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“Reader Emails,” “Dr. Reality Steve,” & The Release of the “Bachelor in Paradise” Cast – Kind Of

Dr. Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve-

First off, thank you for bringing back the doctor. I love reading other peoples situations and your responses always make sense to me.

Here’s my situation. I’ve been dating my husband for 13 years, and we just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. We started dating in high school, and we were both “jocks.” He played football, baseball, and wrestling, and I played year round soccer and cross country. Being fit has always been really important to me, and I have always played sports, so it’s never been an issue.

When we both went away to college (to the same college), I started running marathons to keep in shape and I’m still an avid runner now at 30, and workout daily. He stopped working out after high school since he wasn’t playing sports anymore. He is really big into golf and bowling now, but other than that, he refuses to work out and over the years, he’s probably put on about 30-40 lbs. He is one of the lucky people that doesn’t look that fat despite being overweight, but definitely out of shape and has a belly, and just generally, not fit nor healthy. He is 29, so it hasn’t caught up to him completely yet, but I know that age doesn’t help when it comes to this, and it will only get worse.

I obviously love him, but over the years, I’m started to find myself less physically attracted. I have tried to get him to go to the gym with me and encourage him that way, and make healthy meals for dinner, etc, but he is one of those people who doesn’t want to work out, so he doesn’t. He is very confident in himself besides being overweight and doesn’t really care what people think. He does work very hard at his job and is successful, and says things like “I work hard all day, I don’t want to go workout and do something I don’t want to do when I’m not at work.”

How do I get him to get back into shape without being a bitch about it or essentially calling him fat? I don’t want to hurt his feelings or let him know that it’s affecting my libido, but it is. I don’t have anywhere near the confidence he has, so I’d be crushed if he ever mentioned my weight- though I work my ass off- literally- to stay fit. I just want to motivate him to get fit and healthy somehow without being mean.

Thanks Dr. Steve!

-Concerned Wife in Chicago (sorry that alliteration sucked)

Comment: Ahhhh, the ol’ the-person-I-married-gained-weight issue. Tough one. Obviously when you married, you said “til death do you part,” but that basically means nothing anymore since the divorce rate in this country hovers around 50%. The person you married on your wedding day doesn’t look the same right now, this wasn’t what you signed up for, and now you don’t know what to do. Comes across as superficial, but really, it isn’t.

Of course you want to be attracted to your spouse. Who wouldn’t? And if they let themselves go after marriage and choose not to live a healthy lifestyle, that affects both of you. I think maybe you do need to be a little bit of a bitch or hard ass to somehow light a fire under him. Because if you don’t, this is going to linger, you will become less and less attracted, your sex life suffers, and then I think your relationship will as well. It’s not only the physical appearance that has essentially turned you off, but I’m sure it’s his lack of motivation as well. Not very attractive that he doesn’t look like what he once used to, but he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t. That’s a problem.

I don’t think this is something that you make a comment about here or there. It’s a sit down, here’s-how-I-feel issue. The worse part is he sees you working out and staying healthy, and that still hasn’t motivated him enough. That’s a problem. He basically is content with how things are and doesn’t care, and ultimately, this is gonna drive you nuts. If it bothers you this much now when he’s 29, just think what it’ll be like when he’s 40 if he never exercises in the next 10 years? Not only for your benefit, but for his health, it’s something he should take more pride in.

It goes well beyond “Oh, he doesn’t look attractive anymore.” I get that. He’s lazy, he’s unmotivated, and he doesn’t seem to care about your stance on this. I would try to rectify this as soon as you or else it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.
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Dr. Reality Steve,

I have a really close male friend who is great at keeping it real about other guys’ intentions. I just can’t get on board with something he tells me all the time, though, & I’m wondering to what extent you agree. Pretty much any time I tell him a story of a guy going out of his way to do something nice or considerate for me, he chalks it up to “no guy is trying to be nice, they are only trying to sleep with you.” I’m not so naive to think that that’s certainly up high on the priorities of any guy who’s into you, but it can’t always be the only thing, right? What is the distinction these days between someone trying to be a gentleman and a guy who’s just got really good game?

Comment: Hey, we kinda had a question like this on the last page. Every situation is different. You can’t possibly say “all” or “none” to something like this. Of course if a guy flirts, it means he’s interested. He’s interested in you and seeing where it can go, and most likely if there’s reciprocation there, that would involve sex at some point. That’s no secret. I’m sure girls flirt in return because they’re interested as well in seeing where it could go with the guy. Sex probably isn’t the first thing on their mind, but it’s usually in play. Of course, there are some girls out there that just wanna flirt for fun because it’s a game to them, so you do have that.

I just don’t think you can say every guy is being nice because he’s trying to sleep with you. A lot are, but not all. Treat each situation differently. Maybe your friend is just saying that because HE wants to get in your pants. Or already has. Not sure. Could be his motivation.
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Dr. Reality Steve,

This is really hard and kinda complicated so hear me out. I won’t make this too long and try to get to the basics. I’m a 23 year old lesbian. I think. I’ve dated boys in the past, but I find myself seriously more attracted to women now. I have some close girlfriends that I think want to experiment but I haven’t had the courage to make a move. And neither have they. But here’s where it gets complicated.

I’m not what you would call a “lipstick lesbian.” Far from it. In fact, I’d rather be a guy. And I think that’s why I’m attracted to women so much now. I grew up with brothers. I played sports. I also choose to always go in to the men’s bathroom because I can pull it off. Yes, no one’s ever questioned me and I’d be shocked if they did.

I’ve read a lot about transgender stuff and am thinking I eventually want to do that, but have no idea how. Or how expensive it is? Bruce Jenner has all the money in the world, so he can easily pay for his (I’m assuming that’s what he’s doing by shaving his Adam’s Apple and growing his hair shoulder length), but I’m 23 years old fresh out of college, and working at Baja Fresh. I don’t have money coming out of my ears.

So long story short, what should I do? I don’t really like being a girl. I think if were a guy, it’d be much easier to have a relationship with a female. I’m too nervous to try anything out on my female friends now because it could completely backfire. Any help you could give would be appreciated. I know this is pretty random and I don’t think you’ve gotten an email like this before, but I figured I’d try.

Thanks.

Comment: Ummmmmmm, I don’t think I’m the right guy to be offering advice on something like this other than talk to those close to you. Does your family know? Would they be accepting? Do they know you’re out? There’s a whole list of questions I can run down, but for this, I’d say talk to family or a doctor. Sorry I couldn’t be of much help. Wish you the best.
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Send all links and emails to: steve@realitysteve.com. To follow me on Twitter, it’s: www.twitter.com/RealitySteve. Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you tonight.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. bigfatwoman

    June 5, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    To the person who commented about Andi’s lack of inquiry to Dylan mentioning his brother’s funeral — it was spoken about on the train under the context of relationships and Dylan shared that his long time girlfriend broke up with him right after his brother’s funeral.

    You’d think most people would then ask more questions, as in, “your brother died?” but Andi remained mum. Not sure if this was editing or not but I too noticed it and I too thought it was strange.

    Sean Lowe’s wife Catherine does indeed have a stationery line that consists of paper products and chotchkes with cutesy, quippy one-liners imprinted. It is very much reflective of her cutesy and quippy juvenile personality. How do I know this? Sometimes when I’m in the mood to get annoyed, I inflict pain on myself and look at her twitter.

  2. purplesunsets

    June 5, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    I just saw this tweeted out. Funny and ouch. If you wondered why Nick didn’t like Josh this added to it. Did anyone notice this?

    Coach_Osborne:
    #tbt goes to @viallnicholas28 and his ability to take one for the team. Hopefully the twins are still… http://instagram.com/p/o3URIdEwou/

  3. sara100

    June 5, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    My account has finally been approved, after a long drawn out background check, so I have a few questions from Sunday and Monday’s episodes.

    First, on the Connecticut train date, wasn’t that weird when they got up to leave after dinner, and their plates were still completely full of food, like they didn’t eat anything?

    And another thing, I noticed Andi said something about “4 weeks,” even though the filming had only been going on for 2 weeks. I know it was the 4th episode, but do the producers think the audience is so dumb as to need each show to correspond to exactly one week of reality? Do you think Andi actually said “4 weeks,” or do you think that was dubbed in? That would certainly be confusing and weird to have to be forced to talk about time differently.

  4. rob22

    June 5, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I’m going to comment on the email from the woman with the husband who gained weight. I don’t agree entrely with RS’s response. This woman didn’t date the guy, marry him, and THEN he stopped working out and gained weight. She dated him for 13 years, and about 10 years ago when he went to college & stopped playing sports, THEN he stopped working out & gained weight….. for the next 10 years of their dating. Her nagging was unsuccessful over the past 10 years to get him to change. So, RS suggests to nag him harder now that they are married?? Nope. Won’t work.

    This whole come-to-Jesus conversations should have been had 10 years ago, or at least before they got married. This falls under the heading of silly woman thinking that either “if he loves me, he will change for me” or “once we get married, I’ll change him”. This woman could have either (1) broken it off long before getting married or (2) accepted the situation, especially given the fact that she had been dating a fatter version of her boyfriend for 10 YEARS!!

    I realize she could now choose to have the “come to Jesus” meeting with him. But now she’s upped the ante & it’s become a “workout & lose weight or I’ll divorce you” discussion. Not good. BTW: how many of you women out there would endorse the ultimatum RS recommended if the roles were reversed? What if the guy suddenly decided he couldn’t live with a wife that had gained 20 pounds? I think the ladies would be having Steve’s head in that case.

    I’m not saying looks aren’t important. Just that this woman had ample opportunity during a LONG period of dating to address this issue. Shame on her for not doing so. She allowed this issue to get far worse than it needed to. She could have dumped this guy, found a hard body triathlete and had three kids by now if she’d addressed this issue appropriately.

  5. sarcasm

    June 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    For the lesbian that’s considering a life-altering decision, my co-worker had gender reassignment surgery 15 years ago and she is still the subject of whispers. It was probably the best thing for her, but she now faces a cruel world.

    Do you identify yourself as a man? There are plenty of lesbians that are masculine but don’t consider surgery. You said that the surgery would make relationships with women easier, but I assure you that it’s not as simple as you think. People that have surgery often identify themselves as transgender because you need a partner that understands the complexities of your situation. Just like plastic surgery, the reassignment can’t address the emotional and mental aspects of your situation.
    That being said, I know that the process begins with a psychological evaluation and hormone therapy. I would reach out to your local LGBT organizations for professional help, they will be able to guide you through the process or offer you someone that can help you talk through your struggle.

  6. kasey31

    June 7, 2014 at 2:40 AM

    @Rob22- I’m really sorry for the situation you’re in. And to have to read it on a public site that you love and frequent so often? Must be awful. But maybe that’s why she wrote to RS, just knowing that you’d see it… I’m sorry you found out this way, but hey! At least you won’t have to hear her “nag” anymore.

    Sounds like this one reeeeeally hit home for you. I’m in my early 30’s as well, I’m an avid runner, cross country, just like the author, and I don’t do it for any other reason than bc it makes me feel good and it’s healthy- but I can tell you this much- Her “nagging” was far more likely an attempt to gently motivate him considering the fact that she certainly does not come across as the type of woman looking to hurt her husband’s feelings. I’m sure through the years she has tried “nagging” approaches like, “Hey, babe, do you wanna go on a jog with me this morning/tonight?” “We should try going for a walk once a week. It’d be nice to spend the time with you, and it’d be good for us, too.” <— "us," so that she isn't insinuating it's all about him. She obviously loves her husband and isn't asking him to be a "hard body"?

    I don't know what a "Come to Jesus" situation is or what it refers to, but the fact that she has taken the time to write to RS and ask his opinion, as a man, how to approach him shows a great amount of love on her part. She never once said in her email that she was upping the ante by forcing him into some sort of ultimatum. And you do realize that gaining 30lbs in a time span of 12 years is about 2.5lbs a year, right? "Honey, I've noticed this year you seemed to have gained 2.5lbs, I'm concerned for your health." Shame on her? Shame on her for what? He's 29! He's not 80, their lives are just beginning.

    I applaud her for requiring more out of her husband and wanting more for her health and his. Why would this be any different than asking someone you love to quit smoking or drinking? They are all unhealthy, and when you love someone, you want them to be healthy and live a long life with you.

    Maybe you've never been truly loved by someone in your life, I don't know, but there are dozens of other things that factor into "dumping someone's ass" than weight and looks. It's very possible to be attracted to and love someone who isn't a hard body and find them attractive for a number of reasons. She's young, she's only 30, and she's trying to nip this in the bud now, so what you're saying makes no logical sense to me at all.

  7. Athena

    June 7, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    Interesting comments from both of you (Rob and kasey). I agree with kasey that the writer isn’t in any way saying that this is a do or die issue, but is something that challenges her behaviors and beliefs regarding health and fitness a LOT. Rob is right that she knew going in that the two of them didn’t see things the same way about this and it’s not really fair of her to make such a big deal about it now when she married him knowing this about him. I have a couple of reactions: First of all, maybe the weight issue isn’t the real issue, and maybe she is unhappy with other, more fundamental things about the relationship that she’s not willing/able to address directly. But, that’s just a hypothesis and might be completely off base. Secondly, it’s really easy, and I speak from personal experience, to want to manage, and sometime micromanage, another person’s life when it’s our own we should be focusing on. Hello co-dependency. Finally, the issue, IMO, isn’t really about weight, or even health, per se, but something more fundamentally different in their individual value systems that’s at the root of the conflict. For example, diferences on their values regarding present vs future, doing vs being, etc., that is getting in the way for her. I believe that our customs reflect our beliefs which reflect our values, the latter of which are really hard to identify and verbalize, but which are really the cornerstone of our identities. Basically, Steve’s advice about having a sit-down talk is right on. Whether they can get to the heart of these differences will be a challenge, but if they can, it could help them move beyond it in a way that they can both hopefully tolerate.

  8. rob22

    June 7, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Kasey, a little harsh, don’t you think. You know nothing about me. I used to run lots of races including triathlons, halfs, and various bike races. Enjoy it while you can. Age has a way of taking that from most of us. Injuries just pile up. I was also lucky that my wife and I were able to do it together for a long time. But now it’s walks and hitting the gym…. Which is fine…. But not near as much fun as racing.

    My issue was not around her being upset about his weight gain. Almost none of us wants fat, unhealthy spouses. It was around the fact that she dated this guy for more than 10 years, so she knew who he was. He never pretended anything. He doesn’t like to workout and isn’t going to. Nagging him, or suggesting things to him will change nothing.

    Let’s change the vice. What if her husband was a smoker. If he smoked during the 10+ years they dated, is it reasonable to expect that, once married, he’d suddenly be open to suggestions to quit? Or, is it more likely that he’s made it clear that he likes to smoke and is planning on continuing?

    Bottom line, he is who he is. If she couldn’t accept it, she shouldn’t have married him. It’s extremely silly to marry someone who has consistently behaved in a certain manner and then think somehow “suggestions” are going to change anything. They didn’t work in the past, so what suggests that they’ll work now? I know that the female brain believes that she can change him. Not gonna happen. That’s the part I found so outrageously silly, not the fact that she doesn’t want a fat, lazy husband. My wife and I have always felt the same way, so guess what? We married active people…. Not couch potatoes. What’s so hard to understand about that?

  9. amyrn22

    June 8, 2014 at 6:22 AM

    Rob- how interesting how much you claim to know about my story, seeing as you completely read my email to Steve wrong, don’t know me, my husband, or our relationship, and basically were wrong and stupid in every comment you just made. My husband has very gradually put on weight. As I said to Steve, he’s not obese. I married him because he is the love of my life and I would NEVER have a “come to Jesus” with him about this. NEVER would I divorce him over such a stupid, vain issue. I simply wanted Steve’s perspective (a guy’s perspective) on how to gently nudge my husband into a healthier lifestyle. We’re getting older, and it’s important to be healthy. I’m a nurse, and I know that more than anyone. I don’t want to come across as a nag, or mean, or a bitch. Hence, why I’m writing to Steve. I never should have married him? Are you kidding? So you’re telling me that we can love our spouses unconditionally but can’t have any issues with some of their bad habits? This isn’t a make or break our marriage issue. @Kasey, you nailed it with your response. Everything you said was right and true, and I really appreciate someone understanding my perspective and why I reached out to Steve. I don’t yell and scream and nag my husband. I was looking for advice to get him moving a bit more without hurting his feelings. Sorry to make myself un-anonymous with my letter, but Rob you are so off that i had to say something. And you sure sound like this is a touchy subject for you.

  10. rob22

    June 8, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    OK, well I just gave another opinion. I do understand that you want your husband to be healthy and attractive. Who doesn’t? You can suggest away…. Nicely or otherwise. No, it’s not a small issue, and I agree with that. There are a number of issues that I wish my wife would change. But I have chosen to accept them, because she is who she is. My suggesting to her doesn’t change anything, and only causes conflict… And opens up her criticism of my faults…. And guess what ? I have more than a few, as you may have surmised. Anyway, maybe I’m totally wrong. Maybe a sit down with him will change everything. So, go for it. If it doesn’t, what are you going to do then? Keep suggesting, or accept that we don’t really have any control of what our spouses, or anyone else, does in their lives?

    I do realize my responses came across overly strong. So, you do have my sincere apology for my lack of tact in my comments.

  11. kasey31

    June 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Rob- Seriously, nice apology there. I think bc the majority of his Dr RS emails are so seemingly childish and immature, we mix up those emails from the few like these who are truly just looking for a response, not to be judged. And maybe it’s a girl thing, but I felt it was genuine and speaking from her heart.
    Touché with my cigarette analogy, by the way.
    I thought I had you there.

    Amym- You’re welcome! You seem like a very sweet, loving wife and I’m sure you will use the right words to talk to your husband about it, and I truly hope he takes it to heart.. When expressing some concern is coming from a place of love, it is felt by the person on the receiving end, even if they don’t necessarily like what you’re saying, And anyway, it’s difficult to get offended by the fact that he has a wife who loves him so much, she wants to spend as many days together as possible in the future.

    I agree with RS and Athena, talking to him about your concerns and why you’re concerned is the best route. In the end, you could essentially add another 10 years on to his life… Good luck!

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