One writer reflects on the object of resentment in her marriage—which saved her husband's life.
My husband joined a gym.
He lost ten pounds.
In a matter of months, he started to look like Popeye. And I resented it.
It's a rather embarrassing thing to confess that you resent your husband for getting in shape. Afterall, isn't that something every wife desires in her marriage? To see her husband taking care of himself physically?
My husband Terry has always been active. He is a builder/contracter, so he is accustomed to physical labor. I do sporadic walking on our home treadmill along with daily stretching. Our son, however, has been after us for several years to join a gym to work on cardio and strength training. Terry did feel he was losing some strength and was experiencing more joint pain. He was also self-conscious about his abdomen, an area he never seemed to be able to lose weight. But his dad always had a big stomach.
So last January my husband joined a local gym where some of our friends are members. Suddenly our morning routine changed. Instead of me rising first for work, he was gone to meet his trainer before my alarm even sounded. Instead of him sleepily handing me my morning coffee-to-go, I was heading out the door with no goodbye kiss. I felt a little lonely and a bit neglected.
Then the gym talk started. His trainer said this, his trainer said that.
Then his diet changed. Cannot eat that, can only eat this.
I was handling all of that until the comments came from the sidelines. "Terry, you look great...You've lost weight...Look at your muscle definition..." Our friends and Terry had a new common ground that I did not share.
Then the clincher. Looking at Terry, then at me, the admonition came: "Luann, you should join the gym!"
But when my Popeye told me I needed to lose fifteen pounds, well, that didn't set too nicely with me either. I have never looked like Olive Oil, nor do I believe I ever could. So as the winter months went by and the commentaries continued, I went from irritation to resentment. I started to secretly stew about things, other than the gym issue.
I started to resent that my job is housed in a building with no windows.(It was built in the 1970s during the energy crisis.) I rarely see the light of day. My husband, on the other hand, has flexibility in his schedule as his own boss. I have a usual schedule of ten-hour work days. So how can I possibly find time or energy to join a gym? Early morning workouts are out of the question, and then finding time after work is difficult. One, I am exhausted, and two, I have household chores to attend. I was suffering from the working woman's dilemma and saw no way out.
It was just easier to silently carry a grudge rather than address the issue with myself and my husband. Also, I didn't want to be a Debbie Downer. My husband was doing something really positive for himself. He was feeling stronger and looking fit and fabulous.But as the busy months went by, I knew I needed to talk with my husband about it. I wasn't always begrudging his newfound health regimen, but enough to know I needed to deal with my feelings. Read the rest...
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