Tips to Handle A Unsupportive Spouse or Partner
The time has come. You have committed to make a change and achieve the fitness goals that you desire. You are prepared and well armed to complete the task. All of the important tools are in place, including:
1. Qualified Personal Trainer hired—Check!
2. Meal plan prepped and packed—Check!
3. Motivation and Commitment—Check!
4. Focus and Determination—Check!
Two weeks into the plan your significant other begins to change the direction of support. They are no longer being supportive. Times when you have to go and work out they whine and try to demand your time, interfering with you getting to the gym. While eating prepared meals they eat pizza and cake saying, “I am not on a plan. I can eat what I want.” All of a sudden random arguments begin to ensue about why the clock in the bedroom is not correct and who set it. This can be frustrating and hurtful not having your spouse, significant other or partner support the dreams that you have established. However, in the quest for success have you forgotten them and their needs? What brought unity to you both? Has the balance shifted completely with sites set only on your goal leaving them behind? The old saying, “ It takes two to tango “ never gets old because each person must play their role in order for the tango to work. So what should be done to get back to equilibrium?
1. Communication The first step in resolving an issue in any relationship is to talk about it and share the feelings that each person is experiencing. In most cases someone is being quiet and not talking about what is bothering them. Doing this allows the problem to fester and get worse while the other partner has no idea that there is an issue. Lay all the issues on the table and go over them and find a resolution or a working plan to keep each other happy through the process.
2. Incorporate Your Partner Involve your partner in the goal or activities that you have. This does not mean that they will be as diligent or at the same level as you but it’s a great way to spend time together in the process. For example go to the gym and do cardio together, cook him a nice dinner similar to the foods used for your meal plan but make the taste to his liking. Go running together and find fun things to do that do not incorporate food. Rock climbing, bowling and the movies are some things that can be done to incorporate things in each other’s lives.
3. Show Appreciation Acknowledge them for being patient and supportive and dealing with the ups and downs of the goal you’re trying to achieve. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and not taken for granted. Always let your partner know how much the support is appreciated. Thank them for their patience and understanding through this time. This will remove from their mind that you are being selfish and not considering how they feel through the process.
4. Find Other Support Misery loves company. This is a fine line when both partners are obese and only one partner is making a true effort to change. These situations can become a major conflict. One person is constantly fighting the other person every step of the way because of the fear of losing the other person to change. When this occurs it is important to find outside social support from others who believe and have the same goals and aspirations. It’s important to draw a line in the sand and let your partner know that bringing in unhealthy foods into the home is unacceptable. Sabotaging behavior is not okay and the constant reinforcement of the support that you need to succeed.
5. Compromise Selfishness is a requirement for success. However, I am sure many have heard the term “Happy wife, happy life.” That goes for both men also because they can become very irritable when they are not getting any attention from the person they have chosen to be in a relationship with. The best approach is to become creative to take pressure off your partner for example:
- Work out early in the morning
- Find a gym with childcare
- Have Date Night
These small things will show that an effort is being made and your partner has not been lost in the goal.
6. Set Clear Expectations Negativity can destroy a good relationship and sabotage your success when it’s coming from someone you love and care about. Have you heard this before you are getting to skinny, you are losing your shape? You are losing your butt? These things can be undermining and can be a confidence buster. Those comments can cause you to re-evaluate and second guess yourself and what you are doing and make you feel insecure about what you are trying to achieve. To resolve this set your expectations of the process with your partner on what will be happening as you go through the journey together. Teach them and educate them on what changes may occur and the time frame of these things so they can be prepared for the changes. Goals are selfish in nature but if approached with the proper attitude. Distance will not be created between your spouse, partner, girlfriend or boyfriend. Take the time to incorporate those important relationships around you and never lose sight of how valuable they are.