Dear Cassey: How do I deal with my unsupportive spouse?

Dear Cassey,
My husband is unsupportive of my fitness goals. He makes fun of me and tells me I’m obsessive, that I’m going to look like a man, and that I look better chubby. Advice please.
Thank you!
Over the Negativity

Dear Over the Negativity,

Not. Cool.

Sounds like it’s time to sit down and have a serious heart-to-heart with your husband.

I think this happens with family and spouses more often than you’d think, and it comes down to fear. Change is scary and intimidating. Is he afraid that if you change it will affect him or your relationship? Is he self-conscious about his OWN body? Don’t settle for a shoulder shrug or a “just because” reason why your fitness goals bother him. What is it that seems obsessive to him about your goals? Encourage him to communicate with you. If he has concerns, make sure you’re willing to listen. Get to the bottom of it.

What’s NOT okay is for him to shame your goals and project his worries on you. MAKE SURE YOU TALK ABOUT THIS! It’s possible that he doesn’t even realize how hurtful his comments are, so just be open and honest. Tell him why fitness is important to you, what your goals are, and how his comments are influencing those goals.

Oh and pleaasseee educate him about the fact that working out WILL NOT make you “bulk up” or look manly.

Basically, communicate, communicate, communicate.

If he’s unwilling to open up at first, give him time. Keep going with YOUR goals and trust that in time, he’ll see the good in your intentions. He’ll see how your hard work is paying off with your mood, energy and health. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll inspire him too!

In the meantime, it’s ok to find support elsewhere. Just like you are right now! There’s nothing but love and support in this community!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

29 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: How do I deal with my unsupportive spouse?”

There are 29 comments posted by our users.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. CByrd says:

    Everything that Cassey says and be sure to communicate this is a personal boundary for you. It’s healthy to have boundaries in every relationship even in marriage. In my own experience, my significant other listens when I say, “This is very important to me.”
    I wish you luck in opening the dialogue with your spouse. Keep going in your fitness goals and may you find that support and love and affirmation on your journey! You rock!

  2. Mia says:

    Hi everybody. My father did this to me too. The more I tried the more comments I got. Still commenting my figure, my eating, my workouts. Still saying Im overdoing, too many workouts, too strict on meals ( I counted calories what I ate- I ate less than I should so I uses to compensate it with sugar…). Than I found out when i dogged deeper that he was trying to protect me from dissappointment by not even trying to change. He said I will be fat “we have it in family”. Period. So when I had yoghurt for dinner and he said I eat too much, I explained kindly that it has less calories than his unhelathy chips & chocolate snacks and that I need it cause Im after hard workout. I showed him that I mean it seriously and that his words can not shake me, can not change my statement. Then he stopped. Now he looks at me and kindly says ” oh you lost weight, didn you? congrats”. Because he knows Im doing it for myself, and I mean it.

  3. Al says:

    Dear Cassey,
    No matter what I try I can’t seem to get rid of my belly fat. It scared me as I have a high amount of visceral fat and I’m only 19. I’ve tried everything including keto and I exercise about 6 days a week. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  4. Vacume Cleaner says:

    Dear Cassey,

    What is your opinion on vacumes? I’ve seen them around and advertised as a good way to naturally skim your waist for an hourglass figure and I know you’ve not spoken about them (or at least that I can find) I know you’re against waist trainers and slim teas but it is technically an exercise and works muscles. I haven’t started doing them because I don’t feel I know enough about what they are but would love to hear your thoughts.

  5. Vacume Cleaner says:

    Dear Cassey,

    What is your opinion on vacumes? I’ve seen them around and advertised as a good way to naturally skim your waist for an hourglass figure and I know you’ve not spoken about them (or at least that I can find) I know you’re against waist trainers and slim teas but since this is technically an exercise and works muscles, is it healthy/beneficial?

  6. Happiness says:

    How to ignore the negative side of your family and still be kind and loving and caring. Negative side eg- high temprament for no reason even on small issues

  7. Your body. Your business. Period. I would not tolerate demeaning comments about my journey or what I do. You deserve that respect, girl!

  8. Saffron says:

    I just want to add : don’t stop for him. I used to run 7k everyday and my boyfriend at the time asked me to stop. And I did. To this day I haven’t managed to get back to that. As Cassie said : communicate. Agree to disagree if you must, but agree to eachother hear and respect what the other thinks and feels. But at the end of the day, please, please, please don’t stop for him. Good luck <3

    1. Are you running again now?

  9. Posirive thinker says:

    I am a mother of 5 yr old post pregnancy tummy is still pleae help me to reduce the same.

  10. Ruchi says:

    Hey my family not support me to to my career in fitness they belive that fitness trainer is not girls profession i tried many times to convince them but they are not listening i really want to motivate others m not profesional trainer right now but really want to build my career on this

    1. Mia says:

      Maybe stop convincing. Start doing. If not words, your deeds, your progress will show them you mean it and your going after it. As Cassey said, meanwhile try to find support elsewhere.

  11. Dany says:

    I had the same problem. I had a 8 weeks challenge (like cassey 90 days challenge) for my fitness goal and he was NOT INTO IT. He said that I was stupid making this and that my diet was affecting him too (which was right cause we’re living together and cooking together). I just stuck to it. Said it was my choice and my personal goal and that he either would stick with me or do his own thing, which meant cooking just for himself and let me be.
    After 2 days of eating with me I saw a change. He thought about it and realized, that what I did was not a bad thing at all and that he would also profit out of it (he wanted to lose weight for long but couldn’t motivate himself).
    Long story short he came up with new receipts, also started doing more workouts, found joy in healthy eating and doing as much as possible to support me.
    We both lost over 8kg and learned a lot about food and calories and carbs. We are now very happy that we did this together and are looking forward to cook healthy food and counting calories together. Also thinking about what our cheat meal could be this week. Talking about it helped a lot and just explaining what my goal was and that I didn’t wanted to do this to punish him. I wanted to do this for myself and no other reason.
    I hope you’ll get there just be persistent and think about yourself 🙂

  12. Positive things only 💪 says:

    Hi!! I guess this might be a little personal but I think some people might relate to this. I’ve been anorexic before and because of this my parents don’t trust me to control my diet and hunger. So I really don’t know if I’m eating too much or not. And if I’m being honest I’m too scared to cut calories or count calories or do cardio in fear of becoming anorexic again, I guess I just need advice on how to get over that fear. Thanks so much!

  13. stefanie says:

    Over the negativity- I feel you! I recently got out of the ICU with blood clots and dr told me I needed to get into shape. Every night I do Cassey’s Turbo Butt, Drive By Inner Thighs and the Summer Song Inner Thighs without fail. My husband gets mad and says I’m getting fit to find someone else-which is totally not the case. I have to just ignore him and instead listen to Cassey’s positive talk that she ALWAYS includes in her videos and it keeps me going. I think it’s just like Cassy says- change is uncomfortable for them. We have to do this for ourselves!

    1. Jessica says:

      I’m writing to you because my husband has pushed back on my physical fitness. When we got together I was running half and full marathons. After getting married and moving in, I willingly gave up running every day so as to better focus on us.

      Now that I’m running again every day my husband says I am obsessive but I informed him that I was that way when we met and he didn’t say it then. He admits it’s because he doesn’t want me to spend so much of my time away from him, but when I ask him if he wants to go to the gym or run with me, he just answers that it “won’t make a difference”.

      To give you more background there is a significant age difference between us and we do not have children although he has three from a prior marriage that do not live with us.

    2. Jessica says:

      To be specific, I am writing to you today to see how you’ve come in your journey.

  14. shoval says:

    dear cassey,
    for the last couple of months, iv’e been struggling to get back to working out.
    ive been working pop pilates for years, sometimes on and off but the last 4 year i have been working more constantly, this couple of months i have lost all motivation to working out.
    i see the cardio on the videos and i just exit, how can i start loving working out again?

    thanks for your help !

    1. Urja says:

      I feel. i think the best thing to get back on track is to start small. For me long days at school and work leave me exhausted sometimes and working out in the morning is not on option when I’m already waking up at 5 am, so I give myself a break. I might do a 10-20 min workout or 30 min yoga, or stretch for however long I feel like. When you are tired, your body is not going to want to do a super intense awesome workout. Don’t feel guilty about this. Aim for one, short physical activity everyday and work up to something lower. I’m cheering for you!

  15. Aygna says:

    Is it possible for endomorohs to change their body? If so then how long does it take usually? People make fun of the hard work you out in saying you are never going to change because u are large boned ….its how your body will look

    1. Asezuna says:

      Within reason of course you can. My sister is an endomorph. She started doing home workouts aside from the weekly jiu jitsu and there is noticeable change in muscle definition. You can’t change bone structure or where you will gain/loose fat and muscle easily (heck, i loose fat the easiest from my face…) but change is possible!

  16. Natalia says:

    Cassey’s advise is so reasonable and mature. I just would have said, Dump him.

    1. Alice says:

      Natalia, I would have said the same.Surely they can talk it over, but if someone I love makes fun of my goals or my new hobby,he is just a jerk, has no empathy and has to go.

  17. Natasha says:

    Hi Cassey, I have messed up family

  18. Gen says:

    Hey Cassey! I’m writing from Singapore. I’m sure you get like, tons of messages every day. But I just wanted to write you a thank you! I’ve been following your June workout with a few of my friends this summer break and it has been absolutely EXHAUSTING. I literally cried halfway through yesterday’s cardio. I have an ongoing struggle with my body image, fitness and weight. And all my life, every single cell in my body has hated exercise.

    It’s still really difficult now, but you are the FIRST trainer/instructor EVER, online or offline, who’s made me happy exercising ??!!?! I can’t emphasise how wild it is. But thank you!

    Thank you for reminding me of how thankful I should be to have my body and to be able to even exercise in the first place. Every time I work out and I’m about to hate myself or let go of that plank or stop squeezing my butt, I see you working just as hard as I am and ON TOP of that putting in the damn effort to TALK TO ME telling my ASS that you’re proud of me ???? And it has helped me push through so much that I never thought I could (i did 100 burpees BECAUSE U DID IT WITH ME).

    And seeing how fit you are and how much you love your life, even if you make the exercises look easy I know it’s because you’ve spent years cultivating your self, your body and your life and you make me want to work towards being someone I can be proud of too.

    Thanks for making this pandemic a meaningful one for me ❤️ I’m gna go back to school RIPPED and READY to tackle ALL my physical/martial arts/dancey mods thanks to you!

  19. Vashishta karthikeya says:

    Cassey iam 19 years old . And 70 kgs, as iam from southern telangana we prefer rice to eat more as lunch and dinner. But I prefer to take rice as much as less and I drink water a lot . although iam gaining weight . Whenever I watch u r videos I always being motivated and doing exercise up to 3 days🙄 then after iam not willing to do and concentrate as iam terrible to get up in the morning 😑. And iam not knowing how to start doing exercise like what to do first and how should I continue . Cassey seriously I wanna loose weight and look better . But my problem is I don’t know how to ignore rice😬as we mostly prefer rice . Please give me some solution🙏.

  20. Irina says:

    My bf was just away for two weeks and before he left I started intermittent fasting with the intent to start working out after my body got used to having less calories. He just got back and I’ve been eating the worst food and I haven’t exercised at all. I brought it up to him and I asked him to be more supportive and not to encourage me to eat junk when he knows that I’m trying to work on losing weight and getting back into healthy fitness habits. I think like Cassey says it has a lot to do with his own insecurities and him not knowing where to begin for his own fitness journey since we both gained the quarantine 15.

  21. Christian says:

    Hi Over The Negativity!

    I am a licensed clinical social worker, and I have to say I 100% agree with Cassey! People who make fun of and shame other people often have an inferiority complex, narcissistic traits, paranoia, fear, and/or a lot of unresolved issues within themselves. I say that to REALLY say that the problem is not you. The problem lies within your husband’s perception (in this case, often due to a history of being bullied, trauma(s), learned behaviors, etc.).

    There is also the issue of control that I can write a novel on.

    I would encourage you, as Cassey has, to open up to your husband. However, if his behavior gets worse or if you find the conversations going nowhere, I would suggest seeking marriage counseling. The marriage counselor may suggest you each seek individual therapy while attending marriage counseling (which I, myself, suggest when I do marriage counseling), but that’s totally okay! If the thought of therapy scares you, just remember the therapist is a human being, too- Not God or another Higher Being who does not have flaws. We TOTALLY mess things up, too! We are also genuinely here to help, not judge, others. =)

    I hope this helps! Stay strong, girl!

  22. Emily says:

    I hope that your spouse can understand and communicate with you! You have to do what makes you happy! Xx