My live-in boyfriend of almost three years is amazing—when sober. When drunk (about once or twice a month), he’s belligerent, disrespectful, and hurtful. He’s been reconfiguring his life path over the past year after having had most of his goals on the back burner, one of which was getting in shape, and he’s put himself on a strict diet and workout regimen. I’ve been trying to support him but have made some mistakes, like continuing to have cheesy foods around for snacks or insisting on making birthday cakes for him and his family members. He’s been trying to get me to join him on the regimen—I follow it when we’re eating the same meal, but it’s hard to keep track, so occasionally I’ll screw up and make pasta for both of us without thinking about it.
Last night, not for the first time, he turned an innocuous comment I made into a critique of my weight. (He was drunk at the time.) He’s decided that he can’t continue losing weight unless I also lose weight. I let it pass, waited until I was calmer, initiated the conversation about how hurtful that was and how I do not want him to ever discuss my body in a critical way—and he pushed back. Hard. It turned into a huge fight. I don’t regret anything I said but I heavily regret the way I said it, even though I was just constantly reiterating that I do not want him to comment on my body or my weight and that I will continue to support him. I tried to be kind, I tried to be understanding, and two hours in, I snapped and told him that he could either break up with me or stop commenting on my weight. I love this guy with all my heart, and in the morning light I’m feeling like I overreacted, but that’s also not a boundary that I’m willing to let go of. Is that irrational of me, or am I well within bounds?
—Carry That Weight