Losing Weight with Your Partner

Couples therapy can be the ideal place to address weight management issues. Whether both partners need to lose weight to improve health and wellbeing or one partner struggles with binge eating or emotional eating, working together provides space to address inner and outer obstacles that prevent reaching and maintaining a healthy weight together. Working together to overcome struggle in itself can be a powerful process to strengthen a relationship. Renowned couples experts John and Julie Gottman write in their excellent book Eight Dates “you create meaning when you meet each inevitable struggle in life together, and move and grow through its adversity. When you create meaning out of the struggle, you stay together” (p. 187).

If you are working on a shared weight loss goal, couples therapy can help you identify ways to support each other’s weight loss efforts and work together as a team. This might involve identifying how both partners can share in grocery shopping, meal prep, and cooking. Couples therapy can be a space to explore and strengthen dynamics in your relationship that support weight loss, navigate the impact of changing behavioral patterns on your relationship, and learn tools to facilitate healthy weight management you can work on and practice together. If social events, holidays, or other situations frequently undermine healthy weight loss efforts, you can learn more effective ways to manage and approach triggering circumstances as a team. For example, couples therapy can help you identify non-food or healthy food ways to enjoy date night! Improving communication skills both with each other and people in your life can help you ask for what you need and set healthy boundaries. If there is relationship tension, couples therapy can address your overall relationship and work through underlying issues. Relationship tension can negatively impact weight for various reasons. The impact of weight and weight loss on physical and emotional intimacy in your relationship can be addressed in couples therapy.

Sometimes, one partner is at a healthy weight while the other partner struggles with binge eating or emotional eating. Involving both partners in treatment with couples therapy can be helpful in addressing binge eating for numerous reasons. For the partner who does not struggle with binge eating, couples therapy can help them learn how to best support their partner’s treatment, educate them on binge eating, and bring them into the recovery process. For the partner who struggles with binge eating, couples therapy can help them better understand the impact binge eating has on their partner. Additionally, couples therapy can help both partners explore and enhance relationship dynamics that may be beneficial for treatment. This exploration can also uncover relationship dynamics that may underlie binge eating, allowing opportunities for modification and change. Binge eating may serve a role or function in the relationship, which couples therapy can explore and address. This can relate to communication, identifying what the binge eating is ‘communicating’. Couples therapy in general can improve healthy communication. Sometimes secrecy is associated with binge eating/emotional eating, which may impact the relationship. Couples therapy can address this issue and support both partners in working through any underlying relationship issues that may impact binge eating. The effect of binge eating on physical and emotional intimacy in the relationship can be addressed in couples therapy. Ultimately, couples therapy for binge eating helps both partners work together as a team in treatment.

Scroll to Top