Marital Exercises in Futility

They say the key to a happy, healthy marriage is finding common ground, finding mutually enjoyable activities and enjoying time spent with one another.

Apparently “they” haven’t spent much time around me and MJ.

We are both very proud, very stubborn people. We also have zero common interests outside of our family and friends. Seriously, we’re opposites in almost every way. She likes the beach, I like the mountains. She craves summer, I love the snow. I’m a people person who thrives in groups, she’s an introvert who gets anxious at parties.

In fact, I can count our attempts to do things together on one hand, and none of them ended well:

  • Bowling: When we were dating we decided to go bowling one night. Going into the last frame I was losing by a pin. And since I’m just a liiiiiiittle bit competitive, I did what any well-adjusted, red-blooded, competitive male would do in that situation — I threw a goddamn fit and kicked the ball return apparatus, causing such a scene that we had to leave without finishing the game. So technically, I didn’t lose.
  • Mini-Golf: Different sport, same result as bowling.
  • Super Mario Brothers for the Wii: A new version of a classic game we both love means there’s no way things can go wrong, right? Nope. The simultaneous play feature meant we affected each other’s character. Which is to say MJ kept jumping on my fucking head and knocking me off cliffs to my imminent death. It didn’t take more than 30 minutes before we were Googling divorce attorneys. You can read about that one in more detail here.
And that’s it. That’s the list. No joke.
Now as most of you know, after more than six months of running my ass off, my weight loss and exercise efforts have sufficiently guilted MJ into doing the same. The only problem is she hates running. I mean, HATES it! But to her credit, she’s been hitting the streets and the treadmill fairly religiously for the last few weeks.

But when I looked over her times and distances recently, I noticed her times have plateaued. In some cases she even got slower. I asked her how much she was running versus walking, and she got that pursed-lipped look on her face which translates to “I’m not gonna say because you’ll just give me shit for it.” Which I did. But instead of giving her advice and preaching at her, I suddenly had an idea.

Why not run together?

On the surface it certainly seems like a win-win. We spend time together, we exercise together, we get healthier together. MJ agreed to it, I was pumped and before we knew it we were hitting the road. And then the shit hit the fan.

It started out well enough. The weather was fairly cool and we started running at a reasonable pace for MJ. The two of us decked out in our running gear, living the yuppie suburban dream side by side one Asics-clad step at a time. The plan was to get MJ used to staggered workouts which will increase the amount of time she runs and keeps walking to a minimum. I mapped out a 3.5-mile course and planned the first run for 5 minutes, thinking that was a more than reasonable time.

And that’s when I realized MJ and I have very different ideas about “reasonable.”

She made it through the first 5 minutes, but did not appreciate my “30-second kick” rule, in which I sprint the final 30 seconds of each run phase. When we slowed to a walk I told her how proud I was of her. But instead of a high-five, I got the stink-eye and a fairly unappreciative and terse “thanks.” Thirty seconds before the 2.5-minute walking period was up, I gave her notice to start running again. And judging by the severely bitchy look on her face, that was not what she was used to.

“Are you fucking serious right now?” she said.

I was taken aback, but determined to stay positive. And, I can’t lie, I liked knowing I was under her skin a little.

“C’mon baby, this is great. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, I’m exercising with the woman I love — let’s do this shit hon! Let’s kick it up a –“

“I hate you right now. I hate everything about you.”

That was all in the first 10 minutes. The final 10 minutes were — well, considerably more agitated.

“Alright baby, last half mile. We’re gonna do a 4-minute stretch and keep a good pace so we can finish strong. You ready?”

“No I’m not ready. We’re walking.”

“We’re not walking. You’re doing great. You’re KILLING your old time right now. So if we push even a little bit harder we can really destroy your time.”

“I want to destroy you. I hate your face.”

“If you’d shut your mouth and stop your bitching you’d be able to save your breath. Now let’s GO!”

“You’ve taken your last breath. Because I’m gonna kill you. Because I fucking hate everything about you.”

“You’re so hot when you’re pissy. Now run wussbag, because now we’re doing a 45-second sprint!”

“I’m gonna rip your dick off while you sleep.”

Yup. You read that right. By the end of our run she was threatening to Bobbit-ize me. I, of course, thought it was all foreplay. I mean c’mon — endorphin rush from the exercise, gettin’ sweaty together. That should end in sex every. single. time. Without question.

However, my wife has the uncanny ability to only process one single emotion at a time. So while I pick fights just to make up, MJ has absolutely zero understanding of that notion. Seriously. If she’s mad, she’s mad. There’s no room for any other emotion. Which means while her threat of castration morphed into some kind of twisted sexual advance in my mind, all she was thinking about was truly robbing me of my manhood.

Needless to say the slap on her ass followed by me running like hell away from her down the street towards the finish line did nothing to further my chances of sex in 2012. And as you can see from the picture above, not even my pancake and bacon mea culpa could satisfy her.

But on the flip side, she knocked about 8 minutes off her time!

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6 thoughts on “Marital Exercises in Futility

  1. I was laughing my ass off the entire way through this post, because that is almost exactly how it went when my husband and I tried to exercise together (we’ve tried running, yoga, and P90X – it always ends the same way). Right down to my desire to rip both his face and his penis off.

    I loathe exercise anyway (except for sex), so exercising with someone who obviously enjoys it makes me feel two things: inferior, because I can’t stand it when someone does something better than I do, and pissed off, because I hate feeling inferior. We exercise separately now, for the sake of our marriage.

    We can’t play Super Mario Bros Wii together either. I got so pissed the first time we tried cooperative play that I hid the cords to the Wii.

    Also? I truly laughed out loud when I got to “Bobbit-ize” haha.

  2. That’s funny. Tell your wife to train for distance while you train for speed. I am never going to be fast, I hate running, and spent an entire summer half run half walking. Couch to 5k training and then, once she gets the 5k under her belt, get on a half marathon plan. She will kick your ass at distance and feel good about it. Even if you can run faster… just saying, from experience when two competitive people try something together there is a good chance someone is going to get physically hurt. Same thing, different goals is a genius way to share a sport.
    Aimee recently posted..PhilosophyMy Profile

  3. Aimee: I’m not fast at all. I’m an endurance runner more than anything. My wife is better than me at almost everything in life except for this and writing. And I’m going to hold onto those two advantages like grim death!
    DaddyFiles1 recently posted..Marital Exercises in FutilityMy Profile

  4. What does it mean to pick fights simply so you can make up? It means make up sex is AWESOME! What’s better than purging all that anxiety, anger and resentment that’s built up during a fight by having some headboard-rattling good times?!? It’s the absolute best!

    I don’t think that’s a male thing either. I’ve known plenty of women who feel the same as I do.
    DaddyFiles1 recently posted..Coming HomeMy Profile

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