ANNIE'S MAILBOX: Husband exercises in the nude

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: My husband, “Joe,” turned 40 last summer. His cholesterol, blood pressure and weight are higher than they should be, and his doctor suggested he lose 20 pounds.

Joe has never been much into exercise, but I gave him a rather expensive multifunction machine for Christmas.He gave a reluctant 10 minutes a day on his new “toy.”

When he complained that his jeans were too tight, I got him loose workout clothes. When he continued to mutter about having “nothing to wear,” I retorted that he could exercise naked for all I cared. Before I realized it, he did just that. And he exercised for another 30 minutes.

He’s now using the machine, stark naked, each day for 45 minutes and he’s lost some weight. I think part of it is that our 12-year-old daughter has begun to “coach” his sessions, counting his reps and urging him on.

Annie, we’re not prudes. Our daughter has seen both her parents naked and insists it doesn’t bother her.

If I make him wear clothes, I worry he’ll stop exercising. Is naked exercise common? Is he some sort of closet pervert? Would some busybody consider this child abuse?

Confused in Illinois

Dear Confused: We can’t tell you whether Joe is overly enjoying his daughter’s assistance with his workout. We are not in favor of it and would insist he wear shorts. But nudity within one’s own home is not considered child abuse or indecent exposure.

Dear Annie: My husband and I have custody of my 8-year-old grandson, who has a mild form of autism and mental issues. My father tells me all the time what a wonderful job my husband does. Why can’t he just tell him himself?

Frustrated Grandmother

Dear Frustrated: Parents and in-laws often feel awkward complimenting a child to his face, and we suspect that’s why your father says these things to you instead. You can suggest he give the direct approach a try, but please don’t make a big deal out of it. And by all means, tell your husband how much his father-in-law admires him.

Dear Annie: I was happy that “A Mom in Murrieta” pointed out that parenting is different from baby-sitting.

I am a happily married father of three. My wife enjoys nights out with her girlfriends, and I enjoy nights out with my guy friends. I am offended when someone praises me for “baby-sitting” my own children so my wife can go out for the evening. I am not their baby sitter. I am their dad. Many people misinterpret men spending time with their kids as baby-sitting, and you didn’t help matters.

Love My Kids in South Dakota

Dear South Dakota: We are using the word “baby-sit” to mean “take care of the children.” (Many readers mistakenly believe it refers solely to a paid position held by teenagers.) Just as we would expect a husband to ask his wife to please watch the kids before running out of the house, we expect his wife to do the same.

Creators Syndicate

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