He often eats a whole fast food party dinner and it drives me nuts, but I try hard to keep it out of my business.
But what does this mean for our future? It feels like he can live the life he wants now, but I will be the one to take care of someone in retirement, not go on with the adventure we planned. I could be a jerk and leave him at home while I go on an adventure, but that doesn’t seem fair.
I know anything can happen, but given my current habits, the odds are high that I will still be physically active in retirement and he won’t.
I know I can’t change him, but it feels like he’s going to unilaterally write my future and take away the fun from both of us.
I could be a jerk: Be an asshole. Absolutely.
But stop calling it that and looking at it that way. If your intervention to help him with self-care has been working, it will work. You gave up his eating habits, which is a tough and admirable thing to do.
So don’t hold back now because you’re his thing without risking it. Don’t make it his fault that he’s the only one who doesn’t move and you all stay home.
go. stroll. enjoy. It would be great if he could go with you. If he can’t, it’s not so good. But he’ll keep himself at home, not you — freeing him from the responsibilities that limit you is a gift, just as it’s a gift for you to free yourself from his fast-food responsibilities.
Of course, when you board the plane, you feel a certain amount of rot. It’s not magic, and “gift” sounds like a counterintuitive word. But while the ideal partnership is obviously one in which the two of you are free to take care of yourself and each other according to a mutually agreed-upon plan, that doesn’t always turn out to be the case.
This is when the two people in a couple have a choice: resist their apparent differences day in and day out, endure the wear and tear of unfounded hopes, or accept them and take them into account. Hug the ones you love, even if it means your long-term goals and short-term plans sometimes lead you in different directions.
Or keep you at home – but only because you Choose that, not because he leaves you no choice.
The key to doing this is to choose it transparently, and plan and save for it like anything else.So you and he need to talk openly and bravely many Possibilities before you.
For example, if you’re going to venture out on your own while his health is failing, say so — and urge him to do the same if you have limited mobility. (Anything can happen.) This can apply to all the marriage “shoulds” that don’t seem to fit yours. The choices you make every day to sustain your marriage are the containers; the two of you decide what goes in.