My Partner Suddenly Became an Exercise Fanatic

When a partner suddenly becomes overly health-conscious and starts following an exercise routine fanatically- albeit a sport, gym, jogging spinning, etc. – one may wonder about all of the possible reasons which could underlie this behaviour. It often occurs in conjunction with some or other diet.

The most common general reasons for this sudden obsessive behaviour are as follows: menopause, where the person feels as if time is running out and they suddenly need to accomplish all that has been put on hold; a personal inventory has been taken and the resultant goal is to lose weight; a doctor’s assessment found a medical condition which can be improved through exercise; an affair or interest where another person’s attention and compliments serve as motivation; or perhaps even a personality type (e.g. obsessive-compulsive), who will fluctuate between fanatically exercising and fanatically lazing.

The other party may feel shy, guilty, hopeless, threatened and worthless about his/her own inactivity or could become very suspicious and question the motives behind this fad. Some may even be motivated to exercise together. When an extra-marital relation is in question, the focus area is not on the exercise but actually the relationship. This will not be discussed here as it is only a reason found in the minority of cases.

If the individual is spending excessive amounts of time exercising, one should communicate the importance of balance in all areas of life and express which areas are now being neglected. The underlying motives can be discussed and addressed together; through for example having the entire family follow a healthier diet. Specific times for exercising can be decided upon. It would be ideal for the couple to decide on a time when they can exercise together, or at least to take turns exercising. Eventually, both parties’ fitness levels can increase which will have a positive influence on the marriage and all aspects thereof. It could even become a family activity where the children are involved.

About thatpsychologist

Clinical Psychologist in private practice in George and Mossel-Bay Kliniese Sielkundige in privaat praktyk op George en Mosselbaai.

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