we are cramped for hanging space. At that, Jacob has more clothes than I do and he has clothes that he can no longer wear because they are the wrong size. Nevertheless, he wants to keep them just in case he changes sizes again. We could make it work if he’d get rid of his “too big” clothes, but he won’t because he says that if he gives them away, he’d have to buy all new ones if he gains weight again. (And he is superstitious that giving them away will cause him to gain weight.)
How can I convince Jacob that gaining weight is a matter of eating too much and the wrong things, not giving away his big-boy clothes?
A: I don’t believe that he really thinks that giving away his clothes will literally make him gain weight; it’s just his fear of gaining weight again that makes him want to hang on to them – a warding off of the extra-weight god, so to speak. My guess is that he has probably fought his weight most of his life. I’m wondering why his “big-boy” clothes have to be hanging up in the closet. Why not get those plastic sacks for clothes that you can suck the air out of so that the clothes are shrunk down for storage. Put the bags under your bed, and that should keep the extra-weight god away.
He makes me feel like a turkey
Q: Should you feel bad in a supposedly loving relationship? “Dave” and I have been together for eight months. It seems like when I do something that he doesn’t like or doesn’t want me to do, he figures out a way to make me feel bad about it. Like, I wanted to join this political activist group and was telling him about it. He told me it was a stupid group and that he had heard about the people in the group and they were all dweebs. By the time he got done, I would have felt like an idiot to have joined that group. When I want to go home and have Sunday dinner with my parents – with or without him – he tells me that I am a “mama’s boy.” (It’s not every week – more like once a month – and he’s invited, but I don’t insist that he come if he doesn’t want to.) When I wanted to join a bowling league – again with or without him (I wasn’t pushing it on him but would have been fine with his joining) – he told me that bowling was for the “lower class,” and I shouldn’t do that if I wanted to progress in my career. Last night, we were talking about where we would go on vacation. He wanted to know where I wanted to go, then when I said, “Key West” he told me that that was so utterly gay (so, why did he ask me anyway?).
I can’t quite put my finger on what or why exactly he does this sort of thing, but I sure end up feeling like a fool. It doesn’t feel good, but I don’t know how to confront it, or exactly what it is he’s doing to me.
Love Can Feel So Wrong
A: Short and sweet: He is bullying you in order to control you. I doubt that he will want to admit to this as his behavior isn’t pretty – and he probably has an unhealthy need to control. However, you do need to confront him for your sake and self-esteem. And you need to confront him because someone needs to tell him what he is doing and how it feels so that he has a chance to look at his behavior and change it, if he wishes to. But ultimately, if he doesn’t change, you need to figure out why you would stay with someone like Dave.