Spin-off of the teen girl/weight/eating thread . . .

anele_gwAugust 12, 2014

I rarely talk to my DH about exercising, but tonight I was so excited about a deal I got, that I told him about it. (Fitness Blender's 8 Week Program-- got it for $8.50, since I had a coupon, woo hoo!)

Then this happened.

"Why don't you get the PX90? Then you'll have guys whistling at you."

I said: "What? No guy is going to whistle at me. I'm going to be 41 (tomorrow)."

He said:
"Yes, they will, if you're perfect."

Sigh.

"You're supposed to be the one to tell me I look perfect NO MATTER WHAT." ('Member how I think parents should say this? It applies, in my mind, to spouses, too.)

He told me he was joking and really was trying to "encourage" me.

We've been married 14 years, and never once has he said anything like this. (Well, he did tell me I looked my age once . . ., but oh well.) He doesn't compliment me very often in general, though. Just doesn't say anything. However, now that I've been working out, he has started commenting in the vein of, "You're getting there." He hasn't directly said that, but he will remark about my progress; never that I look good, which is fine . . .but the evaluations (unsolicited, mind you), I could do without.

Weird, he had a dream that I cheated on him recently and it really disturbed him. Sort of seems contradictory.

Sad. I've spent so long avoiding the word "perfect," and there it is again. I envy those of you who can let these things roll of your backs and want to learn how you do it . . .I'll meditate tonight and I bet that will help.

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jterrilynn

All you have to say back isâ¦the more perfect I feel the better it is for you Wink Wink!

Happy birthday Anele! May you continue on with happiness and self-content!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:13PM
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kitschyKitch

I do not know how to respond without causing a whole lot of trouble, but here goes. I guess I could call myself Bizzy2 and do it that way.

You want people to whistle at you? A grown married woman? Huh? And THAT is why you are working out?

What happened to just wanting to be strong, wanting to be healthy, accepting yourself?

You are not making sense.

And, I don't blame you for thinking people should say nothing, because your loved ones sure do say the wrong thing.

For what is it worth, I would not be very happy with a DH who never complimented me, and then said the things you said. I can't even imagine a loving relationship without compliments. Maybe that's just me. The world owes you a lot more positive messages than you are getting!

Edited: You know, I am rereading this post, and yours, and the gist of yours, to me, is you are a little disappointed and venting about your DH. And I kind of just fanned the flames. I think I should have said: I am sorry, that is a bummer. I think you should mention it to your DH, when you are not upset about it, because he probably doesn't realize how you feel and could easily make you a bit happier.

This post was edited by kitschyKitch on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 22:55

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:40PM
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anele_gw

Thanks for the birthday wish, Jterrilynn!

kitschy, I appreciate your "edited" section, but whew.

In case anyone else understands my OP as kitschy originally did:

(1) No, I am not working out so that men will whistle at me. I am a SAHM to 5 children and dress modestly. My husband made that comment.

My response to him was somewhat out of shocked disbelief for his immaturity. I also didn't want to have a long discussion with him about how PX90 would be really bad for my knees . . .and I'm actually a little worried about this new one for the same reason. I have an auto-immune condition that puts me at higher risk for arthritis. I'd been having knee pain for a year, so my first priority was to improve it. (And it's helped tremendously.) My second goal is to lift 50 lbs, because I want to work doing estate sales someday-- it was a requirement in ad I saw, so I thought it would be a neat long-term goal.

(2) Yes, it is unfortunate that my husband doesn't compliment me much. I don't like "asking" for compliments, though, because my thought it always that I'd rather the person say nothing than say something dishonest.

I think I better take a break from writing here as often as I do! Seems like my writing skillz are really suffering lately as I seem to be doing a really poor job at getting my message across.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:32PM
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kitschyKitch

Well, I thought it was a little dishonest to delete it, but I did think twice about it, hence the edit.

I was the one exhorting people to be nicer in the other thread!

Anyway, I don't mean ask for compliments per se. But I can't imagine that your DH never notices something positive about you. I might share with my DH that it's important to me to feel appreciated that way. That's all I'm suggesting. It's a normal thing that couples can so easily slack off on over the years, IMHO.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:52PM
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may_flowers

I don't know any man that didn't get a little weird in his 40s. They mellow out in their 50s though.

Happy birthday!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:54PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Ah yes, the double-edged sword for husbands. They want to be able to show off their wives to other men...hey, look at what I got! But then again, they don't want other men looking at their wives...hey, don't be lookin' at my wife!!

I remember when Mom was in her late 60s...she reached her heaviest and was very unhappy about it, so she started dieting and going to the gym to work out and got herself in really great shape. She felt good and looked good. The compliment she got that she was most excited about was when my Dad called to her and said, "Get your skinny little a$$ over here!" Dad wasn't much for compliments...

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:11AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

And Happy Birthday! May this be the start of your best year yet!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:15AM
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2ajsmama

Happy Birthday!

Men are weird. I hope what may_flower said about them getting less weird in their 50's is true.

DH once sighed at me (after DD was born as I recall, my 3rd pregnancy in 3 years) and said "you'll never be a size 5 again, will you?". And he told me I was too skinny when we got married!

Recently (just after I turned 50), he told me snuggling in bed "I still love you - all of you!" What, do I have multiple personalities now? I'll tell you, that was NOT the way to get into my good graces that night.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:28AM
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deee_gw

Everyone says stupid things. Everyone says things that sound okay in their head but sound terrible out loud.

I wouldn't read too much into your husband's comment. Based on everything you have said about him, I am sure he did not intend to be offensive.

Happy Birthday!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:53AM
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kswl2

Tune those comments out. When an otherwise well meaning person says something ridiculous that's often just all you can do. He probably thinks he's being helpful. I once was chairman of a large, multi focal, volunteer political action committee for an entire year, and had many conversations about it with DH over the course of that year. He tried to be helpful and supportive but his approach to people and problems is completely different from mine. I finally handed him a written list of appropriate comments and questions and asked him to please not deviate from the script! I was partly joking but made the point that I was not asking for his input in any way whatsoever. He stuck to the script (on that issue) and those conversations (well, one sided rants with him inserting kswl-approved comments here and there) were much more enjoyable.

I actually gave my children sample scripts for conversations with adults on a variety of subjects, including asking parents (us or the other kid's) for a sleepover--- this had two different versions, planned and impromptu--- and stuff like asking teachers for extra credit, to move their seat, for more time on a project, asking coaches to move their position, etc. We had one super intelligent kid with somewhat poor conversational skills, which is why I instituted the scripts as well as role playing conversations in advance, but I must say they all seemed to benefit. Some people, husbands included, just need a script for some areas......

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:57AM
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ellendi

Anele, whenever we post something personal, it always gets such a variety of reactions. Some responses are clear, while others can be taken differently by the reader.

Venting is good! My DH is not one to compliment. His mom was this way. She told me once that I shouldn't keep complimenting my oldest, when she was just born(that's right,a newborn) because it would go to her head!
Although it has bothered me in the past, I look at the whole picture. (How he surprises me with things that I off handedly mention etc.)

I think your DH's comment struck especially hard because of your current thoughts about daughters and dieting.

Who isn't guilty of saying something unfiltered once in a while? If he keeps up the comments you might want to ask him,"what good will come out of it?'"

Side note:LOL Annie

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:57AM
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daisychain01

Anele, my DH started to get in shape a few years ago. He became much more health conscious in terms of diet and exercise - not a look better thing, but more of a "be the best me I can be" sort of thing. Really commendable.

Well, I am completely embarrassed to admit the horrible feelings it brought out in me. I felt jealous and insecure and I know I make comments that (I like to think, unintentionally) are not supportive. This happened at the same time I went back to work and the extra stress and lack of time, mean I am in the worst shape of my life. We have had candid talks about it, and he is the most understanding guy in the world, so we are okay, but I'm wondering if maybe your DH has issues with you getting in shape that he is having trouble dealing with and therefore is expressing himself in inappropriate ways.

Just something to think about. Even though you truly want the best for someone, change can be scary and hard.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:57AM
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sweeby

When I decided to leave my lousy first marriage many years ago, one of the very first things I did was get myself back into shape. A complete emotional and physical overhaul --

There may be some secret fear in the back of your husband's mind that perhaps you're thinking of 'shopping around' to see if the 'new you' can perhaps do a bit better. It might be way back there, or perhaps a little closer to the front of his mind.

Anyhow - If you were to tell your husband that all your hard work is not just for you, but also so you can be your best self *for him* then maybe he'll be a little more appreciative of your efforts.

If that doesn't work, tell him that it's when women don't feel appreciated *inside* their marriages that they start to look for that appreciation *outside* ---

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:42AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'd just tell him to be glad that dreams don't always come true.

And if he's feeling insecure, maybe it's a wake-up call for him to take you less for granted...maybe take you out on a date...bring you flowers...maybe even open the car door for you!!!
;)

I always remember how, when we were dating, DH would open the car door for me, and then get in himself. That ended the day we got married. Now if I stood there and waited for him to open the door, he'd probably just hop in the car and take off without me! Ahhh the joys of 36 years of marriage!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:59AM
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Jamie

Happy Birthday!

I thought your husband's comments were funny. I would have laughed and lightened up.

My own DH is too serious. And too equanimous. If I ask how I look, he says, "You look good. You ALWAYS look good." If I gain or lose, it's always the same.

One time when I was forty-something I had a cute little convertible and was wearing a short skirt. I'll never forget how a young guy was checking me out from the back, and then the front, in general. But when we made eye contact and he saw my face, which showed my true age, he was so embarrassed. He wanted to disown himself.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:16AM
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tinam61

"maybe take you out on a date...bring you flowers...maybe even open the car door for you!!!"

Perhaps Anele's husband already does these things for her - mine does!

Seriously, some people are just not big on compliments. I agree with Dee and KSWL. Think of other things your husband does. Unless he's failing in other areas (and from the way you talk, I'm not getting that), try not to think about the compliments.

On the other hand, he may be feeling as suggested - and not even realize it. It may WORRY him that you are improving yourself. Especially on top of that dream.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:18AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Happy Birthday!

Everybody is different, my dh is similar to jamies, always the same, I am beautiful, blah blah blah....i could walk out door in the ugliest, most unflattering dress imaginable and he would still say I am beautiful.
It is comforting but if I need a real opinion, I ask a girlfriend.

Once in awhile, with great effort I can pull an opinion out of him, but he has learned somewhere, lol, to stick to the safe mode.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

DH would be so insulted if I handed him a script! Especially after I've taught him so well without one.

Typical interchange.

I'm getting ready to go out.
AD: How do I look?
DH: OK.
AD: How do I look?
DH: You look beautiful.
AD: What did you say?!?
DH: I've never seen you look lovelier than you do right now.
AD: Oh, that's what I thought you said....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:17AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

You know, some men are just clueless. Mine is often that way. Like Bumble, if I need an honest assessment, i look elsewhere. I do hope the above is true about men in their 40s and getting better in their 50s, of course, DH has 9 years left. Happy birthday!

Annie, I laughed about the car door. I actually am going out with my husband a little bit more now that our kids are older. Now that we are no longer tasked with buckling kids in, etc, I am reminding him (and not subtly) to begin setting an example for his boys of how to treat a woman. Open doors, pay attention when she comes home and help bring the groceries in, etc. Afer 18 years of marriage, I am exercising my voice.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:17PM
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runninginplace

Annie, my husband has only absorbed one marital happiness training lesson in 29 years of marriage:

Me: Well?
Him: Your hair looks great!

And that's it, all he knows.

OTOH this is the guy who among a zillion other common sense gestures of love makes sure to peel off those nasty safety film tops on my OJ bottles so I don't have to use my always-stiff-in-the-morning hands :).

As long as I know in his odd uber practical way he is trying, I take what I get with good grace...even the easy orange juice access! Lord love him, he means well.

Ann

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:22PM
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martinca_gw

Happy B. Day anele! Hey, I struggled, biaTched , about this for years. ...until after years of listening, reading( on here!) these and other complaints from wives: unhelpful with kids and/ or house, too demanding of their time, lazy tube slobs, AND, of course, insisting on an input on decor, even though they are clueless.;) ! Etc etc...and ,of course, far worse.
.....I learned at last the true meaning of love. Not compliments, not bday, valentine stuff( though nice if you.you get it) , but a truly unselfish , giving guy who will always and ever GET OFF HIS AZZ for you, and demonstrate daily that you come first. That includes NEVER making a negative personal remark: weight, hair, dress , that kind of thing.

As always: accentuate the positive ,eliminate the negative.la la la. :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:52PM
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martinca_gw

I just re-read your post and see it was his ( mildly)negative remark that bothered you most. I find writing notes of needs or complaints accepted far better than a chat, which can get a man's back up, and escalate into an argument. He needs a brief message:
Remember the old adage:
"if you haven't anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
Please think before you consider making a possibly hurtful, critical remark or suggestion. Then don't say it. Period.
Marti

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 5:03PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

haha RIP, I can relate!

There's a saying that there's nothing a loving wife won't do for her husband except stop trying to improve him.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:09PM
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maureeninmd

Husbands.... While vacationing in Bermuda, my tall and thin husband and I wandered a few minutes away from the kids to take a walk atop a cliff. Seeing our shadows, he exclaimed: "Look, it's spaghetti and meatball". And then wanted to kiss me. Hahaha. No. But I'm laughing years later.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:32PM
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gibby2015

spaghetti and meatball - that did make me laugh out loud

I rarely get a compliment from my DH though I rarely get any remotely critical commentary either. Though he does occasionally say - "you're wearing THAT?" That's how I know what he likes - everything except what I'm wearing when he says that. I know he thinks good things he just doesn't verbalize them and after 36 years of marriage I'm okay with that.

I think I'm attractive (for age 57) but he has always told me he was attracted by my brain, not my physical appearance. I think the same is still true - brain more important than appearance.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:20PM
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tinam61

Annie - wouldn't you rather your husband tell you what he really thinks instead of what you want to hear?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Tinam, it depends. At times hearing the truth is helpful...at times, not so much.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:36PM
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terriks

I know that we all want (expect) our men to compliment us, but how often do you compliment your man on his appearance? I know that I am remiss in this department.

This post was edited by terriks on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 22:57

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:55PM
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kristinekr

It sounds to me that your husband's comment was less about YOU and more about how to get the most out of your exercising.

I say that because he suggested P90x, which is the dvd set that is often thought to be the "gold" standard that gets excellent results (or in your husband's words, whistle inducing results). You responded that you were too old for the whistles, and your husband basically said that age doesn't matter if the body is "perfect." Maybe it was his use of perfect that offended, but I would take his comments more just to mean that if you are serious about exercising, why waste your time on the lesser exercise systems--and instead just go for the gold.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:57PM
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gibby2015

terriks - I actually do compliment DH often on what a hot stud he is - just like when I met him. I am so impressed the guy still wears the same size pants he did when we met 39 years ago and no muffin top gut hanging over the top. And he has a full head of awesome hair!!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:36PM
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anele_gw

Wahhhh . . .I had a long reply typed out when my 4 y.o. decided to do acrobatics near the computer and kicked the power button off.

So, briefly, since my time is up, THANK YOU for all of the perspectives, giggles, and birthday wishes. I think age must be getting to me, because I kept thinking my bday was Wed., but it was Thursday. What is going on??

You've all given me a lot to think about (in general, not just for this scenario)-- truth in it all. Again, thank you!!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 2:20PM
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gibby2015

It sounds like you're feeling better anele - I'm glad!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 4:57PM
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