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Bike vs girlfriend(8 posts)

Bike vs girlfriendDuane Gran
Apr 17, 2002 4:37 AM
Yes, folks it is time for that tired old subject. You may have heard it under different names, like "she doesn't get it" or "why does she act like that?" Yep, my girlfriend is having bike issues.

I don't understand it. She rides, so I figure she would understand, but she gives me hell about my riding and racing. I spend plenty of time with her, but she has issues with my passion for cycling. Of course I'm over simplifying things, but it really aggrivates me.

I think the main problem is that her work life has become pretty stressful, requiring her to travel a lot and she only gets to ride about 2-3 times a week. I have a decent career, but I have made a choice not to allow my work to enroach on my lifestyle. I see this as a positive thing, since I become a lifeless drone without frequent excercise.

I think she is jealous of my time on the bike (which is really a reflection of my choices), which is really a sick attitude in my opinion. In general I've seen a pattern: Women want men to demonstrate that they will give up or deny what makes them happy for the woman's sake. Sick, sick, sick. I don't think I will ever understand this type of personal frailty.

For any sensible women reading this, please accept my apologies for some generalizations. At the moment I'm pretty peeved. In the back of my mind I know there must be some exceptions.
What is she really saying?Len J
Apr 17, 2002 4:57 AM

This really sucks, doesn't it. You invest in a realationship that appears to be going somewhere and seemingly suddenly, she seems to be telling you to give up (or reduce) your time doing something you love. She seems to be asking you to choose between biking and her. She seems to be testing me. But what is she really saying? My experience is that when people are making (or seeming to make) irrational demands on a relationship, that there is something else going on, something else at the root of the demand. Figureing out this & as importantly, having both of you acknowledge and understand the "real" issue is hard work (sometimes even impossible).

Can you get yourself in a place where "You don't take it personally", where you are clear about how important both she & your commitment to cycling are to you & try to have an exploratory conversation that is aimed at really understanding what is going on? I find that if I use "I" statements like "When you say that, I felt this" as opposed to offensive statements like "Your kidding", or "How can you say that" or "thats resiculous" during this conversation they are more disarming, safer, and allow for open expression of feelings (which I suspect are at the root of your issue). Stay in you & let her stay in her stuff & see what you learn. At least you may know what is really going on & what your real choices are before you make a decision.

I wish you luck. Be clear on how important she is to you & see her as the (imperfect) human tht she is.

man, this really gets me (warning, generalizations within!!)lonefrontranger
Apr 17, 2002 5:44 AM
Sorry, Duane if this description doesn't really apply, but I hear this kind of crap secondhand CONSTANTLY from the guys I ride with. Mostly because they're trying to use me as a touchstone for women's opinion, which is a riot, because I probably don't think like "most women".

What is UP with these whiny, clinging, insecure, spoiled daddy's girls who have no lives or independence outside their relationships and feel like a) they have to audit every move their spouse/boyfriend/SO makes and b) they have to control every dollar of cash flow in the household, regardless of whether she earned it or not. The worst ones are the lazy helpless ones who sit on their @$$es all day watching soaps and earning nada (tho I will admit this stereotype demographic has shrunk quite a bit, I STILL see really nice guys running around with tapeworms like this). Sheeit.

One of the nicest guys I knew back when I was racing in Ohio got taken to the cleaner by the queen of all silicon-enhanced tapeworms, his bitchy trophy wife. He was a fairly wealthy V.P. at an engineering company who ended up bankrupt, depressed, nearly jobless and suicidal, had to sell all his stuff, and I wouldn't have blamed him for becoming a woman-hater after that.

So OK, maybe your GF isn't at all like that, but IMO many women get way too proprietary on their men. Does she have a hobby or interests of her own (besides giving you grief, that is?). So you find this person you really dig and want to spend the rest of your life with, and suddenly you want to go controlling and changing them? Then ten years later you figure out you're in a dysfunctional, codependent marriage with some complete stranger who you have no respect for? I don't get it.

My SO and I have separate lives apart from racing. He loves SCCA racing, and I enjoy it too, but not enough to go with him more than a couple times a season (conflicts with too many bike races). We both love to hang out in bookstores, so we often make "dates" with each other to do this. I'm into horses, he's not, so I'll drop in at local horse shows when I get the chance. He goes to estate sales and auctions, which I can't stand. We also have separate bank accounts; what's his is his, what's mine is mine, and there's no arguing over the difference. As long as the bills get paid on time and we're reasonably responsible with savings, I can have all the Campy I want, and he can buy all the Louis-the-whatever chairs he wants :-) Fortunately both of us race, and both understand each other's need for personal time alone as well.

He's a great guy, and I'm a lucky woman. Maybe I am too selfish about my hobby, because I lost four boyfriends over my bike racing before I hooked up with this one. But there are good ones out there if you look far enough past the surface glitter. He's not jealous of the time I've spent training this year, even though he's currently got a stressful job that's forced him to leave his riding on the back burner.
Apr 17, 2002 6:16 AM
It's a problem that probably won't go away. Some people, and it appears to be more women than men, seem to have the idea that they can control their SO's lives.

I think one question we must ask ourselves is, why we are drawn to such people to begin with? There must be something about them that attracts us. I've heard over and over that the traits that caused you to be attacted to someone are the things that will cause trouble later. It seems to be true.

For example, those sort of people may shower you with attention, spend long hours into the night talking to you, and develop a very close relationship very quickly. Well, guess what, they will want to keep on doing that. When you get past the stage of knowing everything there is to know about each other (well, not everything), you'll want to go ride your bike lots and do other things. She may fully want to continue to spend all the time together that you did initially. Clash, big time. I've done it time and time again myself.

On the other hand, if you meet someone who does her own things and you spend 10 minutes a week talking, you may think she's not very interested or she's self-absorbed, or whatever. The very sort of person you really need, you may not find interesting. See?

If you are not married, yet, bail if it's a problem now. One rule of life I've developed is that any problem you know about before marriage, imagine that problem 10 times worse, and then ask yourself whether you could live with that forever -- because that's what will happen. Don't ignore it. Talk about it. The time to flush these things out is before marriage.

Don't even try to change her or yourself. It won't stick. We can change behavior, but not personality. These things are usually rooted deep in personality.

Just one opinion.

light bulb -> clickDuane Gran
Apr 17, 2002 7:46 AM
For example, those sort of people may shower you with attention, spend long hours into the night talking to you, and develop a very close relationship very quickly. Well, guess what, they will want to keep on doing that. When you get past the stage of knowing everything there is to know about each other (well, not everything), you'll want to go ride your bike lots and do other things. She may fully want to continue to spend all the time together that you did initially. Clash, big time. I've done it time and time again myself.

This makes a lot of sense. As I look at past relationships, I was certainly cool with spending plenty of time together in the early phases, but in my mind that was just how people behaved during that fun infatuation time. A good friend of mine advised that with many women you can't take back time, meaning that if you spend 10 hours a week together it is like pulling nails to reclaim some of that time for yourself. Every single relationship I've been in has been like this... to the point where it feels like I can't make a plan without consulting the SO schedule. Yuck!

I have another friend who recently broke up. He explained how they coincidentally spent three Wednesday evenings together and then on the fourth week he made other plans. She proceeded to get upset because that was "their night." He is now happily single and saw the signs.

In her defense, she is a really great person and treats me very well aside from the issue of respecting my time. I don't claim to be a saint and I've got my issues for certain, but I don't understand being jealous of a positive thing.

I really appreciate all the insight from the board members. This particular phrase from Doug really hit home. I owe you a pull in the paceline if I'm ever around CA.
Apr 17, 2002 6:48 AM
The brutal truth is that if she knew you were passionate about riding and racing before you guys got serious, then tough luck for her if she doesn't like it now. It's part of you, it comes with the package, and her expecting you to change is just stupid and a big indicator of a future power struggle. If she is hurting for some reason, it's a good idea to "sacrifice" a ride or two to be with her, but don't let it become a pattern or you'll never ride again.

Frankly, it's best to get out of this one while you still have dignity (and a bike!). Or, if she really is the one it's time to sit down and give her a lecture on how you need to have your own interests and passions, and she needs to have hers. Make sure you emphasize that these interests and passions don't have to be the same ones.
Bin her and buy a new bike with the money you save....muncher
Apr 18, 2002 12:43 AM
Well, it's an approach.....
Be firm, kind, but firm.Sintesi
Apr 18, 2002 12:07 PM
If you're mind is made up then let her know you have no intention of cutting back on your rides. Be reasonable and acknowledge her side, but make it clear there will be no concessions on the bike thingy and that you're not going to feel guilty about it. Maybe you're willing to compromise on another issue that she would accept in its place. This doesn't have to be the Rubicon in your relationship. I think the key is firmness mixed w/ acknowlegement and gentleness towards her point of view. Works for me anyway.