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Dear Amy: I have been married for 16 years and have been with my wife for 18 years.

She is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and has always weighed around 200 to 230 pounds. Eight months ago she had gastric bypass and now weighs 135 pounds.

I know she is healthier and she is happier, but I am miserable, as I feel I lost the person I fell in love with.

She makes me feel like I am a bad person for not liking a skinnier wife, but I don't find her sexually attractive anymore.

I am not sure what to do at this point. How can I save my marriage and find her more attractive? Do I have to settle? I am 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 320 pounds and have been heavy my entire life.

-- Hefty and Confused

Dear Hefty: Extreme weight loss is a major stressor on relationships, for some of the reasons you are citing. When a person literally transforms into another person, they move through the world differently, with different interests, needs, habits and perceptions. (It's not just about how your jeans fit.)

Spouses often assume "designated roles," and now your wife's role has changed. But what about you?

I imagine she is also receiving a lot of positive attention, which might make your alienation and disorientation worse. Her new body might also make you feel self-conscious about yours.

Because this change is so extreme, and so rapid, I hope you will be patient as you both adjust. Please seek professional help, as you transition through this marital disruption.

The hospital that performed her surgery should offer a referral for a counselor specializing in this common relationship response.

Dear Amy: Am I being heartless for wanting to cut off my 24-year-old daughter? She is engaged to be married in the fall of 2020, but she is a full-time student who does pet-sitting as a part-time job. She lives with her boyfriend, and he has a full-time job.

She and her boyfriend moved away to her college city almost three years ago and we see them when they visit once or twice a year.

We have younger children and feel that although she is still a full-time student, we have to set a cut-off age and stop paying for her cellphone bill. This is the only expense we pay for her. We aren't in the financial position to help any of our children with college tuition.

My daughter got extremely angry when I brought up the subject of her taking over her phone bill, saying she doesn't have the money, yet I know she pays for video-streaming subscriptions and is going to a concert for a performer she has seen a couple times already.

She finishes her very demanding semester in May and says that she might take one class during the summer. How can I make her realize that she is being unreasonable? Or am I being heartless?

I want to tell her to get another job during the summer and stop acting like an entitled brat!

-- Mad Mom Lisa

Dear Mad Mom: The cellphone bill seems to have emerged as a major marker of emerging adulthood. (I was inordinately proud of my own daughter when she suddenly suggested that she would take over the cost of her own phone -- and yes, she was 24.)

You are not being heartless. But your daughter -- and her younger siblings -- will not know what your boundaries are unless you establish them.

She finishes her demanding semester in May. This would be the perfect time to transition away from your cellphone plan, and onto her own (or with her fiancé).

Her pet-sitting business should pick up during the summer. She could work it around another part-time job, and the class she plans to take.

I don't think it is necessary -- or even useful -- to try to convince a young person that her expectations are unreasonable. You simply say, "This is what's going to happen." And if she grumbles about it -- so what? Your message to her should always be, "You can handle it. We have confidence in you. You'll be fine." (Please, don't call her a "brat.")

Dear Amy: "Don't Knock My Stuff" was upset that her husband seems to find and share negative information about things she enjoys.

I, too, have the same curiosity as her husband and have "ruined" things for my wife.

I think the writer was being oversensitive, but that the husband clearly had taken it too far.

-- Been There

Dear Been There: Thank you.

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Reach the writer at askamy@amydickinson.com.

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