Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

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Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby Clifford28 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:15 am

Hi all,

Firstly I hope you take this question as it's intended. I'll try to explain as clearly as I can.

I'm 41, my wife is 38 and we have a 6 year old child. Over the past few years my wife has started to get heavier. I'm a regular gym goer and while I'm not a fanatic I keep myself in very good shape and my wife appreciates this. I'm not sure if a) she hasn't noticed that she's gaining weight or b) she has noticed and doesn't care. She eats a lot of junk food when I'm out on an evening - I don't even know how much as she does the shopping, but I've noticed multipacks of crisps appear and disappear, and I don't eat them.

For me, this is an increasing problem - we've been married for over a decade and been together longer than that, and I love her dearly. We have a very good relationship and an affectionate one, but I'm worried that I'm finding her less and less sexually attractive, and this is a problem.

A couple of years ago I offered to pay her gym membership and have done ever since, but she goes maybe twice a month. She recently did a 5k and I was very supportive of her training and her competition but this seems to have petered out as well.

I suppose the question is - how can I best raise this with her without upsetting her? I realise some of you may think I'm being unreasonable, but I deliberately keep myself in good physical shape as a service to her and I feel like it's a deal she should reciprocate.

I'd appreciate any advice!
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby highlandcow » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:27 pm

Hi Clifford,

I can sympathise to an extent as my husband also struggles with his weight. I think what you need to do is tactfully wait until she brings it up, as trust me, she will have noticed if she is gaining weight, whether she cares or not. When my husband brought it up, I was only too happy to support him (I signed him up to Slimming World and I plan menus every Sunday evening for the week ahead and make his lunches for the week, which are all SW friendly). But I didn't mention it until he did as I felt that if I brought it up and he wasn't ready to address it, it would do more harm than good.

It's good that she already has a gym membership. Are there any classes you could do together? Maybe she feels embarrassed or maybe she just hasn't found what works for her. The gym isn't for everyone after all. My husband won't go near a gym or a pool as he is too embarrassed by his body, but he will go cycling. I won't go cycling, but I will do yoga and swimming. Different strokes etc. She needs to be comfortable in what she's doing or she won't be inclined to do it again (or maybe that's just me :oops: ) Find out at your gym if they have a timetable of different activities and see if there is anything you could see you both doing. Gently suggest it, as a way of spending time together.

Clifford28 wrote:I deliberately keep myself in good physical shape as a service to her and I feel like it's a deal she should reciprocate.


I'm afriad I don't really agree with this - although I can see where you're coming from. What people do with their own bodies is entirely down to them and she shouldn't feel like she has pressure from her husband to conform to a 'deal'. She will only resent you for that. And on the flip-side, you shouldn't feel like it's a service to her to keep yourself in shape. It's great that you do keep yourself fit and healthy, but it should be for YOU, not her. It's the same the other way around. Again this is just my opinion, based on how I would likely feel if it were me in her shoes. Obviously, I don't know either of you, so really, I don't know how she'd react.

Just my two-penn'orth.
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby Clifford28 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:01 pm

Thank you for your reply!

Unfortunately going to the gym together isn't possible as we'd need childcare cover every time. She doesn't have a problem with confidence in the gym as far as I'm aware.

On the second point you're right, and I phrased it poorly to be honest. That's probably my problem and not hers.
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby highlandcow » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:03 pm

No worries at all :)

I did forget to mention something though. I know I said eariler that I wouldn't mention the weight gain until she does, but if you are concerned about her health (ie: if she is on the way to becoming obese or morbidly obese) then I would advise saying something then if you don't see her making any changes.
Go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say:
'It's good to be alive!'"

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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby snail » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:40 pm

What about exercising together at home? Gym memberships are fairly expensive - could you cancel and spend the money on a budget running machine and perhaps a cross-trainer? One of you on one and the other on the other; you could chat to each other, compete, and compare notes? You really can get exercise equipment for a reasonable price if you get it from those places that sell re-conditioned equipment or returns. I got an almost completely new running machine for £180 and it's been one of the best things I've ever bought.
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby Clifford28 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:05 pm

Home exercising is a great idea, and we do both independently do yoga at home, but we don't have the space for equipment.

I should also mention that she's absolutely nowhere near being obese or it being a health issue so this is mainly aesthetic, which I realise makes me sound like even more of an ass. Having said that it's better to nip these things in the bud before it gets a serious problem.
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby highlandcow » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:11 am

I'm glad to hear that its not something more serious. It should be easier to nip it in the bid before it becomes more serious.

How about long walks and more physical activities with the kids? (You didn't mention how old they are but I'm guessing they can't be that old, given your age!) That way you all get exercise and no worries about childcare.
Go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say:
'It's good to be alive!'"

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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby Clifford28 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:39 am

Thanks highlandcow - another great idea. We do enjoy walks out in the countryside but I'm often too busy at weekends to organise anything. I need to change this to help us get out more often.

I'd really like her to improve her eating habits, I think that would make all the difference. Munching crisps in front of the TV most nights, that kind of thing.

Perhaps I could suggest a 'clean eating' month where we don't buy any junk food or have it in the house? That way it looks like I'm participating too (even though I don't eat that kind of stuff anyway).
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby highlandcow » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:25 pm

No worries!

Clifford28 wrote:Perhaps I could suggest a 'clean eating' month where we don't buy any junk food or have it in the house? That way it looks like I'm participating too (even though I don't eat that kind of stuff anyway).


Sounds like a good idea. Maybe you could also take charge of the shopping?
Go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say:
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby Tarantula » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:39 pm

Meatless Mondays are another suggestion - surprised HLC didn't mention that as she is a cow and cows have feelings and want to live! :) Cutting down on the meat/dairy will have a host of health benefits for both of you, and lower cholesterol intake (dietary cholesterol only exists in animal products... there is zero cholesterol in plants). Chickpea curry? Veg stew? Spaghetti al'arrabiata? Etc

Also you're not an ass for wanting her to be in shape (asses have feelings too, but anyway, you're not one). It's how you address it which determines whether you're an ass or not. It seems like you're handling it in a good way... let us know how it goes.
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby highlandcow » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:12 pm

Tarantula wrote:surprised HLC didn't mention that as she is a cow and cows have feelings and want to live!


I almost took offence there, Tarantula! :lol: :lol:

Meatless Mondays are a good idea though.
Go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say:
'It's good to be alive!'"

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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby SHYGLASGOWGIRL1988 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:27 pm

Hiya.... I don't know if I will be of any help at all but right now I am the heaviest I have ever been ( not obese etc) It does really get me down but I don't appear to have any get up and go to do something about it. I know I would deffo need some sort of "goal" or to find something I enjoy doing. For me its classes like boogie bounce or clubbercise. My self esteem is at an all time low and I know myself if someone tried to force me to exercise or tell me to I would take offence (even though I know I need it) Us women are mad!! (u need the mentality to do it) All I can suggest is going for nice walks when its nice weather to start with (I know I like that) Gets me out in the sunshine. You could do it as a family. Or a drive to a big park somewhere. Start enjoying getting outside and active. I really do think baby steps is the key. Once you start to feel better inside then you do get a different mentality. My bf doesn't get that.... he will tell me I'm perfect the way I am but if I don't feel that way about myself then its just not the same. I am a firm believer in that you have to enjoy exercise otherwise its torture. (Personal onion) But I do agree with above comments. You shouldn't have to change yourself to suit other people/partners..... marriage is for better and worse ?? You should love each other for who you are and what you look like but be there to support one another through any changes etc. Oh its a tricky one.
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Re: Wife is getting out of shape, what can/should I do?

Postby spacegirl » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:26 pm

Is there something triggering the overeating? i.e. is she anxious/stressed/feeling down? I know I tend to comfort eat when I'm feeling down and I have less motivation to cook healthy meals which leads me to put on weight, it's a slippery slope. Ironically, exercise helps with depressive moods so if you can't get to a gym, long walks outdoors help kick-start the exercise bug, get the endorphines going and might make her feel better about herself. If there is something bothering her it gives you the opportunity for a nice talk.
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