Merrill Lynch private banker Jordan Waxman is the subject of a recent article in the Wall Street Journal because he started competing in extreme athletic competitions (Ironman, swimming across the English channel) late in life, and he has a wife who hates it.
She even held an intervention for him, where members of her family wrote him letters begging him to stop exercising.
From the WSJ:
Mr. Waxman arrives home from the office after his children, ages 11, 10 and 8, have eaten dinner, and he hits the sack before they do.
“I’m out of gas by nine o’clock,” Mr. Waxman says.
“A lot of wives in my position would have left,” Ms. Waxman says.
There actually *are* a lot of other women in her position, which even has a name: an “exercise widow.”
What it means is that as a couple, they fight over chores, he misses holidays like Mother’s Day, and they have to schedule a weekly family dinner and date night.
It sounds like most Wall Street marriages (or anyone’s who is very busy) to us.
The real reason the trend is taking a toll on relationships seems to be lurking the amazing things working out does for your health and appearance, mentioned off-handedly in the article.
From the WSJ:
If one partner gets a new, buff appearance and a new circle of buff acquaintances, romantic possibilities can open up—and give the other spouse good reason to feel insecure about his or her own physique.
Therapists say many relationships are based on similar levels of attractiveness; a shift in the equation can destabilize a marriage.
The only way to combat your spouse’s new level of hotness is to get back on the same level, like Caren, who hired a personal trainer and started working out 4 times a week.
That seems to be the real insecurity of the “exercise widows.” Because of course, there’s a big difference in the way someone who works out 22 hours a week looks and how someone who works out ~6 hours per week looks.
So the only *real* way to stay happy is to exercise and compete in similar competitions — and hope you both wind up as attractive to each other as your were before.
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