When Your Spouse is Not a Good Accountability Partner

Steph Wagner

January 14, 2014

I’m a huge fan of having an accountability partner when it comes to something like a wellness challenge. Someone who can be a cheerleader but also has no problem giving you the stink eye when you slowly approach the dessert table.

For many people, this is a girlfriend or maybe a sister. Perhaps a co-worker. For a select few it’s their spouse or significant other. Not me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m my spouses #1 fan…and he is mine. But when he eats a cupcake for breakfast because he didn’t like the hardboiled eggs I’d made on day three of the Wellness Challenge…I’m thankful I picked my BFF to be my accountability partner instead of him. “What?!! I’m only going to eat half of it!!” He agreed when I told him I shouldn’t be his accountability partner either.

This is a real topic of conversation for many couples. One of those involved struggles with their weight, and one doesn’t (that’s us). OR both struggle with their weight, but only one is interested in making changes. It can make things quite difficult.

Mr. W once asked me for an eating plan when his pants were fitting too tightly. The rest of the day he complained about “needing a hit off a carb.” The next day he was opening a fun sized Twix behind his back WHILE talking to me :) Hahaha. All in all, he’s a very healthy guy and stays active. He doesn’t complain when I don’t make starches more than 4 times a year. But some things are better left untouched in his diet.

The main thing to remember if you are in a relationship that is not conducive to your desire to eat healthy, is that you can only do for you. Don’t spend too much energy nagging your spouse about what they are eating. They are grown ups too, and get to eat what they would like. What you CAN do is ask for their support in you eating well. Ask them to keep their indulgent foods in a separate cabinet. Tell them you will make the meat and vegetable at dinner but if they’d like the starch, they can be in charge of it. If starchy foods are hard for you to say no to, but the family wants to have it…ask them to make it. There’s nothing harder on your eating well than stirring a pot of mashed potatoes that you’re trying not to eat.

Ask someone else to be your accountability partner. That’s not a slap in the face to your spouse. They are your partner in everything in life…and an accountability partner does not trump that. Sometimes you need a same sex friend who is also trying to make changes to talk these things out with. Perhaps your neighbor has a family similar to yours and you can both vent about the pot of potatoes you had to stir last night :)

Your spouse will be incredibly proud of you when you stick with this…instead of you getting frustrated and wanting to blame some of your setbacks on him or her. If you feel you need one, sit down and have an honest conversation with your spouse about your desire to eat well and be healthier. And try to ignore the Twix behind their back.

3 thoughts on “When Your Spouse is Not a Good Accountability Partner”

  1. This is a brilliant piece of writing! Certainly hilarious, though the cupcake photo was kind of a negative trigger! You should collect these into a book and chapter title this one: “The Twix Behind His Back”–not exactly the wind beneath your wings, eh?

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