Husband’s midlife crisis and exercise obsession making me feel fat and miserable’

Dear Coleen, I’m think my husband could be having some sort of midlife crisis.

He’s 45 and over lockdown has become obsessed by fitness, and lifts weights and runs every day. At first, I thought it was a good thing, but now he’s become critical about my lack of exercise, my weight and what I eat, and I’m getting really irritated by it.

He’s making me feel bad about myself and my choices. Another side-effect of this fitness drive is that he’s suddenly got tons of energy and wants to have sex all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy sex, but not as frequently as he wants it at the moment.

I don’t want to be negative about the positive changes that he’s made but, to be honest, it’s becoming a turn off, and especially his self-righteous attitude.

A few months ago, a guy he used to live with died of a heart attack, which probably has something to do with his attempt to get fit, but I think he’s taking it too far.

I can’t work out whether I’m being miserable or not, but I know I was happier before he started all of this.

Coleen says

I think this is happening to a lot of people, even me! It took Covid to make me go: “OK, I need to do something about my health”, so I have.

When you’re on this journey, it can be tempting not to say something when you see other people not caring. But it’s more about sharing your enthusiasm, although I’m very conscious of not lecturing anyone.

I think you’re right that his friend’s death has been a wake-up call and it’s bound to make him think about his own mortality, especially in the context of Covid and underlying health issues making you more vulnerable to it.

I know it’s a pain because what you do with your body is your choice, but maybe he’s saying things out of love – just not saying them in the right way.

I was with someone once who often made little comments about my weight, adding he was “thinking about health”. But all I heard was that I was fat so, being stubborn and childish, I’d tuck into a bar of chocolate!

So, tell him his approach is driving you nuts. Yes you’re proud of him, but he needs to stop lecturing you because it’s a massive turn off and, if anything, it’s going to push you the other way.