Family

Not-so-funny fat photo

Dear Wendyl, This might sound like a silly problem to write to you about but I’m really worried. A few months ago my husband took a picture of me which is less than flattering. My stomach is poking out, my eyes look lopsided and my chest looks about five times bigger than it actually is. I tried to get him to delete it off the camera but instead he has printed it out and put it on the fridge and no matter how many times I pull it down he replaces it. I’m about to kill him. Please tell me how to get him to stop. Emma, email

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Dear Emma,The beauty of digital cameras is that we can get rid of images of ourselves we don’t like, and judging by the description, there must have been an awful lot going wrong with the lighting when your picture was taken. But that’s not the issue. The issue is that your husband feels the need to taunt you and I’m guessing he’s done this before. Perhaps he’s one of those guys who loves having a laugh at your expense when you are out together? Assertiveness is the answer here, because I think in the past you have probably let things like this go, and like a child, he has seen this as positive reinforcement.

So pull some negative out of your back pocket. Sit him down, don’t be angry, just clearly and simply explain how the picture makes you feel. Use “I” statements rather than “You” statements, eg, “I feel embarrassed and humiliated,” rather than “You are a horrible nasty man,” would work. Then tell him in a stern voice that you are taking the picture down, that you’d really appreciate it if the joke could finish and if he really loves you, he’ll take your concerns seriously and honour you. That should do it.

If the picture reappears, it’s time to seek counselling. I’m serious, because he needs to learn to respect you, and if he doesn’t on a level as basic as this, then that’s no basis for a marriage. A good place to start is www.relate.org.nzWendyl

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