I’m so fucking flabbergasted right now I don’t even know what to do. It’s like I’m in some alternate universe where nothing makes sense.
I have started going to the gym two weeks ago. Me and my husband agreed he will start as soon as our credit card rolls over. Also, he needed a test, because he’s past 40, to make sure he’s ok to exercise.
Today we went for the test. Coincidentally, the clinic was in the same building as the gym. Everything was OK so I was like “what if you enrolled today? We could come together tonight”. He said no. As we walked down the stairs and we got to the floor where the gym is, I asked him if he wanted to see the installations. He said no. I insisted once or twice. He said no.
If you’re wondering where this literal non issue is going, same. Even as I type this out I realize how insanely mundane these exchanges are, and that’s the point.
Problem is, from then on my husband very impatiently asked why I was insisting so much. Did I think maybe if he saw the gym, he might get excited and want to start tonight? I said maybe (as in, maybe that’s subconsciously a factor for why I insisted a couple times).
So then he started to angrily accuse me of “manipulation”, because I was trying to manipulate him into starting the gym. When I said that was a strong word to throw around, he got even angrier.
The whole way home he was talking about how it was manipulation, how defensive I was being, and how I don’t ever take responsibility for what I do. Meanwhile, I was saying I didn’t understand where this was going, why this had turned into an argument, and muttering “this is insane”.
This is not the first time I find myself in this situation, but it’s been a couple years since the last one. I’m honestly considering divorce here because I can’t. I can’t be with someone who gets into this insane spiral of getting angry > inventing a reason for why they’re angry > getting angrier as they ruminate on that made up reason.
But maybe I am delusional and defensive? So I decided to ask here. Please help me understand this situation I’m in.
TL;DR: Trivial situation turns into accusations of manipulation and defensiveness. I’m not sure how valid these accusations are.
**EDIT:** Thank you for all the comments. Today you taught a grown woman that insisting even once after someone says no is wrong. And I’m not being sarcastic at all, I really was never taught that. In my mind, insisting once or twice when something is not a hard boundary was okay.
After reading everything and realizing I was wrong, I apologized to my husband. I said I will from now on take his no for an answer. He said he understands he tends to be real grumpy and if left unchecked he will probably say no to everything, but that I need to pick my battles so to speak.
To the people who asked why I’m talking about divorce over this, my husband has anger issues. It wasn’t so much the situation itself but the fact that he blew up over it. I’m a big proponent of talking like adults, even when we disagree or are frustrated with each other. My husband will raise his voice almost immediately, but it’s something he’s been working on. During our conversation just now, he apologized for the way he conveyed his frustration with the situation, and that it didn’t warrant the amount of anger he felt.
So, everything is good and valuable lessons were learned today <3
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I’m not wondering where the non issue is at all, it’s clear as day. Not just the individual issue, but the overall issue too.
Current issue that sparked this is that he doesn’t want to go to the gym (possibly in general, possibly at this time), and you’re pushing. You’re pushing hard, you don’t care what he has to say, and you’re writing off his valid frustration as him causing problems and making things up, instead of just…*not pushing*. When he says ‘no’, that needs to be the end of it, you shouldn’t be trying again, you shouldn’t be “insisting once or twice more”. He said no, you need to respect that. Instead you fobbed off his frustrations as him being insane and making things up, and are acting like he’s crazy for being upset by that and how you don’t take accountability for how your words and actions impact him.
I further agree with him, that that is manipulative behaviour. For what it’s worth, taking responsibility for the situation would be looking at your actions and how they impacted someone, and then trying to work to avoid it in the future. Not fighting him, treating him like he’s crazy, then going online and telling strangers that he’s acting like he’s crazy.
And the big marital issue you have is that this is obviously a pattern. In this post alone, you aren’t interested in taking stock of your behaviour and working on it, or trying to understand how he feels. All you do is dismiss him. And I don’t blame him for getting angrier and angrier over time. I sure as hell would.
Sounds like the fight really started because he is not interested in going to the gym? Does he really want to go?
Sounds to me like you don’t know how to accept “No” for an answer. I count four “No’s” in one paragraph.
Might want to look into that.
I would get annoyed as hell if I gave a clear and direct answer only to be harassed multiple times to change that answer. If you do this often and pretend you don’t see anything wrong with it then yeah, I can easily see how his fuse would be shorter every time. When you ask a question and get an answer, that’s it. Unless you have previously unshared information that you could reasonably assume would change the outcome, drop it.
Is it possible that he doesn’t want to go his first time with you because he’s worried he won’t be fit enough yet? Like he might be embarrassed? Maybe you could ask him if he wants to go alone first?
But also, maybe check why you’re asking and insisting after he’s said no the first time. You want to divorce but the last time this happened was years ago? What else is going wrong in your partnership that you want a divorce over an argument that happens once every few years?
Marriage counselling, either way.
You two need marriage counseling. You are locked in a cycle of bad communication and arguing because of it. A counselor can help you develop the tools to communicate better.
If my spouse kept trying to get me to go use the gym after I’d said no, I’d start getting pushed off, too. Like “sorry, my fat ass is going home instead of into the gym like you really want me to do, obviously because you don’t like how fat I am.”
I’m looking at your comments and he’s right. You never take responsibility for anything. People here are rightfully calling you out bc you’re trying to force your husband to do something he doesn’t want to do, and instead of going, “You’re right I shouldn’t have done that,” you are making excuses, doubling down and absolving yourself of all blame in this situation.
You even acknowledge he gets this way when he’s outside of his comfort zone. Why are you trying to force him to do things he’s uncomfortable with? And don’t pull that manipulative, “He’s an adult; I’m not forcing him to do anything,” line with me. You’re nagging him and using negative reinforcement to push him to do something he doesn’t want to do.
He said “No.” Freaking *drop it*.
Just get a divorce. You don’t want a husband. You want a slave.
Never knew a test for those above 49 was needed.
Am 48 and just went .. like my MIL 75
Have you noticed that you lack empathy for your husband?
He argued with you twice and you forced him.
partying with a group a few years ago that your husband was nervous about because he didn’t know
Now do you have to insist that he come to the hall right away?
When your husband doesn’t comply with your wishes, you blame and manipulate him.
That’s exactly what you did here.
You should try to get to know the man you’re married to, it’s not good to force an argument and blame him.
you talked about divorce
it’s a good idea to break up with him
Why would you ask him more than twice in the space of ten minutes?
That honestly does sound a bit manipulative.
He doesn’t want to go to the gym. Every time you try to get him to go, he’ll get angry about it. He shouldn’t be accusing you of manipulation because that’s far too strong a word for what you’re doing. Accept that he’s not going to start using the gym. The fact that you’re even thinking about divorce, though, means there are fundamental problems in your marriage that have nothing to do with a gym. Try to discuss those with him. If he refuses, the choice is made and you should speak to a lawyer.
No means no unless it’s a husband to a wife apparently… JFC
There shouldn’t be a big blow up about going to the gym. You and husband have underlying issues that need to be addressed. If you want to save your marriage, try couple counseling. If he refuses, go by yourself and seek a divorce. That’s what I did.
OP, I read the comments here and your post, of course. But I have another question that I have not seen asked or mentioned and am wondering if it might have something to do with this whole messed up ordeal. I mean no offense here, but Is your husband over weight? I asked this because I noticed the angry part started when you were insisting and not acceepting his answer while you were at the doc and passing the gym. Anyways, maybe, just maybe he feels that you are not happy with his body and don’t find him attractive anymore. And you pushing right away at that time leaving the doc and passing the gym. He felt pressured to start now by you wanting him to start right away to loose weight. IDK for sure, I don’t know you or him and you didn’t mention anything about that. Just a feeling I got from his reaction and the timing of it and the place you just happen to be. Just my 1/2 cent theory.
Hope it all works out. Peace, love, laugh, pray.
It took too long into adulthood, to learn when people said “I would come, but…” they didn’t really mean either half, they were just being polite and making excuses, so my trying to help them overcome the “but” part wasn’t wanted.
If i didn’t want to go somewhere i just said “no thanks, not my cup of tea”, or my reasons were real, so somebody coming up with a good workaround would have been great.
So he doesn’t really actually want to go to the gym.. I think he really wanted to shift the blame onto you for him feeling lazy about starting the gym. His first stalling effort was the credit thing, but that was handled, next was needing a health check- but you took him to the health check so that buffer was gone too.. now you’re actually about to pull him into the gym and he doesn’t want to go! So to him, it’s easier to make you out to be the manipulative gym-peddling bad guy, instead of an encouraging spouse, so he can transfer his negative feelings about having to get it together and actually go to the gym into anger at you and not going to the gym. I would guess he has some very complicated feelings about the gym and this is his emotionally-immature way of trying to make them your fault.
My husband does this. He agrees to something he doesn’t want to do, then starts an argument over something small or unrelated. He escalated and you’re left wondering what the hell is happening. All because he can’t communicate by just saying “I changed my mind, I don’t actually want to join the gym.” You weren’t manipulative. You were trying to engage with him over something you both agreed to. He starts the fight as a way to make it your fault when he never joins the gym.
You can try therapy but if he has no interest (as mine) then your option is to be like me, walking on eggshells and constantly trying to guess what he really means.
Seems like he thinks you are being pushy with the gym because you find him fat or unattractive? But he should communicate that to you, you can’t guess what’s on his mind.
both of you have issues and need to communicate better
Lol I dunno about all the comments telling you that you are in the wrong. Maybe he doesn’t want to go, but he still should’ve told you in a forward manner and getting angry like a child is real 5yo behavior. Why would he go through the hassle of getting tested? I would not feel safe with a person who’s unable to communicate clearly and throws accusations like that left and right. Not telling you to divorce, but I believe your husband could do with some self-reflection.
Firstly, a test to start exercising after 40? That’s not a thing. Maybe if he also has some condition, but if he’s saying it’s only because of his age, that’s an excuse. Secondly, it sounds as though you were a bit annoying — someone should only have to say no once — but you were *not* manipulate. That is literally the opposite of manipulative, and the fact he jumped to that accusation is concerning to me. You say that you’ve previously agreed he will start too — my guess is that he never wanted to or changed his mind and is now trying to make it seem as though it’s your fault (“I WAS going to start, but then you bugged me so much…”) Either way, you and your husband have a big communication problem — but it is NOT solely your fault.
For those who are being pretty harsh on OP maybe check out OPs post 2 years ago about her husband being pushy and not considerate of her feelings doing all the cooking. Maybe she is being pushy, but it seems he may have expressed interest (maybe to placate her, or maybe genuine) and then kept making excuses which would be frustrating for anyone.
OP while I agree with other replies that you are coming across as pushy, which certainly is not a good way to approach this…Seems to be a trend of communication issues.
You shared an argument like this hasn’t occurred in years, yet you’re stating divorce as an option? Seems like there is more issues, or just general unhappiness in your marriage than this one argument. I highly suggest marriage counseling, more to sort out than just this argument.
For how to try and overcome this argument… I’d first just take some time. More productive conversations occur when you’re both not upset after having sometime to cool off. Even if he expressed interest initially, you were being pushy and I think you do need to apologize for asking him sooo many times in such a short timespan. If your intentions were pure, and not intentionally manipulative as other replies suggest share that. But not in a manner that conveys an excuse or to absolve your part in this. And you need to stop pushing the issue, and let this be his decision entirely. Sounds like he will be stubborn, and if you continue to ask he may not go just in response to your approach. Example how I’d approach the follow up conversation: “I’m sorry I was so pushy, I shouldn’t have been. I’ve enjoyed going to the gym and was looking forward to this being something we could do together. If you’re not ready yet, or just not interested that’s ok because it’s your decision”.
Even if you feel like his defensiveness was an aggressive response to you pushing something he expressed interest in, at the end of the day if you approach the convo like he is entirely in the wrong and don’t own your part in it…the cycle will continue and gym talk will be a sore subject.
You’re not delusional. It honestly has the markings of an emotionally abuse relationship. You shouldn’t be left feeling like you’re crazy, because you aren’t. And, you did nothing wrong.
Sounds like he is insecure and probably embarrassed he needed to have tests before he can go to the gym. He projected his insecurities on to you by accusing you. Everything he accused you of he actually feels about himself. This is toxic, the fact he cannot deal with his own emotions is a problem, he’s 40. Suggest he get therapy or get divorced. You don’t deserve this.
Did he maybe think you were saying he’s fat and needs to fix that asap? Or is he just curmudgeonly generally (this is what I think). If you don’t want to waste any more years on an unhappy downer of a man who processes all emotions as “anger” and then takes it out on you well this random stranger gives you approval to Divorce his Ass!
Sounds like gaslighting to me!!
He might have been annoyed with the questions or was already in a bad mood, but it definitely seems like he made this a bigger deal than it needed to be. If he’s using absolutes like “you *never* take accountability” instead of bringing up specific times when you’ve done this, it’s going to come across as exaggeration and like he’s trying to make himself the victim. Maybe only ask him something one time and let it go from now on.
Try coming up with a safe word for when either of you is getting annoyed or needs the other person to stop something immediately. (This word shouldn’t be abused or overused.) And then you can talk about the issue at a later time. If people get triggered by something and never let you know it’s a problem, you can feel like you’ve done nothing differently and they’re suddenly blowing up at you. While the whole time, you’ve been unknowingly pushing their boundaries. Work on communicating better.
You say your husband has anger issues… after reading through your comments, I’d say he has the patience of a Saint. Gotta be exhausting dealing with your nonstop confrontations about ever trivial thing.
This man does not want to work out lol
I want to quit the gym!
I see this type of stuff ALOT. Like growing up me and my brother were taught how to treat a lady growing up, but my sister was NEVER taught how to treat a man. So only makes sense that you weren’t taught no means no.
Fellas, if your wife is trying to get you to work out, you’re in terrible shape. Do it for yourself, and try to look best for your wife and take care of your fucking health.
The second I saw this was about one partner trying to get the other to work out, I knew I was walking into a peak reddit moment lol.
Just bc 70% of America is fat doesn’t mean it’s cool or normal.
Just ask him why didn’t he just say that he doesn’t want to go to the Gym?
You were trying to manipulate him. But that’s no reason to him to start an argument.
He obviously doesn’t wanna go to the gym, but is incapable of saying it. And gets defensive when you try to bring it up.
Communication, communication, communication. Why is this such a foreign concept?
You probably don’t, women tend not to.
This sounds like my life except it isnt the gym he swear up and down i have cheated, multiple times at that. I am not that kinda person and literally everyone else in my life knows that about me except him!?!? It’s manipulation and control. Some people thrive on chaos. Its easy to start an argument and blame someone else instead of feeling their own insecurities, feeling vulnerable, or confronting their own shortcomings. I bet he feels inadequate and instead of dealing with how he is feeling he is projecting negative emotions towards you to justify feeling bad without having to look in the mirror. I hate it, every damn minute of it. And i can see you do too. There is no help to be had for people like this, at least not that i have found, because they are the ones who are always right and never do anything wrong. They are emotional vampires
You’ve gotten good advice about your own behavior. I will suggest ways your husband can enjoy himself exercising that doesn’t involve the gym.
I hate the gym, but I enjoy exercise. I don’t like the way the gym smells, I don’t like the activities there, it’s just not for me.
What do I like?
* hiking outdoors
* long (like 3-4 hour) walks
* climbing walls
* ballroom dance
Pretty much anything not at a gym. Have you asked him what kind of exercise he likes?
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