Insecurity and body image is a big problem among women. They have a hard time accepting their bodies and their looks. Women have to live up to expectations – both from the society and also from their loved ones. This pressure can lead to serious disorders as bulimia or anorexia - and in worst case death. Therefore, people should be more careful when commenting on other bodies, as you can not know if they are confident in it or not. One little "innocent" comment can destroy a girl's self-esteem. In this short story "They're Not Your Husband" by Raymond Carver written in third person and with Earl as the narrator, this is the case. Doreen suddenly has to live up to his expectations. Earl is married to Doreen, who works in a coffee shop. One day at the coffee shop Earl overhears two men talking about Doreen, commenting on her weight and how disgusting she looks. This makes Earl tell Doreen to loose weight. Her weight has never been a problem to him before, but it really effects him what the two men said about his wife. She agrees to go on a diet where she doesn't eat at all and ends up not looking healthy. .
Earl in an unemployed father who is married to Doreen. He goes to job interviews quite a lot, but it does not seem that those are successful. Earl sometimes drinks as seen in the text, first on page 1 line 4 "One night when he was drinking". It seems to bother him that he is unemployed and go to interviews all the time, which can be the reason why he drinks. He seems so feel useless, as his wife is the only one making money and he does nothing. Doreen works at night as a waitress at a 24-hour coffee shop and is hard worker. When she comes home in the mornings she sends the children to school. When Earl makes her go on a diet, she decides to do but, but perhaps because she feels sorry for him. .
Earl and Doreen's relationship and marriage does not seem to be the best.