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Update to Non Supportive Wife Post(18 posts)

Update to Non Supportive Wife Postdirthead
Aug 12, 2003 7:57 AM
Well first, thanks for all the comments and inputs. I had no idea my post would cause such a stir, but it seems that many of you have had similar experiences. I think Kristin's reply really nailed it on the head, "the problem is not the bike, but something deeper".

Last night, I decided to talk to my wife about the problem while we were both calm and in a good mood. I started off letting her know that I felt the problem was like a wound that kept getting worse over time. We haven't really addressed the core problem, just put a band-aid over the wound at times. I let her know that riding was important to me, as a way to accomplish certain goals for myself, increase my fitness and health, and just to get away from things for a little piece of time. I made sure she knew that by me wanting to get away, didn't mean get away from her or our daughter, just from the stresses of life and work in general. It is my way of relaxing (even though it is not very relaxing to sit on a bike for 4 hours going as hard as you can).

I told her that I didn't think that riding was the real problem, and I tried to peel away at the layers to find out what was really wrong. First I found that she resented me giving attention to the bike because she felt that some day, I would like the bike more than her, and she would have to go. Well, that couldn't be farther from the truth. This just goes to show you how differently men and women look at things. I had never even thought that before, and had never thought she would think such a thing. I reassured her that she was my first priority, and just because I liked riding a bike, didn't mean it was more important to me than she was.

Second, I found that she was jealous of my time away from things doing something I liked. She really never takes time like that for herself. I just thought she didn't want to do anything, so she never took time for herself. She never took time because she didn't want to burden me with keeping our daughter while she was gone. Another example of the difference between men and women. She thought that because our daughter is not actually my biological daughter, that it is her ultimate responsibility to watch her, and that she would be imposing on me to take time for herself. She thought that I would grow to resent them if I had to watch our daughter very often. I quickly told her that her thoughts on this were very wrong. I love watching our daughter. Yeah, she is a 4 year old, red headed, way to smart for her own good, sometimes possessed by the devil, girl, but that I loved spending time with her.

I tried to get my wife to understand that for us to be happy as a couple, each one of us need to be happy as individuals. She needs an outlet, and I will provide her the time to have one. I need an outlet also, and that is riding my bike. So however many hours a week I spend riding, she will take doing something for herself (an idea another poster stated they were doing with their wife).

So, everything seems to have worked out for the best. Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions.

Happy riding!!
Way to put her in her place! You Go Boy...Spunout
Aug 12, 2003 8:03 AM
Okay, just kidding, but got your attention in the header.

It takes communication. It is always hard when she asks "So what are you training for? The Olympics or something?"

It takes another endorphine junkie to truly understand.
Man, you'll be on Oprah nextNigeyy
Aug 12, 2003 8:12 AM
No seriously, congrats, hope everything works out well. Makes you realize that people think in entirely different ways. Got to say I admire your attitude towards your daughter, keep up the good work what comes around goes around, wishing you all the best AND happy riding!
Or Jerrry SpringerDERICK
Aug 12, 2003 3:36 PM
Just kidding, sounds like you handled it well.
Happy to hear that!Fender
Aug 12, 2003 8:16 AM
Very happy for you, especially once you got to the bottom of it.

Just a tip that I've noticed that has helped my relationship with my GF. Follow up. In a month or two ask her how she is feeling about the conversation you guys had.

It will definitely build a stronger base for your relationship!!!

take care bro!
Absofreakinglutely... keep on it... this will resurface.funknuggets
Aug 12, 2003 1:36 PM
Like old Nessie in Loch Ness, this damn monster will creep along under the surface and then rise to the surface from time to time. So bizarre, that my wife just called me on it today, but more due to the lack of her own personal time than anything... and stress.

So, back to riding in the mornings for a while... until she gets tired of getting up with the kids. So... marriage is a matter of compromise. If you like cycling, just be ready to go with the flow. And... heed my words, if you are serious about training and you have kid(s)... get a trainer/rollers because the unexpected will inevitably keep you from one ride or the other... and having the ability to train at home will prevent you from being able to make excuses.

You've got to let her know where she stands....MR_GRUMPY
Aug 12, 2003 8:24 AM
This reminds me of an old Sean Kelly story.
Kelly had just received a new car from his team, and he loved it. He had planned to have his wife pick him up after a long training ride. When he arrived at the planned location, he saw that his wife was already there. She was sitting on the hood of the car, waiting.
He threw on some dry clothes and put his bike in the trunk. He then proceeded to take a clean rag and wipe off the hood where his wife was sitting. He spent a few seconds checking out the paint to see if there was any damage.
When he got into the car, he could tell that his wife was upset. She made the comment. "You think more of this damn car, than me." He thought for a few moments, then replied.

" First comes the bike, then the car."
LOL! nmThe Human G-Nome
Aug 12, 2003 8:30 AM
a helpful point i'd like to addThe Human G-Nome
Aug 12, 2003 8:27 AM
if your wife should decide she wants to try this "bike thing" and goes out on a training ride with you, under no circumstances should you say "i'm just going to ride up to the top of the climb really quick and then come back and get you in a few minutes." it's been my experience that your significant other will respond to your solo ascent by tossing the green Giant into a ditch and stomping off toward the car muttering "i don't need you! i don't need you! i don't need this stupid bike. i'm walking home!"
just thought you should know that in case the situation ever arises. goog luck.
What doesn't kill your relationship makes it stronger (often)-nmmdehner
Aug 12, 2003 8:34 AM
Good job............Len J
Aug 12, 2003 8:37 AM
the next most important thing is to not make this conversation a one time event. You are showing her that what she feels is important to you.

Pat yourself on the back for both caring enough about your relationship to try something different and for caring about your stepdaughter. Not all guys do either.

Aug 12, 2003 9:08 AM
Your post generated a conversation with my wife last night over dinner. I just wanted to make sure everything was going well and that she did not feel like I was spending too much time riding and not enough time with her and the boy. Everything is great and she just let me buy a new bike!

Part of her agreeing and even encouraging me to ride might have something to do with the ~40 pounds I've lost in the last year though.
Great to hearlotterypick
Aug 12, 2003 9:20 AM
Glad things went so well. By doing things like that you keep everything going as well as can be expected.

Like another person said, not all people are willing to just say it (in a good way), thankfully you have the heart to do it. Great job and touch base with her as things go on.
What about the "make up SEX"????biknben
Aug 12, 2003 9:25 AM
C'mon...Give us the rest of the story. Make up sex is great isn't it?

Did she call you daddy? C'mon we helped you...It's time to reciprocate. We want to hear the goods.

What about the "make up SEX"????dirthead
Aug 12, 2003 9:33 AM
I don't kiss and tell, but let's just say, we both went to sleep smiling!
SUPERBErollo tommassi
Aug 12, 2003 9:57 AM
Great post - right up there with the great ride/race reports! Good luck!
Well done!Kristin
Aug 12, 2003 10:04 AM
Bravo on stepping up to the bat. After talking, you and your wife were able to identify what was going on. When you posted the original question, my first thought was that something about your riding was triggering a fear in her. Triggering occurs when we believe something deeply and then respond to unrelated events out of fear about that belief. I understand triggering because I have a number of them myself and I'm working through them. In order to not be triggered, the lie needs to be defeated, and defeating a lie takes work over time. I suspect these types of things will come up again. She will need to identify and work through her internal thoughts. Be patient with her. Understand that her responses are not about you, they are about what's going on inside of her. And always look for a win/win circumstance that will challenge her and help her to move towards conquering that lie.

Here is an example of triggering. I'm driving to work. An SUV is tailgating me very closely. I begin to feel anxious, agitated and fearful. This can lead to all kinds of responses from me to the other driver. Brake tapping, flip them off.lots of poor behavior. Why? This shouldn't really affect me that strongly. Their tailgating habit is their problem, not mine. So I had to spend some time exploring why I was having such an over-the-top reaction to tailgaters. The real issue turned out to be that I place lots of value on what others think of me. Yes, even random strangers. I take the SUV drivers behavior as a clue to their opinion of me--which is, I'm a worthless, stupid person who is in their way. But wait! It goes deeper than that. On some level, I believed that their opinion--only imagined--was correct. THAT was my fear and THAT is what caused my anxiety. It was the lie I needed to overcome. Now, finding the lie is just that first step. After that comes the work of defeating it, and that takes work and time.

You sound like a great guy who has a great wife. My best wishes to both of you.
When can you come to my house and talk to my wife?n.m.koala
Aug 12, 2003 11:37 AM