Losing Weight Saved My Marriage​

womens feet on scaleWould losing weight improve your marriage? It's a question that makes women bristle and squirm. Of course your husband should love you for what's inside of you. He made a commitment, and it's his duty. But deep down you wonder ... Well, one woman tried it. And her marriage was never the same again! 

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Marie Dubuque just celebrated her 21st wedding anniversary -- and five years since she lost, and kept off, 25 pounds.

marie dubuque

Five years ago Dubuque went in for a routine doctor's exam and realized she'd never lost that pregnancy weight. She'd just added to it. And her son was now in high school! It was time to change her diet and start working out.

Fortunately she has space in her basement for exercise equipment: An elliptical machine, a treadmill, a rowing machine, and some free weights. She dusted off her equipment and got to work every night. What happened next came as a surprise.

"My husband would see me working out," Dubuque says, "and he would say, 'I can do that -- better!'" She laughs. He joined her, and they turned it into a competition for who could work out more. Turns out this was excellent motivation for both of them. 

Dubuque wasn't on her own in her weight loss journey. She says her husband told her, "'We'll work out together and make it a ritual.'" They became each other's cheerleaders. But it did a lot more than that.

That ritual strengthened their bond. "It made us closer because now we had this shared passion for working out together," Dubuque says. 

Couples have a tendency to grow apart over the years. "You could go for weeks of living under the same roof and not really saying anything to each other and not even realize it," Dubuque says. "Some couples don't spend enough time together." So the exercise program she shares with her husband is about so much more than losing weight. "No matter what happens, even if we're both completely stressed, we spend time together every night."

Getting fit also changed their relationship when Dubuque's husband started telling her how proud he was of her. Imagine hearing that from your husband on a regular basis! "It's not that he ever said, 'you need to lose a few pounds' before," Dubuque says. "But he's really proud of me now."

But keep in mind -- Dubuque didn't try to lose weight for her marriage. "I did it for myself," she says. That said, she knows getting stronger changed how she treats her husband. "When your confidence improves, your marriage will improve. You treat people differently."

And then there's the effect on her temperament. "You snap at people less, you're in a better mood because you feel better about yourself," Dubuque says. "I'm definitely up, because working out raises your endorphin levels." So that's yet another positive effect getting fit has on her marriage.

But what if you just can't find the time?

It's true Dubuque had the advantage of a teenage (and therefore independent) child and gym equipment in her home. She says you can start small, though, with just 10 to 15 minutes here and there. "Start walking through your neighborhood on weekends. It doesn't have to be this whole going-to-the-gym thing." 

And think of Dubuque's 90-year-old father, who just started working out with them. "It's never too late to see improvements," she says.

Marie Dubuque has a self-improvement channel on YouTube.

Is there something you and your husband do together that strengthens your bond in a surprising way?

 

Image via Kamil Macniak/ Shutterstock 

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