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A Workout Ate My Marriage

Wed, Feb  2, 2011 - By Kevin Helliker

Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal..."Exercise can set off conflict about family, free time; errands vs. English Channel - How couples handle conflict arising from exercise.

As the wife of an endurance athlete, Caren Waxman wakes up alone every morning, including holidays.

"Mother's Day really upset me," says the Rockleigh, N.J., mother of three, age 47, whose husband leaves before dawn each morning for hours of exercise. In May, he will wish her a happy Mother's Day from Utah, where he will compete in a triathlon.

"It's selfish," concedes her husband, Jordan Waxman, 46, a private-banking executive at Merrill Lynch and an Ironman triathlete. He says he leaves notes for his wife and children before leaving for morning workouts.

With exercise intruding ever-more frequently on intimacy, counselors are proposing a new wedding vow: For fitter or for fatter. "Exercise is getting more and more couples into my office," says Karen Gail Lewis, a Cincinnati marriage and family therapist.

Newlyweds have long recognized the risks of potential sickness, infidelity and ill fortune. But few foresee themselves becoming an exercise widow. After all, the idea that one's beloved will take the occasional jog sounds appealing—until two miles a day becomes 10 miles, not counting the 20-mile runs on weekends. "His dream of doing marathons happened just when I got pregnant with our third child," Stephanie Beagley of Colorado Springs says of her husband, Michael, a purchaser for the U.S. Olympic Committee. "Now we don't have tons of time with him."

Read the rest of the article in the Wall Street Journal...