Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ask Kelli: Too Fat? Too Speedy? Too Tempted to Text While Driving?

Dear Kelli,

Okay, I realize I am going to sound shallow, but my wife has gained weight. Not just a few pounds but about 20 in the past 10 years. She was always thin. It definitely bothers me. It doesn’t seem fair—this isn’t what I married into. Am I wrong for feeling the way I do?

Fat Woman’s Husband

Dear Fat Woman’s Husband,

Your feelings are your feelings. I never tell clients, “You can’t feel this way or it’s wrong to feel this way.” You are most definitely entitled to feel the way you do. You’re human!

Now is it justified to feel the way you do? Here’s my answer: Yes and no.

Yes, it’s justified to feel frustrated that the woman you married 10 years ago was 20 pounds lighter. She was a hottie then and you felt lucky marrying her. You didn’t expect her to gain 20 pounds. Understandable. But let me ask you. Have you changed at all in the past 10 years? Wrinkles, perhaps? A little more gray? I have a feeling your wife isn’t saying “I’m so resentful that my husband has more gray hair. This isn’t what I married.”

So I think there needs to be a little acceptance on your part that the woman you married 10 years ago wasn’t going to stay exactly the same. I hear you that 20 pounds is a difference. But I also know you didn’t only marry your wife for her looks. So I want you to think about the things that have changed in the past 10 years but for the better. Perhaps you’re closer now? Have experienced more things together?

More importantly, however, there may be a deeper issue is why your wife’s gained weight. Is she "emotionally eating"? Depressed? Maybe it’s a thyroid issue? Perhaps you can talk about all of this. There might be a reason she’s gained weight over the last 10 years.

All the best,


Dear Kelli,

I’m a definitely type A personality. I always need to GO, GO, GO! How can I slow down? I feel like it’s virtually impossible for someone like me.

Can’t Wait

Dear Can’t Wait,

Here’s an interesting thought: Are you afraid that if you aren’t busy, you won’t feel important? Or that others won’t view you as important? Are you afraid if you actually slow down and sit with the present moment, you won’t like it? These are some of the reasons people who feel like they always have to be on the move don’t like to sit still.

So realize your value isn’t about what you do, how much you accomplish, or if you can get 10 errands done in one day. People don’t care (they are too busy thinking about themselves). Here's an exercise that can help you to step back and slow yourself down: Write a list about what you believe makes you valuable. I bet you it’s not how much you can do.

Be okay with doing nothing once in awhile. It’s good for your body, mind, and soul to rest. Let that adrenaline take a break. It deserves it.

And I’d of course prioritize. Not everything has to get done in one day. Or 10 minutes. So make a list of the really important stuff and deal with that first.

And finally, meditate. I know. You are telling me you can’t sit still, let alone meditate. But ironically, meditating will teach you to slow down.

Remember, less is more!

All the best,


Dear Kelli,

My daughter is constantly texting. Yes, she’s a typical teen but what I’m nervous about is when she drives. I don’t want to take away her phone in case of emergency, and aside from drilling it into her head, what else can I do to ensure that she won’t text while driving?

Mom of Texting Daughter

Dear Mom of Texting Daughter,

I thought of a few things:

1) Have her watch the Oprah episode about teens who texted while driving. It’s eye-opening to see firsthand what can happen.

2) On that note: have her sign the Oprah no texting pledge.

3) Tell her to keep her purse (with her phone) in the back seat. This way she isn’t tempted to text at the stoplights.

4) Remind her of the message: no text is worth dying for (I saw that on a commercial and thought it was very powerful!)

5) Talk to other moms and see what they suggest.

All the best,


Kelli Miller, MSW is a therapist, author, and radio personality. Miller was a featured expert for SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 198, the co-host for the TV show Love and Money: The Advice Show, and the advice columnist for Playboy U, and the author of Professor Kelli’s Guide to Finding a Husband. Ask Kelli is published on All Life is Local and the Cleveland Park Listserv on Wednesdays.

Kelli welcomes your comments below.  Have a question? You can write to Kelli at advice (at) fastmail (dot) net, via the Ask Kelli Facebook group,,or on Twitter @askkelli..Your name and email address will be kept confidential.

1 comment:

  1. Kelli, very good advice, per usual. I would want the husband of the "fat" wife to get more of a smack down, though. It seems to me that there's more trouble in that marriage then weight. Sorry dude, but I think it IS shallow to think less of your wife for putting on 20 pounds in ten years. Marriage is about for better or worse -- it seems to me that your love of your wife is shallow if it's conditional based upon her appearance. If my husband put on weight or was disfigured in any way, I'd love him all the more. Maybe a good thing for you to do is make a list of 20 things you respect, admire, appreciate, and/or love about your wife, and then let each one erase the bad feelings you have for those twenty pounds. I'm not trying to make light of your situation -- marriage is not easy. My Great Aunt, married 55 years, always says of marriage: "You spend far more time in the valleys than walking the peaks." You know what she's doing in her retirement? Caring for her 80 year old husband with Alzheimer's. If 20 pounds is your biggest problem, consider yourself lucky.