What do you think about yourself, and how do you think other people see you? Maybe the second question does not matter, but we think it does.
If we did not think about other people's opinions, we wouldn’t be insecure, but we are insecure and easy to manipulate. This is exactly what the short story “They are not your husband” by Raymond Carver from 1973 is about.
He also seems like a very irresponsible person. This is quite obvious when he is out drinking, and the kids are in bed at home; “one night he put the children to bed (…) and decided to go for a few drinks.
He does not realize the responsibilities that come with having kids, and that makes him seem irresponsible. Throughout the story, It becomes obvious that Earl's true concern is not Doreen's weight, which never had bothered him before. Earl seems to associate the way people see Doreen with his own status and success.
Earl is also aggressive with the pressure he puts on his wife to lose weight. He calls her a slob and mocks her after he catches her making breakfast.
Although his wife is losing weight drastically, he continues to force her to lose more. This implies that Earl does not care about his wife's health or how the weight loss makes her feel.