Kathy Ehrich Dowd
May 11, 2016 03:45 PM

For Laura, losing weight has forced her to confront new problems in her relationship.

The 42-year-old My 600-lb. Life alum is enjoying newfound independence after her weight loss surgery, but her recent autonomy has caused a rift with Joey, who had been her caretaker for years.

“The better I get, the worse my relationship is getting,” she says in this exclusive clip from TLC’s My 600-lb. Life: Where Are They Now? “He acts a little different, like ‘Oh, you don’t need me.’ I had told him, ‘I need you to support me not take care of me.’ ”

The clip includes flashbacks to Laura and Joey before her weight loss surgery, which shows him applying lotion as she rests her stomach on his head.

“I feel like I’m on the sidelines,” Joey says of their new reality. “She don’t need me as often and I feel a little scared I’m going to lose her with all the changes we’re going through.”

Now, Laura is able to do everyday tasks that seemed impossible before shedding weight, including cooking meals for Joey and folding laundry.

Courtesy TLC

“I try to explain to him that I’m not going to leave just because I can do on my own,” He’s been there these 13 years and I don’t want nobody else,” she says.

“But I know that it’s going to be very hard because he’s already, like, on the edge,” she continued.

Relationship problems aren’t the only complication Laura is facing since losing weight. She admits it’s “hard to stick to the high-protein diet” her doctor recommended, which would get her toward her goal weight of 180 pounds.

Courtesy TLC

“That worries me because I really want to keep losing weight,” she admits. I was made fun of my whole life, so I just want to be normal just like everybody else.”

She’s also struggling to deal with the loose skin that has accumulated since the weight loss, and she waits to see whether her doctor thinks she has lost enough weight to quality for skin surgery.

“This extra skin makes me feel disgusting,” she says. “I hate it.”

“I want people to say ‘Oh my God, she’s beautiful.’ Not just because of my heart,” she explains. “But because of the way I look.”

My 600-lb. Life: Where Are They Now? airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on TLC.

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