He Wants a Perfect Match

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
My husband can't seem to understand why I am not a good runner. I really do try my hardest, but I just dont quite like it as much as he does. I keep in shape, I dance, I ride my bike, I am fit and healthy, i eat well. Not only that, I keep my mind exercised, and believe myself to be quite balanced all the way around. My husband and I continuously help each other maintain this sort of discipline. BUT it is just this running thing. I love to JOG, easy running, i like to keep my heart rate at my aerobic threshold...this i enjoy. But when I run with him, I have to push myself so hard to the point where I am past my anaerobic threshold, and it just loses its enjoyment. He has never had a partner who could run as hard as he- and he knew i liked to run...but he didnt realise i couldn't run as fast as he could. Whenver I stop because i have a stitch, or because I can hardly breathe, he gets so upset, i mean,he doesnt show it, but I can tell. And after the run, he always reminds me about how I said I would push myself to get up to his level oine day, and now it has been months and months, and I am BETTER and STRONGER, but not at his level, and it feels like he is constantly keeping tabs on me- watching me, watching what I eat, when I exercise...even thoughI look great, am toned and continue to maintain this balance.

I understand we both want to keep each other disciplined, and I understand he wants a running partner, but it is killing me that he makes the fact that I am not a good, strong runner, bother him. I have tried telling him people have different interests etc, but he keeps saying that I told him I liked it, and that I would get strong etc. He cannot see past how well I have kept my body in shape, and maintained balance withevery aspect of my life...wow, i dont like to run so hard...big deal... and now I am sitting inm a coffesshop because I just dont want to be around him. I love him so much but i dont like feeling like this.

Please help me.

RomanceClass.com Advice
You know, it's a nice fantasy to dream that someone out there can be "molded into" a perfect 100% match for you. And it's admirable that you were willing to even TRY to mold yourself to fit his fantasies!! But no human being is a 100% perfect match for another. There are ALWAYS differences. Even if two people really love chess, it could simply be that one is better! And no matter how many chess courses and chess lectures and studies the other person does, they simply might not be able to become as good! That is hardly a stoning offense. The whole point of being a couple is to accept each other as they are, to relish the differences, and to love the whole person.

I think you've really gone above and beyond the call of duty here. You are his PARTNER you are not his ROBOTIC PLAYMATE. You're not some mechanical creation that he can bend and twist until you meet his specifications in a companion. He's extremely lucky that you already are so much in tune with his way of life! Most couples aren't nearly that similar in interests. And you have gone out of your way to TRY to match up with him. But you are NOT HIM. You have given it your best shot. But human bodies simply have threshholds that they are healthy to maintain. For you to push yourself past your threshhold to try to match HIS threshhold is simply insane. Your bodies are not alike! Why is HIS threshhold more valuable than yours? Why are HIS needs in this area more valuable than yours? Why isn't he happy meeting in the middle - why do you have to go 100% to his marker? That just doesn't make any sense.

I have to believe if he is this way about running that he is this way about other things, too. I know as women we pretty much get trained from birth to be the giver-inners, the ones to try to make things work and put others first. But a relationship should be about compromise and meeting both needs. It really sounds like he's a "my way or the highway" kind of guy.

I doubt, with him having this mindset, that he'll listen to you if you try to talk to him about compromise. In his mind you "promised" to be his 100% perfect partner and failure is not an option. Of course his situation here has HIM just doing exactly what he wants, YOU busting your butt to meet his goals and him yelling at you when you don't meet those goals perfectly. That is hardly a relationship!! That's him being a harsh daddy and you being the not-trying-your-hardest little child. So I would really chat with a therapist about it, even for a week or two. Just a third party, maybe a guy if he's going to have issues with a woman, to listen to him and then point out that he is being completely unreasonable here. That you promised to TRY but for him to set a super high bar, hang out by it and then yell at you for not reaching it despite you giving your all is just not right.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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