by Becky Whetstone, Ph.D.
Physical fitness is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our marriage. There are so many positives that come from it for yourself and your partner that it’s a wonder that more people aren’t doing it, but they aren’t: Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.1. I strongly encourage people who are going through a marriage crisis to spend any extra time or energy they may have on getting their mind, body & spirit houses in order. This page is dedicated to the body.
When I think of physical fitness, or body health, I start with the idea that the body is a machine that needs fuel to operate. When the body gets the best fuel in healthy quantities, it rewards a person with plenty of energy and vitality. Without the proper fuel, a person can feel sluggish, heavy, depressed and slow. I also think of the machine as being physically able to do what it needs to do … walking for certain lengths of time, reaching, bending, squatting and being able to run a bit if the need arises. To be a good partner you need energy and vitality and a positive attitude (see our mind page). No one loves being around slothful people who eat garbage foods and rarely use the body they were given. Other body killers can be smoking and nicotine, chemicals, alcohol, certain medications and you know the rest.
Bringing your best self to the marriage
I tell my clients who come in for premarital counseling that it is each person’s responsibility to bring their best self to the marriage. I also tell that to my couples in crisis. You must look at it this way … a marriage sits on a foundation of two people. Each person must be healthy as individuals – mind, body, and spirit – and on that solid foundation a marital house will be built. If the house is built on the shoulders of people who are not able to do what a person should be able to do to be a good partner, like function, move around, get things done, sleep, think clearly, be sexual, be alert, then the things that don’t work right will no doubt affect the relationship.