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Don't feel like life with dh is 'healthy'

35 replies

flopsy22 · 01/02/2024 23:18

This might sound like I'm using him as a scape goat and maybe I am but I honestly feel our lifestyle together is making us both fat and unhealthy.

We have young dc and no childcare so we don't ever get to go out together although I make the effort to see friends, go the gym etc a lot more than he does. We have fallen into a trap of drinking at home and ordering takeaways a lot. We watch mindless shit on tv that 90% of the time one or both of us will fall asleep during and I just find myself thinking our lives are very depressing and unhealthy.

I can't blame him solely for this. I choose to eat and drink too. But mostly it's because he's doing it and there's nothing else to do. I doubt I'd do it if I lived alone and I'm almost certain I'd go to bed earlier and probably have more energy and the inclination to do more productive stuff in the evenings - read, declutter, do an exercise class online.

I don't know how to get out of this rut. But I feel trapped somehow in this lifestyle at the moment and it's really hard to explain. Dh isn't controlling and if I wanted to go out on an evening with friends or whatever he'd be fine with it but I almost feel guilty and actually if I'm really honest, after a day with the kids I just want to be at home in my pjs in front of the telly.

I just feel like since lockdown and since the birth of our youngest child we've become total slobs and it's hard to change yourself when your partner is doing it too. Help!

OP posts:
Dogdilemma2000 · 01/02/2024 23:22

It’s not his fault. You have both fallen into a rut. It’s hard to get out of that. We are in the same situation.

ConciseQueen · 01/02/2024 23:24

It doesn’t last. Soon you’ll be driving your DC to swimming lessons etc and you’ll be back out.

Alicewinn · 01/02/2024 23:24

It’s also winter and January is/was a hard month…can you let yourself off the hook a bit ? Small incremental changes, try one thing at a time

iwantavuvezela · 01/02/2024 23:25

I would say (kindly) start to change with yourself. Your DH may or may not follow, but you can start. Choose some days of the week, cook a healthy meal to ,eat, choose not to drink, do something different.

StandardLFinegan · 01/02/2024 23:32

I don’t think you will persuade him to change without actually just unilaterally getting up and doing stuff off your own bat. If you take the initiative then he might follow.

Wjy not put together a little schedule for the week? Maybe allocate two nights a week where you each go out to exercise or do a hobby while the other stays at home and looks after the dc? Then one or two nights which you devote to household chores which will free up time at the weekend? One night a week which is fakeaway and film night? One night when you batch cook healthy meals?

Get a babysitter once a fortnight to allow you to reconnect with one another?

Or get the babysitter for Saturday morning and go out for a bike ride together or go for a park run?

It will only take a couple of changes to shake you out of your inertia, it doesn’t have to be anything drastic, just small steps towards change.

minipie · 01/02/2024 23:33

ConciseQueen · 01/02/2024 23:24

It doesn’t last. Soon you’ll be driving your DC to swimming lessons etc and you’ll be back out.

Ha this is so true. Sign your DC up to a zillion clubs and your sofa time will be magically reduced. Guess how I know this…

Alloveragain3 · 01/02/2024 23:51

Is he keen to change too? It could be something you do together e.g. healthy cooking competitions, who can get the most steps in a day..

It sounds like a rut, and you need to shake things up.

flopsy22 · 02/02/2024 07:46

Thanks all, some useful advice.

I could definitely try and make the changes myself and I'm sure dh would support me if I was serious about it.

When I've been single and committed to a goal I guess I've just always found it easier to be in control and stay on track. When you live with someone else it's easy to be swayed and you're sometimes beholden to their choices too - example I'd probably go to bed earlier but dh wants to stay up and if I went before him he'd just wake me up so I tend to stay up with him scrolling. It's an unhealthy habit that's not in line with my goals but I've fallen into it.

OP posts:
Shoxfordian · 02/02/2024 07:52

You're an autonomous adult, you make your own choices, start making the changes you want to make

Ducksinthebath · 02/02/2024 07:56

You’re blaming your DH when he’s done nothing wrong. He’s not forcing a takeaway down your throat, he’s not tying you to a chair and holding your eyelids open. This is all in you. If you want to change, do it for you and do it yourself instead of scapegoating.

OrlandointheWilderness · 02/02/2024 07:59

It's probably far more likely that having young children is in itself a huge drain on energy than your DH! He's done nothing wrong. This isn't his fault. You want to be different, then you change.

BargainBasementland · 02/02/2024 08:00

But was life with him ever healthy?

What was he like when you were dating?

Have you always been the dynamic one?

If he wasn’t early to bed, Italian lessons on Wednesdays, going for a run 4 times week etc. then it was surely only going to be downhill when you throw kids into the mix?

We are the sum of the people we are closest to. You are getting a hard time with people saying ‘you are an adult’ but if you aren’t careful- sub optimal behaviour is normalised if that’s what you have chosen to surround yourself with.

However- only you can get yourself out of it. Go to bed earlier. Say he takes kids at x time so you can exercise, you’ll have them at y time for whatever he wants to do (don’t tell him how to spend it), get a hobby.

It will all feel much more depressing in a few years where you have this lifestyle AND the stress of running kids to hobbies with little time for yourself. I can’t believe that’s being suggested as salvation. You are going to be more likely to want to spend every night watching murder documentaries and eating crisps when you are pulled in more directions. You need to start making time for you, right now now.

HousePlantNeglect · 02/02/2024 08:01

There have been times when I've got stuck in a rut with DH and felt totally bored sitting on the sofa watching TV I didn't want to watch. I sort of felt obliged because we don't have any time together and rarely have a baby sitter like you. But it absolutely wasn't quality time.

like PP have said, start with yourself. Just tell him you fee a bit stuck in a rut and are going to do X on Tuesday and Y on Thursday. See if he wants certain evenings, it might encourage him to do something but it might not. Then plan a nice night in on Friday/Saturday. We do similar and I now look forward to relaxing and having a takeaway at the weekend because I've been busy doing stuff during the week.

Also, you don't have to go out if you're knackered. YouTube has loads of exercise stuff you can do at home for free.

flopsy22 · 02/02/2024 09:21

Firstly I'm not blaming him. I'm very aware that I'm an adult and make my own choices. It's not his fault, it's both of us. However pp hit the nail on the head by saying we become like the people we are closest to. It's not that he/we were never dynamic it's that our lifestyle has changed and we've fallen into bad habits together.

My point was I found it easier to make changes when I only had myself to consider.

OP posts:
Ducksinthebath · 02/02/2024 10:24

You do only have yourself to consider though: you can choose not to watch the film - he can still do it, you can choose not to have a takeaway or to eat less - he can still do it. The same as he doesn't force you to sit down and eat, you don't stop him from doing so.

Him sitting down to eat and watch TV is something you participate in because you find it enjoyable and on some level you want to do it, more than you want to do the competing activities of not eating or getting out and exercising. It's tough but you need to develop the willpower to say no or to limit things a bit. And if you can't develop sufficient willpower then there needs to be a conversation about him not doing certain things in front of you. He may be willing to do that or he may not. If you do have the conversation I strongly recommend you approach it from the point of view of him being supportive of you making lifestyle changes, not blaming him for 'leading you astray' (because the latter is what's coming across here).

NeedAnUpgrade · 02/02/2024 10:44

I’ve been stuck in a rut like this several times with DH. We can both be as bad as each other and it’s always when we’re tired and life is stressful. It’s easier getting a takeaway and watching crap TV then going out and doing stuff. I was also healthier when I was single but I was also a lot younger and childless.

The times we’ve been successful at getting healthier is when we’re both encouraging each other but one of you has to start. Small steps, limit junk food, have an evening off TV. It’s not easy or comfortable but if it was then you wouldn’t be struggling to change.

Xmasbaby11 · 02/02/2024 10:50

It’s so easily done op. I would just do something on your own a couple of weeks eg gym or see friends. He may or may not do something similar but at least you’ve done something for yourself.

people saying get a babysitter every week - I don’t know a single couple who do this or even every month or two! very hard to justify that amount of money on a regular basis when you’re already spending a ton on childcare. Dc are 10 and 12 and we still can’t afford it!

I go to the gym twice a week but I’m home by 9 so we still have time to watch tv together if we want. Basically we watch one programme a day together most days, which gives plenty of time to talk before and after, then we get on with other stuff separately. We go to bed about 11.30. Dh is trying to start running again but hasn’t done it - this is on him and doesn’t affect me going to the gym.

AnneLovesGilbert · 02/02/2024 11:00

What do you want to change? Sounds like cutting out some or all of the wine would help. Decide not to turn the tv on some nights. Do a Pilates video on YouTube instead or something that you’d enjoy. Take turns to try a new recipe. Take up cross stitch or weight lifting, you can do both at home.

Workawayxx · 02/02/2024 13:03

I totally know what you mean, it's that much harder to make changes when there's someone else in the mix who is actually quite committed to the status quo and not as ready to change things as you are.

It's not impossible though and I'd think of it as being kind to yourself, I've found that has massively helped me. Why not let your DH know you're going to go to bed at 10 pm (or whenever) from now on, set a phone alarm and then commit to doing that - you can always read in bed if you're worried about him waking you but at least you'll be horizontal and resting. It's likely he'll start coming up earlier once you commit to it.

In terms of food, can you decide what is achievable and then, again, commit to that. So, cook a big meal twice a week that you can eat for 2 nights or get a cook box like hello fresh for 3 nights a week which takes the hassle/thought out of it. This site is free and good for basic meals and has lots of slow cooker options, especially good to avoid the "I can't be bothered to cook" feeling in the evenings as it's already done!

Fuss Free Family Recipes & Meal Plans - Taming Twins

Fuss free, family friendly recipes for busy people. The meals you'll find here are affordable AND achievable.

PermanentTemporary · 02/02/2024 13:14

I know what you mean. It is that extra bit harder to do something which feels like it requires a bit of denial when someone else cracks first. You can pretend to yourself that you're doing it 'for the relationship'.

But it's true that it's not his fault. Talk to him. Tell him you'd like to feel better. See how you can support each other. Maybe he would agree that takeaways are off the agenda except eg one per month on payday? One of the simplest ones is to have batch cooked or straightforward food you both really love in the freezer ready to go - homemade chicken curry, top end soups and nice rolls, that kind of thing. Also see what exercise you can build into family time - parkrun for example? I went with my son for a couple of years at least twice a month and it was great (I did one loop out of two as he was exactly twice as fast as me). That way you don't have to flog yourself into the ground in the evenings.

I'd agree about going to bed early to read, have a bath, a face mask, listen to a podcast or music. Gets you away from the fridge and slobbing out, usually means a better night's sleep, he might even start joining you. Dp and I do this a lot and it's been really lovely.

afkonholidaynearleek · 02/02/2024 13:17

Take control. Go forth and buy food to start making meals rather than ordering take-aways. Leave TV off and play a board game or cards. Clear up a messy room together and celebrate your achievements.

Lead the way, and he will (hopefully!) follow.

DelilahBucket · 02/02/2024 13:26

Maybe he's only doing it because you are? You might think you're better than this rut but you're still doing the same actions.
It's very easy to get stuck in a cycle like this. Me and DH were drinking a lot at home last year. I turned round one day and said it needs to stop, it isn't healthy. And we did, together. Have a conversation with him, you might be surprised.

EllieQ · 02/02/2024 13:41

We had similar in the baby/ toddler years, including no family nearby to help/ babysit, and it is hard to get out of the rut when you need both of you to make changes.

I’d suggest making smaller changes to start with, especially as it’s winter and still quite dark and gloomy - I find it hard to get motivated.

We started doing ‘film night’ on Saturday nights where we’d take turns choosing a film to watch, get popcorn, and have a glass of wine - it makes it feel more special than just slobbing in the front of the TV. We watch a mix of classic films, stuff from the 80s/90s that we remember from growing up, and new films as it’s hard to get to the cinema (no babysitters).

Instead of watching ‘mindless’ TV, could you each choose a series you want to watch and dedicate two nights a week to watching them?

The previous suggestion of going to bed early even if DH stays up and using that time to read or pamper yourself is a good one. I found that if I started going to bed early, DH eventually started not staying up as late.

Could you do batch cooking or try a Hello Fresh-type delivery to make cooking easier, reducing the temptation for a takeaway? DH and I have also done things like trying a new takeaway place each time, or trying a new dish, so it’s not the same thing every time.

Are there any ‘low-effort’ activities/ groups you could join? I belong to a book club that meets once a month, so it feels less demanding than a weekly group.

It’s a tough time of life with young children. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Just making one change would be something to be proud of!

TheOccupier · 02/02/2024 14:00

One of you will have to be the change and TBH if your DH suddenly started eating healthy and going to the gym you'd most likely be back on here worrying about it and then posters would all pile in to say he was having an affair, so best it's you who drives it! Read Atomic Habits, some good tips there.

If you change one thing, make it the food habits. Takeaways are unhealthy expensive! You could spend that money on a babysitter so you could go out together - even if just on a weekend daytime for a walk/coffee. Or put it aside towards a bigger thing like a holiday? Would DH get on board with that? Or if cooking feels like too much hard work, try recipe boxes like Gousto - still expensive but cheaper than takeaways and at least you're cooking fresh.

Iamnotawinp · 02/02/2024 14:45

There was a whole thread a few weeks back by people saying how they couldn’t ’get on’ or be productive in the home when their partner was also at home.

They all agreed that their partner wasn’t stopping them doing things, but that just their presence made them be more ‘lazy’ for want of a better word.

I don’t think anyone really came up with an explanation, but I thought I’d let you know it’s a common feeling.

I think the only way through this is to start small and habit stack.

Im currently got back into making smoothies (not too much fruit). I’m hoping to get my gut biome more healthy and thus better energy levels and more motivation.

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