REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
While at the gym today with my hubs, I was reflecting on a time in our marriage where the gym was the only thing that kept us going. The gym literally carried us through the rockiest part of our marriage.
We’ve been married 10 years now, and it’s blissfully wonderful and amazing. However, we’re a military family, and that has it’s challenges. After every deployment, we’ve had to work through a “coming back together” transition period. After the second deployment it was especially rough. For many friends and family, this may be news. I don’t think many people knew how bad it was. Some of the people we worked with did. It was rough.
When my hubs would deploy, I’d put up hard walls to protect myself emotionally. I’d block out the hurt of having him away through this harder, tougher persona that I’d create. When he came home, I had a hard time letting these walls come down. I had a hard time letting him in.
On the other hand, my hubs wasn’t thrilled with all of the decisions I’d made while he was away. He was also frustrated with the whole emotional adjustment we were both trying so hard to get through. Add to that the fact that a returning soldier’s sex drive is quite high, and an angry emotional girl is not in the “mood.” It just added fuel to the fire.
Things were so bad, we didn’t yell at each other. We were pretty indifferent. We would make a lot of sarcastic jokes about divorce and how we didn’t know how long we’d be married. These are things we never did before, and truly haven’t done since. It was just a very rocky time as we worked to come back together.
We started going to the gym in the evenings. This is when I’d decided I wanted to do a bikini competition. We’d go to the gym and workout together. Some days, we’d fight all day long, but we’d still go to the gym together. I guess, even though we’d both more or less given up on us, we were both still hanging on to some tiny shred of hope. So, every evening, we’d go to the gym. There was something so magical about the gym doors. It was like, we would walk through them, and everything we were dealing with was left outside. We go along in the gym. We had a good time. We had something to work on together. It felt good. It gave us hope. This was when I was just a skinny fat, with no muscle. My amazing husband worked with me, was patient with me, and helped train me. He taught me how to lift. I’d done it a little quite some time before, but I had no confidence on my own.
Slowly, my walls came down. Slowly, we worked through our differences. It didn’t happen right away. Our marriage was rocky for about 6 months following that deployment. Looking back, we still say, following that deployment, the gym is where we came back together. It sounds silly, but that is what got us through.
I love that with our littlest guy in pre-K, now, my husband and I are able to go to the gym together again. It’s our time. While we are doing a serious workout, we are able to talk in between sets, and it brings us together in a way that nothing else does.
My husband isn’t always as motivated to workout as I am, so I let him pick the workouts. I do workouts that I know he wont enjoy when I’m on my own. Also, our workouts are only 45 minutes to an hour. It keeps it short, sweet, and focused.
It sounds silly, I’m sure. It’s hard to imagine the gym could save a marriage and could continue to keep it strong. I’m telling you, it sure can. When you leave your problems at the door, and you go in with a mindset that you are there to become better and stronger not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and I would add as a couple; you really do become more than what you were. You become better and stronger in so many ways as you commit yourself, day in and day out, together.