Exercise! - Husband doesn't like taking walks with me




Serval87
05-08-2011, 08:58 PM
I am so bad at motivating myself to exercise, but here lately, I've found that I really, really love taking walks with my husband either in the early morning or the late afternoon (you know, times when I don't have to worry about sunblock).

There's just one problem. I only like walking with him. It feels intimate and romantic and just altogether nice. But there's a lot of times that he doesn't like going. I usually have to beg for him to take a walk with me, and even then, it's never as long as I want. I could walk with him for at least an hour, but he wants to hurry home and play his video games after like, 20 minutes.

I just can't go by myself. I like having conversation, and I don't have anything like an ipod or portable CD player. I just don't know what to do. This is the only form of exercise I've been in the mood to do at all, and if he doesn't want to, then I can't help feeling discouraged and sad, then I don't do any kind of exercise at all.

I guess it's dumb of me to depend so much on another person, but it's the only form of motivation I have. And I don't have any friends that would walk with me, or family members, just him.

We walk up the road from the house. It's a secluded country road, and it looks absolutely beautiful this time of the year, with all the lush green foliage.

I'm not really sure why I'm posting this. I guess I want some suggestions, or something. Maybe, I also just want to vent. :(


juliana77
05-08-2011, 09:28 PM
That sounds frustrating! But I think you can definitely find a way to make this work. Would he be willing to commit (ahead of time) to walking for say 45 mins one day a week with you? Then on your other walking days, you can go by yourself. I have seen apple-knockoff mp3 players for $10-15 on Amazon.

It's a little weird at first to go alone but walking out your front door is the hardest part, I promise! I enjoy walking alone (when I get the chance). I set the pace, I notice the scenery more, and I decide when I'm done.

You could also try workout dvds at home. They can be expensive, but if your cable has on-demand check for ExerciseTV, lots of free workouts there, or try the library. There are dance workouts, yoga, "Walk Away the Pounds" (in your living room), not just plain old old-school aerobics.

You will figure this out. There's always a workaround. And in the meantime, vent all you need to!

luckymommy
05-08-2011, 09:41 PM
I can understand where your sadness is coming from. One idea: can you work out a deal with him that for every hour that he walks with you, you play one hour of video games with him? Then, perhaps he'll be more motivated to keep you motivated. ;)

At the same time, I gotta let you in on a little secret of mine: I never want to workout! ;) I mean, I always have to force myself to do it, but once I get started, I can get myself to continue. The truth is that you can't depend on someone else for motivation. Ask yourself how much you want this. What are your goals? What does exercise really do for you? When you are walking alone, it can actually be very meditative and can help clear your mind. However, what are the long term plans? What will you do when the weather is bad? Will you not do any exercise? You can go to the library and get workout dvd's if price is an issue. You might also check websites such as Craigslist for mp3 players, etc. You may consider a cd player and get books on cd at the library so you can get the feeling that you're not alone.

I hope you figure this out and I'm sure you will. Where there's a will, there's a way! :)


DrivenByAmbition
05-08-2011, 09:43 PM
This situation is difficult. Maybe make a compromise to only walk a few days a week with him and then walk alone the rest?

K9Owner
05-08-2011, 09:49 PM
I had this same problem a few years ago when I was at my present weight the 2nd time! My solution--tho unintentional, but worked out for my benefit--I adopted River!! My Lab/Pit. She LOVES to go and begs to go to the park! All I have to do is grab my sneakers, and she is making a beeline for the door!

alicat084
05-08-2011, 09:59 PM
First off, congratulations on finding exercise you like to do! I highly recommend buying a music player (whether it be an mp3/cd/even a walkman!). Having your favorite music or even a book on tape is the best way to forget you're alone. And it makes the time go by way faster! Like the others have said, you can never depend on other people when making a commitment to your health. Good luck!

Serval87
05-08-2011, 10:09 PM
I had a dog, Lady, who liked to go for walks. She recently got ran-over and killed by a driver. She was 11 years old. I have a cat, so I can't afford another dog right now, and I'm afraid it would suffer the same fate if I did. She was usually smart enough to stay out of the road, but it wasn't her fault. My neighbors all knew her, and were fine with her running around. They would slow their cars down, so she would move to the side of the road. But the person who killed her doesn't even live down here, they were just driving really fast down the too-narrow road in their huge truck, and didn't even care to tell me (though, they killed her right beside my mailbox).

Compromise won't work with my husband. I have a habit of accidentally breaking compromises (due to getting sleepy, or just feeling bad, or changing my mind that I don't want to play his games, watch his movies, or be intimate with him), so he doesn't trust me, and will, in turn, break compromises with me out of spite. It's my fault. A lot of the household chores fall on him, because I lack motivation in almost every single aspect. I admit that I'm not a good wife, but I really want to lose weight, and think becoming more active would help me do more household chores and be intimate with him.

I have a whole box of DVDs, but I get bored with them.

kaplods
05-08-2011, 10:10 PM
I had a similar problem with my husband and our local warm water pool. I liked having him in the water with me, so we could talk as we worked out in the water.

Bottom-line, I had to suck it up and go alone. He drives me, and he'll sit and read poolside, but he's not comfortable in the water for several reasons. They're his reasons, and I have to respect that (at least if I expect him to respect my issues and comfort zones).

I could probably nag him into it, at least occasionally, but he'd be miserable (and I'd just get angry and blame him for demotivating me).


I just can't go by myself.

Yes, you really can. By making your exercise contingent on your husband's participation, you've given yourself an excuse (and a way to blame it on him, rather than seeing it as 100% your choice).

Whether or not he is willing to participate, your exercise is 100% within your control and 100% your responsibility if you choose not to.

You have 100% control over your exercise. Your husband has 100% control over his exercise (but 0% over yours). If he doesn't exercise, that's not your fault. And if you don't exercise, that's not his fault. If you choose to exercise together, you also have to respect each other's ability, interest, and limits.

If he's willing to do 20 minutes, complaining about him not doing an hour isn't going to help persuade him to go longer (I'm not saying you are complaining to him, just saying that if you do, it's not going to motivate him to do more. Instead, you'll just seem impossible to please).

Instead, when he does participate - even if it is only 5 minutes. Don't nag about how you want the walk to be longer - or that you had to beg to get him to come. Instead, just praise the heck out of him for participating with you.




I guess it's dumb of me to depend so much on another person, but it's the only form of motivation I have.


Don't mistake this for anything other than your choice. This doesn't have to be the only form of motivation you have, you're choosing to reject all other forms of motivation. It's a way to defer responsibility (After all, this way it's not really your choice, it's his.... but that isn't really true. It's always your choice).


I understand. I've been there. After I threw a huge hissy fit (a true tantrum. I refused to speak to him for a couple hours) because my husband wouldn't come into the pool with me, he eventually admitted why he hated pool work outs.

I knew it was my problem, when I realized I didn't really care that he had good reasons for not wanting to be in the water. I still wanted to blame him. I still wanted to believe that his refusal to participate somehow "ruined" it for me. I still wanted to MAKE him get in the water with me, even though he hated it (I didn't want him to hate it, I wanted him to like it because I wanted him to like it - but I can't create a reality that doesn't exist).


There are a bazillion ways you can exercise and enjoy it, but whether you do it alone or with someone else it all boils down to your choice. All the "I can't because" are obstacles you're setting in your own path.

I've told myself 1000 times that I would swim more often if I had a water-proof MP3 player, but really that's just a toy, not a motivation. When I have motivation, I sing in my head (and I sound a lot better in my head than anyone in reality ever could).

I've told myself (and my husband) "...but, I don't know anybody" (in a really whiny voice) at the pool. But I'm not a social dunce. I know how to meet people and make friends (it usually starts with a big ol' smile and me saying "Hi, I'm Colleen do you come here alot?")


If you truly want exercise buddies - go out and find them (and if you instantly think of 10 reasons why you can't, challenge yourself to come up with 20 ways you can).

You can always look (or place an ad) on Craig's List, or meetup.com. You can join a TOPS group (taking off pounds sensibly). To check if there's a group in your area log onto tops.org.

Church groups sometimes have walking clubs.

There are literally thousands of options (alone and in ways to meet and involve other people who are willing to participate). So when you think "I can't" challenge yourself to think of ways you can.

It's not always easy, but entirely possible, and always 100% your choice.

Serval87
05-08-2011, 10:24 PM
Thank you. That does make a lot of sense. I'm just afraid I'll be super bored, and the walk will end too soon. I like walking with him, because we talk without distraction.

I actually have a plausible excuse as to why I can't make friends, though. I can't drive. I carpool with my mom (I'm learning slowly, but it's slow, because I'm super tense and scared the entire time). Husband can't drive, either. He was never able to at his home, so I have to learn, and teach us both. :(

Amberelise
05-08-2011, 10:27 PM
I was mad as **** at my boyfriend last week when he didn't want to get up to do P90X with me. I got up anyway, dressed and set up the living room for the workout. I just *knew* I was going to dog the video and hardly get any workout in because I had no one to be accountable to. Then, just as I hit play he stumbled out of the bedroom ready to go...

I got lucky! But, you know what? I was honestly mad at myself and not him. I struggle with being accountable to myself. It's not EASY at all. But, it's something I am working on. My health is MY deal and I owe it to ME to be on top of it. I am, at least, proud that I got myself ready to go for the workout and was going to do it without him. Doing it is step one!

But, I totally understand where you're coming from.

Serval87
05-08-2011, 11:18 PM
I love your quote, Amberelise!

wolflikeme
05-09-2011, 08:11 AM
I've been a walker for a long, long time and I'm quite familiar with your position. I used to depend on my boyfriend to walk with me for the same reason you depend on your husband: I loved the conversation, perhaps even more than the walking! When he refused to walk with me (which was often, usually preferring video games), I took it as a rejection of both the desire to walk and talk. I was pretty frustrated myself.

But, I learned (even though it took a while, I learned) to love walking by myself again. I know, the prospect sounds lonely, but you ought to give it a try. I love walking alone on account of that reason because it gives me a chunk of time that is completely mine. Instead of talking or listening to music, I use the time to think. I let my mind wander to whatever ideas I fancy and it's quite relaxing, especially paired with the beautiful weather and scenery. I think you'll learn (like I did) that carrying the burden of motivation for two people is a heavy weight on your shoulders. When you (you only you) are the sole cause of your motivation, nothing will stop you from doing what you love.

Ilene
05-09-2011, 09:54 AM
I've been a walker for a long, long time and I'm quite familiar with your position. I used to depend on my boyfriend to walk with me for the same reason you depend on your husband: I loved the conversation, perhaps even more than the walking! When he refused to walk with me (which was often, usually preferring video games), I took it as a rejection of both the desire to walk and talk. I was pretty frustrated myself.

But, I learned (even though it took a while, I learned) to love walking by myself again. I know, the prospect sounds lonely, but you ought to give it a try. I love walking alone on account of that reason because it gives me a chunk of time that is completely mine. Instead of talking or listening to music, I use the time to think. I let my mind wander to whatever ideas I fancy and it's quite relaxing, especially paired with the beautiful weather and scenery. I think you'll learn (like I did) that carrying the burden of motivation for two people is a heavy weight on your shoulders. When you (you only you) are the sole cause of your motivation, nothing will stop you from doing what you love.That is soooo well said, all of it, but I highlighted my favourite part...

I learned years ago that I can't depends on anyone but myself to run, go to the gym, walk, bike, whatever my favourite sport of the moment... The hardest part is getting out the door as someone pointed out ...

Just do it, you won't regret it... Let us know how it goes...

Hyacinth
05-09-2011, 10:32 AM
My boyfriend won't ever go for a walk just for the sake of walking, either. The one time I did ask, he gave me a monologue about how walking is pointless, and if doing for exercise's sake I should do something more rigorous, or if doing for the reason of "good for the soul" I should do it in a natural setting, not just walking around the block. I said I was simply looking for a yes or no answer and went about my business. I never asked him to go for a walk with me again.

I found out later that his feet hurt if he walks on pavement or cement a lot, and that might contribute to his unwillingness to go for a walk. Also, as a man who is not obese, he doesn't understand that at my weight any movement is better than none.

I agree with the fact that you have to decide to do this for yourself and by yourself if necessary. Can you take your cell phone with and catch up on a call with a friend, until you get too winded to talk? I take regular walks through a natural part of my neighborhood, and it helps me to take mental notes about nature as I walk along. Is the river higher than usual? Try to identify hawks, eagles, or other birds.

I also value my walks because it gives me some creative recharge time, a chance to process things I normally don't have time to think about uninterrupted. Lots of good stuff comes out of these times ... where I want to go on vacation, how I can do my job better, what I want to do the next time I have a family party, how to address an issue I am having with someone, what I want to be when I grow up, etc.

Stopfat
05-09-2011, 10:51 AM
People have given a lot of good suggestions. Sometimes it is nice to go for a walk without talking to someone, because you can take in the beauty of nature in silence. It sounds like you live in a nice place. Maybe you could get a camera and go out and take pictures on your walk in the morning, or try to identify birds or plants--that way you could entertain your mind without having husband around. Another thing you might do, if you like the sound of speaking, is to get an ipod or a portable, mini CD player, and listen to books on tape while you walk.

LandonsBaby
05-09-2011, 12:46 PM
Yes, you really can. By making your exercise contingent on your husband's participation, you've given yourself an excuse (and a way to blame it on him, rather than seeing it as 100% your choice)...


Don't mistake this for anything other than your choice. This doesn't have to be the only form of motivation you have, you're choosing to reject all other forms of motivation. It's a way to defer responsibility (After all, this way it's not really your choice, it's his.... but that isn't really true. It's always your choice).



I completely agree. You can walk without your husband. You say you're afraid you'll be bored and quit. Does this mean you've never tried it?

EagleRiverDee
05-09-2011, 06:52 PM
My fiance won't work out with me, either. It used to bug me but now it mostly doesn't.

I often will walk with my dog (and I did see you recently lost yours). One thing I often do when I walk is talk to God. I don't know if you're religious, but if you are perhaps you could try that. I find that it helps me spiritually and I don't feel like I was walking alone. I also stay more aware of my surroundings because I'm often looking around and being thankful for what I see around me.

kaplods
05-09-2011, 08:54 PM
I actually have a plausible excuse as to why I can't make friends, though. I can't drive. I carpool with my mom (I'm learning slowly, but it's slow, because I'm super tense and scared the entire time). Husband can't drive, either. He was never able to at his home, so I have to learn, and teach us both. :(


You missed my point entirely. "Excuses" (plausible or otherwise) aren't the issue.
That's why I said: If you truly want exercise buddies - go out and find them (and if you instantly think of 10 reasons why you can't, challenge yourself to come up with 20 ways you can).


"I can't drive" isn't a reason, it's an obstacle. Plausibility and legitimacy aren't the issue, because ALL OBSTACLES physical, emotional and even imaginary are plausible and legitimate. They're all real - but your ability to work around and break through them is just as real.

I'm not criticising your choices, just trying to show you that this is choice we're talking about and not circumstance preventing the choice (impeding your choice, yes, but not preventing it).

I know driving is a big obstacle. I don't drive either, because of health issues. It's a significant barrier, but it's not the "preventer" that it seems.

If, for example there is a TOPS group in your area, and you can get transportation to just one meeting, you can explain your transportation dilemma in the first meeting and ask if any of the ladies live close enough to pick you up and take you home. Friendship, weight loss, exercise buddies, transportation to all three - the opportunities for all.

If you can't even get a ride to the first meeting, there's still a good chance that can be arranged.


The biggest obstacle often is feeling good about our choices. We sometimes use excuses, reasons, and other justifications for our choices as a way to relieve guilt. Instead of being ok with our choices, we give ourselves reasons why it's really ok not to do what we (think/say) we want rather than admit that we really don't want it as much as we say we do.

If you don't want to put forth the effort it would take to make friends without transportation, that's a legitimate choice. It's a choice I've made myself. I also give up and put off a lot of things because I don't drive. Only I get to judge the choice, but it's still a choice (at least until I've exhausted every possible effort I can imagine in working or finding a way around the obstacles).

You have a right to any choice, but I wanted you to see the choice, because you can't make a choice you don't recognize as a choice.

Tejas
05-09-2011, 09:50 PM
I've enjoyed reading this thread; it helps me understand my blocks also.

My DH will not walk, will not exercise, will not eat right. I am trying to change my life and am being successful.

If you are serious, really, you will do this NO MATTER WHAT. There will be setbacks, and days that you don't do what is right, but, in the main, do what is good for you. Don't let anything get in the way.

You might call your local public health department and see if they have any walking groups. If they say no, tell them you need them to organize them. Also, there are shopping malls that often sponsor walking groups and you might find a buddy and a ride to the mall.

If not, just open your front door and start walking!

Good luck.

Tomato
05-10-2011, 01:18 PM
Although I understand your frustration, you should not push your husband to walk with you. He doesn't like it, it bores him, he will eventually resent it.
Also, quite frankly, if you walk and have comfortable conversation with your husband you are not pushing yourself hard enough. I don't think you burn a whole lot of calories by walking slowly. Find something that would keep your mind occupied while you walk if you must (audio books, perhaps?) and increase the pace. You won't miss your husband.
I walk my dogs 3 km every day and I would not WANT anybody with me. I walk so fast that I would not be able to sustain conversation. I do it both for myself and my dogs who need the exercise, too.

chase1984
05-11-2011, 10:59 AM
I ran into a similar issue last night with my fiance. He said he wanted to go on the walks with me to be my motivator. Well i wanted to go around 4ish after hes off work...he didnt get off until 5:30 and didnt bother to tell me so i angrily walked out the door and went on my walk. I used the anger to drive me harder to walk faster and further then the day before. Maybe that would be a good way to go about it for yourself as well? Im also in your shoes when it comes to not having a licence im 26 and to scared to drive so i dont. I have 2 feet, and 2 wheels thats all i need. I dont have excersize friends because all of my friends are the small girls who id rather see beef up! So i depend on myself.

Having someone to motivate you is a wonderful thing yes but its time you let go of that and depend on no one but yourself. Depending on others (from personal experiance) is the shy big girls that we are. Being independent is the thin chick taking over inside. You need to listen to that thin voice and remind yourself why you want to lose the weight to start with. And if its not for him then dont depend on him :) Depend on yourself and you will do wonderful! (plus you always have us!)

georgeshair
05-11-2011, 02:37 PM
Depending on others (from personal experiance) is the shy big girls that we are. Being independent is the thin chick taking over inside. You need to listen to that thin voice and remind yourself why you want to lose the weight to start with. And if its not for him then dont depend on him :) Depend on yourself and you will do wonderful! (plus you always have us!)

Chase, that is so motivational. Thank you so much.

L144S
05-11-2011, 03:17 PM
Well, I will admit I only skimmed through this tread.

First of all, ment in the kindest of ways, this is your responsibility to make your journey work, not his. You can find all of the excuses you want but when you are ready you will see that only you count in this process.

Second, I see an iPod pr cd player as essential, just like good walking shoes. You can get a used iPod from the apple site or even a shuffle that is somewhere around $50. A cd player is even cheeper than that. I personally like audiobooks. Tons are available on cd from the library...also may places have walking groups. You could find one in your area.

So as I like to say, pull up your big girl panties, knock the cobwebs out of your head and move, just move..This is all about you and what you really want.

Kendrab1223
05-11-2011, 03:59 PM
I can relate to where you're coming from. I moved to FL from NH a few years ago and haven't had anyone to exercise with since the beginning of my weight loss journey (started in july, then restarted in jan lol). My husband won't go with me, but I can't let myself depend on anyone. Occasionally my mom goes for a bike ride with me but not all the time. One thing that might help... Do you have any friends you can "walk n talk" with? I use my evening walk as a way to catch up with friends fOr 45 min to an hour at a time :) I have an iPod, but if I have someone to chat with, I'd rather that!

You said your husband plays videogames... Does he have an xbox 360? If so you could look into getting a kinect for it. I used our kinect as my primary exercise when I lost my first 30 pounds because I was too afraid to exercise in public. I highly recommend dance central!

Just commit to walking by yourself 3x's a week. Even if the first week is only 20 min a day, then the next 25 and so on. Or... Instead of walking just to walk... Do you have a grocery store nearby? My closest one is 2.5 miles away. If I need some things (that won't go bad), I just walk the 5 miles round trip.

I'm just trying to help you out- I know how much it can suck exercising alone but I promise, you'll feel so much better about it once you start doing it!

EagleRiverDee
05-11-2011, 05:00 PM
Oh- one thing Kendrab1223 made me think of, and maybe this is what she meant by "walk and talk" but I once read an article about two friends that lived a long way apart but they kept their friendship strong by going for walks at the same time and talking to each other on the phone. So that was sort of like walking together.

Serval87
05-11-2011, 06:45 PM
wolflikeme: Thank you. That was very motivational. I actually spend more time in the bathroom than I should, for that same reason (being alone and thinking). I know it's sounds weird, but I write, and I come up with my best ideas when I'm alone. So, I might try using a walk to do this instead of sitting inside my bathroom. lol.

Hyacinth: I don't have a cell phone, or any phone for that matter, but once we get one, I was thinking of doing that. :)

Stopfat: Those are all great ideas. I love nature and taking pictures. Thank you.

Serval87
05-11-2011, 06:59 PM
LandonsBaby: I tried it when I was younger, when my parents forced me to walk for exercise, but didn't want to go with me, and it worked for a little while, until some jerk from my high school drove past my house and made fun of me (which is the weirdest thing, since I live far out of town). Now, I know that isn't going to happen again, but I know myself too, I always start out good, but something eventually gets in my way, and I stop. I want to change that so badly.

EagleRiverDee: I am religious.

kaplods: You're exactly right. I do make excuses, so I won't feel guilty about my choices. That's such a good point, and it's totally true. I have a HUGE guilt problem, that if I even start to feel uncomfortable in a situation with someone, I will start apologizing even if I didn't do anything.

Tomato: I'm pretty sure I wasn't burning much. I took my heart-rate monitor a couple times and it said I burned 140-230 in a 25 minute time limit. I'm not sure if that's good or what, but sometime we would playfully race each other to up the burn. lol.

chase1984: Thank you. That's motivational.

Kendrab1223: I have a Kinect and Dance Central, but my floor is messed up in the bedroom, and I don't have room to play it. We're looking into buying something to set our other television on in the living room, so we can play those types of games again. I live about a 20 minute drive from town, and wouldn't be able to walk it. Also, a lot of my neighbors don't keep their dogs pinned up, and so the walk is never that far because of that. I like dogs, I just don't know theirs personally, so I'm afraid that might be mean.

Serval87
05-11-2011, 07:00 PM
Oh, today my husband actually did 20 minutes of Turbo jam with me. Yesterday, I got him and my Mom to play Frisbee with my brother and me. :) He will exercise with me when he's in a good mood, but I really do think I'm going to start trying to walk by myself sometimes anyway.