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Husband doesn't like taking walks with me

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Old 05-08-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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Unhappy Husband doesn't like taking walks with me

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.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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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!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:41 PM   #3
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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!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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This situation is difficult. Maybe make a compromise to only walk a few days a week with him and then walk alone the rest?
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:49 PM   #5
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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!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:59 PM   #6
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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!
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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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.
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Walk Away the Pounds Dvds: 3xs a week
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Jari Love Dvds: 3xes a week

Let's do this!!!

Last edited by Serval87 : 05-08-2011 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:10 PM   #8
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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).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serval87 View Post
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.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Serval87 View Post
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.
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Last edited by kaplods : 05-09-2011 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:24 PM   #9
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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.
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Walk Away the Pounds Dvds: 3xs a week
Quick Callanetics Dvds: 7xes a week
Jari Love Dvds: 3xes a week

Let's do this!!!
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:27 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:18 PM   #11
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I love your quote, Amberelise!
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New Exercise Regimen:
Walk Away the Pounds Dvds: 3xs a week
Quick Callanetics Dvds: 7xes a week
Jari Love Dvds: 3xes a week

Let's do this!!!
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:11 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolflikeme View Post
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...
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:32 AM   #14
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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.

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:51 AM   #15
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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.
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