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The mistress(80 posts)

The mistressDog
Oct 18, 2001 11:55 AM
I know this has come up before many times, but since it's a perpetual issue for some of us (and not just the guys), any additional thoughts might be helpful to many of us.

A counselor called my bike "the other woman" last night. Geez. Freaked me out a little bacause I sort of thought of my Colnago as masculine. It's not a Colnag(a). Seriously, she intimated that the bike is like a mistress, but conceded that the desire to ride is not going to change. Said she is the same way about kayaking, sort of (nice to have an obsessed one as the counselor, too).

She said we just have to find things to do together that have nothing to do with cycling. So, guess who is going to three operas now? :O I'm trying to keep a good attitude, but if I want to listen to Italian, I'll watch "Breaking Away" or the Giro d'Italia on tape.

Bottom line, as I mentioned, is that she said that some people are just that way, and are not going to change. Some people just need obsessive exercise of some type. It's ok. It's common (she never uses the word "normal").

So, all you fanatics, we have license to obsess. The payback can be painful, though (suppose I can sneak an MP3 player into the opera?).


*Disclaimer: this is intended to be a little self deprecating and humorous
the only solution for opera...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 18, 2001 12:03 PM
opera: go drunk, and bring a flask. i'm not kidding. hint: it's hard to smell vodka on your breath. bonus: vodka is the least fat/calorically-harmful liquor.

personally, i'd rather eat glass than go to the opera. but, it all depends on what it's worth to you.

on the other hand, TOOL was in town monday night, and that kicked ass. and i was not intoxicated. but, i did go by myself, and (though it was general admission) sat in the nosebleed section with the parents in sequens and potheads in "motorhead" t-shirts.

sometimes counseling--of any form--can be harder to face than your 508. especially when you're not the only counsel-ee in the room. keep your chin up.
re: The mistressPaulCL
Oct 18, 2001 12:07 PM
Understood. I'm in the same boat, though I don't put the hours on the bike that you do.

My wife understands my NEED to ride and/or workout, to a point. With a family of three, plus my 'mistress' (a colnago, go figure?) we find time to do things together. For example: we have season tickets to the local playhouse theater. We take turns taking each other out on "dates". Finding other things to do together is tough. Opera?? Even my wife wouldn't force that on me. I fell asleep at the one opera that I attended.

P.S. You'll never get the MP3 player past the guards. Suck it up and act interested. Never know, you may like it. Doubtful - but it's possible.
I like opera. Try Wagner. This'll start some flames I bet ! ndmMB1
Oct 18, 2001 12:10 PM
ndm? no damned message? nmJs Haiku Shop
Oct 18, 2001 12:14 PM
The RideLuis
Oct 18, 2001 3:51 PM
It's probably because you can imagine that The Ride of the Valkyries is done on two wheels.
Compromise -- Gilbert and Sullivan?Humma Hah
Oct 18, 2001 4:39 PM
OK, some would deny it is really opera ... light opera at best. But a ton of fun, and in English, so you can actually understand the words if you listen a few times.

Who was the opera composer who said, "Opera would be so beautiful if it were not for the singers"?
Ooh! Forgot the vicious payback!PaulCL
Oct 18, 2001 12:15 PM
I mentioned dates etc...but my wife is inflicting "guy-hell" on me this weekend. The reasoning: "...if you can prance around in lycra, then..." and "...I give you time to ride, you can do this for me...."

Yes. The horror. She is making me go to a ....this is tough to admit....a costume party. This is gonna hurt. Somehow, in my wife's mind, if I can feel comfortable in public in skintight lycra then I should relish the time I will be spending in my ...ouch...pirate costume on Saturday night. I'd rather cut off my pinky finger than get on some tights, a stupid hat, and a gold lame jacket and prance around in public. And to make matters worse, this is a charity fundraiser that will be attended by at least a dozen of my clients.

So Doug, enjoy your time at the opera. That's easy. Life will get tougher. I know. The plus...I will be on my bike for four hours Sunday morning (if the Saturday hangover ain't too bad!)
you people just don't listen, do you?Js Haiku Shop
Oct 18, 2001 12:18 PM
bearable opera=drunk spectator
bearable costume party=drunk participant

* disclamer: those diametrically opposed to liquor drinking need not apply. offense is not intended in repeated "get most drunk and all things unbearable will become pleasant".
Gee, sorry to hear that; terrible. Really feel sorry for you. nmET
Oct 18, 2001 12:23 PM
Oct 18, 2001 12:31 PM
My wife made me go to a costume party once. I donned a costume that put an end to that.

I took a brown plastic garbage bag, and taped 4 inch black and red balloons all over it, and put it on with a neck hole cut out of the bottom, upside down.

No one guessed what I was - hemorroids. Yes, I had fun wearing that one.
There you go, PaulCL. You go in this costumeSpinchick
Oct 18, 2001 12:34 PM
and she can go as a tube of Prep-H.
go as a 'cyclist'. :) nmraboboy
Oct 18, 2001 12:44 PM
thought about it...PaulCL
Oct 18, 2001 1:47 PM
...but the thought of walking around wearing nothing by lycra bibs and a flashy jersey wasn't very appealing. ON the bike, they're OK, but off the bike...??? Besides, it will be a cold night, I would have to be in shorts and I don't wear underwear under my bibs. What is the word I'm looking for here....hmmmmm....yes...shrinkage...and embarrassment (stress the 'bar-ass' part)

The pirate will have to do. It sucks, but I'm happily married and I want to stay that way.

P.S. I've already informed my wife that I will not be going to this benefit next year.

P.S.#2 Yes, Haiku-man, massive amounts of alcohol WILL be involved.
Dude, not the puffy shirt...(nm)djg
Apr 1, 2002 10:25 AM
The Tyranny of TwoBrian C.
Oct 18, 2001 12:12 PM
If you have the time or inclination, you might want to check out last Sunday's NYTimes magazine on the state of relationships in America.

My ex-wife used to drag me out to opera, too. I tried, but I just couldn't get into it - felt exhaused after having to concentrate so hard trying to figure out the dialogue, even with subtitles flashed above the stage.
On the other hand, she at times was most displeased that I'd take off on the bicycle for a few hours. She couldn't get into it, either.
I dunno. Can we all get along?
It is a compromise.speedmaestro
Oct 18, 2001 10:53 PM
You bike 100-200 times a year during the time she might be home alone? Bike in the morning or afternoon, or evening, whatever your schedule.

Hit the opera twice a year.


Secret vacation. It is your world.

just get the divorce alreadyjj
Oct 18, 2001 12:17 PM
You'll both be happier. If you're not prepared to do that, then both of you need to look at your priorities and be prepared to make some compromises.
not an optionDog
Oct 18, 2001 12:27 PM
Something novel: we've decided to stay married and work it out somehow. Maybe that's novel, but it's worth it. There are plenty of serious riders who stay married. We are not taking the easy way out, whether divorce or giving up what we love to do.

I sort of like the get drunk option. Her and me.
maybe not now, but.....Starliner
Oct 18, 2001 1:07 PM
Prior to my divorce, me and my ex went through several years of counseling. My take on counselors is they never really cut to the bone. Their effect is very limited. The bottom line is that the ball is in your court, and either you play or you get out of the game.

Up until the time of separation, I kept myself in a state of denial as to my true feelings and desires with regard to my marriage and my partner. When in that state, communication with yourself is restricted; hence communication with your wife cannot proceed beyond the superficial. As a result, your relationship is in big trouble.

Has the counselor asked you what is behind your desire to ride so much (and spend so much time away from your relationship)? Are you running away from something or someone (your wife)? Are you afraid of something (settling down, having children)? Or maybe are you trying hard to prove yourself, and if so, to whom? You've got some questions to ask yourself, pal. And you need to find the answers, otherwise you'll spend the rest of your married life smoothing things over, pretending that things are OK when they are not, being miserable underneath.

After my divorce was when I seriously got into riding, and I have no reason to look back to my life before with regrets. Staying in the moment. That's one thing I like about riding.
Unsolicited adviceFreud the Lurker
Oct 18, 2001 1:14 PM
Well I normally wouldn't comment on such a personal situation, but since you choose to post your personal details on a public forum I thought I'd mention how I thought it was interesting on your web page about the race you were in how you thank your support crew, but there is NO MENTION of your wife (at least thanking her for putting up with your obsessive training) or even that you are married. Maybe an oversight, but it's like you lead a double life. Cycling for you might not seem like a mistress but the only thing missing from it being an affair is the sex in this lurker's opinion. It eventually might not be your decision on whether or not to stay married. Your wife might get smart and leave you. Would be hard to blame her. I'd think hard about getting your priorities straight. If cycling is your love let your wife go. If she is that important then back off on the cycling. You may need a 12 step program from the sound of it if the latter is the case (just kidding there).
i already know you have a good head on your shoulders, but...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 18, 2001 1:20 PM
be careful what you read. these ?? posters seem to be encouraged by each other's crap, and one "advice" post is feeding off the prior, building into one large garbage-snowball (not eloquent, but hey). i know you won't, but don't let the nihilists sway you. just because some folks have had bad history doesn't mean that's the way of the world, just their take on it. it's commendable that you're willing to stick to it. some of us wouldn't.
Oct 18, 2001 1:22 PM
Good for you.look271
Oct 18, 2001 3:21 PM
Too many couples take the easy way out and get divorced instead of at least trying to work it out.(I'm not insinuating that divorce is easy.) I'm happily married, too, but it takes WORK. However, I doubt she'd allow me to do the riding that you do.
Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana"Spinchick
Oct 18, 2001 12:25 PM
Go to this opera. Sit in the front row. Close your eyes during the first and last movement and imagine yourself hammering through some beautiful countryside in No. Cal.(or for that matter, anywhere). It will rock your world.

Also, you hit the nail on the head with these two sentences:

"Bottom line, as I mentioned, is that she said that some people are just that way, and are not going to change. Some people just need obsessive exercise of some type."

Part of this equation that makes it problematic is that some people are not this way and cannot begin to relate to it. This especially causes problems when there is a marriage where one is and one isn't. As understanding as my husband is, he doesn't come anywhere close to relating to this obsessive need. He is the type of person who feels quite comfortable always taking the path of least resistance and not putting much physical effort into things. This is the way he is and will most likely never change. I, on the other hand, do not come close to relating to THAT. We have had to find some common ground where we can come together and spend time doing things that require as little output of energy as possible. He likes, well, hanging out. VERY hard for me to do for very long but well worth the peace it brings in our lives.

My two cents...
Type "A" people always marry type "B" people. Then theyMB1
Oct 18, 2001 12:28 PM
wonder-what's up with that?
He wasn't nearly this "B" like when we got married. nmSpinchick
Oct 18, 2001 12:32 PM
I, however, have always been slightly hyperactive and obsessive. Maybe he's getting tired just being around me? I can't be easy to live with.
Oops. I put an nm but there is a short message. NOW nm.Spinchick
Oct 18, 2001 12:35 PM
That is what Miss M says about me. nmMB1
Oct 18, 2001 12:36 PM
Shrinks and PointsJon
Oct 18, 2001 5:49 PM
First of all, don't assume you're trying to "get away" from anything or that in some way
you're "wrong". Maybe you just like to ride a lot....and work a lot...or whatever. Secondly,
the counsellors' advice usually boils down to "points". You do so and so and then you get
enough points for an unspecified, butlimited, amount of your favourite activity. To me this
is appeasement and specious compromise. It's interesting too that it's always women who
equate an extracurricular passion with extracurricular sex. The issues in that case, in my
opinion, are jealousy and control. I presume I'll get into a lot of trouble for saying this...but, oh well.

Unfortunately, you're just two really different people and it's tough to learn to accept someone
else for exactly who and what they are. I know, I've been through 35 years of marriage, and finally
worked it out. I also, at one point listened to a lot of nonsense from a counsellor. Good luck.
you sound really bitter (nm)Ted the Horseman
Oct 19, 2001 6:41 AM
Please! We need a TOUCHY-FEELY board!!!nm
Oct 18, 2001 12:28 PM
We got one, don't ya love it? nmMB1
Oct 18, 2001 12:29 PM
How 'bout a CYCLING board then?DA
Oct 18, 2001 12:37 PM
'cause this sure has evolved into something else.
Why don't you help poor SkunkWorks with his slipping stem?MB1
Oct 18, 2001 12:42 PM
No one else is. Or Chris V with his frame question? Either that or join the crowd at the divorce/costume party....hmmmm sounds just like an opera to me!
The insane have taken over the asylum.JRG
Oct 18, 2001 12:52 PM
Oct 18, 2001 6:03 PM
I feel pretty touched. nmSpinchick
Oct 18, 2001 12:42 PM
I think the correct term is 'tetched'. :) nmRoxy
Oct 18, 2001 1:47 PM
Please! We need a TOUCHY-FEELY board!!!Fred the Dread
Oct 18, 2001 1:16 PM
I agree. This is starting to sound like some AOL chat room.
Oh good. Can we discuss Britney Spears now? :) nmmr_spin
Oct 18, 2001 1:50 PM
I heard she postponed the start of her tour..vanzutas
Oct 19, 2001 7:11 AM
I have tickets for the Toronto show and I hope that she still makes it there on time. I am so looking forward to seeing her. she is soooo dreamy. I went to see her at a benifit concert with N'Sync and it was WICKED COOL. I got up to the front and one of her body guards punched me in the face so I figure he probably touched her before the show and that means that she touched me. isn't that AWSOME. Then After the show I tried to chase down her limo on my Bicycle and I cought up to it, then the window came down and her body guard hit me on the head with a champagne bottle. that kind of hurt but not as much as when the limo swerved and nockd me off the road.
Well I hope I have better luck this time.

LOL nmJs Haiku Shop
Oct 19, 2001 7:13 AM
If you don't like it, go create your own board...Tig
Oct 18, 2001 4:17 PM
and you get to make all the rules. Enjoy your "big fish in a small pond" status since you will be somewhat alone. If you don't like this place, then by all means go somewhere else. Most likely you just need to ride to burn out all of that internalized anger. The only "contributions" you boys have made are flames attacking non-cycling posts. We're still waiting for YOU to post something about cycling instead of the same old crap.
Are you saying the gals here have mistresses? :-)ET
Oct 18, 2001 12:33 PM
Out of curiosity, does your wife actually *like* opera? If so, why? Can you go to a football game together, or just girlie things? :-)

Disclaimer: I hate lawyers who end everything with disclaimers. :-)
you wish!perv
Oct 18, 2001 12:34 PM
com'on - you'd hate lawyers anywayDog
Oct 18, 2001 12:38 PM
I think the point is to do something she chooses - I think I get more points if she thinks I won't like it.

She doesn't like football, but then I really don't, either (my dad was a football coach and I hated being dragged to games my entire youthful life).
Maybe you could start talking about somethingSpinchick
Oct 18, 2001 12:40 PM
you like but say you really DON'T like it. Then when she wants you to go with her, it won't be so bad for you.

PS. I've actually done this.
female perspective?Dog
Oct 18, 2001 12:48 PM
Ok, you obviously understand the issue from both sides, the female side, and the obsessed side.

If one wants to continue riding as much, yet make the wife happy, how do we do that? Any hints? Romance stuff? Girlie stuff? Gifts? Candlelit dinners (and cleaning up)?
This is VERY interesting...Spinchick
Oct 18, 2001 12:57 PM
because my husband is the romantic one in our relationship. I like getting flowers okay, etc. but I'd be MUCH more interested in a new pair of bike shorts, a book, backpacking gear, etc. (yeah, where's the romance?) And Hubby would earn MAJOR MAJOR points if the gifts he got me were bike-related (or related to another of my hobbies). He, however, likes to buy me jewelry, which I rarely wear. (We've had major arguments about this). So, if she has a hobby or an interest, or likes to get flowers, etc, by all means do it. Just make sure it's something she is interested in and not just what you think she wants.

Does she bug you about cleaning up? If so, make it a point to go OUT OF YOU WAY to clean. That will go far!
why don't you two just divorce and marry each other already (nm)Fred the Dread
Oct 18, 2001 1:19 PM
Oct 18, 2001 1:08 PM
Women always like to be pursued. Okay, I won't assume that EVERY woman enjoys this. But for me, pursuit goes a long way towards making me feel special. Especially when he goes out of his way or surprises me. I bet this is even more true after several years of marraige. Try this. Think back to when you were dating her. What was your most memorable/favorite date? (Reality check here: would she also call it a favorite?) Recreate this date and make it a surprise. I bet you'll get brownie points!
Hey Doug, pay attention to Kristin on this onePaulCL
Oct 18, 2001 1:57 PM
Woo your wife again. Be romantic. I doubt your wife wants you to give up the bike. She probably wants to be the center of your life again. So instead of taking an hour to wash and lube the C-40, spend the hour with your wife. The dirt can wait til another day.

Why do I know this?? As a thick skulled man, my wife has actually had to tell me this flat out. Your attention, your time, your affection should be directed to your wife first. If you are successful at that, she won't care about the time on the bike.

I think I'll have my wife read this one...I may score some serious MBU's (Mariatal Bargaining Units)
so, you're saying wash and lube my wife?Dog
Oct 18, 2001 2:16 PM
Good advice from you and the women. Thanks.

I'll take some of the good suggestions and give them a go. It's nice to hear from Kristin, Spinchick, and Delia on this. I appreciate it. Sounds like shifting some of the passion to the appropriate places would help.

BTW, to the critics of this thread, I can't believe you all cannot understand not only the relevance of this to cycling, but also the grave importance. This is a big deal to some of us who ride lots, maybe even too much. I can figure out how to assemble any part of a bike, fix anything, train pretty well, ride down a mountain, but getting enough time to ride while maintaining a relationship at times is the biggest obstacle. I would think the importance would be obvious to anyone who rides.


Maybe you dont love herSpikedawg
Oct 18, 2001 3:05 PM
But maybe you do. What does your heart tell you to do? Don't fake it and pretend, like a lot of people are suggesting. Have the courage to be honest with yourself and then go from there - whether or not it means staying together. You don't have kids do you?
It occurred to me to say that, but I held back. But a good idea.PaulCL
Oct 19, 2001 4:58 AM
Understanding passionate people.Delia
Oct 18, 2001 2:01 PM
She wants to feel like she's the number 'One' in your life. People like to feel wanted and needed and it's as simple as that. You know your wife Doug. Only you know how to make her feel that way (ie. wanted and needed). You know it's not as simple as gifts and dinners. She doesn't like you riding so much because she feels threatened. She feels like it's a competition and that when you choose the bike .... in essence you 'don't' choose her...and I can imagine how much that hurts. All you can do is spend a 'reasonable' amount of time with her and reassure her in various ways that you NEED her (this always gets women) in a way that you don't NEED the bike (you know what I mean). After that, it's up to her to accept that passionate people have passions and that it is those passions that are a basic part of their identity. When someone asks a passionate person to modify their passion drastically...they are asking that person to be a 'different' person. It sounds like your wife married YOU (obviously)...but the YOU seems to be a passionate person whose passion is Cycling (but you can of course see here how it is not the Cycling in itself that is the issue...rather that it is YOUr passion). She needs to realize that her wish for you to not ride as much is in fact a wish for you to change the nature of your identity. And that's not fair (if and only if you've done your best to reassure her of your passion for her as well). Some things we can change, some things we can't. It's all about the limits of acceptance. But what do I know?
But what do you know?Spinchick
Oct 18, 2001 2:16 PM
I think you know more than me. And I do mean that seriously. I'm thinking Kristin and Delia have a little more understanding on this one than I do - even though I'm a woman. Sometimes our passion/obsession gets in the way of other things that are important to us. Hence the meaning of obsession. I am guilty of that. Delia, if my husband read your post he'd show it to me and ask me to be more like you :-).
Holy cow - you gotta hear thisDog
Oct 18, 2001 2:51 PM
I just offered to make dinner tonight (steak, potato, spear guts on the grill, salad, wine - and clean up, too), and she nearly started crying. Maybe I've been making this too hard. Thanks for the inspiration.

Damn dog, now I'm gonna cry. Take care of that woman! ;-)) nmMB1
Oct 18, 2001 3:41 PM
Damn dog, now I'm gonna cry. Take care of that woman!guido
Oct 19, 2001 11:25 AM
And put on Mozart's The Magic Flute for you dinner music.
Dog-Some good advice .......Len J
Oct 18, 2001 5:28 PM
in some of the posts, but if your doing these things so that you can score enough points to be able to ride, this will never work out, she will always feel like she's second choice. The core issue is which is more important to you?
I'm not suggesting that you give either one up, I'm just suggesting that you do some soul searching and , at a core level, decide which one would hurt you the most to lose, and act accordingly. I think several of the posters hit the nail on the head when they said that she is feeling like she is less important to you than cycling. If she is not second than your actions need to demonstrate that, flow out of that, anything else is just a pretense that she will see thru.

I wish you luck.


P.S. Opera is not that bad if you try to find something to really appreciate, for me it was the choreography & the costumes and the music, the story escaped me so I made one up in my mind that seemed to fit. (I mean there are only like 3 stories in the world, Boy meets girl, loses girl, gets girl back, Boy solves murder mystery and gets girl, & Boy shaped by father becomes the opposite & then relizes he's not that different & then gets the girl) It's good for the imagination, & it passes the time.
Greetings from across the pondJohn-d
Oct 19, 2001 4:48 AM
So, how did the dinner go?
The laws of nature are the same over here, the thing is, having returned from your training - do you then sit at the computer?
In case you are wondering, I am at work and it is lunchtime in the UK.
Give me a breakTed the Horseman
Oct 19, 2001 6:46 AM
Poor woman has to take small mercies when she can get them. I feel sorry for both of you. So you make dinner one night and then back to your long distance cycling tomorrow? Good for another few weeks? Is that the rationale here?
Understanding passionate people.zzz
Oct 18, 2001 4:13 PM
I would say you know quite a lot Delia. I'm lucky because I have a wonderful daughter who is as passionate about riding as I am. My wife rides but doesn't have the same passion. Before my daughter started to bicycle I always made sure that the energy of my attention to the two of them was more than equal to what I gave riding. My wife would have her periods of frustration with me but always KNEW that she and our daughter were more important than anything else to me. Now with my daughter so involved my wife can see that there are so many benefits to bicycling. As our daughter developed a strong sense of self-esteem and began having more positive energy my wife realized that by my being so obsessed our daughter was getting a role model of someone who could show passion in different ways. I'm glad I was able to find a way to show my wife and daughter that I can be passionate about a number of things but that none of those things took away from the passion I feel towards them.
hey, I guess you're right about that :-) (nm)ET
Oct 18, 2001 12:42 PM
re: My advice - and worth every penny.dzrider
Oct 18, 2001 12:47 PM
If you got a tandem and took a wife who hated riding out on it 4 hours per week, and you went to an opera for 5 hours a week it would likely make 4 more unhappy hours for each of you.

Lots of these questions come up in our marriage as well and are answered best when there is something that both of us want to work on. I don't get much vocal complaint but there is unmistakably some resentment of the time I spend exercising. When my wife was getting in shape for the AIDS Ride suddenly there was time for both of us to ride. When we've had big events in her family and both of us are involved in the planning and cooking, there's more time for me to ride event though I'm busier.

It appears to me that I value the activity and love sharing it with her and my wife places much more emphasis on the shared time and effort whatever the activity.
Opera! You can't get that kind of sleep at home. nmdavidl
Oct 18, 2001 3:13 PM
It's not about the bike...mk_42
Oct 18, 2001 4:15 PM
I think the most important thing that no one has said (but many people referred to) was that it's probably not about the bike. From When Harry met Sally: "Marriges don't break up on account of infidelity, it's just a symptom that something else is wrong." I think most of the women hit it right on the head. It's not that you bike per se, but that you are not choosing your wife. Look at it this way...your wife probably FEELS (key word) that if you could trade a day of work for a day with her you would. You wife probably FEELS that if you had a day of biking and the option to trade it for a day with her you wouldn't, or would at least hesitate. And that probably makes her sad, or angry, or both.

The other thing is she's probably right. I read your 508 digest (and lack there of) and my vague impression of you is that if you had a day at work that you had the option to trade for a day with her, you would go riding instead, and that would even piss me off.

Another nugget that could help:
I like opera and my girlfriend doesn't. It's not hopeless. If your wife really does like opera go get a CD of "opera for people who hate opera" or "classical music for dummies" or something like it. You are bound to like SOMETHING and you may be able to go together and both like it which she'll probably be more happy about. She might enjoy you making that effort to try and enjoy it with her and meet you half way. If she wants you to go *because* you don't (like punishment for hearing about bike stuff all the time) than this will only work if you do it on the sly. Carmina Burana was a good suggestion (it's mostly about sex) but consider popular theater like Phantom of the Opera, or classical concerts that only have the "famous" parts from various pieces.

Another thing that is a problem with me (and may be with you) is that with some things I take a totally stubborn non-negotiable stance. I bet if it's dinner and opera you'd say "let's talk about going" but if it was about not riding it'd be a flat "no." Women totally pickup on the feeling underneath all that.

The most important thing (I think) as I said before is that it's not about the bike. She may have emodied it in the bike but that's probably not all of it. Try time when you are ready to go for a ride, and want to go, just (on your own) decide to stay at home and watch a movie or something with your wife. And pay attention to the process of changing from ride to wife. It's hard to explain but really pay attention to what's going on in your head as you go from choosing one to the other. Women are good at seeing that internal struggle or at least imagining it. When you do this you might see your wife's point. If you were really psyched to go and you end up in a bad mood because you didn't you might not see the point until later but that would show what she means all the more. I don't mean saying "yeah you have a point" but actually knowing what she's talking about. Like that it might feel kinda crappy if the tables were turned.

In my relationship I'm the one with the hobbies (biking, hiking, skiing, etc.) but I'm also the romantic. Trust me, it's a weird mix. I'm less passionate about cycling than you are but I completely understand your struggle.

Did you ride as much as you do now when you met? When you got married? Just curious.

It's not about the's about crucifixioncycleguy
Oct 18, 2001 8:57 PM
I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Guess thats because all the really sharp ones are kept in a special holder. Yet somehow I think this old fool learned one simple truth about making a relationship work. And this is not meant to be anything but free advice and taken as such. Best as I can see, if someone truly wants to spend the rest of their life with only one person and wants that person to feel the same way towards them. Then you must be willing to crucify ones self. To truly die to ones self and be willing to be reborn for the other. To look into that mirror of you soul and say if I want this to work I am willing to never ride a bike again. If I have to go to the opera every night then I will. And not just go but to really find what she finds so beautiful. That my goal and purpose in life is to die to my desires. And to put hers above mine. To be willing to give a gift of ones self without any expectation of recieving anything in return.

As I said before, I'm not the smartest person and don't know much about anything. But I do know that when your willing to die for another, if that person is someone worth dieing for, they will do the same.
How about your cycling club?SkunkWorks
Oct 18, 2001 5:03 PM
I don't think it is any different than military wives, who are alone when there husband is on a long deployment or any other couple that has to deal with many business trips with the exception that in this case your not that far from home. What I have seen in the military and even in our local cycling club is wives support groups. Many of non-cycling wives still hang with the cycling club and form there own support groups which often help both the riders by driving the support vehicles and food preparation, while helping themselves because they develope relationships with other wives in the same situation. They still get to share in an activity with their husband and also develope some friends and interests of their own. The wives support groups even go to movies, shopping and OPERA! together while their stupid husbands are riding that century in the rainstorm. It sounds like it may be too late to try something like this with her, but it might be worth a try. I know that you like to mainly ride solo, but if you get to ride more than you would otherwise then hopefully you have a local bike club that will benefit both you and her.
Oct 18, 2001 6:03 PM
My other half rides a custom ti ride every bit as nice as mine and helped my buy mine when I was short on funds. I might be faster up the hills, but she can grind me into the dirt if we skip eating/fueling. I *had* to marry her - you don't get lucky that often.

You simply HAVE to hate the opera - it's so un-American. Why couldn't it be football or some other trivial spectator sport?

And what's this we can't do your activity, but you can both do hers?

Actually if you do the opera right - learn about it before you go and study a bit, it can actually be a hoot. At least that's what my he-man contractor buddy says when his lady dragged him to the opera.

Grin and bare it (all) ;-)
Comedic OperaBirddog
Oct 18, 2001 6:23 PM
If you have a choice, go to a comedic opera like the "Grand Duchess of Geralstein" (NAME AND SPELLING IS SUSPECT HERE). Also, think of the opera singers as athletes (many people do you know) and analyze what it takes to do what they do. Check out their breathing and how they use their diaphram to their advantage. Hell you might just be able to pick up[ something usefull to cycling. I expect a full report on this.
Uhhh...Hey Dog...Ahimsa
Oct 18, 2001 6:23 PM
It seems it has all been said, but....

What is she "obsessive" about?

Does she not have a love or passion in life other than you?

It seems to me that this opera thing is not even something she "loves", but rather feels like it is something the two of you should do together if you were in a perfect little romantic bubble.

I think she needs to get a life outside of you to enjoy for herself. That way you two "equals" could (and should) support each other's passions together.

It is not a question of finding common activities, but rather enjoying mutual respect and admiration. She should love you in part because you are a hugely dedicated cyclist, not in spite of it.

Why must so much emphasis be placed upon making compromises we do not want to make? Life is too short to deny yourself happiness in order to pursue happiness. Dig?

I can see her having a legitimate problem with you if you neglect her for cycling outright, but she should also make an effort to find a supportive role as well. She does not have to love or even understand cycling. She just needs to love and understand you.


(Sappy? So f*ckin' what...Off the subject of cycling? So f*ckin' what...Life is cycling to me, so therefore it is acceptable to discuss anything here. You go Dog. You earned the right to post what ever the hell ya want about a million miles ago.)
re: The mistressatomicwedgie
Oct 18, 2001 6:26 PM
I'm the luckiest guy on the board. My beautiful wife loves NHRA drag racing, Super Chevy Shows, and Hooter's Buffalo wings. Oh yeah, and me.
re: The mistresshank
Oct 18, 2001 9:00 PM
Did someone say Opera? How much? What size? I love PINARELLO.
re: The mistressspeedmaestro
Oct 18, 2001 11:07 PM
The End.
regarding opera and things men don't like to doDuane Gran
Oct 19, 2001 4:08 AM
The advice of the counselor is absurd. Why do something together that you can't enjoy together? That only ensures that one person is bitter, or bites the lip. Not a good way to improve communication in my opinion.

Some others made a good observation that this whole opera thing is a way of getting points for doing something you don't want to do. It would make a lot more sense to find common interests and focus on that. How an unenjoyable night together helps things is beyond my imagination.

It has been interesting to hear the viewpoint of the women on this board. I suspect that we all want to feel a sense of value, but from what I see, most cyclists have a self supporting ego. Many of us can be perfectly happy by ourselves for long periods of time. To be blunt about it, this upsets people who have a weak or parasitic ego. As much as cycling nuts (I'm one 'em) need to be sensitive, people who don't "get it" need to get a backbone and be comfortable with themselves. That is my sweeping generalization that certainly has exceptions.
depends on the operaDAC
Oct 19, 2001 4:20 AM
If you have to sit through some dreck like Wozzek or most Verdi operas, you will hate it.
On the other hand, truly great operas, such as Don Giovani, Turandot, Die Fliegender Hollander, etc, will at least give you something to listen to, even if the libretto is a bit ridiculous.
La Boheme, while pretty much a "chick" opera, is something which is good to see as a couple. Avoid bombastic Wagner operas-she won't like them, and besides, they are a bit over the top. About 1/2 of the operas by Mozart are dreck, too, but they are almost all good for couples. Madama Butterfly is always a good choice, too, as are most operas by Puccini.
Avoid dark operas, like Cavalera Rusticana and Pagliacci (usually performed together), or Tosca-operas with revenge and distrust as central themes are a poor choice.
Women love operas with "femme fatales", such as La Boheme and La Traviatta, but will also be satisfied with less bombastic "heroic" operas, such as La Nozzi di Figaro and Fidelio. Avoid modern works at all costs.
All right, gang. Reality check. Let's go back to what webill
Oct 19, 2001 7:28 AM
learned in kindergarten. You want to have a friend? Be a friend. You want to have a spouse? Be a spouse.
Doog (which I like so much better than "Dog," can you live with that? had a good friend I always called "Doog," wonder what happened to ol' Doog?), I have "known" you in the cyber sense for nigh a year, and, yeah, you're passionate about your cycling and pushing yourselt, but you can't go around saying how your wife doesn't understand your passionateness if you don't show a little passion FOR HER. If you're passionate, spread it around, pal! Go nuts and obsess over her once in awhile.
Marriage is this journey without maps or paths. You cling to each other and you keep on walking. If you find a side route you really dig that doesn't involve her, you're entitled to a little diversion now and then, keeps us all sane, but then you've got to find her again and reconnect. The dinner, btw, was brilliant.
Someday, you'll be 80. Do you want to be with her? If so, show her your passion. Help her see you; at the same time, look at her. Share. But don't expect her to share yours if you don't share hers.