Your Spouse is Getting Healthier, So Why Aren't You Happy?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Are you threatened by the lifestyle change your spouse has made? Have you ever said things to your spouse about their lifestyle change that have made him/her feel bad?

I have to tell this story that really happened just a few weeks ago.  I was having a discussion with a friend we’ll call Sam about my transformation and lifestyle change.  He had a lot of questions, which I was happy to answer.  But I wasn’t sure where he was going with this line of questions. 

Finally, we came to the point of his inquiry.  He told me about a mutual friend of ours (we'll call him Bob), who is morbidly obese.  I had seen Bob myself recently and honestly his poor health broke my heart.   Sam told me that Bob had been working on his health a few years back.  He had been going to the gym and was trying to eat better.  I was super excited to hear this, but I had to ask why he stopped.  Apparently he was making some progress and had lost just enough weight for it to be noticeable.  That’s when the support at home ended!  
Bob’s wife had told him she was worried that he was going to lose weight, get sexy and leave her.  You can probably guess what he did.  He stopped going to the gym and gave up any progress that he had made and gained back all of his weight if not more.

This story is devastating to me, absolutely devastating.  The more I think about it, the more frustrated I get.  I’m confused about why Bob didn’t talk with his wife about the situation to ease her fears.  Why didn’t he explain that he was doing it to be a better husband to her?  I’m confused about why she would completely sabotage his progress like that. Would she rather see him dead?

I suppose situations like this happen more often than I would like to think: spouses (or other loved ones) sabotaging each other for the sake of their own insecurities.  Anybody trying to change their life could deal with this at some point of their journey.
So how do we deal with this when it happens?

As SparkPeople always suggests, before you begin any physical fitness program, seek your doctor’s approval.  That way, you and those around you will know how bad your health really is, and maybe the support will be there, right?  If Bob’s wife really knew all that his body is going through just to make it through each day, and how sad reality of where he is headed if he continues to neglect his health, maybe she would support him.

I would like to suggest to you today that you get your entire family involved in this journey to health. You will find so many rewards with the entire family on the journey with you.
How do we get the entire family involved?  Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Talk with your spouse about your plans.  Be HONEST with yourself first and foremost, then be honest with your spouse.  Be HONEST about how you feel inside.  Be HONEST if you are unhappy with the way you look and the way you feel.  Talk about where you want to be and how you want to get there together.  Communicate these plans up front so everybody is on the same page.  Rely on each other, rely on your children (if you have any) to hold you accountable.  Getting your plans out in the open is the absolute best way to start this journey!
  2. Trips to the grocery store – take the entire family.  Start looking at labels for ingredients; share this with your spouse and kiddos.  Teach your children and each other what the healthier choice is.  This step has the added benefit of spending time together.  Sometimes my wife would rather I not be with them, simply because I’m always causing some commotion at the store.  Singing, dancing, you name it, we do it, and we have fun doing it!
  3. Work out together – side by side when possible.  I know that not all workouts can be done like this, BUT make an effort.  If there are kids in the home, get them involved as well when possible.  Let them see the effort you are putting toward a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Make it FUN – It is a journey that lasts the rest of your life, ENJOY IT.
I wonder if I shared these ideas with Bob, would it could have an impact on his approach to regaining his health and easing his wife’s fears?  I have to wonder whether Bob’s wife would join him. I wonder if, when told the gravity of the problem, would she be onboard with the changes?