As a way to manage my stress and anxiety when COVID hit, I started to exercise. Neither my husband, “Chris,” nor I had ever been into fitness at all. As the months have gone on, I have realized the power of being healthy, and I try to exercise every day. The problem? Chris is angry. He calls it “me time” and has made it very difficult for me to go.
I tried swimming in the morning before work, but he said he couldn’t manage at home to get our 2-year-old ready for school. I tried to go to the gym in the early evening, but he said he needs me to help get the children ready for bed. I tried running later at night, but it didn’t feel safe, and I also had trouble falling asleep.
Abby, I don’t know what to do. Last night he told me I am selfish and should move out. Can you help me?
— Keeping My Sanity
Establishing a routine of regular exercise wasn’t selfish. It was the right thing to do. People have been experiencing symptoms of depression and extreme stress since this pandemic began. It is more important now than ever that you continue to take care of your physical and emotional health, and it’s a shame your husband didn’t do the same.
Rather than prevent you from doing what you have been doing, your husband should have praised you. Could he be jealous or threatened by what you have accomplished?
That he would say something so extreme as “you should move out” was childish. (Who would look after the kids then?)
A mature approach would be for the two of you to agree upon a schedule in which he either dresses the kids in the morning OR tucks them in at night. It not only would be a lot less expensive than a divorce, but your husband might even grow to enjoy it.
Today we remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was martyred in the cause of civil rights in 1968. His words ring as true today as when he first uttered them: “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” His was a voice of reason in a time of insanity, silenced too soon. — Abby