Control and intimacy are opposites. You can’t have intimacy when you’re trying to control the person you’re with, and if you want to be in control, the intimacy will vanish.
It’s one or the other. Like light and dark.
And everybody knows you can’t control other people, anyway—not your kids, not your spouse, not anyone but yourself.
But that doesn’t stop us mere mortals from trying. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re trying to control. We think we’re just being caring, and trying to help.
Husbands are too smart to fall for that, though. They know we’re trying to control them when we “remind” them to put on their sunscreen, drink more water, take their medicine or eat a veggie now and then.
They resist that kind of thing with all their might. That’s just human nature.
So that’s never going to help your husband be healthier.
But that’s not to say you have no influence. As a wife, you have plenty.
Here’s what you can do to help your husband be healthier and live longer:
1. Resign as His Nurse/Nutritionist/Personal Trainer
Even if you are a nurse, nutritionist or personal trainer by profession, consider resigning from that position when it comes to your husband.
I know your motives are good, because I had the same ones.
Maybe you’re just more health-conscious and you want your husband to thrive and live a long time.
And maybe lose a few pounds.
And get his blood pressure down and exercise a little more.
Everyone knows that’s how you get healthy. And that’s what you want for him: good health.
You’re vigilant about his health because you love him and you want him around for the kids.
Who doesn’t want that for their husband? We all do.
The problem is that, in nudging him to take his medicine or have something more nutritious than a candy bar for lunch, you’re not saying, “I love you and I want you around forever.”
You’re saying just the opposite, surprisingly.
What he hears is, “You’re not competent and capable enough to manage your own health, so I’m taking over.”
You’re affirming a negative Spouse Fulfilling Prophecy.
To a man, that’s the opposite of love. It’s the equivalent of him saying to you, “I’m not in love with you anymore.”
And that’s painful to hear.
One common response to hearing painful words from loved ones is to become numb—to drink, or eat, or somehow escape the situation. Emotional pain is not good for anyone’s health.
In other words, trying to manage his health is doing the opposite of what you want to do, in terms of pushing him toward unhealthy behaviors.
It also creates wall-to-wall hostility and Needless Emotional Turmoil (NET).
At least, it did at my house.
2. The Solution is Surrender
By that, I mean I stopped trying to change him, and focused on my own happiness, which in turn improved the intimacy, and, get this—
It also improved his health.
I left his health in his capable, competent hands and the guy lost 50 pounds and runs long distance every week now.
Just because I stopped talking about it and started trusting him.
You can do the same thing.
If your man feels like you respect him, he’s going to feel much more loved, and that’s going to make him want to live a lot longer.
I’m gonna repeat that because it’s so important.
Your husband will want to live longer if he knows the woman who knows him best in the world thinks he’s capable and competent to take care of himself. And therefore, he’ll take better care of himself.
He’ll be more motivated to wear his sunscreen and his helmet, eat kale and broccoli, take his medicine, go to the doctor, or do whatever is needed to stay strong and healthy.
Granted, he might have a different opinion about what is healthy than you do. You might know the essential oils that would help his allergies, while he just pops the pharmaceutical product.
He’s actually the expert on his own life and body, just like you’re the expert on your own life and body.
3. But How Can You Stop Being Vigilant When He Could Die?
“What if it’s a matter of life and death?” you might wonder. Maybe he’s already had skin cancer, or a heart attack, or surgery.
All the more reason to leave his health in the hands of an expert: him.
There’s so much at stake. And you want him to live. Consider creating a Spouse Fulfilling Prophecy that serves what you want instead of what you don’t want.
Maybe you’ll say something like, “You take such good care of yourself,” or, “You’re such a strong man.”
As a fringe benefit, when you stop reminding him and prompting him (which he experiences as nagging), the passion and connection in your relationship returns.
Plus, you have one less thing to manage. Couldn’t you use the extra free time?
And if you use that free time to make yourself happy, he’ll want to go on living with you forever.
And he’ll do whatever it takes to see that he does.