It’s another new year, and once again my husband has made a useless resolution that I know he’ll never keep. Sure, I smile and say, “Good for you, dear” and I try to appear supportive, but I know inevitably that his resolve will only last a month or two before it fades away.
Every year we go through this, and every year I play along. The reason I play along is because Marty’s resolutions are my resolutions. If he wants to lose weight, I do, too. If he wants to exercise more, I do, too. If he wants to tighten up the spending, I do, too. You get the picture, right? He can’t make a commitment on his own. He has to take me with him for the miserable ride, and every year I play this game, but it’s getting old and boring, and I hate being set up for failure. How do I get out of this gently. I don’t want to discourage him from trying. I just don’t want to be part of it.
Dear Resolution Rescue
It’s very commendable for you to have joined your husband in his resolutions year after year, but it’s not necessarily helpful. Marty is coming from the mindset of “there is strength in numbers” or “misery loves company” – I’m not sure which one. He obviously needs support to make his commitments work, and who better to support him than his spouse?
That being said, a resolution that has any chance of working needs thought, planning and preparation. You can’t just jump on the resolution bandwagon and expect to be successful.
If Marty is really serious about his resolutions, he can certainly get support from someone who is experienced and trained to give it. If it’s weight loss, he can join a weight loss group, or if he needs one-on-one attention, he should try a dietician. If it’s exercise, he can join a fitness club where he will meet people who are serious about achieving the same type of goals.
As his spouse, you can support him by encouraging him and cheering him on at every little successful step along the way. By doing this, he has your support without you actually having to go along for the ride. Perhaps you may even benefit without officially joining his cause.
May you both have a successful year in whatever you do.
Readers may submit their questions to Ella at The CJN., e-mail: [email protected]. But Ella is not a professional counsellor. She brings to the questions posed by readers her unique brand of earthy wisdom. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.