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Keeping fit can be a challenge, but having a partner to push, pull, remind or spot you is a good thing — usually. If that partner happens to be your partner then things can get interesting. On the upside, this gym partner lives with you, knows your schedule and had better be sympathetic to childcare obligations. You really don’t have to worry what the double meaning behind their “looks good” means. There is an understanding — a knowing — of strengths, weaknesses, and goals. This is a partner that knows how to push you, whether that be to do a few more reps, another quarter mile or punch that heavy bag a little harder. Of anyone on the entire planet, your spouse is a gym partner with your best interests at heart.


In my experience my husband challenges me to climb faster or aim for larger challenges when we paddle. He causes me to want to use the bigger kettlebell or crank the treadmill up one more notch. Now this is good, but it is also bad (for me), because as my spouse knows how to motivate me, he also knows how to make me angry — like no one else. In his kindhearted way my loving spouse will say something meant to protect me, but in my alpha-she woman way all I hear is “I think you are too weak” and bam, I try a more dangerous rapid or run faster than him just to prove my equality.

Having someone as close to you as a spouse can be a bad thing. In attempts to motivate, your spouse knows all your weak spots, every button to push, and just the thing to say that might release your inner beast — quite literally. There are also common disagreements on what type of workout for my husband and I. Cardio can be a sore spot for us, while in another family it might be lifting or yoga or whatever. Frequency or intensity of workouts might be an issue especially if you have different metabolisms; I walk down the bread aisle or sniff the bakery and gain weight, so I need less sweets and more sweat. On the other hand, my husband can down a two-liter of soda and four candy bars a day but 60 minutes of strength and 120 minutes of cardio a week keep him in the same shape I met him in at 24.

>> Read more: 7 Ways To Make Working Out Fun

The ugly is well, ugly. I do not like to be watched when I work out, so if you ride to the gym you are going to work out. And by “work out” I mean stay focused. The. Whole. Time. My husband likes to say “motivating” things that he hopes will make me feel sexy and lead to some more “cardio” later. When I am getting my sweat on, sexy is the last thing on my mind. I leave every workout looking like I have been in a pool, and that’s the way I like it. I love my husband, but do not want my behind grabbed, to be stared at, or suggestively commented to while running, lifting, cardio dancing, or yoga(ing). Something about mixing my sensual side and strong side really bring out my ugly side; that is when I can say some things that create terrible rides back to the house (I know how to push his buttons too). Your partner can be the best gym partner ever, or the worst, but often both — it just depends on the day.

>> Read more: Couples That Run Together Stay Together