Helpful Husband ... and Exercise Everyday

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wifey's Weekly Q and A

Dear Wifey:

My husband has a long-time female friend that has been overstepping her bounds. I know their relationship is platonic, but sometimes she’s confused and acts like he’s her man. She calls on him to fix her computer, to help her with her yard, if her car breaks down, and anything else that a woman wants her man to do. He’s married now and needs to be at home with me taking care of my “honey-do list” not hers. I want to tell her to back off, what should I say?

- Mrs. Helpful Husband


Dear Mrs. Helpful Husband:

I wouldn’t say anything to her, especially without addressing your husband first. Start with him, but tackle this carefully. You don’t want to come across like the jealous-whiney wife. Have a simple but serious conversation with him explaining that you are completely comfortable with their friendship, but not with her monopolizing his time. Don’t get into girlfriend talk with your husband, “you’re my man, not hers, blah, blah, blah,” he won’t get it and will probably start to tune you out. Let him know that he's needed at home, too, and while occasionally helping her is fine, perhaps making himself not so accessible to her every call would be best for everyone.

Don’t put demands on him – that often leads to a rebellious reaction – instead give him some time to react positively. If he doesn’t respond the way you like, a second more detail conversation might be needed. Continue to keep your cool and ask him to look at things from your shoes. Would he want you cooking, cleaning and writing thank you notes for your male friends while he’s sitting at home? Sometimes a peek at what could be is enough to inspire change. I’m willing to bet that’ll make him suggest she get AAA roadside service and a new landscaper, too.

Winks & Smiles,

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Dear Wifey:

I don’t know if it’s marriage, the baby, or age (I just turned 35), but I’m about 20 pounds heavier than I used to be. I don’t like the way I look or feel. I’m ready to make a change but the thought of exercising everyday is horrifying. Do I really have to do it or can I just skip a meal or two?

- Mrs. Exercise Everyday


Dear Mrs. Exercise Everyday:

No and No!

No, you do not have to exercise everyday. Your body needs time to rest. Exercising everyday can actually be counterproductive and may lead to injury and burnout. I recommend starting at three days a week and working your way up to five. You should try to incorporate a mix of cardiovascular activity, strength training and stretching into your exercise plan. Start with finding something that’s not so horrifying for you to do. Do you like to walk, play tennis or do workout tapes in your own home? Pick something that can get you going. You might want to consider working with a personal trainer to get you started on a safe plan tailored to your needs; and remember to see your doctor before starting any exercise program.

And no, do not skip meals. That is one of the worst things you can do to lose weight. When you miss meals your body goes into starvation mode and holds on to everything you consume, often leading to weight gain. Your body needs fuel to function. A nutritionist can put together a healthy meal plan filled with delicious foods to help you meet your goals. If you want to do this solo, there are plenty of good resources on-line and on bookshelves to get you started.

Winks & Smiles,

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Got two cents? Don’t be shy, leave a comment and share your thoughts. Got a question? E-mail Wifey at questions@askwifey.com.

The advice on this site is intended to be helpful, but is not meant to take the place of marital counseling, legal advice, financial advice or any other professional service. If you feel you need professional help, it is encouraged for you to get some.

4 comments:

Dani March 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

Mrs. Helpful Husband,

I feel you! My husband has a few of these platonic female friends who have boundary issues. I agree with Wifey on all her advice but sometimes that line is blurry and though you know the truth behind this woman's motives, it can be hard to convey. In my case, this girl finally dug her own grave by overstepping HIM as a husband! Your best bet in the blurry line case is to befriend her. Either she'll end up with more respect for you and your marriage or she will slip up and hubby will see the truth for himself!

And Mrs. Exercise Every Day,

My husband lost tons of weight by using a system that makes him eat smaller meals every 3 hours. I've seen it work time and time again. I'm pregnant and do it just because little fetus want to eat all the time and it's kept my weight gain to a healthy low. Also pilates will make you feel stronger and look leaner very quickly. For someone like me who needs immediate satisfaction, it's very motivating.

Wifey March 4, 2009 at 2:15 PM  

Thanks, Dani! Great advice. The female friend thing can be so tricky - glad your situation worked out. And, a big thumbs up to the smaller meals every 3 hours! It really works. Good luck with the baby! Smiles.

Sandy March 5, 2009 at 9:12 AM  

You tackled both questions very well Wifey. Unfortunately, someone I know did this to a married man (she's married too) and it ended up destroying his marriage. He'd often leave to answer this womans beck and call. He even used bill money to bail this gal out of jail despite his wife's vehement protesting. Nothing sexual took place, they were really good friends before this gal was married, but I can sure sympathize with Mrs. Helpful Husband due to what happened with the person I know.

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