I found a piece of paper tucked inside a book at my local library that touched upon being a runner’s widow/-er. The last part — the part that I hoped would help solve some problems of mine — was torn off. I found it’s partner, a handwritten note which I’ve transcribed below.
There is hope for running widows, but it depends on communication, creativity and compromise.
Dear runner’s widow/-er,
If you are reading this, well, congratulations, you’re a runner’s widow/-er. And if you’re anything like me, you’re desperate for solutions. I’m afraid there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Your can go along for the ride or go mad while on it.
I thought this book would have the answers. It’s just a book, written by some professor on high who has probably never been a runner’s widow, let alone step foot in a gym.
There are ways to make situations like this work, but you have to be willing to make them work.
Assess the situation
First off, look at the relationship as a neutral bystander. Did your spouse already act this way before your relationship, or is it something new? What are your feeling and what are their cause? From here, you can calmly gather you defense. Because believe me, when you say that this situation sucks, you will have to defend yourself.
Prepare for the following arguments:
- Your spouse is trying to be a better person, how dare you try to halt his or her dreams?
- it’s not their fault they run a lot. They want something to do other than (fill in blank).
- You don’t pay attention to your spouse while he or she is at home, what’s the difference of a few hours?
Discussion and/or brawl
Next take to the spouse about your feelings on the subject. depending on the spouse, he or she may see this as a personal assault. Your need to keep the conversation civil. This is not about you or the past. It’s about now and the family. Suggest ways to make training a family affair.
- Try going on the training run as a family. Maybe go half way to a picnic area and set up a meal while the spouse finishes.
- Join the adventure and go with the runner as his or her support team, giving drinks and food along the way.
- If you’re not already, get involved and find out why running is so cool. (The following was written in different handwriting) An example would be trying on a top-of-the-line running shoe. Feel that extra bounce in your step? Ah yeah, you’re feet are happy. Imagine how they’d feel as you cross the finish line of a race. That’s right, you’re on the top of the world … (The pens trails off the page as if someone caught the writer in the act.)
You’re married and if you want this to work, you have to survive by communicating with your spouse. Be creative in finding ways in including your family in the runner’s workout. I promise things will get better. The race will be here before you know it.
A runner’s widow
Again, not quite what I had hoped but it’s a start. You always have to start somewhere.