When my husband, Chad, and I got married, I was so excited to have built in workout partner living with me. After the honeymoon was over, I was so excited to wake up for our first day of real life together. I got my workout clothes ready the night before, and set my alarm just like I’d done my entire life. When the alarm went off at 5:30, I jumped out of bed. I was so excited to start our new workout life together. I woke Chad up, when the alarm didn’t wake him up. “Come on” I said, “it’s morning. Let’s go!!”
“What??” He asked “Go back to bed, it’s still dark outside.” I was so confused, why wouldn’t anyone want to be out running when the sun came up. (Don’t worry, after having kids, I no longer jump out of bed every morning)
I was so disappointed and confused.
This was the beginning of Chad and I trying to learn how to support one another in fitness.
We both loved to workout, but I’d never communicated to him what my expectations were. I just assumed everyone was the same way I was.
I think most people have similar communication errors in their marriages especially when they first get married.
So the first step in helping you and your spouse be healthy together is to communicate.
Ask each other a few questions:
What do you enjoy doing for a workout?
When is the best time of day for you to workout?
How many times a week do you want to workout?
Do you want to workout together or would your prefer to workout alone or with a friend?
If you’re running do you want to stay together if the other needs to walk or are you okay with your significant other running ahead while you catch your breath?
If you’re lifting weights together do you want to stick together and spot one another, or do you just want to be in the gym at the same time and that’s good enough for you?
What is your main goal? To lose weight, bulk up, or just stay fit?
What are some of your biggest challenges when it comes to working out and how can I support you and help you with these challenges?
Ask each other the same types of questions about diet:
How can I support you?
Are we doing this together as a team or is this more of an individual goal?
Do you want me to point it out when you mess up, or just be there to support you when realize you’ve messed up?
Set goals together or individually and then take the time to discuss your goals and how to reach them.
After 14 years of marriage Chad and I are finally in a workout groove. It’s not what I would have imagined it to be, but it works great for us.
I get up early and exercise with my workout friends, while the kids are sleeping. Chad gets up around the same time, but he starts his work day while I’m exercising. When I get home we both get the kids ready and off to school, and then Chad heads out to the gym with his friends.
When we have an off day we’ll go for a jog together. Or sometimes go swim a few laps together in the middle of the day. We’re still active and supportive of one another but we workout separately, and it works great. We still do a lot of active things like soccer, tennis or swimming with our kids during the day. It’s great because I still get girl time with my running partners and he gets to workout with his guy friends, and we’re both working out at the time of day that works best for each of us.
What works best for you and your significant other?
Lots to think about.