Want to Get His @SS Moving

Hello Karen,

My boyfriend is not very motivated, and I don’t know how to support him to get in gear (I know he could do better!).  He says he wants to do more things, to lose the extra weight, and in general be more active – and fun.  And then he’s not doing anything but laying around the house, watching TV, and driving me crazy.  Got any suggestions for how I can get his ass moving? — Bonnie, IL

Dear Bonnie,

There seems to be a theme lately – did you see last month’s question?  Your situation is a little different in that Kim’s husband was asking for support about something, and your man is not.

And there is the bottom line.

We Get to See Everything

The great (and not-so-great) thing about living with someone is that we are seen – really seen – for all of who we are…and all of who we are not.

When we really trust the person who’s seeing us in all our glory, it can be a source of comfort to be so known and still be loved.

(Hey, in Craig’s and my relationship, it’s often a source of great laughter.  You know, those habits and ways of doing things that are…shall we say…counterproductive?)

But that hilarity (or comfort) comes only after feeling safe.  And we feel safe when we’re accepted for who we are.

The first thing to cover is this: what was he like when you first got together?  Was he a motivated and industrious man in his life?  Did he demonstrate those qualities by what he was already doing, or did he (or you!) deal mostly in the “I want to” zone?

If he was motivated and industrious, and he’s not right now, he may be dealing with something that he’s not sure how to handle.  You may want to consider that what you’re seeing is his way of working it out (and I’m sure he’s doing it very differently than you would, but it’s his way).

If he was not like that, and you fell in love with him anyway, there had to be other things that mattered to you that he provided, right?

I love having a strong connection with vision and totally believing in possibility.  In fact, the very top thing on one of my vision boards says “Anything is possible!”

BUT there is a difference between believing in possibility while embracing what is…

…and rejecting or judging what is, in favor of what has to be, in order to be happy.

A favorite quote you may find helpful here:

“We cannot have what we want, until we want what we have.”

So if you’ve gotten to a place where you don’t accept your man, and you find that your focus is more and more about having him change so that you can be happier with him, there are a few likely outcomes:

  1. He’s going to resist your efforts to change him (ignore you; withhold the things you want from him; get worse instead of better; etc.)
  2. You’re going to get more and more judgmental, and that will show up in whatever way you tend to show that (complain; withhold; nag; control; shame; etc.)
  3. You won’t like him very much
  4. You won’t like yourself very much
  5. He won’t like himself very much
  6. He won’t like you very much
  7. The distance between you will grow until something happens to reduce the tension (either by finding a way back to each other, or farther away from each other).

I know this is a hard one to work through, and I know that you love this man and want your relationship to flourish, or you wouldn’t be bothering to ask your question.

Your work now is to find a way to love/appreciate/acknowledge/recognize/remember/choose to see what you DO like, appreciate, love, respect and/or admire about him.

Try it for a while, just to see what happens when the pressure that’s being exerted on him right now (that who he is isn’t okay with you) is lifted.

Here’s another fave quote for you:

“What you focus on expands.”

Give him a chance to rise to his best self.  And then, when you know who that is, you’ll be able to see the truth – and whether or not that’s the man you can live with (oh, and my bet: he sure is).