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How to deal with unsupportive wife????(63 posts)

How to deal with unsupportive wife????dirthead
Aug 11, 2003 7:53 AM
Although I have the best wife in the world, she does not support my riding, and makes it very clear on a regular basis. Here is the story, please give me your comments or advice.

We met about 3 years ago, and quickly fell in love. She had a 2 year old daughter from a previous marriage, and had just quit her job to go to college at the age of 27, to be a teacher. Our relationship grew quickly, and we became engaged. I had a previous marriage that was very bad, and we often talked about our past experiences. I had been riding for 3 years when we met, but was not riding much at that time. One of my rants about my previous wife was how she never supported anything I did, and always made me feel terrible for wanting to do something other than stay in the house with her 24/7. I often talked of riding and how much I enjoyed it, and my new honey said many, many times that if I wanted to start riding again, she would support me. After a few months, I got the bug and started riding. The riding grew to 3-4 days a week, generally after work and for only an hour or so at a time. It didn't take long for her to get tired of my riding and start complaining about it. I started riding only 1 or 2 times a week, to ease the friction, and that seemed to work for a while.

A couple of months ago, a few friends and I decided to do our first century, which is in 2 weeks. We have been training 2 times a week, once in the afternoon on a weekday, and once in the morning on the weekend, for about 3-4 hours each ride. My wife has feels that she has had to sacrifice too much for me to make these longer rides, twice a week. She cannot give me an answer as to what her "sacrifice" is, but that is how she feels. She is still in college, and usually studies or does homework 2-3 hours every night. Her daughter is now 4, and calls me daddy, so I regard her as our daughter now. While my wife is studying, I make sure the little one is entertained so that my wife can study without interruption. I do not mind, or look at it as a sacrifice, since I love my daughter. I pay all the bills, I support my wife going to school at a later than normal age, I help with all the housework, with the care of our daughter, and everything else she wants to do. I encourage her to find a hobby, and she reads many hours a weeks for pleasure, surfs the internet many hours a weeks for pleasure, and quilts from time to time. I have always supported everything she does. Why is it so hard for her to support me in the one thing I enjoy doing??? I don't think it is the riding she has a hard time with, I think it is me wanting to do something that doesn't involve her directly. How do I handle this?? I don't think I should have to give up riding. I would never ask her to give up something she loved to do. But how do I keep riding, and have a good relationship with her?

Any ideas would be appreciated. I know women have entirely different perspectives on things than men, so any thought from the ladies on the board would help.
It's tought, but here is how I work ittxcross
Aug 11, 2003 8:10 AM
During the week it is no big deal for us because I am able to ride every day at lunch, we have showers and a nice area close to my office where I can ride traffic free. If you have showers at the office, trying riding during your lunch break. This also helps to break up my work day.

On weekends we discuss which day I will ride, Saturday or Sunday. We decide together how long I will be gone and where I will be going. Once that has been determined I determine the amount of time I will be gone. 3, 4 ,5 hours. I then make plans to take my son out of the house on the other day for the same amount of time. If I'm riding for 4 hours on Sunday then I take him somewhere for 4 hours on Saturday.

Taking the child out of the house is key. My wife is a stay at home mother and whenever she and my son are home she is working (whether I am there or not). This has helped the most. I understand how busy she is raising our son and that she needs a complete break from it. Plus it gives me quality time with my son that I do not get during the week. This has worked for the last year allowing me to get about 3000 miles in since January.

Why don't you take her out to a nice dinner this weekend and tell her what you told us. Letting her know that you understand how difficult everything she is doing is and that she needs a break just like you do.
buy her a bike!andy02
Aug 11, 2003 8:11 AM
Most of the time all I get form my wife is "wish I could have gone". That may change now that she will be as flexable as I am with time.

Why don 't you tell her it is stress relief and still cheaper then a shrink? It sounds like you are getting used to pay the bills!
No! Bad!KG 361
Aug 11, 2003 8:19 AM
My wife and I need to do things as individuals and mine is to ride. She has a bike but has not used it. My wife complained a lot when I 1st started riding, but she knows now that if I don't ride, I am not too fun to live with =). Try to make your riding as accomodating as possible-ride in the early am or when she is doing something that does not involve you. Gradually, I think that she will see how much you enjoy it and how much it benefits BOTH of you.
Agree-also...the bull
Aug 11, 2003 8:42 AM
Do really want to ride around for hours going 12 MPH?
NOT FUN!!!!!!!
I guess it depends -my wife got fast quick!andy02
Aug 11, 2003 9:50 AM
My wife and I always ran together so she had a good base going into cycling. I guess that helps because as soon as she learned to draft she can follow me all day at 19mph ( except in the mountains). I use to be able to ride with her on my easy days now she is too fast, so she goes on the tempo rides with me and my team.

the other difference is we don't won't kids to interfer with our play time so that changes thing a lot.
doesn't always worktxcross
Aug 11, 2003 8:27 AM
I thought about this too, but having a two year old son makes this close to impossible. All of our family is back on the east coast and getting a baby sitter every weekend for 4-6 hours just won't work.

Besides, this is MY hobby. I ride to get away from everything. I ride alone and enjoy it that way.
Spoken like one with no children?94Nole
Aug 11, 2003 8:32 AM
What should they do with the daughter? Get a babysitter a couple or 3 times per week? That ain't likely to happen.

Not to be too harsh here and still under teh assumption that you are childless, but those without children do not always understand the commitment children are. Maybe they do and maybe that is why some people who cherish their free time too much are still childless. But they can't just say, "okay, you sit and watch Barney for the next three hours like a good girl while me and mom go for a little bike ride." Having young children does sometimes mean that you give up life's passions for a season.

I, now, have a soon-to-be 14 year old son who now rides with me just about everytime I ride and a 10 year old who will likely get his 1st road bike this Christmas. Talking about quality time spent with one's children. It doesn't get better than that.

I am not saying that one has to give up completely those things he really enjoys doing just because he has children, but one has to remember that, especially for a stay-at-home mom, she spends a ton of time "alone" with the child and needs you when you are not otherwise obligated (i.e., working). Sorry, riding does not = obligation.

Just my nickel's worth
buy youself a Burleypmf1
Aug 11, 2003 8:51 AM
Like it was said further down, a kid makes the buy her a bike strategy pretty much unworkable. If you could tow the kid with you, maybe she'd like having free time and be more amenable to riding.

I have a seven week old baby at home right now. First one. My riding has taken a huge hit, but its OK. I can still commute and go for shorter rides on the weekends. I got in 150 miles last week and was pretty happy about that even though I'd have considered it a wimpy week in the past. I plan to buy a Burley next year and take the little fella out with me.
Burleys are great, but they aren't really useful for trainingColnagoFE
Aug 11, 2003 9:10 AM
You can have a lot of fun hauling the little one(s) around in the trailer, but don't count on getting in a quality workout in between stopping to change diapers, get them food and the usual trappings that go along with caring for a small kid.
Look like a good work out to mepmf1
Aug 11, 2003 9:45 AM
Especially in a strong headwind. And hauling one of those things up a hill must be some work.

Yeah, I'm sure its not the solution to all his troubles, but it is a way to get some time on the bike in. Maybe his wife would reciprocate by letting him ride alone sometimes and haul the kid others.
join the clubDougSloan
Aug 11, 2003 8:17 AM
Before baby, this was my chronic concern. While I do tend to overdo things, this was always a plaguing problem. I can only offer a few, mitigating, minor suggestions. Short of divorce, I doubt you will fully solve the problem.

1. Communicate. Tell her early when, where, and how long you plan to ride. Then, follow up and hold yourself to what you planned.

2. Leave early. Get up early on Saturday morning and ride. You can maybe get 50 miles in before she even wakes up.

3. Minimize travel. Don't drive to start your ride, if you an help it. That eats up valueable riding time. Same for events. By the time I might drive to do some group century rides, I could have ridden an entire century. Chose wisely.

4. Minimize shop time, or wrench when she's gone or asleep. Also, you don't *have* to have the cleanest bike in town.

5. Involve her, if you can. The more she knows about what you are doing, likely the more tolerant she'll be.

6. Pay special attention to her in other ways. Keeping her happy over all will go a long way.

7. Finally, balance and have priorities. I read one quote that went something like, "Choose what you want in life, decide what you are willing to give up to acheive it, then get to it." Which is more important, your marriage or your riding? Quite possibly you cannot have all you want out of both. I'd love to do RAAM every year, but I'd be divorced, and likely could not keep the job I have. Further, with a child, the sacrifice of time with him would not be worth it to me. I am not willing to give up a marriage, job, and time with the kid to have something else I want. Maybe later, but doubtful. I have made life choices, and there are certain consequences from those choices. That includes not riding nearly as much as I'd like. I apologize to myself, but in the end, there really is no choice. That's ok. I have chosen to give up something very important to me, riding, to better my family life. That makes the latter all the more valuable to me. Bottom line, and I know this is blasphemy here, it that in the big scheme of things riding a bike is not that important. Ask yourself whether, on your deathbed at 90 years old, would you have preferred to have spent more time riding, with family, or working.

How's the opera? ;+) nmLon Norder
Aug 11, 2003 10:05 AM
it was a joke; wife disliked, too; baby trumps all, though nmDougSloan
Aug 11, 2003 10:17 AM
Longer and longer rides... :-} nmLeroy
Aug 11, 2003 8:18 AM
Women ! You can't live with 'em, and you can't kill 'emMR_GRUMPY
Aug 11, 2003 8:19 AM
(Tom Arnold)
You seen to be suffering from a common problem. How often do you hear the phrase "Damn Bike" ???????
Plan on spending a lot of time sleeping in the basement. Welcome to Hell.
'Welcome to Hell' LOL!! 2:1 compensatory time requ'd!! nmSpunout
Aug 11, 2003 8:40 AM
Marriage is all about communication and compromise...biknben
Aug 11, 2003 8:25 AM
I don't want to be harsh but it sounds like you're doing a lot of compromising. I think it's her turn. You support her emotionally and financially. What else does she want?

In my marriage, compromise is king. It's a give and take. My wife stays at home with the kids (4 yo and 1 yo). She has a hobby/side business which requires her to be out in the evenings at random. Usually two days during the week and one day on the weekend. She occasionally goes to conventions or big gatherings.

I ride...Often!!! Every day or I get antsy. We lay out our long term weekend schedules as soon as possible. Her time away vs. my weekend races. Since I could race every weekend I don't when it conflicts with her. Each week I ask which days she will be out and I plan my longer rides around her. On days when she is going out I just commute and am home by 5:30 if required.

There's much more to it of course but it all works because of communication and compromise. We understand each other's needs and wants and do some sacrificing when required.

Your wife needs to come clean with whatever it is that is bothering her. If she can't, that would tell me there are even deeper issues that need to be resolved. I suspect there is more to it than just your riding. I hope I'm wrong.
Marriage is all about communication and compromise...Jon Billheimer
Aug 11, 2003 8:48 AM
I pretty much agree with Ben. Tiptoing around, sneaking rides at lunch time, etc. is simply a way of playing victim in your wife's manipulation and control games. At least that's the way it looks to me. An awful lot of women--my wife included for many years--have huge control and security issues. It's up to you if you want to give up control of your life to her, but I wouldn't.

If she can't or won't accommodate schedules and her attitude to allow you to live your life then you have some major decisions to make. She, as well, has some problems to work out: and they're her problems, not yours.

P.S. After 30 years of marriage my wife, fortunately, grew up. Everything's fine now. I kept my autonomy, but did pay a price for a long time. The other solution is divorce--which is not a very good solution at all, IMHO. Bottom line? You're between a rock and a hard place.
Here's the proven answerlotterypick
Aug 11, 2003 8:28 AM
I'm going to assume you want your marriage more than your bike.

The way to stop you're wife from nagging is to serve her and look out for her, in every thing. Meaning, put her before everything and everyone.

I had a wife who nagged and I fought for MY time and MY stuff. It was a constant battle and life in general was not good.

Then I read a book called "If He Only Knew" by Gary Smalley. It said, if you serve your wife and put her before everything and everyone, including yourself, she will be the wife you want and more.

Three days into reading the book, my wife did something amazing she never does, then it happened the next day. Point being that even though I didn't tell her I was reading the book and trying it, she could feel the difference.

I was taking away her concerns and burdens, by being there, listening and doing work that I typically left to her.

Bottom line, over the 4 years I've been working on it (gotta read it every so often to remind me) marriage is better, sex is awesome and now she lets me go with my friends because she knows I do tons and am willing to stay if she wants. She's secure that she's number one and that I will take care of her if she's not happy.

In the short term, get the book and ride during now family time, I rode/ran early like 6am to be back by 7:30. Nights are for family.

Your friends and you have to understand that everything can be great in life but if your relationship with your wife sucks, life sucks.

If your relationship with your wife is great, then even if everything else sucked, life would still be good.

The root of a married man's strength in handling life is his wife. Hope it helps.
Awesome reply and advice. I'm logging on to Amazon now!! (nm)94Nole
Aug 11, 2003 8:35 AM
i'll have to agreemoschika
Aug 11, 2003 9:08 AM
at least in my case. though i'm not all that great at always doing this.

I haven't read the book but this is what i've learned from my own experience. but i've seen this in action. and sometimes you will need to compromise when timing isn't in your favor(i.e. need to be there but had plans for a big ride). but in the long run it works out for the best.

great advice.
There's a kernel of truth here, butMel Erickson
Aug 11, 2003 10:06 AM
Marriage is a partnership, not a one way street. One does not have to subrogate one's self to their marriage partner to make a successful marriage/life. In fact, I would contend, that would be unhealthy and lead to ultimate dissatisfaction. If one must put one's self in such a position I would question the viability of the marriage. Dedication is a two way street in a marriage.

Does one put one's wifes needs ahead of the children's? How about a mother or father at the end of their life? Over your own needs when mental or physical health is at stake? It's just too simplistic.

A marriage takes work by both mates. If one is doing all the work it's not a marriage.

That said, a bike is not worth a marriage and, if need be, it would be a viable candidate for sacrifice but biking is just a surrogate. It could be golf, bowling, cards or stamp collecting. However, too much (read one way) sacrifice will only end in failure.
It's an issue of prioritieslotterypick
Aug 11, 2003 10:48 AM
The husband is the head of the family, like it or not.

The husband needs to take care of his wife and work on his marriage just as he does at work or bike riding.

The goal is fulfillment.

The husband and wife are a team, the husband needs primarily respect, whereas the wife needs love.

Wives need to be secure, safe, loved and held in high esteem by their husbands. They don't need to only hear it, they need to see it, feel it.

When a wife sees it/ feels it, she will stop nagging (actually because the lawn is mown and the trash is already taken out), she will be closer to you, she will love you more freely and she will free good about encouraging you to go out (because it's so clear you love and would take care of your family if they needed you).

I'm assuming a normal person wife here. One who wants to be reasonable but is tired of asking you to do stuff (nagging), wishing you would help her with the dishes (or do them yourself to help her), wishing you would just sit with her and listen to her (and not want to run off with you friends, watch tv or be by yourself so much), etc.

If you pour into your wife, she will receive it and grow. She will then give it back and more, but you need to do it first.

She needs you.

Why is it that if your bike is squeaking you'll spend all day and night thinking about it, but if your wife nags (squeaks) you say it's her problem or just leave it like it'll fix itself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for fair, but each person needs different things to grow. Your wife needs your love and to feel important to you. We need to do it and give it to her first and then she'll relax and let you have the other fun that's so important to you (aparrently).
By "first" what do you mean?Roger2
Aug 11, 2003 11:59 AM
Do you mean "first" as in your attention to her should be first before biking, bowling, or whatever? For that I would agree, your wife, your kids, and other certain responsibilites should be a higher priority than a hobby/activity, even if it is sometimes a passion.

Or, do you mean you have to show your love first so that she will return the sentiment/feeling? Which is the slant of your post.

Love, being needed, etc. should be mutual...there should be no "first." Relationships are work ofcourse, but a person's actions shouldn't be for the purpose of getting another to recipricate love. I'm sure there's much more to the book and the philosophy you are following, but in the short, it has come across (IMO) as a dog bringing in the morning paper for its master for the simple purpose of getting a pat on the head or a scratch on the belly.

Please don't be offended, it's just an observation from the exchanges to this thread.

I get youlotterypick
Aug 11, 2003 12:31 PM
Since we're talking about couples that can improve then I'm just saying someone has to forget themselves and just do it. Meaning, forget themselves and their rights and just get to fixing things.

I think most wives are decent people, a sweeping assuption, but one I'll make. They want to be loved and talk and have fun, but they feel their husbands don't listen, don't care, etc. and would rather spend their time with their bike or friends than them or the kids.

My seeping statement is that men need to drop those things and get things right with their wives. Take care of them above all things, even if you have to put the bike and friends away for a while (they'll understand).

Once she sees what you are doing, helping her, taking care of her, she'll nag less, let you go more easily and have Victoria Secret type of fun with her. Aren't those all good things.

That's all I meant, first in priority and first in stepping foreward to get things done since someones gotta to do it.

If you want to be the leader, be the servant..they will make you the leader because they are confident and trust that you are thinking of them and looking out for their interests.
I agree, this sounds very unhealthy...MrDan
Aug 11, 2003 11:01 AM
quid pro quo kinda early relationship junk... yuk! The truth is that sadly most people are in relationships for safety, sex, picket fence, when in reality relationships should be about growth and risk. There are no guarantees.

Good luck as this will most likely become a recurrent theme, just replace "bicycle", with "anything that gets in my way or needs" ...

I guess you might want to find a relationship board...
Uh, helloooo?pedalAZ
Aug 11, 2003 8:28 AM
She quit her job to go back to school and learn a new trade. In my book, that is pursuing a passion to get herself into alignment with her interests and self realization. The consequences? Loss of income, tuition, books, fees and day care expenses.

You resumed riding as a pursuit of a passion to get yourself into alignment with your interests. Consequences, improved fitness/health, no loss of income, some gear expenses, and 6-10 hrs a week away from the home.

How is what you are doing not completely reasonable in light of her choices?
Lotterypick is on to somethingboyd2
Aug 11, 2003 9:01 AM
Although I think that he may be taking it too far. I have a 1.5 and a 3.5 yr old and here is my strategy.

1. I commutte. Most of the time this works great, but every now and then that still becomes an issue.

2. I work really hard around the house when I am not riding. She is the kind of person that always has to have a to do list for us and everything is important. I work really hard to keep that list under control. A by-product is that I have a really nice house.

3. I support her when she wants to do things. This weekend was her weekend away with her friends. I was glad that she did that and gladly took care of things at home. I know that I will get that back. Funny thing that I had my best ride in a long time on Sat. I had her parents watch the kids and I rode for about 2 hours. It felt great because I knew that she was not at home wondering when I was going to get there.

4. Make oppurtunities to ride. Last week was the family vacation to the beach. I rode my bike down and rode back with her. I worked really hard the night before, not only to prep me for a century but to prep her and the kids for a week at the beach. The comprimise left me with less sleep, but a happier wife.

I hope this helps.
re: How to deal with unsupportive wife????divve
Aug 11, 2003 8:47 AM
Aside from what everyone else said (I think). Have you calmly taken time aside with her, at a moment convenient for you both, and told her the story you've just told us above? (leave out the why is it so hard for her bla bla bla part however)

Possibly something else is going on that's not directly related to cycling as such. Perhaps something to do with past relational experiences and about you being away. She might also have a hard time talking about it as well.
you've got to communicateNigeyy
Aug 11, 2003 8:48 AM
Answer: simple, you've got to talk.

Sounds like she thinks you're being unfair, and you don't think so. A bit of a disconnect -you can only resolve this by talking together. From your description, it sounds like you're being more than fair, but I wonder what she would write?

Previous advice also sounds good -find a time when she won't notice -I get up at 5:00am to do this. Also I try to make it clear about putting forward a "fair" deal -if I take 3 hours out of the weekend, I always try to give her 3 hours the other weekend day -whatever she wants to do.

Oh yeah, going to school might be viewed as a sacrifice to her (getting set for a career and to help provide for the family) and not as a sacrifice to you. Not saying that's the way it should be, just that it might be the way it's perceived.

I hope you get something worked out for all of you, especially your daughter.

good luck,

Father of 2, soon to be 3 under 3 -so I have to be good with my time!
one suggestion...loki_1
Aug 11, 2003 8:49 AM
I have always had a bike trailer or a trail-a-bike for my kids. My younger one is 4 and she loves the trail-a-bike. It is a good workout for you and chances are your daughter will develop a love of cycling. She has ridden for two hours at a time, I have not pushed it beyond that (ymmv).

Granted, it is not an end-all solution but perhaps can be incorporated as part of a larger solution.
could you commute to work via bike to gain ride time (nm)maximum15
Aug 11, 2003 8:51 AM
get a divorce?ColnagoFE
Aug 11, 2003 8:55 AM
it sounds as if you are doing all the work to financially support the family so why should you not be able to enjoy a little time on the bike if that makes you happy? It doesn't sound like you are obsessed with riding...just a few times a week. Not unreasonable to most people I'd think. At least she owes you an explanation of why you don't deserve any time to do what you enjoy doing.
sleeping pills & duct tape (nm)JS Haiku Shop
Aug 11, 2003 8:56 AM
More thoughtsboyd2
Aug 11, 2003 9:09 AM
1. Burley trailers are fine if you have a place to ride them, but I wont take mine in traffic. THat limits me to local parks.

2. I have learned not to get too excited about my rides and talk about them too much. I don't want to give away how much fun I am having.

3. Amazing how quickly this thread has built up. I thought that I was the only one.

4. I hope my wife does not read this!
Hey're single, right??PaulCL
Aug 11, 2003 9:30 AM
Duct tape is great for sex, but not for holding the wife down for a four hour ride. Jeesh...I thought all guys knew that! :)

Just had this recurring problem with my wife Saturday night. She was PO'ed that I assumed I could ride Sunday early (6am) morning like I have done EVERY STINKING SUNDAY FOR THE LAST FOUR MONTHS. She was upset that I didn't ask before I rode?? Huh. She got over it quickly. She understands that I'm a jerk when I don't ride. I make sure she gets her time so I can have my time. Besides, I cut yesterday's ride short by an hour (without being asked) to make her happy. Heck, 67 miles is still a good ride....

heck noJS Haiku Shop
Aug 11, 2003 9:37 AM
married. but she's an angel about riding.

sadly i left duct tape and deviant sexual behavior behind in my former incarnation: long-haired poor and starving unemployed motorcycle danger man. food and gasoline were difficult to obtain, but i had to fight the ladies off with a stick.

now i'm thick around the middle, thin on top, and my bikes don't have internal combustion engines. what up with that?
you're gettin' old my friendPaulCL
Aug 11, 2003 9:53 AM
Married, no more deviant sexual stuff (might tax the heart), no hair, a gut, and fantasizing that you were once attractive to women. Sure signs of old age. I know, I'm there myself - though I do have a full head of hair and women still find me irresistable! OK, I'm dreaming.
My wife would be stoked if I only rode as much as you...Roadi
Aug 11, 2003 9:15 AM
I commute back and forth to the campus to get in more riding time. My wife and I have agreed that I get either Sat or Sun for all day rides; usually Sat unless something special is going on. Sounds to me like you are already doing too much compromising. There has been a lot of good advice given here, take it and talk to her. If she isn't willing to give a little, you may have to move to more drastic measures like counselling.
and now the bad newsterry b
Aug 11, 2003 9:32 AM
I was married for 14 years the first time around - great life together early on, we built careers, had kids, did everything together. As time went by and we developed personal interests it began to be obvious that she was resenting anything that I liked that she had no interest in. It wasn't that I wasn't pulling my share (I was, in fact more than my fair share) and it wasn't that I was trying to exclude her (she was not interested in participating,) rather, she didn't want me to do things because she simply didn't want me doing them. . Basically it was about control - if I was off doing something alone, I wasn't under her thumb. It sounds harsh, but it was a fact and frankly, some spouses (be they men or women) are just like this. I think you can become a complete house servant (as suggested above) or you can spend the rest of your life trying to understand her perspective but in the end it may boil down to her need to control you. Plain and simple.

I got divorced and subsequently remarried to a woman who is her own person. She has interests, I have mine. That was our deal up front and she never, never hassles me about anything I want to go do. We communicate our plans, are considerate about the needs of the other and then go off and do whatever we want. I ride 3 hours every Saturday and Sunday as well as 2 hours, 3 nights a week. I have so much freedom that I actually come home early when I think I'm overdoing it. She has never said a peep and I return the favor in buckets.

It is possible to find someone who'll support you. It might be possible to work it out with your wife to where she'll support you the way my wife supports me. It will almost certainly take more than reading a book and becomming a slave in hopes that she'll appreciate it. I think you need to seek professional help and lay out the facts from both perspectives. Be open and listen, be open and speak your mind. But don't be surprised if you've ended up married to someone that can never support you in your interests. If that's the case, yuo've got another decision to make. You or her.
This gets my vote for wisest advice (nm)OffTheBack
Aug 11, 2003 9:52 AM
We all have opinions don’t we.Guidosan
Aug 11, 2003 9:36 AM
Well I have to agree with a lot that has been said so far. Gary Smalley's book "If Only He Knew" was helpful for me too. But it really boils down to how you and your wife are. What works for one guy may not help you. For me I wish I could ride everyday, but instead I talked to my wife and we both agreed that I would commute twice a week (sometimes three times) and then I take a longer ride on Saturdays. But since my wife's schedule changes almost weekly, I talk with her about her schedule first and then decide which days I ride in. Then on Saturday, I leave around 6:00 am, so when I get back the family has only been up for a little while. But it boils down to you talking with her and really working together on the schedule and amount that you ride.
I don't think your conflict is about bikes or ridingKristin
Aug 11, 2003 9:57 AM
I hope this isn't pretentious of me; but I sense that this is about something different altogether. Something that neither you nor your wife have identified yet. This is a conflict and should be approached like any other conflict.
Imagine you and your wife are on a continuum.

Growing Intimacy......................................................................................................Declining Intimacy

During your lives together, you'll constantly be moving along this continuum. At specific times, you'll make decisions about which direction to travel along that continuum. You are at one of those junctures now. You can choose to avoid the true conflict--ride more (avoid), ignore/give-up your own interests (passive), pick on her interests (aggressive)--all of which will destroy intimacy and move you farther apart. The other choice is to face the conflict head on. This requires willingness from both of you, and will be frightening. (Conflicts create a sense of uncertainty in our relationships, which is one reason we are tempted to avoid them.) BUT! If you explore this together and ask the difficult questions, the reasons behind the conflict will become clear. Once you know that, you can come to a true resolution that will satisfy both of you. In the end, you will bond further and strengthen your future. If you do this, I suspect that you will discover this particular debate has nothing to do with bikes.

Sometimes, two people sincerely try to resolve a conflict, but over time are not successful. If this happens, don't be afraid to seek the help of a marriage therapist. Best of luck to both of you!!!
Great response Kristin. nmLen J
Aug 11, 2003 10:11 AM
You know what avoidance brings......lotterypick
Aug 11, 2003 10:58 AM
callous' (you know the thick skin growths).

They grow because they don't, won't (I can't talk to him about it, or we just avoid that).

Marriage is so much better when you don't have those. If you do, and leave them, you'l always have that barrier.

I'll tell you something way scarier. Tell your wife everything (not stupid stuff, but important stuff).

there was a secret thing I was keeping from her, because i was ashamed of it and didn't want her to know. Got two girls pregnant in college and had them get abortions.

I told her and had to live with 1 day of silence and then things got better. It cleared the air and it 's great not hiding anything.

I would say this. The hard thing may be talking about it, but like surgery it can get rid of the cancer.

Saying I'm sorry to your mother in law may not be comfortable, but wow, when you do it it's amazing how your relationship can grow.

We all just need to belly up to the bar and do the right thing (work on our marriage and try to do our best every day). The best part is we will be blessed by it, in ways at the time we couldn't imagine.
You nailed it!CritLover
Aug 11, 2003 4:01 PM
A great and thoughtful response Kristen. I think you nailed the solution- there is much uncovering to be done there. Your response also helped to refocus me about my current relationship.

It's amazing how this board teaches me about all areas of my life!
for what it is worth...funknuggets
Aug 11, 2003 10:09 AM
Keep in mind that keeping kids is a full time job and going to school, and housework... despite all your help is not free time. I think it is a common issue for stay at home wives to lose their identity in the family and keeping up around the house does little to promote individuality. Most important thing is to get her out of the house to do HER things, not grocery shopping, not anything related to the household, otherwise it is not freetime. Reading, quilting, internet is not the same because when a housewife is at home one is always ON.... does that make sense?

Honestly, you are right on it is not about the cycling itself. It is the feeling of being trapped for ANOTHER 2 hours here and ANOTHER 3 hours there while you go out and train... work her freetime and life into YOUR schedule. It is that simple. Also, follow what the others have said, ride early in the morning, or at lunch, commute, etc. And at a last resort, which I have found handy is to get yourself a trainer or set of rollers so that if life's events get in the way, you can pedal for an hour or two while watching the news and Leno if you HAVE to... believe me, it is better than nothing.

Marriage is a two way street, and being aware of her needs is important because she may not even recognize what is happening. Work towards a goal, get her involved, and if she is still unsupportive then she needs to have an attitude adjustment.

Just my thoughts, as my wife and I have had similar issues.

Don't we all wish it were this simple................Len J
Aug 11, 2003 10:24 AM
that we could either diagnose & solve it based on 4 paragraphs on the internet, or that it was as simple as her bing controlling of your time. Unfortunatly, life is rarely that simple.

What does your wife want? No, not for you to ride less, I suspect that that is a symptom, but what does she really want? Do you know? Have you asked her & listened enough without trying to "win a debate" but simply listened to try to understand her reality?

-It's possible that she is just immature & selfish.
-It's also possible that her frustration with your riding is really about something deeper & more important to her. Maybe it's about how you are with her when you are there. Maybe it's about her own insecurity about having to be a "kept" woman while she goes to school. (After all it takes alot of courage to go back to college at 27). Maybe it's fear of losing you. Maybe she just likes having you around. The point is, if you don't listen to her with an unjudgemental mind, you'll never know. (Believe me, I know how hard it is to do this, especially when it can feel like an attack, but it is worth it.)

Do you Love her?
Are you committed to her?
Do you want it to work?
How much?

You have a choice here........face reality or hang on to the simple solution or stay focused on you. It's all up to you, each one has different short & long term consequences.

I wish you luck & wisdom.

Likewise LenJ. nmKristin
Aug 11, 2003 10:45 AM
Here's the thought and the sayinglotterypick
Aug 11, 2003 11:11 AM
You know, some people think I'm advocating husbands being slaves, I guess it sounded like it to some, but it's not.

I advocated husbands loving their wives and putting serious time and effort into having a great marriage first.

Everything in life, if you're married, flows from that. Meaning, how well you do with your kids, family, employer, etc. It all flows from your strength with your wife.

I guess I'm just the kind to try (have faith) that giving her what she needs will yield good things. So far it's true and been great.

Most of us don't get paid to ride, not any other hobby, so why so much emphasis on my hobby time, when your marriage sucks.

I'm a good athlete. Won tons of things in different sports, but I realize I don't make money from it (meaning, it's not that important).

I just don't get why being a man (or the man of the house) involves men stomping around like babies saying Mine Mine Mine, instead of taking care of business and serving and loving your wife. What up with that.

I think less women would join NOW if men started being leaders.

Here's the saying "If you want to be the leader, be the servant...then those you serve will make you the leader because they know and trust that you are looking out for their interests"

So far to works pretty good.
one minor problemterry b
Aug 11, 2003 11:52 AM
If you're married to someone who truly has control issues, being nice, then nicer, then nicest will not gain you anything. People with control issues are trying to get a response and they'll keep pushing your buttons until they get it. Putting them first and serving them will force them 1) to lose what little respect they have for you in the first place, and 2) find other buttons to push. Eventually, they'll cross your tolerance threshold and you will get nailed.

This is how my 1st marriage ended - I was already Doby the House Elf and she just kept upping the ante until I had no choices left.

I'm glad that method worked for you and improved your life. Success stories are always wonderful to hear. However, it doesn't work for all cases.
one minor problemlotterypick
Aug 11, 2003 12:39 PM
I wonder if someone asked her, how could he have been different to make things better. Usually they answer unreasonable but after asking they give good examples. Meaning, I'm sure she has a story too.

Barring mental problems usually she thinks she's juliet and you could be romeo, we should treat her well. Meaning, she didn't marry you to be evil, but to have a great life.

Sorry things went bad. Glad your fine now.
Aug 11, 2003 12:46 PM
sometimes it is best to just cut and run. you can't always fix what is broke. that said...most people don't try hard enough to make it work.
Always save the receipt so you can return her (nm)terzo rene
Aug 11, 2003 10:28 AM
I got a new set of golf clubs for my wife...Spunout
Aug 11, 2003 10:32 AM
best trade I ever made :-P
When they turn forty. . .js5280
Aug 11, 2003 2:46 PM
. . .trade them in for two twenties!

This thread was way too informative and thought provoking, so I had to drag it down to normal RBR standards ;-)

Lots of good advice here and warnings as well when someone loses their sense of self, that is never the answer. Controllers strive for bringing it about in the other person to gain more control, passive people fall into it unwittingly and don't know how to get out. Or it could neither of these and you just have some underlying issues to work on and there a lot of good advice here already. Good luck, keep us posted, I'm sure others would benefit from your experience.
run instead of bike :-)ET
Aug 11, 2003 11:40 AM
Every time this topic comes up, we get the same list of suggestions that just don't apply for many of us:

1. we don't have kids, so...
2. my second wife is very understanding;
3. simple, just ride with your wife/kids
4. she's understanding of my cycling and I'm understanding of her parachuting

As some mentioned, treating your wife very nice and special always has a positive payoff, but at least for those of you with kids and a wife who is a devoted housemaker but without her own special interests and wants you home more, you're denying something you just won't admit: serious cycling just takes up too much time for your wife not to mind. I never had this trouble when I was running, which I could do even in the middle of the night, even in pouring rain, and in a fraction of the time. In our own minds, we cyclists already are compromising: It's only a few days a week, a few hours each day; surely she should be understanding of that. And yet she's not.

I believe some of you had it easier in choosing to scale back your cycling at a major crossroads in your life in that you had a wife/kids at a later age or after you already had the cycling thrill for a long time, and you realize what's going to be important when you grow old (and there'll even come a day you stop cycling). But others have their dreams, or just need that long time away, and they just won't get it. Admit it, serious cycling takes up a lot of time. Too much time for there not to be strife in a marriage. Admit it.
Sounds's what I learned....Scot_Gore
Aug 11, 2003 11:43 AM
It's not about the Bike. Sorry, I know that's someone else line.

I encountered many of the same things you did from my wife, the feeling of (if not actual) sacrifice, the jealosy of a hobby that is not shared, the inability to recognize that she's in pursuit of a passion as well, and stuff like that.

We talked, we learned together that it really wasn't about her sacrifice, her jealosy, her own passions, or things like was about fear. Mostly fear of being alone. She had come (somewhat unconsiously) to the conclusion that me riding a bike (alot) naturally lead to me no longer wanting to be with her, around her, or married to her. We talked, I was able to talk about what ridinhg a bike alot meant to me, and she was able to describe what appeared to her to be the course of action that would end our marriage. We were able to conclude together that her fears were not about me riding, but fears to be dealt with as husband and wife in our marriage. So, we still have issues (every couple does) but the resolutions not wrappped around my hobby of bike riding.

Revealing and honest reply, please be kind.

Hey J, she bought a bunch of duct tape when Tommy Franks told us, back in the gas attack pre-war scare tatics, so I have a plan B.

It's not about cycling.Steve98501
Aug 11, 2003 2:09 PM

If you had the best wife in the world, she would support your cycling. Just as you would support her needs and interests if you're the best husband in the world. Much good advice has been written in this thread, and I especially recommend you give extra attention to that by terry b and Kristin. Speaking from experience, I'm quite sure that your problem isn't about cycling. There is a root cause, and it is something else entirely.

If you're really having a serious problem - as it appears you are - and resorting to asking for advice over an internet bulletin board, get some serious help. See a counselor, and if the first one you visit doesn't seem helpful, find another. They're not all the same. I wish I had done that 30 years ago.

Your problem is solvable. It is quite possible to have a strong, successful marriage and pursue individual and collective interests, all while raising children. It does require some compromise, but not at the level of no cycling. It may or may not be possible with your wife. You each have choices to make. Define your individual and mutual needs and interests. Establish priorities. Be clear about where there are overlapping needs and interests and where there are conflicts. Address conflicts head on. Doing so is frightening. Failure to do so assures you of dissatisfaction and possibly a miserable life. A good counselor can be invaluable.

Good luck!

Man is not complete till married.....Then he is finishedflying
Aug 11, 2003 3:36 PM
kiddin just kiddin
I have been married a loooooooooooong time ;-)

Your in a tough spot but I can tell by how you describe it you know what is fair & you know the answer.
In the end all the advice here will not help because only you know your sitch & your wife.
Good Luck
New book from Lance: "Its not about the wife." ;-) nmSpunout
Aug 12, 2003 3:36 AM
My newly wed wife says that...rengaracchi
Aug 12, 2003 6:40 AM
it is a "perception" difference. I told her about your story (she is not a cyclist, unfortunately), and the first thing she said was that you really need to ask specifically what about biking bothers her. She thinks that your wife could be taking all the things you do to keep the relationship alive for granted (i.e., they are expected for any husband in his situation to do) and biking is something totally unimportant or irrelevant, and therefore, should be dispenced with altogether without much pain. So, she could be having a hard time understanding why you insist on doing something that is with so little importance. The more you insist, the more irritated she will get. Does this make sense to you?

We perceive things so differently. I guess keeping good communication is the key.

Good luck!