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This Weekend Quote is devoted to The Husband.

20131025_TheHusband

He may kill me if he sees it, but he rarely reads the blog so it’s unlikely he will.

The Husband has a few bad habits (one particularly nasty one) I’d love for him to stop. He’s expressed interested in stopping, tried, and, well, failed.

Multiple times.

Over YEARS.

I’ve been supportive, motivating, angry, sad, you name it. I have literally tried every possible way I could to support and nudge him.

It’s not working.

“You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.” — Andrew Carnegie

I get lots of questions via email asking my advice on how to help loved ones lose weight and my answer is always the same:

Be the example.

It’s really the only play we have.

 
  • Kate D

    Now you’ve got me wondering what this one nasty habit is! My husband’s is that he smokes. I’m so anxious for him to quit, and I talk to him about it occasionally, but like the quote says – he has to be willing. I don’t nag him about it – I just let him know that when he’s ready, I’m here to support him.

  • Beverly

    100% agree with you Roni. I am hoping that by changing my bad habits, my husband follows suit. I am not in the habit of forcing change on him…he has to be willing to be on board, or it’s not going to work.

  • Mindy Lee

    It’s so true! My tactic was to request my husband go to therapy if he couldn’t quit. It’s either motivation to stop because they are more against therapy OR go to therapy and get help in myriad other ways (which will hopefully result in quitting). This is assuming the habit is a health risk because we need dad to be around as long as possible! And being the example is key. As is a noble intent. Relationships are complicated!

  • LEF

    This works! It really does!

    When I wanted to change the way my husband and I had been eating, he was absolutely not into it. At all. He liked some vegetables but only canned, and his favorite meal was chicken casserole. I begged. I demanded. I got angry sometimes. Why couldn’t he get on board with me

    Eventually, I started making two separate meals. One was for me, one was for him. He saw the things I was eating, and he saw I was looking healthier. He’d try things off my plate and realize it wasn’t so bad. Slowly, his tastes changed.

    Now I make one meal that we share, and he raves about the meals I make! He’s just as into as I am. When he realized that he had food sensitivities that made his allergies flare up and that this diet change cleared up his symptoms, that’s when it “clicked” for him, and he hasn’t looked back.

    Keep it up, ladies! Even small victories are still victories. (And when they’re habits, they add up to something big!)

  • Kim Appelt

    Wow does this post hit home for me! I’m going to assume it’s smoking, but if it isn’t forgive me for rambling on. When my husband and I started dating he used to chew tobacco and I hated it!! I actually gave him an ultimatum and he chose me. Or so I thought. Smoking was always a deal breaker for me. I would never date a smoker. So jump ahead a few years. I used to find chewing tobacco every now and then. I would freak out and he would promise to quit. About 10 years ago, I found out he started smoking!! I was hurt, mad, upset, and so worried. So on it goes. I freak out he says yes I know I need to quit. I have talked to smokers and they say it doesn’t help to nag. What to do? Every night and every morning I hear him coughing his lungs out (literally that’s what it sounds like) and I just feel sick. I want him around for the long haul and preferably healthy. I wish he could see that. I really don’t know what to do. And I know what they say, you can’t change someone. But how do you make them see that they are slowly killing themselves?

  • Sammy

    You can’t make someone else change – they have to want to change for themselves….then, if that’s the case, your example will help guide the way! :)
    -Sammy @ http://www.peaceandloveandicecream.com

  • Robin Elam Wiergacz

    its smoking isn’t it you sound like the rest of us wives of husbands who STILL smoke. Its frustrating because you want them to stick around and that is one bad habit.

  • Imacrazymomof4

    Vices stink. Whatever the reasons are for choosing to keep it…they enjoy it, it decreases stress, it tastes good…it’s such an individual thing and you are right it has to come from their wanting to quit. Many times it has to be scared out of them. The ones that would be hardest for me would be something they picked up after our marriage, because my husband would say “you knew I did this when you married me”. Can you make a deal with him? You’ll get him something when he goes a certain time without? Sometimes that can be really motivating!

  • Janice

    It is easier to move rivers and mountains than to change a person’s basic nature.- Chinese Proverb, … but you can still be an example… there’s a word call miracle can happen and change will take place…

    http://www.losecheekfatsite.com

  • a constant reader

    the behavior is just the symptom, not the reason for the bad habit. I’m sure he doesn’t want to do it. Getting closer to the root of the problem, identify all the circumstances surrounding it – the triggers — and change what precedes it — can help. Planning and anticipating tough situations and how to make it thru really helps.Stopping doing something is harder than starting something new to replace it.

    Over eating or eating without thinking or eating high calorie/non nutritious stuff without tracking all comes (for me) from a psychological place. When I’m really hungry or I haven’t planned or I’m nervous about a social situation it only gets more difficult to stay on track.

    I’ve been married 34 years. I’ve come to learn, you don’t own the other person’s life. They’ve got to make their own choices – good or bad. Your job is to love him, not improve him. Just like he can’t take credit or blame for your weight/fitness level, you can’t own/fix his habits. The more you detach from it, the easier it will be for him to solve it himself.

  • BodyLineSolutions.com

    Totally agree with that. Nice quote, same as my clients. I can only try to push them up the ladder, but peak will be reached themselves when they chose to do it!

    Dominick
    http://www.BodyLineSolutions.com

  • RG

    Modeling is great, but if it’s a habit that you never had, it doesn’t apply. I think if he rationally wants to quit, then an outsider can help with his blind spots. With stress eating, it helps me to have someone offer to listen, make me a better snack, or just put the junk away after I’ve had a serving instead of 5. I sometimes wonder abt hypnosis, whether an outsider can retrain the thought pattern of being unhappy => bad habit. Someone wrote that you have to be scared, and I think there are related neurolinguistic programming that can help.

    • RoniNoone

      Actually it is a habit I had. The fear became real for me when I had kids. Its not real for him yet.

  • jill

    Is he a junk food junkie? No, don’t answer that. It does not matter what the bad habit is. Be the example! Love it. My Hubby just lost 80 pounds. I was the example for him and now I need him to be the example for me.

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