Saturday, April 19, 2014

Never satisfied

A woman manages to turn her coach potato husband onto Cross-Fit, and is now unhappy that he is in excellent condition:
After a few months out of work, Grant became depressed and stopped even trying to look for jobs. I'd come home from work to find him playing Xbox or blankly surfing the Internet at the kitchen table, surrounded by dirty dishes. He was gaining weight, too. Even though we love fried foods, we've always made an effort to eat as little processed food as possible at home--but that changed when he was unemployed. Suddenly, he was going through entire packages of cookies and boxes of cereal.

Seeing him that way was hard. He refused to see a therapist, saying he could work through things on his own. He's never been great at discussing his emotions (even with me) especially when he's feeling down and becomes hypersensitive to criticism. For instance, when I pointed out the weight gain-he needed to buy new pants for a wedding we were attending--we ended up getting into a huge fight. He didn't understand that the weight didn't bother me as much as the changes in his personality--it was just a symptom. He seemed sluggish and despondent, not like the active, up-for-anything guy I married. I didn't love the spare tire around his midsection, but I'd still have been attracted to him if it weren't for the other stuff. And treading lightly by urging him to meet up with the guys for a pickup game or head out on a run just made him hostile, since he could clearly understand the subtext....

 Now, it's as if I'm living with an incredibly fit stranger. We barely have sex--he goes to bed at 10 so he can run or lift at 5--and his preoccupation with his body makes me uncomfortable. I feel like his diet is the most important thing in his life, and because it's "healthy," it's hard to make it sound like a problem. Every time I mention that I wish he could drop the Paleo thing for a night so we could try the raved-about mac and cheese at a new bistro, or that he could take a weeklong break from working out so we could go to the beach with my family, he flips the conversation to make it sound like I'm trying to undermine him and his happiness.

Sometimes I wonder if I might be. After all, he's always inviting me to come with him to "the Box," which I never do. I say I need to look after our daughter or that I'm busy grading papers, but truthfully, working out is not the same priority for me as it is for Grant. Seeing my husband so passionate about something that has nothing to do with me makes me feel left out. I do wonder whether I'd be so annoyed and angry if he had gotten into a more solo activity, like running or biking, and I don't think I would be. I hate that Grant has an entire social life that doesn't include me, and that he's part of a whole fitness movement that's leaving me behind.

It's an ugly feeling. I don't want to be resentful about something that makes my husband feel good--and I know we need to sort through this together. I've done some research on eating and exercise disorders in men and occasionally wonder if Grant may be too obsessive, but I think the issue is more about how his body image and workout routine is affecting us. It'd be different if he were a single guy living by himself. And then, there are the facts: He's a lot healthier, physically and mentally. His numbers at his last doctor's appointment were perfect. When he's around, he loves being a dad. Sometimes he'll take our daughter for a long bike ride on a Saturday afternoon, and I love that she and he are bonding over healthy activities. I only wish he'd put that drive back into our relationship.
Translation: his SMV has improved while hers has declined, so she wants him to reduce it in order to not feel threatened, rather than work on improving her own. This is why focusing on making women happy is a futile goal; their objectives are dynamic which means that it is an ever-receding horizon.


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how you keep relying on anecdotes to make your points.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, she's probably telling the truth when she says his weight gain didn't bother her as much as the personality changes that went with it. So why did she complain about his weight gain? Probably because feminism and being strongandindependent makes it impossible for her to say what she really wants: for him to be dominant and make her squeal like he used to. So she tried coming at it at an angle, as they do: I'll encourage him to lose weight, and when he he does that he'll be his old self again, and I'll get what I really want without having to name it.

Except something went wrong and that didn't happen, and she doesn't know why.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Hilarious! A textbook case.

Go, Grant, go!

VD said...

It's amazing how you keep relying on anecdotes to make your points.

It's not at all amazing that you don't understand the difference between dialectic and rhetoric. It's entirely predictable.

Kim said...

Husband's affair beginning in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

crazyivan498 said...

Grok on! The Paleo diet is the real deal. This man went from deep depression to happiness upon discovering the paleo diet. The wife needs to quit complaining and get with the program too.

Adam Lawson said...

crazyivan is right -- she needs to step HER game up, or shut up.

She pushed him to action and he took it. Now she should deal with that.

IrishFarmer said...

Misleading title: Crossfit obsession killing marriage.

No, she's killing it. That said, this guy is still wrong. Crossfit is terrible, and should never be done under any circumstances.

Bob said...

Anyone want to bet why they don't have sex as much and his attention isn't on her
(It's likely they didn't do it that much before either if she became unimpressed with him).

He'll be out running or lifting or whatever, feeling fit and strong, looking at all the fit lil blondes working out in their tight lycra. While his frumpy wife is sat grumping at home, rather than simply putting the effort in and improving herself like he did.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how you keep relying on anecdotes to make your points.

Absolutely. An anecdote is simply one datum point.

Which means the plural of "anecdote" is, in fact, data after all.

Eric Wilson said...

I'll encourage him to lose weight, and when he he does that he'll be his old self again, and I'll get what I really want without having to name it.

Heh. That's solipsism at its finest. She knows that if she lost weight she would be "her old self again." So, naturally, she assumes that it works for men to. I guess it does to a degree, but not in the same way.

Doom said...

Perhaps my time has come and gone, but at various stages in my life, I have told women it is now or never. I have suggested that, should they pause to consider, I will have eclipsed them. And I did. Once the eclipse goes past a certain level, there is no going back. Now, this guy is married. Maybe he will... just hump it. Guys are pretty lame that way. Then again, if she isn't getting what she wants, she may just cheat around until she realizes she really isn't worthy, then try to take anything he has, or will earn in the future, that she can dig out of him. Gotta love how women think, which is only supported by a completely corrupted legal and social world, at least here, now.

Where, precisely, did she think the energy he was going to use was going to come from? The difference between sitting on a couch depressed and working yourself to exhaustion, then sitting on the couch, can be quite minimal, in the end. Still, it's quite an enjoyable little story. I just think it is too bad he is probably stuck at the mercy of her whims.

JimH said...

He's having an affair. Simples.

JimH said...

He's having an affair. Simples.

JimH said...

He's having an affair. Simples.

MarkyMark said...

Living proof of the old Arab proverb stating that women want fried ice...

Kim said...

"Absolutely. An anecdote is simply one datum point. Which means the plural of 'anecdote' is, in fact, data after all."

Sorry, no. An anecdote is a story, and may or may not contain facts. An anecdote can illustrate a fact (e.g. and analogy), but the plural of anecdote is "anthology", not data.

tz said...

Maybe I should change the channel. Dialeclectic.

If I buy a used car and it turns out to be a cream-puff, I feel good. If a lemon, bad. She has turned her husband into something with a higher SMV, and maybe MMV, so (properly!) feels threatened. I suspect the Cross-Fit is co-ed. Jealousy is sinful but not always unwarranted.

Worse, I had a hard time losing the last 10 pounds of baby-weight. I knew Grant wouldn't cheat on me, but I couldn't help wondering whether he compared me to the incredibly fit women at his CrossFit Box (what the CrossFit gym is called).

Before, she was in control, or at least equal. Now she can't complain - he is doing everything she asked, for his good and the good of his family. And she is...? Ouch!!!.

He is preoccupied with his body and not yours.... Ouch (twisting knife)!!!., I.e working out is not the same priority for me as it is for Grant. translation: "we're married, so I am free to be a morbidly obese Never will jog-shoggoth.

It's an ugly feeling Given the lack of pix, I suspect it goes beyond feeling.

Ultimately, working out is easy, but working stuff out is complicated. Seeing Grant push himself at the gym has convinced me that he can do anything he puts his mind toward. It gives me hope that we can get back on the same wavelength. But we'll both have to face some hard truths about ourselves and our marriage in order to do it. The hamster cannot run at sufficient RPM to get UP to his wavelength. He is somewhere in the UV range, and you cause static on AM radio.

The more I find out about women, the more I have to revise things downward. Has anyone considered adapting "Invisible fence" for use in dar-Islam?

jim said...

coach potato....(?)...heh...there's a joke in there, somewhere...

T.L. Ciottoli said...

Oh Kim.

Explaining the obvious. Which, obviously, you're not noticing.

Retrenched said...

Adam: "Well Eve, we're in the Garden of Eden. We're gonna live forever, we'll never get sick or tired. We'll never run out of food or water. And anything we want, God gives it to us as soon as we ask."

Eve: "Yeah... it's just not enough, is it?" *sigh*

Ron said...


his SMV has improved while hers has declined

Dunno. It sounds more like our boy is spending too much time in the gym and not enough time servicing his wife properly.

We barely have sex--he goes to bed at 10 so he can run or lift at 5

This guy is treating the gym the way a formerly lost soul is treating his new found religion...

Assuming he has a normal 9-5, he probably gets home around 6-6:30, gives his kid attention for an hour, homework, etc (7:30), eats dinner for an hour (8:30), chills out for an hour (9:30)

That leaves them about 30 minutes of fun time before bed. I admit I don't know much about women, but I don't think his perfect body is what she has a problem with. I think the problem is exactly what she says, she doesn't get enough time with him.

Prisoner55 said...

Best article I have read on here - thank Vox.

Dark Age Fire said...

And if the anti-male court system was not standing by to kick him in the balls and take his daughter and paycheck, this bitch would suddenly not be so confused or unhappy would she? She'd dig in and try to catch up or risk getting left behind. Big daddy government is always lingering in the background of families looking for a chance to have a fling.

Stg58/Animal Mother said...

Some dude, people go do Crossfit together all the time, and many Xfit places accommodate kids.

Stg58/Animal Mother said...

Also, when is a man supposed to spend any time exercising, Some Dude? I think your breakdown of an average day is very normal, so when is he supposed to exercise? The only option is at 5-6 am.

Expendable Faceless Minion said...

I don't see any reason to think it's an SMV thing yet. They've grown apart in life goals. People grow apart and marriages end. Not every dissolved partnership is a failure. Sometimes people grow and change in different ways.

He's internalized that he can either exercise or die, and she hasn't.

Expendable Faceless Minion said...

@IrishFarmer "Crossfit is terrible.." April 19, 2014 at 9:53 AM

I tend to agree with the preference, but unless the story is false, Crossfit certainly *appears* preferable to couch potato.

Anonymous said...

One point in her defense, crossfit is fairly cultlike, and I bet he now wears knee high socks with shorts and suffers bouts of rabdo. Her feelings that something is off may be accurate.

Plus, what woman could maintain her respect for a man who intentionally practices terrible form to get high scores on exercises no one cares about?

Anonymous said...

I don't see any reason to think it's an SMV thing yet. They've grown apart in life goals.

Ugh. A woman doesn't "grow apart" from a man she's still attracted to. "We just grew apart" is woman code for, "I didn't want him inside me anymore."

Not every dissolved partnership is a failure.

There's your error: marriage is not a partnership.

vartank said...

He starts a journey of self improvement, she wants to be lazy and eat fried mac and cheese. Pitiful.

Revelation Means Hope said...

She is pretty obviously quite worried that his SMV has gone beyond a 1 point differential with hers.
Him: Focused, committed, early to bed early to rise. Fit. Hitting his goals. Eating better. Won't compromise on his values.
Result= skyrocketing SMV relative to where he was.

Her: Getting older and uglier. Fatter. Whinier. More bitter.
Result= plummeting SMV relative to when she met him.

Hamster explosion.

Bike Bubba said...

OK, two hours a day working out, stands naked in front of the he a guy who has really enhanced his SMV, or has he merely exchanged depression for narcissistic personality disorder?

I'm not a psychiatrist and am not about to be able to resolve this for them, but if one of them might come here, my counsel is to get some wise, Godly counsel. There are warning signs all over.

Anonymous said...

Like most "You-Go-Girl" generation Americans, she signed up to marry a beta she could control and emotionally dominate. Now that the beta has an outside life she is resentful.

Maybe she doesn't respect him enough to try to make an effort to win back his attention - by working out, dressing sexy, and giving him good sex. However, to paraphrase the well-known saying, one should never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Women today are so detached from the folk knowledge of their mothers and grandmothers on how to keep men happy, she might be honestly baffled about what to do.

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