New Year’s Resolutions to Get Fit Can Hurt a Marriage

If you are like most people on the planet your New Years’ resolution will be to lose weight and get fit. Would you alter that intention if your resolution to get fit may get you into family court as well? Sounds dramatic, yes; but there is plenty of evidence to show that marriages often suffer when one spouse becomes healthier, leaving the other one in the dust…..or on the couch, more like it.

According to polls conducted by the wellness site, SparkPeople.com, 34% of participants said their “spouse, partner or significant other sabotages their weight-loss efforts more than anyone else in their lives, and 43% said they their significant other negatively influences their eating habits.” Whereas, “24% say that they would be bothered if their partner gained weight, and 55% said they might be bothered, depending on how much weight he or she gained.”

The question is how significant is fitness in a relationship?

Jamie Turndorf, Ph.D., couples therapist and author of Make Up, Don’t Break Up says, “Different lifestyles or exercise habits don’t matter when you have a strong emotional connection with your partner,” and that maybe there is something askew in the relationship.

Is it about insecurity, jealousy, fear – or all of the above?

If fights are occurring because of your new heathy lifestyle you have to recognize it, then rectify it fast. Tell your partner that you are worried s/he doesn’t care about health and therefore, your collective future. Suggest working out together and take the lead on cooking healthier meals for the both of you.

In a 2013 study entitled, “Weighty Dynamics: Exploring Couples’ Perceptions of Post-Weight-Loss Interaction” the authors, Lynsey Kluever Romo and René M. Dailey found several positive results for a couple’s relationship after a partner’s weight loss, such as:

• Improved communication about health and improving health.
• Inspiring each other and family to become healthy.
• The partner losing weight became more supportive to the other spouse to get fit.
• The partner losing weight becomes more insistent on a healthier lifestyle due to new confidence.
• Greater intimacy, both physical and emotional.
• Reduced stress.
• Improved self-image.
• Couples shared more activities.

The study also demonstrated some negative effects of weight loss on couples, such as:

• “Nagging” in that the overweight partners felt the partners who lost weight were pestering the other about being more active and/or eating healthier.
• Insecurity on the side of the overweight partner.
• Jealous feeling when a partner loses weight.
• Assertiveness – this result can lead to the end of a relationship because one spouse gets the strength to leave.

Getting healthy and fit is an absolute for all of us, so don’t rethink that resolution. Just make sure to keep your spouse informed of your plan, suggest you join forces, and start the new year striding towards new versions of BOTH of you.

Our firm employs highly skilled family law attorneys who can assist you on whatever legal issues that may arise in the New Year. We are New Mexico’s favorite family law firm. So just call Lightning Legal Group today at 505-247-2390 for a free consultation.

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