Dear Annie: My husband and I are very close. We have been married for 27 years and agree on most things and share many common interests. There is only one issue where we differ, and I'd like to hear suggestions for how I can help him to change, so he will join me in my daily walks.
I love to walk, and I make it a point to walk at least two miles every day. My parents walked together every night after dinner, and they lived into their 80s and had a very close marriage. My brother and I joined them many nights when we were younger, and I have great memories of that family time together.
Every time I ask my husband if he will join me, he says that's for me, not him.
I've told him that walking makes me feel so good. It helps with my digestion. It helps me sleep better. I keep my figure better because of walking. My doctor says I am in good shape largely because of my two-mile daily walk. If it is raining or snowing, I simply dress for the weather and go forward every night. I always imagine how much fun it would be if my husband were with me each night instead of sitting at home watching television.
Lately, he has been complaining that his joints are sore. When he gets up after sitting, it always takes a while before he is steady on his feet, and I am convinced that his joints would be much more limber if he were to join me on my daily walks.
If you or any of your readers have suggestions for how I can motivate him to join me, please let me know. -- Walking Alone
Dear Walking Alone: Congratulations on all that walking! Our joints love movement, and you have found an ideal exercise for you. The key is to have your husband believe that walking is ideal for him, too, and that is not so easy. Look for walking trails in your neighborhood and see if taking him into new scenery sparks his interest in walking. Is he a dog lover? Adding a four-legged member to your family has been shown to help people lose up to 10 pounds in the first year because of all that walking. Consider visiting your local animal shelter to adopt, or to foster or volunteer to walk, a furry friend.
Dear Annie: I read your piece on mourning after the loss of a preterm baby. I have experienced this pain three times years ago. My wife's friends were very supportive and understanding. However, in no case did anyone ask how I was doing with this loss.
Fathers are supposed to be strong and support their wives or partners. It is often the case that divorce stems from the inability of one partner to soothe the other, which results in a growing distance between the two. Just wanted you to hear from a grieving father's perspective. -- Grieving Father
Dear Grieving Father: Thank you for your letter and for offering the father's perspective. You highlight a little-known fact. Fathers grieve as well and need support.
In addition, your conclusion that partners need to support each other in their grief is key. No one else in the world, except the two of you, loved your baby as much as you did. It sounds like you and your wife remembered that and have allowed these tragedies to be experiences that have strengthened your marriage.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.