Wife Won't Change
Q: After putting off my physical health exam for years, I finally was forced to have to go get a checkup after getting hired by this new job that required it. I don't like doctors and neither does my wife. Maybe it's because we are both rather obese. We know this and we are very well aware of the fact that we need to be more health conscious. I was worried about what the doctor might find upon examining me. Surprisingly, though, I was in pretty good shape despite being over a hundred pounds overweight with high cholesterol (go figure). When I left the doctor's office, I made a vow to get back into shape. I wish my wife would get on board with me and lose weight, as well, but she doesn't seem too thrilled with the idea. How can I convince her that it would be a great idea for us both to get in shape? It's only going to make it that much harder if she continues to buy junk food. I don't want the temptation, and I sure don't want her to continue down a bad path, but I also don't want to make her feel bad. -Jerry, 51
Dr. Anna: Congratulations on taking the first steps to getting healthy! Your best bet here is likely to just lead by example. You cannot force anyone to make changes they're not ready for. It took you quite a long time to get ready, it isn't fair to expect her to all of a sudden get on board. Continue to invite her and support her, but focus on your own goals. You don't both need to be eating the same way. You're making changes as you feel ready. She will change when she's ready.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.