Get Your Spouse Healthier. And Don’t Nag.

The Wall Street Journal has an article today that addresses what can be a sticky issue between couples: trying to change the unhealthy habits of one spouse that have led to poorer health of that spouse.  When you see your spouse unwilling to address the issues, how can you give them support?  Nagging comes naturally to us, but at the root of that nagging is fear; likely fear over loss of the spouse, or the lifestyle you want, or the future you envisioned.  Here are the tips in a nutshell:

  • Express your fears and empathize.  Come from a place of love, not criticism.
  • Consider options that meet your partner’s desires and definition of fun, possibly hobbies given up years ago.  Getting out of the house is better than sitting in front of the television any day, even if that’s just playing Bingo.  And remember that you might have to be a part of something new to come alongside in the effort.
  • Be a positive reinforcement!  Say or do something positive when you see your partner making efforts: a kiss, a shout of joy, or words of affirmation.  A hug can go a long way!
  • Have your healthcare professional deliver the news that is hard to hear.  Avoid being the bad guy.
  • Know that you might make sacrifices too, such as diet changes.  Misery loves company, so get down in the trenches with your partner on the road to better health.

Are you the partner who needs to make these changes?  Try to figure out why you resist changing.  Being honest with your partner about this will not only open the dialog but will draw you closer as you unify in an effort to live the best lives you want, together.

How to Get Your Spouse to Eat, Exercise and Live More Healthfully – WSJ