It’s Easier to Stay in Shape than Get in Shape
So, the dude who married the hottie on the left probably doesn’t expect her to gain 80 pounds this year. If she did- would it be FAIR?
What is it about marriage that breeds complacency? It could be the binding obligation each party has to stay. Perhaps it’s the pressure one’s family puts on the import of the union and the absolutely unacceptable option for divorce. Either way, more and more I’m seeing examples of complacency.
I had a conversation with a friend the other day and he was telling me of an interesting scenario he was going through. “Dave” has been married to “Molly” for 15 years. Over the course of such time, she has gained about 80 pounds between having a child and “life.”While he stayed “faithful”- he wasn’t physically interested in his wife any longer. Cheating not within his genetic make up- he tried to talk to her about the problem, but she was mortally offended each time, citing childbirth, leading busy lives and how sex should not play a role.
So … a year later Dave finds out Molly has been having an affair- with someone well overweight. WTF? Dave remained “faithful” and I put that word in quotes because while you aren’t having sex outside your marriage you aren’t having sex inside your marriage either.So, feeling neglected and undesirable, Molly fled the marital sex and found comfort in the arms of another man who “didn’t place such emphasis on physical appearance.”
Alright, hold it. This is out of control. First of all … when you enter a marriage you tacitly agree to take care of your spouse and yourself. Part of doing such is to stay in shape physically. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will most definitely provide a rewarding appearance. Now, should you feel obligated to do so for your spouse? I think so. It’s not fair to lure someone with the full package- brains, kindness, compassion, looks and physique- only to let yourself go after five years.
Looks DO matter- it’s the first thing that likely put you on radar- and while the Clever initiative in part is to help us move away from such emphasis on our “perceived” value (how we look) and move toward our “actual value” (who you are)- looks still play a part in attraction.
This goes directly back to expectations. Let’s say you meet, you’re both 50 pounds overweight- you fall in love, get married and then one partner decides it’s time to shed the unwanted pounds that are starting to create knee and back problems. Suddenly, the husband is looking smoking hot and the wife, content in her, uh, “fluffiness” decides she has been “left behind.” We ALL know being overweight leads to health problems and let me tell you (and I can NOT believe I am about to quote Cindy Crawford), “It’s easier to stay in shape than get in shape.” When one of the persons in a marriage decides to make a change- it is important the other person supports them. A great way to support is to join.
Dave should have felt comfortable saying, “Moll, I love you like crazy, but the weight is not appealing. Work out with me. Let’s talk to a nutritionist. I know how hard it is to juggle work, home, child, wife- I want to help.” Dave said he never felt comfortable telling her this. Why?You have a contract. If one of your clients was in default of their contract, you’d bring it to their attention- non? BTW, Dave is stacked and works his ass off to be so- all he was asking was for her to be a reasonable facsimile of the woman he married.
Now, I know as well as anyone the effects aging has on the body. It just means you have to work harder, make time, read the labels on the food you eat. Just don’t be lazy- it’s simply NOT Clever. Now, there are people who are affected by weight due to a health issue, like thyroid or depression, and in cases like those, communication is critical.
Fact is- it’s not fair for one person to work hard to look good for their spouse (or because they want to) and the other spouse to let themselves go. It’s a recipe for disaster- I promise.Sex is a component of marriage and it is likely more enjoyable if both partners are healthy and confident in the way they look.
On the same note- it is catastrophically unfair for the “out of shape” partner to become jealous, possessive and insecure due to the other partner’s fitness. The other person will start getting more attention and the confidence they feel will create more attention, but it is NOT Clever to start accusing the other person of becoming fit for others or because they are “planning to leave” you. Grow up and enjoy!