Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is incredibly fattening. Believe it or not there are a slew of psychological, biological, physiological, and plenty of other “-ogicals” to blame for the added weight you’ve gained over the year(s) because of your relationship. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology backs it up. 

Researchers followed nearly 4,000 couples ranging in 45–65 years of age for 25 years (some beginning in 1986, others 1989). After an initial exam, participants had three follow-up visits roughly three years apart, then a fifth exam between 2011 and 2013. 

At the start of the study, 23 percent of the men and 25 percent of the women were obese. Non-obese men whose wives became obese over the course of the study were 78 percent more likely to become obese during that period than if their wives hadn’t gained as much weight, the researchers found. Likewise, women whose husbands became obese were 89 percent more at risk of developing obesity.  

This pattern works conversely, too. Though not many people who started the study out obese lost enough weight to be considered non-obese, when they did, their wives were more likely to become non-obese as well. 

Turns out a partner really does come with a lot of baggage—and it’s most likely hanging around your midsection. Why else are they called love handles?

Read on for more reasons why your relationship is making you gain weight with explanations from relationship expert and author, Wendy Walsh, Ph.D. 

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