DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been a member of my local gym for years and have always enjoyed it; The gym is my happy place. I try to go there every day after work and I usually spend most of my free time there.
Unfortunately some of the new members (young adult males) made me a bit uncomfortable.
They often engage in unwanted conversations, confiscate all equipment, and stare too hard at female gym goers (including me).
My friends tell me there is no point in canceling my membership because other gyms are having the same problems.
I don’t want to leave the gym I’ve become so accustomed to. What should I do?
DEAR FITNESS ADDICT: Since you’re a longtime studio member, speak to the manager. Point out your loyalty and longevity with this gym and your current uneasiness due to the behavior of these new members.
Explain that the offensive behavior isn’t just aimed at you. Invite management to observe these new members and how they interact with others—particularly women—at the gym. Ask management to speak up and admonish them if other members are uncomfortable. If appropriate, invite other female members to comment as well.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My family and I spent the weekend with old friends – the first time we’ve ventured out to be with others since the pandemic began. It was a nice visit in a way, but one thing really bothered me.
My husband and I have been making quite a fuss for as long as I can remember, but usually when we’re out in public, so to speak, he’s sociable. When he’s spending time with others, he often doesn’t pay much attention to me.
Well, this weekend I became the butt of all his jokes and venom. It was so uncomfortable. It seemed like everything I said he countered, denied, and blew me away. I tried to ignore him but sometimes it was just too much so I reacted. That only made the situation worse.
For years I asked my husband to take me to therapy and he refused. I want to check again, but I fear a big explosion. What should I do?
tired of fighting
LOVE TIRED OF FIGHTING: You should go to therapy alone. You deserve to be treated better, but for some reason that doesn’t happen in your marriage.
Work with a counselor to get to the heart of your issues with yourself and your marriage. Invite your man to therapy, but don’t hesitate to go alone. Something is clearly wrong when your husband treats you so poorly. Find out your role in this interplay and decide what you will do about it.
Whatever the reason, you don’t have to condone abusive behavior. Decide what your line in the sand will be as you consider extricating yourself from this toxic environment. If you can’t figure out how to both communicate more respectfully, this marriage may not be healthy for you anymore.
Harriette Cole is a life stylist and the founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative that helps people create and achieve their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/27/harriette-cole-the-gym-was-my-happy-place-until-these-young-men-joined/ The gym was my happy place until these men came along