I have several predicaments, all interlinked:
1. I have been stuck in a bad place with my weight ever since my two kids were born 6 and 7 years ago. Whilst I was never skinny, I managed my weight well enough with frequent returns to Weight Watchers. My husband has never seen me thin (neither have I). I put myself through weight loss surgery 3 years ago, which has been largely unsuccessful since I am now heavier than I was before the surgery. The gastric band makes my life unpleasant at times and my husband and mother think I should have it removed so that I can at least eat normally again (ie: meat, fruit and vegetables, which don't go down well at the moment unless cooked to mush). I'm inclined to keep it just in case one day I might be in the right frame of mind to make it work. I hate being fat, don't like the way I look, can't find clothes to fit and shy away from social situations because of it, which brings me to the second predicament.

2. My self-esteem is low at the best of times, but right now, very low. I am well-educated, bilingual with French, have lived, worked and studied all over the world, have always walked into good jobs easily, but continue to believe I'm faking it. I currently hold a management-level job in a large French company. I don't feel good enough for the job and always think that if I was thinner, I'd do better and be taken more seriously in my professional environment. That said, even when I was at my thinnest ever, I had similar feelings. My low self-esteem makes me not very pleasant to be around sometimes. I'm lethargic, easily irritable, highly sensitive.

3. My husband of many years loves me, but lately, he tells me that he's not so sure any more. He's a really decent human being (which is one of the reasons I chose to marry him) but some years into our marriage, he started to get into porn on the Internet. This came to light when I was pregnant with our first child, and coincidentally, at the same time, we discovered that my family-man, strong moral values father had been cheating on my mother for over 30 years with a string of affairs to his name. I was completely devastated when all of this came out, and was very depressed throughout the pregnancy and after. To this day I still suffer bouts of depression. I have never spoken to anyone about it before as I have always considered that I'm strong enough to deal with my problems on my own. My husband was contrite and stopped trawling the porn sites. I didn't trust anything he did for a long time after that, but had finally put it behind me when last week I discovered that he has been downloading pictures of naked women again for over a year and had built up a huge collection, hidden on our shared computer. Again I am angry and hurt, also by the realisation that this must have started around the same time he stopped having sex with me. When confronted, he immediately deleted his collection again. I can't work out whether I'm being too hard on him because this is something all "normal" men will do or whether I am right to expect him to meet the moral standards I always thought he had. I think men who look at porn are sleaze bags. I was brought up in a puritanical environment (despite later discovering that that was a facade for my father). I hate what this is doing to my mind: I feel a mixture of attraction and repulsion towards the porn in my own mind, feel totally worthless and ashamed of my body because of the comparisons I make, and I also can't help thinking that if my husband can get into porn like this, he could also be cheating on me. He goes away on business trips a few times a year.... I thought we shared certain values when we got married (I was my husband's first and only girlfriend), but I feel like it's all starting to slip away now. Are my expectations for my marriage and my husband too high? Do I need to get over my moral standards and insecurities and let him do as he likes? How can I get out of the funk I am in (besides the obvious - lose the weight)? I am past 40 now and weight has been an issue since I was 5. I don't even go to the doctor anymore because I'm sick of being told off about my weight. It's been killing my spirit for years but I seem powerless to do anything about it. I also wonder how different things would really be for me if I was thinner.

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