My husband and I are complete opposites. Where he is tall, I am petite. He is blonde, I am brunette. He is outgoing, I am more of an introvert. He is vocal, I am written. He is aggressive, I am passive. He watches television, I read. He is yin, I am yang. I could go on and on and on, but you get the gist of what I’m trying to say about our relationship.
Our relationship of being opposites works. In fact, our differences actually compliment each other, so if you believe me to be complaining, you are far off base. I love my husband, I just wish that at times we actually shared some of the same passions besides our children.
I have always – ALWAYS – been an athlete, so it was always natural for me to believe that I would have a partner that was an athlete also. However, that is FAR from the truth that I live. Athletics bring together such a sense belonging, of being a team, working together, encouraging each other, motivating each other. I need that sense of belonging, and although I feel as if I “belong,” I don’t feel as if my needs are truly satisfied.
My husband works very hard to please me and keep me happy. He will do anything to support me in my endeavors regardless of how insane or far fetched they may seem. He has survived me dragging him, kicking and literally SCREAMING, to various gym workouts, kickboxing, CrossFit, and even running. All ventures short-lived, none actually got him in any shape. I know that I cannot “make” him do anything. I can suggest, and most times he’ll pacify me by agreeing at the time, but not really follow through. I’ve tried encouraging and motivating him, only for him to tell me that I am obnoxious and demeaning. Regardless, I keep asking and suggesting, but I know that it’s NOT going to happen – my husband is just NOT ever going to be the athlete/gym partner that I always thought I would have and have so desired in my life, and I have to learn to stop setting myself up for disappointment and let it go of my desire, my dream, and move on … ALONE in the gym/Box.
I see pictures and read stories or posts of couples enjoying themselves in the gym and I can’t help but feel a teeny pang of envy. Couples – bound together by their love and enjoyment of physical activities, glistening in sweat, smiling. More than any of that it’s the envy that they are doing things TOGETHER.
Exercise is such a HUGE part of who I am, so it’s hard to know that I am to forge on this journey alone. I feel selfish at times for the amount of time that I would love to spend in the gym because it’s time away from my family. It’s hard for me to see my husband struggle and just give up, but like I said, I can’t force him to do something that he doesn’t want to do. It’s hard for me to see him out of shape, unhealthy, and hiding his medications from me. Yes, I know that he does this because I’ve found prescriptions for medications. Yes, I know I’m a nurse. Yes, I know that I am his wife and should know his medical history, but seriously, if he wants to “hide” that part of himself from me, for reasons only known to him, then who am I to demand that he share these things with me? He must not believe that I am important enough to share these pieces of IMPORTANT information with me, right? I mean, we all have our secrets, right? It’s just that when something happens to him and the Emergency Department asks me about his health/medical history, the information that I will be able to provide will be very LIMITED and I’ll look like the countless number of idiots that give me that Kanye shrug look when I ask about their loved one’s history.
Oooooh … I’m waaaaaayyyy off subject now. How did that happen? Freudian slip? Ahhhh, I digress. I guess, it’s just harder for me to accept than I thought it would be, and it saddens and frustrates me more than I let on.
Where am I? Oh, yeah … letting go and acceptance. Letting go of the dream. Letting go of the control that I want to have over my husband to “make” him want better for himself. Accepting my husband as he is. Accepting that I will always drive to the gym/Box – ALONE. But that’s just it … I feel alone and that makes me unbalanced, sad, and disappointed among other things. I understand that life is about disappointments and picking yourself up and moving on, I just didn’t think I would always have to, or didn’t want to do it alone because it’s so much funner/easier/better when done together with someone you love. I guess, though, that if this is the only thing that I can pick apart about my marriage, then I can live with that. Mind you, it will be with a heavy heart, but I’ve done it for so long over the course of our relationship that it feels like an old hat. Like I said before though, I must STOP setting myself up for heartbreak and really let it go. Forge on knowing that my husband will be behind me, supporting me regardless of my decisions to keep running, workout harder in the box, or if I decide to take up underwater basket weaving. I just know that giving up exercise is NOT something that I plan to do ever, so I guess that my husband will just have to remain a gym widower.
What do other couples out there do when one is a gym rat, and the becomes the gym widow(er)? I wonder if there’s resentment? What about if one looks amazing and in shape, while the other does not? Does it tear their relationship apart or if they just deal with it? I mean, I get it, I do, I’m just so sad. I also know that most times, it’s the other way around where the husband is the gym rat, and the wife is the one who chooses to stay at home and is the gym widow while the gym is the mistress. I understand that I I know that there’s more to life than in the gym. I just can’t fully express my guilt over this whole issue and because I know, and because I believe that it’s what holds me back from reaching my full potential. It doesn’t make any sense to rehash it, I just really either have to accept it, live with it, and let it go, or continue to let it consume me as it has been for so long. In the choosing to let it go, I fully understand that life just goes on … and I just go on to the gym … ALONE … (heavy sigh).
That’s an interesting dilemma, I would say why not trade one day at the gym for something he likes to do and maybe then he’ll spend one day with you at the gym, compromise 🙂
You’re very brave to put that in print, I’m going through something different, but similar. Gives me a lot to think about.