to think it is unfair of my DH to spend this amount of time on his hobby

(120 Posts)
isthisactuallyfair Fri 07-Feb-14 16:37:43

In the past couple of years my DH has become obsessed with marathons. He ran a marathon last year which meant he spent most weekends in the build up running and not with me and our dc's. He would often go running in the evenings as well so all the putting the children to bed, getting dinner etc fell to me. I supported him in this especially as he said that once he'd completed a marathon that was it he wouldn't need to do another one.

However, he has now signed up to do another marathon this year which means that he is spending two evenings a week after work running, running every Saturday and Sunday (up to two/three hours at at a time) and has just told me that this Saturday he is spending the day at the marathon venue training so he will be out of the house from 7am til 7pm (it a long drive there and back) oh and for good measure he is going to Portugal for a week for marathon training with a group of friends from his running club next month.

I can't stand it. I am SAHM so this means that I spend 24/7 with the dcs (7, 3 and 1) during the week as he works long hours and is never home before 8pm so I expect him to want to help look after his own dc at weekends rather than spend it pursuing his passion. In fairness I am going to the cinema with friends on Sunday so will have time to myself but just feel he is spending so much time doing what he wants and leaving me to do the majority of bringing up our children.

The 3 year old is particularly challening at the moment and I am finding things a real struggle. The thought of spending an entire day on my own with them all tomorrow makes me feel quite down. I am seriously wondering whether DH actually cares about us at all - he just seems obsessed with his running.

AIBU?

Plateofcrumbs Sat 08-Feb-14 23:08:14

Sympathies, OP, and YANBU.

My DH is obsessive about exercise. Did an Ironman earlier this year and the training was all-consuming - combined with long hours at work I hardly saw him. We moved house whilst he was training and he went running and swimming on moving day whilst I was left directing the removal men and shifting boxes.

First DC on the way and I'm trying to drum into him that there will need to be compromises. He has just won a ballot entry into a big cycling event that is 3 weeks after my due date (entered before we found out I was pregnant). Tried telling him that although it would probably be fine there would be a chance (say I was 2 weeks overdue then had a EMCS) that he would need to put me and the baby first - I don't think he was impressed!

I've run marathons myself and have been training obsessed so I do 'get it', and I'm generally supportive, but I do lose it sometimes, and when we have a DC I predict my tolerance levels will reduce dramatically.

LaQueenOfHearts Sat 08-Feb-14 21:52:59

Hmmmm, I'm all for people trying to keep their hobbies and interests going, even on a much smaller scale, after children arrive.

But, to be out of the house for that amount of time per week, for many weeks...is a bit crap, really.

Before we had the DDs, DH was a passionate golfer - a couple of twilight rounds in the week, in the summer and usually at least two games at the weekends. Though he never played during the Autumn/Winter.

But, once DD1 arrived he gave up his golf membership voluntarily because he wanted to be with her at the weekends.

JammieCodger Sat 08-Feb-14 21:33:46

My husband cycles and has recently started doing triathlons as well. His dream is doing the Etape du Tour, but it is only now that the kids are 7 and 9 that he's starting to seriously consider taking the time out from family life that's required for training for it. And that's only been with me pressing him to do it for the last couple of years.

He cycles to work and goes out one evening a week and/or once at the weekend, but gets up early so he's back for midday. When he's training for a tri he swims first thing in the morning on his way into work or at lunchtime and runs after the girls have gone to bed. He does whatever possible to make sure his hobby impacts as little as possible on the children. I'm training for a big cycle ride too and am getting the extra miles in by leaving work when I'm supposed to, rather than my usual half an hour late and getting up early one morning at the weekend.

I don't think your husband is having an affair, but he sounds like a selfish arse who needs to recognise that he has a family and that they take priority, not his mid-life crisis marathons.

kaizen Sat 08-Feb-14 18:51:28

I like to give their husbands a good roughing up in the swim, with their heavy sinking legs (before they overtake me on their super shiny carbon bikes in their lycra tri suits and compression socks - euuuugh) Most of them couldn't do the swim without a wet suit to help them.

Anyway, as you can see I'm on to my favourite 'male triathlete' rant.

Won't hijack anymore - hope the chat went well OP.

AnnaLegovah Sat 08-Feb-14 18:23:11

My neighbour is one of those women you describe Kaizen - her partner does tri and she talks about every one of his achievements as if they were hers. She loves getting dressed up to go and watch him compete, its hilarious and barf inducing to hear her talk about it grin.

I think my husband is starting to go down this route - hes complaining he doesnt have time to renew the car insurance as his daily hour in the gym for his lunchbreak is more important. hmm Its already starting to annoy me when hes misses DD's bedtime so he can go to the gym after work too.

kaizen Sat 08-Feb-14 15:23:28

I have just remember that when I did a tri in the summer, one bloke had his girlfriend stood next to him gazing at him adoringly and holding his hand as he stood in his wetsuit next to the lake for the COMPETITORS ONLY safety water briefing. He was her HERO going in that nasty water and then cycling and running. I admit that me and female friend were making gagging gestures behind them.

Not sure what my point is with that- just wanted to share the culture of male heroes that is triathlon grin

Darkesteyes Sat 08-Feb-14 15:23:15

Yep kaizen Thats what i thought.

LessMissAbs Sat 08-Feb-14 15:15:12

Yep, same experience here - sick and tired of hearing these "weekend passes" and troubled martyrs - if they wanted a sporty wife or girlfriend, then they would have got one. They have it exactly as they want. I can't imagine living with it!

OP - your DH would be better doing 5 and 10ks anyway. Marathons is what runners tend to do towards the end of their careers, when they have lost a bit of speed. If you don't develop speed in the first place (or aren't exactly a contendor) why does running have to mean boring marathons?

Unless he is Mo Farah (Mo Farah's partner is an ex national standard heptathlete...)

kaizen Sat 08-Feb-14 15:07:23

Yep- overheard one guy last week at the bar after he had swum in the morning winding his mate's partner up about where she would "let him" put his new bike. Thought what a pair of knobs.

The other day another guy was swimming in the fast lane with me in the afternoon while his wife was in the 'fun' kids bit of the pool with the kids. She was a really good swimmer but only did 2 lenghts till she had to pop back and watch the kids.

Darkesteyes Sat 08-Feb-14 14:54:11

kaizenFri 07-Feb-14 18:32:39

I haven't got kids and do triathlon training and long distance swimming- it takes up most of my week and is one reason I wouldn't have a partner unless they did it too, as it's not fair on them. I get really fucked off on behalf of 'running, tri, ironman widows' as I swim with the blokes in the morning- all triathletes, all married with women having to mop up the household/child care stuff. They all grumble about what their "allowed to do" by their partners.


Im willing to bet these are the same blokes who who moan about the fact that their partner has put on weight after having children but dont really want their partner to go to the gym because it would get in the way of their "hobby"

coolcookie Sat 08-Feb-14 14:21:35

How did the conversation go op? Yanbu btw

LessMissAbs Sat 08-Feb-14 13:12:16

The Portugal holiday should have been a joint decision - why can't you and the dcs go too? Is it the one to Albufeira/Villamoura? If so, its a popular resort for families and people. I don't want to worry you unnecessarily OP but I went on that training trip when I was single, met a guy and had a nice time, said he was going to come and visit me and everything when we got back, and then of course, nothing, and someone else on the holiday told me he had a fiancé at home!

I honestly think this is rare - most runners aren't exactly great at asking out women but I'd say he is maybe looking for an ego boost and its not fair to use you to provide the security at home while he swans off.

Be aware that most reasonably talented, single female runners find married men with kids who flirt a bit of a cliché and total pains!

LessMissAbs Sat 08-Feb-14 13:07:33

Its not the training that's unreasonable, its how the OP is being made to feel by it. Lots of people run marathons, or do more, as above, like train for Ironman triathlons, while having jobs, families and social lives. Marathon training is actually reasonably easy to fit into this, compared to say, Ironman training, or sprinting (which involves a lot of gym and core strength work as well as track time). I don't see anything wrong with long runs at the weekend, or an hour or so in the evening after work - because that's not that long a time. It leaves your DH free the rest of the time to look after his family and the OP. I don't think sitting in the house all night during the week is that great, but I don't see having a family as incompatible with having a hobby.

But I'm a runner, former triathlete and nearly all female athletes I know have partners who are equally sporty. I don't know why men are different, but some of them seem to deliberately choose women who are not into sport. Which is fine! However me and my friends when we were younger especially used to notice that you would get slightly older men who had taken up running later in life, who would try and chat you up at races. Just a little bit flirty, probably no intention of taking it further. And you would get to know the ones who were like that, and avoid them. We all used to notice it, and many of the men you would see at races were fine, but there would always be this type.

So for that reason OP I say YANBU. Your instincts are probably just noticing the lack of attention, I honestly think most of these men would be too scared to take it any further and they like having a woman who doesn't do any sport too much, but its not fair on you if you feel you aren't getting enough attention from your husband.

anothernumberone Sat 08-Feb-14 10:23:07

Sorry I meant to say that other than the weekend cycle nothing else really impacts on our time he would be travelling to work and cycling takes maybe half an hour longer.

anothernumberone Sat 08-Feb-14 10:20:52

Well your husband is definitely being an ass. DH does triathlons he cycles at the weekend, swims a few mornings a week goes for runs after he puts the kids to bed and often cycles into work 50km away. Dbro runs marathons and trains up to 3 times a week doing maybe 1.5 hrs a time but he still does loads with his kids. Unless your DH harbours notions of winning one of these marathons he needs to cut back on training to a reasonable level and outside his father duties it is possible if he wants too.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Sat 08-Feb-14 10:09:00

My dh and I both work and don't have any support. When D's was little we had very little family time together. Tag team parenting is/was the only way we cope. Family holidays are about enjoying the three of us together. For others I can see there may be a danger of drifting apart. I really feel like my OH and I are on the same team. We have started going away with friends separately for two weekends a year.

Our relationship is strong and loving because we support each other. For us spending time apart and separately with ds works because we make time for each other. Even watching a box set on TV for an hour together counts. We are going away just the two if us overnight and I can't wait.

I would be unhappy with your situation and don't think a couple of hours with his own kids exonerates your dh from ducking out of parenting.

LEMmingaround Sat 08-Feb-14 10:07:34

he may as well be having an affair though - the running is coming before his family, the family i assume he wanted?

SeaSickSal Sat 08-Feb-14 10:01:35

Hmmm, do you think it's possible he could be having an affair? Perhaps with someone from the running club? It seems a hell of a lot of time to be spending away from home. And the holiday thing rings big alarm bells for me.

Normanpriceisnotarolemodel Sat 08-Feb-14 09:22:22

I literally cannot believe people implying the guy is having an affair! The OP has not even hinted that is a possibility so why suggest it? He ran a marathon before, you couldn't do it justice if you spent all your training time shacked up with an OW!!!

DH and I are both marathon runners. We have a 3 yr old and a 14 week old. We have both decided not to run marathons while the DCs are young, because of the time commitment involved. But we do both still run and have chosen to try and improve times at shorter distances, up to half marathon.

For those saying two long runs at the weekend isn't good for you, Hal Higdon marathon training plans do exactly that. And many people do very very well on them.

As others have said, OP, you need to get him to minimise impact on family time by getting up early, e.g. Breakfast 6 am, run 7 am, finish 10 am, shower etcetera finished by 10:30. And implement a 'no moaning you are tired' rule.

Assuming he is only doing the 1 marathon, it is only until April you'll have to deal with the long long runs so hang in there and discuss nothing longer than half marathon for the rest of the year.

Agree with others that you get your time off as well. Maybe take up running as well and play him at his own game wink

kaizen Sat 08-Feb-14 08:11:23

And at the weekend there was a 9am start on Saturdays, so no late nights / alcohol / smiling on Friday.

This is bloody brilliant and so true- my male friend has to be dragged for a beer one evening a week (we only plan one or two beers as we all have some sort of sport to do) but no, he has bloody water to drink, due to his training the next morning. And the sanctimonious way it's done drives me mad, and he twitches all the time, eyeing our beers up.
I just can't understand how these blokes think it's okay to go out and leave the women with the children, they are not professional athletes for god's sake.

scallopsrgreat Fri 07-Feb-14 23:12:45

Do you both have the same leisure time? (And yes his running is the way he chooses to spend his leisure time.)

No, spectacularly not!

He is completely taking the piss and being utterly unfair. I'm glad to see you getting angry OP because you should be.

AnneElliott Fri 07-Feb-14 22:55:17

YANBU. I get this with DH although it is not running that is his thing. I found that I had to tell him I was out that weekend in order for him to have time with DS.

I think sometimes it's so much easier for men to opt out of family life. My DH is off work for 8 weeks and we've had words about him going out and about during the day (DS is 7) and then telling me at the weekend that he is too busy to do stuff as a family.

I think you need to tell him how much you are content to put up with and make sure he looks after all 3 kids on his own.

Dontwanttooutmyself Fri 07-Feb-14 22:29:16

I've got conflicting views on this.... I speak from experience - we have 2dc under 3, and DH is an ironman sad.

On the one hand, it's shit and I hate it and it makes me wonder if our marriage is going to survive- all of DH's emotional energy and money goes into fucking triathlons- it's the only thing that he seems to be interested in or get enthusiastic about.

On the other hand DH and I have reached a sort of balance which I think is reasonable. I firmly believe in couples having the right to pursue hobbies away from their partners and home, even when there are young children (although I secretly wish that DH would choose not to, I do think he has the right to).

So, some of the tips/suggestions I have are:
- discuss what training sessions are scheduled in advance at the start of each week.
- negotiate when the best time for these sessions are- so that might mean your DH getting up early and being back by 10am, or going out after 9pm at night. Eg "it would work much better for the DC if you could get your run in early, so that we can go swimming with them. We need to leave at 10 so what time do you need to go out?"
- aim for a balance at weekends of half a day each to yourselves at the weekend, and one day for family activities. Split however works best, and acknowledging that some weekends (eg race weekends) that won't work.
- "structure" your time off. I find I have to get out of the house for a pre-arranged activity or meeting in order for DH to "get" that I'm off-duty.

A week's holiday is fine... You can start planning your own now (and yes, he will need to use some of his annual leave or his own money to mange childcare)

brettgirl2 Fri 07-Feb-14 22:29:06

dh is a runner. He runs at 7am on sundays (yes really!) and after dinner. He also runs at lunch time. yanbu op because he is taking the piss.

deakymom Fri 07-Feb-14 22:23:13

hmmm wait till he has time off then go on holiday? if he can you can its up to you if you take the kids as he leaves you with them 24/7 perhaps he needs a day or two in your shoes?

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