Exercising Under the Influence of Marriage
While watching a T.V. exercise infomercial and eating nachos after just finishing a big bowl of ice cream.
Him: [Boy my wife sure is quiet over there; look at her salivating over that T.V. buffed out dude.] “I bet if all I had to do all day is work-out then I might look like that guy.”
Her: [My husband looked like that once upon a time. But now he sits there eating the very thing I told him not to eat. If he would just listen to me he would not have this problem. Figures he would be jealous of that guy. Why can’t he just stop talking and do something about it. Talk, talk, talk, yadda, yadda, yadda.] “You can do it honey, I know you can.”
Him: [Oh great, now she expects me to run out, buy this thing so she can fantasize about being with this dude.] “I know I can do it, I just don’t have the time.”
Her: [Time, well if he got off his butt and stopped watch football on Saturday for 8 hours, Sunday for 4 hours, on Monday night 4 hours, Thursday night football for another 4 hours, video games another 2 hours, and Discovery Channel every night then things might be different. That’s about 40 hours a week. And he wants more time? He would look as good as that guy working-out 40 hours per week. Then maybe I wouldn’t want the lights off when we have sex.] “Well maybe if you cut back on some of the football watch you would have more time to exercise.”
Him: [If she thinks I’m going to give up watching football she is out of her mind.] “Look you just need to worry about yourself.”
Her: [What is that suppose to mean, worry about myself. The reason I’m in this good of shape is because I do worry about myself enough to care for me unlike what he does. He’s the one who needs to worry. I eat right, exercise and oh, look at that guy on TV, man he is really buff. I wonder how many girlfriends he has. I used to have a bunch of guys after me but not so much anymore. Hmm, I wonder if he is right and I’m not as attractive as I think, after all I haven’t had a compliment about my body in a couple of months now.] “What do you mean, are you not attracted to me anymore?”
Him: [Wow, you have got to be kidding me. Well you ain’t no spring chicken anymore.] “Honey you are fine just the way you are.”
Her: [He’s just saying that cause he knows that he blew it and wants to change the subject. What was the subject anyway, oh yea, him going on an exercise program. So how did he manage to turn it all around on me and now I’m the one feeling insecure. He always does that, shifts the blame to me so that he comes out squeaky clean.] “So are you going to order that program or what?”
Him: [How many times are we going to go down this road?] “Order it. It can sit in the corner collecting dust just like everything else.”
Where is this going? Often in a marriage there are two perspectives in a situation and coming to an understanding of the other person’s point of view can be a challenging process especially when what is thought is often not what is said. It’s kind of like shooting at a moving target, just when you think have your aim, the target moves. Let’s explore how each spouse could have better handled the situation before, during and after.
Before. Too many times, one person in the marriage becomes complacent and is not intentional about looking attractive for his/her spouse. This can then lead to feelings of being unloved which blossom into a host of insecurities leaving the spouse feeling invalidated. Ultimately this may spiral to sexual problems, infidelity or pornography. The objective is to be honest about your level of attraction to your spouse in a loving and respectful way.
During. Instead of alienating one person over the other with either real or imagined feelings of jealousy, be intentional about discovering ways to work together. This in turn minimizes jealousy because you are less likely to compare and contrast with others. The benefit of working together is another shared experience striving towards a common goal. This becomes a positive bond in your marriage.
After. Everyone responds to insecurities in different ways but they are still insecure nonetheless. Being open and honest about your insecurities can help you spouse to be more comfortable sharing their insecurities. Many couples believe that they already know their spouse’s insecurities and therefore don’t need to discuss them further. However insecurities can change in intensity over the years and left unresolved can even push a couple to divorce.