So You Want to Live a Healthy Life (But Your Spouse Doesn’t)...
One of the most difficult challenges a couple can face is when one person wants to something to change.These changes can include changing careers, moving to another state, whether or not to have kids, and, yes, losing weight and living a healthy life.
Some people do not handle change very well. That’s a fact! For every person out there ready to make a lifestyle change, there is a person happy with everything just the way it is. There are also plenty of reasons why people want to make these big changes, and there are just are many reasons why people don’t.
So once you’ve made the decision to get healthy and you know that’s what you need to do, how on earth do you get your spouse on board? If you are struggling with what to say, take a look at these tips on how to approach this sometimes delicate subject!
Let them know upfront that physical appearance isn’t the issue: Let your spouse know that getting healthier by eating right and exercising is something you want to do for BOTH of you that goes far beyond just looking better in a swimsuit. Make sure to tell them that this is about living longer, happier lives together. You want to make sure that you’ll be there for each other and for your children for years to come, and taking care of your body plays a big role in that!
Gym memberships are not required: Sometimes our minds automatically associate “living healthy” and “expensive” in the same category. Your spouse may be afraid that gym memberships, along with spending more money on healthy foods, is going to cost a pretty penny. Sometimes the cost is more than monetary as well - your spouse may be afraid that they will miss out on time with you and your family because you’ve added going to the gym to the schedule. Being active does not mean you have to go to the gym! Why not get the kids involved and make exercise a family affair? You could go running or biking at the park, have a dance party in the living room, or play a game of tag outside in the yard. Sometimes a gym membership is great, but it is certainly not necessary!
Be the example: If you want to motivate or inspire someone else, you have to have the same (or higher!) standards for yourself. When you are trying to convince your spouse that making the change to living a healthy lifestyle is the best decision for both of you, you need to set the standard first. For example, if you want to cut out junk food, do not buy it and bring it into the house. If you want to stop eating fast food, be sure to meal plan and prep so you aren’t in a pinch at dinnertime. There is nothing wrong with setting new goals together (in fact, I encourage it!), when those goals are agreed upon, but be careful to make sure health and fitness is not something that will later turn into resentment towards your spouse.
The relationship you have with your spouse can be a great source of encouragement, happiness, and security, but you have to be sure to put in the work! With the right communication, a little patience, and love for one another, you can figure out a way to honor your goals and your relationship in a way that works for you!