Annie's Mailbox: Wife worried about husband’s nude workout


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. I try to feed him well, but I know he stops for the occasional doughnut.

Joe never has been much into exercise, but I gave him a rather expensive multifunction machine for Christmas and installed it in the family room so he could watch the big-screen TV while working out. He gave me a reluctant 10 minutes a day on his new “toy.”

When he complained that his jeans were too tight, I made a note to buy him some loose workout clothes. When he continued to mutter about having “nothing to wear,” I frustratingly retorted that he could exercise naked for all I cared. Before I realized it, he did just that — on the machine in his birthday suit and gym shoes. And he exercised for another 30 minutes.

He’s now using the machine, stark naked, each day for 45 minutes without any prodding 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 to watch Dad exercise in the buff. In fact, they joke about it. She started calling him a “Greek athlete.” Joe does have Greek ancestry, and he now insists the Greeks had it right and has no intention of dressing.

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

— Confused in Illinois

Dear Confused: Exercising in the nude is not that uncommon and shouldn’t be dangerous unless sensitive body parts are in close proximity to dropped weights or snapped pulleys. 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. If you are worried about the neighbors, keep the blinds closed.

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

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. No one ever thanks a woman for “baby-sitting” her children so her husband can enjoy a night out.

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: What we have here is a failure to communicate. We are using the term “baby sit” to mean “take care of the children.” (Many readers mistakenly think 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.


dfrey 7 years ago

To Confused in Ill, about her 40 year old husband exercising nude in front of their daughter, age 12: I strongly disagree with Annie's advice. A maturing girl should not be watching any man, father or not, "exercise" naked. Something is very wrong here, and you need to stop things now. Here's a test----find something for your daughter to do at exercise time for a week or so, and see if hubby keeps up his routine, once the titillation of having an admiring young girl watching is removed. Bet he changes the time so she can still be there, or maneuvers the situation in another way to keep her with him. If he cuts way back or stops exercising, this is a HUGE clue. This whole scenario should be setting off alarm bells in you. An occasional glimpse of Mom or Dad naked is not at all the same as this situation.


Anitadunnce 7 years ago

Oh, for Pete's Sake! Is this woman in Illinois really so dimwitted that she had to write a letter to ask about this matter? (Wait just a minute! If she is in Illinois, is she an Obama-supporter?) Is she saying that the daughter had no interest in Dad's exercise until he started bobbing around nude in front of her, and now the girl is his dedicated "exercise coach"? For God's Sake!

And what is the matter with this man? Guys, is that even comfortable to get jerked around, and up and down, worrying the entire time about "snapped pulleys" on sensitive body parts? Is there something wrong with this man that he can't pull on a pair of Jockeys or boxers?

The whole fam..... Mom, Dad, 12-year-old daughter, sound like a bunch straight off the set of "Deliverance" who should be scheduled to appear on "The Jerry Springer Show" next week! I suppose that a year from now when the little girl gives birth to her son, who is also her brother, the mother will write another letter for advice. Sheesh.

The only disappointing part of this entire scenario is that it is not happening right in Craig. To have this naked guy bouncing up and down on his elliptical trainer, with his thigh movements closely monitored by his "coach" daughter, and his dumb-as-a-pumpkin wife wringing her hands, all in front of the picture window next door, would be truly entertaining.... LOLOL


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.