My fiance and I feed off of each other in a different way. When we first met, we were both fairly fit though he was more fit than I was. Still though, we were both at comfortable weights, had some decent muscle definition and felt good about ourselves. And it showed. We went out a lot together, we went for walks with the dog (just to enjoy the weather) and our sex life was amazing.
Life soon got in the way though, and as a result I began to gain weight and eventually he did too. We often argued about each others' bad habits, but did little to fix the issues. We got to our highest weight ever together (not a milestone I'm happy about), and that also showed. We ended up on completely different sleep schedules due to his insomnia. We didn't go out. We didn't feel motivated about much and we stopped having sex altogether.
Now we have to be apart for a while, but he decided to start focusing on regaining his health so that when we can be together again we'll be able to live as we did before, when we were happy with ourselves and each other. That inspired me to start working on my health and body also. After all, I don't want to be the only chunky one in the relationship! I couldn't ask for a more supportive partner. We often talk about any successes we've had or goals we've reached, and he's always super proud of me when I share how much weight I've lost or what new goals I've set for myself. He never fails to tell me how good he thinks I look whenever I visit, which means so much and makes me feel awesome (and like everything I'm doing is totally worth it). Likewise, I am super proud of him. He could be spending this time wallowing in despair about our current situation, hating the world, being super resentful and not trusting me to be faithful while he's gone. But instead, he's focused on bettering himself and on staying positive. That's amazing and truly inspiring to me! We're both doing great with our lifestyle changes separately and can't wait to really be able to support each other when he's able to be back home.
I'm going to be researching some exercises (other than basic stuff like walking or running) that we can do together when he comes home so that we can keep the positive changes going without hurting our relationship. I'm also going to see if he'd be interested in doing a 5k with me. That way we can train together toward a common fitness goal. We both love anything to do with zombies, and there are a couple of great zombie runs with obstacle courses here in our home town and also in Atlanta. So maybe he'd like to do one or both of those with me. It's an idea I think he'd like, and something we can further bond over (especially with taking photos etc.).
"Leading by example" has definitely made a positive impact in my relationship with my husband. There were times that he'd be frustrated when I first began measuring out all of my food and being gone for while on the weekends for a run. But, as the months passed and he saw the positive transformation (and heard all of the compliments that I was getting), he started getting interested in SP too! I'm happy to report he is now down 50 pounds and counting! It's all possible from the knowledge and confidence that I've gained while using the SP nutrition tracker and reading numerous articles! If you're struggling with an non-supportive spouse - hang in there. You never know, they may end up becoming a believer and join you!!
I actually started a thread a while back about this very thing. Sadly, my fiance and I did eventually split up--largely due to this issue. I went from a size 4 to a size 14 dating him; he was definitely a bad influence, always bringing home junk foods and desserts when I begged him not to, and guilt-tripping me about wasting his money if I didn't eat it. He discouraged me from doing my workouts, refused to join me for walks--basically stopped me from doing all the things that made me the healthy attractive person he proposed to. It was all insecurity: now that he had me, he didn't want anyone else looking and getting ideas. Unfortunately, the vicious cycle of insecurity and sabotage took its toll on the relationship and my weight. Now I'm here at SparkPeople getting the support I need to take my life--and my figure--back! :-)
This is a good article. My wife definitely appreciates the changes in my body, but I get a fair amount of negative feedback regarding my routine. I do most of my exercise at work on lunch, but she doesn't like the extra time I spend exercising outside of that... she also gets frustrated with me never being on the same dinner schedule or eating the same foods as the family.
I still get the overall sense that she would not have things back the way they were before I started being healthy, but it has definitely taken her out of her comfort zone on some things.
This actually sounds like a lot of friendships I've had. The worst situation I had was a friend wanted to workout with me and told me, many times, that she wanted to lose weight too.
But every time I would initiate a workout, she would find some excuse to skip it. It got the point where we would have a workout scheduled and she would, out of the blue, attack me for being "a bad friend." or "picking on her". So we would end up spending an hour or two hashing things out and mending our friendship. Pretty quickly, I realized it was just a ploy she was using to skip the workout, so I stopped inviting her. She then got really upset with me for not inviting her.
I finally had to call the friendship off when I realized she was a toxic person and would just drag me down.
I found this article fascinating, as my relationship ended recently - and one of the biggest factors was the way my ex and I both approached our health & fitness goals. He was a life-long athlete and everything for him was push-push-push to the limits, gotta win, be the best!! Me - fitness is just something I enjoy and helps in my goals. But when he could work out for 2 hours every morning and then eat pizza every night, I'd feel like I wasn't participating in the relationship if I didn't eat the pizza or get up every morning and push-push-push, too. The sabotage in my situation was almost the reverse of some of the examples you present; but the bottom line is that a True Partner will SUPPORT you - no matter where you are in the fitness realm - and not force you to live up to THEIR expectations (but let you achieve your OWN). I've actually LOST weight since the relationship ended; now I just need to get back to the habit of exercising again.
I guess I'm lucky..my husband is my biggest supporter and helper. I couldn't do it without him and our relationship has gotten better because my confidence is boosted. He loved me when I was thinner, he loved me at my heaviest, and now he loves me as I'm getting healthy and active.
this is a very good, thoughtful article. It doesn't cover all the "emotional whys" but the ones mentioned are certainly likely. Clearly a huge part of any solution is communication. That is (always) helped by self-awareness and honesty on the part of both partners.
THIS IS THE KIND OF ARTICLE THAT SP DOES SO WELL. Thank you.
I don't have a significant other, but my mom does a lot of these. Last night I wanted to ride my bike to Zumba because it was nice weather, and she made a comment about how I "can't stand the thought of riding with her." Which is totally ridiculous! So, I skipped the additional 7 mile bike ride I would have gotten to ride in the car with my mom. :(
My weigh loss helped end my last relationship. Over the 2 years we were together he saw me change and work to improve my health and body image. He'd say when I lost weight I'd leave him, he was very insecure about it. One day I came home from work and he had moved out. For the better though everyone, I think the weight loss was the excuse to use to avoid hard truths.
8/28/2013 9:54:04 PM
My man told me that if I got too skinny for his liking, he'd try everything he could to make me gain some of the weight back
I dumped a boyfriend over a jealous fit related to me going to the gym (well, and a bunch of other things, but the fit was the final nail). Hey, maybe if he doesn't support you and is so afraid of losing you, you deserve something better, like a trusting and supportive partner. The couple of articles I was reading on SparkPeople that talked about non-supportive friends recommended ditching them, and I would recommend the same for any "partner" that is so insecure and jealous he/she cannot stand the idea of you improving yourself.
Thank you for this article. It was a recmmended read from a dear Spark friend. I started to skim it an #1-4 weren't really applicable but boy o boy #5 was a doozy!!!! It hit a little close to home. Just made mental note that we all make take different paths on this journey!
11/9/2012 3:23:39 PM
My husband of 40 years is SO proud of me! Very supportive and a bit frisky even! BUT I have seen this issue come up many, many times here on SP and am so happy to see it addressed here. My personal advise would be lots of extra love and attention. He is insecure and needs reassurance. TALK about it. It's hard when you are trying so hard to focus on yourself for a change but eventually you will inspire those around you to "try what she is having!"
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