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I Told My Girlfriend She’s Fat. How Do I Take It Back?

You can start by admitting you’re the one who has a problem

The moment when, in a fit of either blind rage or hopelessly misguided honesty, you fuck up and call your significant other fat can largely be broken up into two groups — the true fuck-up and the truly withering, totally purposeful utterance.

Let’s start, though, with the men who called their girlfriend’s fat (more or less) on mistake:

“So my girlfriend and I were talking about her upcoming holiday to Japan when she mentions that she’s lost a lot of weight from walking a lot at her new job,” writes one redditor. “GF: ‘I’m going to be so thin for my trip!’ And now I, knowing she loves Japanese food decide to take a jab at that and go to say, ‘And when you get back you’re gonna be so fat from all the food you’ve eaten.’ But instead what comes out of my mouth is, ‘When you get back you’ll be fat again.’ It took her a second to process what I just said (as did I) and we just fell silent from shock. She then says, ‘You always thought I was fat?’”

Another thought it would be cute to tell his girlfriend that he loved her little potbelly because it was something Bruce Willis said to a woman in Pulp Fiction who seemed to like it. “I was very. Very wrong. Backfired. Bad,” he writes.

And finally, to round out the men who accidentally let this nuclear agent slip during peacetime, there’s this guy, who called his girlfriend “porky” at Home Depot. “If it’s any consolation, I accidentally called my portuguese gf (who is a typical curvy girl, not fat) porky in a home depot 12 years ago. A) she still married me, and we are on our 11th year anniversary; b) she still reminds me I once called her porky, at least once a month…,” he writes.

While it’s perfectly fair to wonder what planet these morons are from, their flagrant shortcomings are mostly forgivable. “The disrespect wasn’t intentional,” remarks clinical psychologist Amy Kim. In other cases, however, when the disrespect is intentional, the question of forgiveness is more uncertain. In a “Sunday Confessional,” this man admitted to calling his girlfriend — who he knew struggled with weight issues — fat, during a “silly argument.”

I was so angry that she had the audacity to comment on my bad moods that, without thinking, I sarcastically responded that I was probably feeling negative because she had gotten fat. I regretted it immediately; I only said it to hurt her. The look on her face told me she was devastated, and she promptly stormed out. I’ve tried to call her since, but she won’t pick up. I know what I did was wrong, but I want to make it right. Can I be forgiven for these harsh words?” he asked on Popsugar.

Kim tells me that the only recourse is to take an honest look at yourself and try to understand why you’d engage in disrespecting someone you ostensibly love. “This says everything about them and not about the recipient,” she says, continuing that it also depends on the standard or quality of the relationship.

“If you’re okay with being in a mediocre relationship, you can probably just continue to coexist,” she says. “But if you want a high-quality relationship, the name caller has to take an honest inventory of themselves.” Not to mention the fact that your significant other has to be willing to understand and accept that your idiocy isn’t about them. “They have to decide if they’re willing to stand by while their partner works on his or her issues,” says Kim.

Intriguingly, as it turns out, there is technically a third group of men who are so oblivious to the inner-workings of a relationship that they might confuse a mediocre relationship for a great one. “Am I the only one dating a woman who can accept that she is fat?” writes one very sad, soon to be single redditor. “I’ve literally told her to not wear something because it highlights her weight and she doesn’t get mad at me. She doesn’t think I don’t like her the way she is.”

That lucky, lucky lady.