I’ve been married to my husband for a long time. Neither of us is in great shape. Every night he watches TV and drinks – that’s it. I’ve tried everything to get him to take better care of himself, but nothing I’ve done or said has done anything but piss him off. I want to be active and healthy, but every night I feel lonely and frustrated and worried about what the future’s gonna look like so I binge on ice cream or leftovers or whatever else I can find in order to “cope.” Every morning I wake up feeling like hell, unmotivated, and resentful. My husband’s choices are killing us both. What can I do to inspire him to get off his butt and take better care of himself?
Waiting for Change
Hey there, Waiting –
Unless you figure out how to wire your man’s brain to an app on your phone 1, there is nothing you can do to make him change. If he’s decided to be a sloppy sack on the couch every night, that’s exactly what he’s gonna be.
You have control over one thing: You. That includes the choices you make and how you choose to respond to the choices other people make. “Other people” includes the guy on your couch.
You want to be active and healthy? Awesome! You are the master of you, so do that.
You say your husband’s choices are killing you, but that’s not how it works. His evening routine of news and brews is kicking up powerful emotions in you – fear and anger and loneliness. Right now, you’re channeling that emotional power into your own self-destructive relationship to food – compulsively overeating to dull pain that’s only made worse by compulsively overeating.
The good news is you can use that same power to turn things around.
Try this: Every time you hear him pour another drink, take that as your cue to do one thing that takes care of you. Imagine how incredible you’ll feel – how energized and accomplished and strong – if, every time he turns on the TV, you go for a walk, prep food for the following day, or just slam a glass of water and take a few deep breaths. (If you have any other suggestions for what you can do to care for yourself in moments like this, please leave them in the comments below.)
The more miserable you let yourself be because of him, the more of a reason he has to check out, numb out, and disappear into the news and brews void. And who can blame him? Who wants to interact with someone who resents them and constantly tries to change them? The best thing you can do for the both of you is to take the best care of yourself that you can – starting with healing your relationship to food.
If you take my suggestion, you’ll have the satisfaction of living in line with what you want, and he’ll see that you’re kicking ass and taking names while he’s, you know, not. If he’s got any self-awareness left, watching you do All The Things That Make You Happy may make it harder for him to continue to do nothing but check out.
In the end, he won’t change unless and until he’s too uncomfortable to stay the same. The longer you let yourself feel stuck and miserable because you’re not not taking care of yourself, the longer he’ll be able to say, “Well, at least I’m not as miserable as her” as he settles in for another night of alcohol and screen-induced oblivion.
Do what you need to do to feel well, cared for, healthy, strong, and sane. You deserve to feel good when you wake up in the morning, and that’s true no matter what your man opts to do with his time.
- If you figure out how to do this, or any other reliable mind-control techniques, please send them to me. Thanks! ↩