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.


NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 16:40:17


It's a hard one to argue against because on the face of it it's noble and positive in so many ways. But it's putting a burden on you which isn't fair, IMO

hwjm1945 Fri 07-Feb-14 16:40:58

no, you are not being unreasonable - this is not the best of hobbies for a person with three small kids
it will have to go on hold for a few years

Thetallesttower Fri 07-Feb-14 16:41:28

I am sympathetic, I don't know what the answer is other than a frank chat. I have a friend whose husband is similarly obsessed by his hobby of cycling and he's off for at least a day most weekends as well as lots in the week.

Those saying 'do you have similar time on your hobbies' are missing the point. If you started a hobby two nights a week and half of the weekend, you would have no time together as a family and as a couple.

Decide what you can cope with and then tell him- for me, I don't mind my husband going to his hobby every Fri evening and the odd trip away, he also goes to the gym a lot too, I don't really mind as long as he steps up and doesn't go or gives me a rest when I need it.

NoFavours Fri 07-Feb-14 16:42:48

It's only unfair if you don't get the same amount of time to do what you want to do. If you do, then it's fine.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 16:43:25

This can be the problem with being a SAHM with a thoughtless spouse. You become the default - the one always there so he never has to think about making arrangement for caring for his children in his absence.

I was a SAHM for 10 years

muser31 Fri 07-Feb-14 16:43:59


PenguinsDontEatKale Fri 07-Feb-14 16:44:11


Being a parent to young children means supporting one another and giving one another a break. Otherwise you'll end up run into the ground.

He is being very selfish. He is prioritising his hobby over family time, and over your chance to have time to yourself.

rookiemater Fri 07-Feb-14 16:45:34

YANBU. I run - it's actually a great way to fit in exercise around having a family.

However your DH sounds obsessed. He doesn't need to do two long runs at the weekends - it's actually very counterproductive to do two long runs in a row. Plus I have no idea why he needs to go to the marathon venue to do his run - unless he is a elite athlete and is hoping to win the race, he can perfectly well do his runs nearer to home, the internet will allow him to view the contours of the race and do something similar.

Definitely grab what time you can for yourself - but where is your equality, do you get to go off doing what you want for a week in a sunny location? Yes the answer is you probably don't want to.

I'd set out some boundaries for him. To be honest, going out running 2 evenings a week is, I think, ok. It's the huge chunks of time at the weekend that are the real problem. Tell him you're worried about him overstraining his poor ickle body, or just tell him you'd like your DCs to be able to put a face to the name sometimes. Book yourself a weekend somewhere with friends, he needs to be left to get on with the job that is parenting sometimes.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 07-Feb-14 16:46:34


isthisactuallyfair Fri 07-Feb-14 16:46:46

Well there isn't really time for me to have a hobby - DH doesn't get home from work til at least 8pm so all the things that I would like to do eg night classes and yoga classes at the gym start earlier and I don't have a babysitter. And frankly I'm so exhausted with being up all night (up with both the 3 and 1 year old) that I have barely any energy to pursue a hobby in the evening.

And as the dc literally don't see their father during the week I try to do family things at the weekend like go to the park and would feel guilty going off on my own. I do try to go to the cinema, or out for dinner with a friend once a fortnight but this obviously doesn't compare to the amount of time my DH spends away from us!

I genuinely don't know if I AIBU as most people I have spoken to about this go on about how great it is for DH to have this hobby especially as he is raising money for charity by doing the marathon.

Thetallesttower Fri 07-Feb-14 16:47:04

Nofavours that's what I mean- if the OP did this, they would have no time together as a family on weekends or evenings. Why should you have to manufacture a hobby that takes you away from your family just to even things up? It's inconsiderate to be out of action for long time periods when there's little kids to be looked after.

rookiemater Fri 07-Feb-14 16:48:03

Newtripley - I don't think this is a problem exclusively for SAHMs.

I work and DH can be almost as obsessive when he has a new project on the go - difference is a) his fads don't last very long and b) because I'm at work p/t I'm not as bothered that it's just me and DS for some of the time.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 16:48:19


That's what I mean. But lots of people in real life don't really think hard about equality

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 16:49:38


No agree. Not exclusively, no. But I think that the WOH parent's life changes much less and they can, if they are so inclined get a little to comfortable with that.

PanicMode Fri 07-Feb-14 16:49:58

Massive sympathies - I am a Tri/ironman/cycling widow but DH is very good about working his training around the family ( I am a SAHM to 4 DCs under 10) and he would get short shrift if training was taking priority over family time, which we only get at weekends.

I think you need to talk to him about how he can fit training around the family - DH runs into work from his London terminus (about 45 mins) or trains on a turbo in the evening, swims at lunchtime etc and generally it's not too disruptive.

You need him to understand that you aren't being unsupportive of his running, but that he needs to be more supportive of the family too.

whatever5 Fri 07-Feb-14 16:50:00

Apart from the trip to Portugal, I don't think that running is an unreasonable hobby. Two evenings a week plus a couple of hours each day on Sat and Sunday sounds okay. I don't think that it's fair of him to go to Portugal for a week at the moment though.

I think that you should also have time off to do something though as not only will it be fairer but it will also make your DH realise that looking after three small children is hard work. Perhaps he would think twice about a week in Portugal if he knows that in return he will have to look after the children for a week while you go on holiday somewhere.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 16:50:00

too comfortable

NoFavours Fri 07-Feb-14 16:50:01

Thetallesttower My answer was (slightly) flippant and I accept that there needs to be balance/compromise in all things.

However,I also think that it is very important for people to be able to do something for themselves - you're not just a spouse/parent you're a person too.

rookiemater Fri 07-Feb-14 16:50:08

Ah yes - hard to argue with someone who is indulging their own hobby in their family time when it's for charidee hmm.

Have you tried talking to him about it?

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 16:51:07


Great idea about running to work, or exercising during lunch break?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 07-Feb-14 16:55:09

Ya but he isn't being fair, life is all about compromise and never more so than when you have a family.

I'm a runner. I've done one marathon, I can't give the time at the moment for another so I won't do one. I run 4 times a week, 3 of those in the week and one at the weekend. I work nights so run in the day during the week.

I do my long run at the weekend, DH has our boys all morning Sunday while I run. I don't do anything on Saturdays though, that is our family day for going out places.

I couldn't run as much as I do if I had small children, mine are 9 and 11 and pretty self sufficient so looking after them isn't intense anymore, they just do their own thing and like the fact that one day of the weekend, they get to chill out.

My DH is very supportive for which I'm truly grateful. We do work as a team though and he has time to do what he wants too.

It sounds like your DH regards looking after the dc's as your role and he is free to do pretty much as he pleases. I think you need to tell him how you feel and ask him to compromise a bit. Running is a great hobby and it can fit in with family life but there does need to be give and take.

CHJR Fri 07-Feb-14 16:55:42

YANBU. But I have to say that I know lots of mothers with jobs who also have this problem: women realise it's not reasonable to want to have a full-time job, small children and a full-on hobby, but lots of fathers just don't get it. You're going to have to be clear (clear, not angry) with him.

kitnkaboodle Fri 07-Feb-14 16:58:17

You are totally NBU. You have to talk about him about this and tell him how unhappy you feel and how U he's being.

I have a couple of friends who run and it can be a very obsessive hobby. One is always going off to different countries to do runs (lucky her! rich her! - but child-free) God knows why it's addictive - it's the last thing I'd want to do, and I love walking! - but it is, apparently.

I'm now going to sound like a horrible cynical jealous old harpy, and five years ago I wouldn't - but experience has taught me differently:

This amount of time spent on a hobby can be damaging to your marriage. He's probably having a great time socially with these people with no strings attached. Friendships, laughs, other women around. This amount of time away from the family can lead to all kinds of complications ... Like I say, I know I sound overpessimistic, but I have seen this happen with myself and with three other couples in the last few years. Everyone needs to socialise outside of their marriage, but when it is totally disproportionate to the time you spend with your spouse, it's heading for trouble

morethanpotatoprints Fri 07-Feb-14 16:58:22

Tell him you are going out this weekend and book yourself and a friend a holiday to Portugal or similar.
If you let him get away with this it will become worse.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 07-Feb-14 16:59:03

It sounds like you get free time to eat out or see a movie so its a little unfair to begrudge him a hobby. Perhaps he finds it a stress reliever if he works long hours as the sole earner, its a lot to put on one person.

Hobbies are fine, breaks away are ok too as long as both get them.

YANBU, he is spending too much of his spare time on this imo. And I'm a runner too, so I can sympathise with the 'need' to get out. I've only ever done a half marathon though, and that was time-consuming enough.

I think you do need to remember that his weekends are his time to relax as well though, not just time for him to give you a break and spend time with the kids. If he's working long hours I think he should be entitled to some time to himself; just not Saturday and Sunday and evenings and a week away.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 07-Feb-14 17:00:51

rookie I think it is a huge problem actually because the person doing it feels totally justified because a) it is exercise, and b) it is for charidee as you say.

OP - why are you doing all the night stuff? It isn't like when you have your first and you can sleep during the day if they nap, you are presumably driving your DCs around, or walking with them across roads etc to get to school/preschool etc?
DH works full-time and he has always helped out at night, always.

Longdistance Fri 07-Feb-14 17:01:14


My friend does this, and his wife is going mad as he's training loads, and watching his diet constantly. They don't have any dc, so you must find it incredibly difficult.

whatever5 Fri 07-Feb-14 17:01:51

if the OP did this, they would have no time together as a family on weekends or evenings. Why should you have to manufacture a hobby that takes you away from your family just to even things up? It's inconsiderate to be out of action for long time periods when there's little kids to be looked after.

I think it might be worth "manufacturing a hobby" and consequently reducing family time in the short term though as it might make the OPs DH realise that when he is not at work, looking after the children is as much his responsibility as the OP's. At the moment he seems to assume that looking after them is the OPs role and he can do what he wants.

SlimJiminy Fri 07-Feb-14 17:02:24

YANBU. It's great that you supported him last year, but he said that would be it and he's now changed his mind - given the amount of time involved, I don't think it's fair of him to assume you'd be ok with that.

It doesn't sound like you get much time together as a family or to yourself - the odd trip to the cinema isn't the same as a programme of training for something like a marathon.

I agree with hwjm1945 - not a good hobby when you have 3 young kids. Will he want to do the same thing again next year... and the year after that... and the year after that...? Just see you and the kids on Sundays for the forseeable future? There are dads out there who'd do anything to spend more time with their children...

You need to sit down with him and have an honest chat about it.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 17:02:30


The wording of your post seems to suggest that she is the one who put him into the position of sole earner

rookiemater Fri 07-Feb-14 17:03:14

Isthis - you say you'd feel guilty leaving DH to do stuff thus sacrificing family time, could you think of it as short term pain for long term gain.

At the minute you aren't really getting much quality family time at the weekends anyway - by the time your DH has sorted himself out and done his 2-3 hr run on both the Sat and Sun and probably come back tired out, poor diddums and expecting sympathy after his hard efforts, it doesn't leave a huge amount of time.

He needs to connect to his own DCs and fast, the easiest way that this can happen is if you are not there, as whilst you are you are, and always will be, default parent.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 17:03:38


I agree. It's dangerous when a couple spends very little time together having fun

mercibucket Fri 07-Feb-14 17:04:46

dh does this

he trains early morning or lunch plus a long run at weekends

i would tell him he was a twat if he announced a week long running holiday

rookiemater Fri 07-Feb-14 17:05:11

Alibaba - I was agreeing with you - sorry if it came across wrong. I am quite cynical about people running for charity, fine if it's their first time at that distance, but I see no reason why I should subsidize someone doing something that they enjoy anyway, so they can feel doubly good about themselves having raised money doing it.

ShatzePage Fri 07-Feb-14 17:10:10

Ignore happymummy-she always pops up on these threads with wee digs about

Yanbu op-its not fair and you need to put a stop to it. Having a hobby is to be encouraged but not when its too the detriment of youe relationship or family.

specialsubject Fri 07-Feb-14 17:10:38

overwhelming hobbies (or anything else) that takes up loads of time is fine if you are single without dependents.

he agreed to put this level of commitment on hold when he agreed to kids.

time he remembered that.

NoFavours Fri 07-Feb-14 17:10:57

kitnkaboodle ...He's probably having a great time socially with these people with no strings attached. Friendships, laughs, other women around.

This level of paranoia depresses me. I've seen/worked with/talked to other women every day since I got married 20 years ago. Somehow I have managed not to have an affair with any of them.


eggsandwich Fri 07-Feb-14 17:12:04

I would say its definitely time to sit down and have an honest and frank chat because if it continues this way its seriously going to have a detrimental affect on your relationship.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 07-Feb-14 17:12:41

I think the OP is being put upon. No way would I have let my DH indulge in a hobby that took this much time whilst the kids were small. Just because you are an SAHM does not mean you have to be on duty 24/7 365 days a year. You need to make this clear to your DH. Spending time with his family/giving you a break is far more important than raising money for charity. And he has done it once anyway.

He should be doing a night at the weekend with the waking kids to give you a break. And giving you a lie in on the other weekend day.

gamerchick Fri 07-Feb-14 17:13:00

I don't think I could tolerate this tbh OP.

I personally would tell him that you'll support this next marathon thing but that has to be it or the alternative is to watch the marriage die a death.. separate.. he pays CM and your life will go on as it has been for a couple of years except you'll be free to find somebody who actually wants to spend time with you.

These things are never ending unless a nasty accident happens putting them out of action.

stickysausages Fri 07-Feb-14 17:14:25

Is he definitely running when he's away all that time? 3hours, Sat & Sun seems excessive to me & I'd wonder if he's not using the time for other things...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 07-Feb-14 17:16:23

rookie I was agreeing with you too smile

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 17:16:51


I think the issue is when your good times/positive feelings predominantly happen when you are not with your spouse, that's dangerous.

Thetallesttower Fri 07-Feb-14 17:16:59

Thing is if you are out Sat/Sun all morning, you aren't around to do the lunch on weekends, are you? My husband goes to the gym a lot, but is happy to pick up some food on the way home and come back and cook. I don't think there's any right amount of time, but if one person feels put upon and neglected and doing more than their fair share, it's the wrong amount.

kitnkaboodle Fri 07-Feb-14 17:18:41


It depresses me too. I'm not talking about men socialising with other women, working with other women, having female friends, having a laugh with other women.

What I'm talking about is men who spend a disproportionate amount of time (in relation to the time they spend with their wives) having fun in an environment where there are other women. I wish to goodness that I didn't feel this way, and a few years ago I would have agreed with you and laughed at the paranoia. But in the last few years my own relationship, that of my sister-in-law and that of two friends has been threatened or ended by their husband's attraction/affair/crush on someone they met when spending a large amount of time engaged somewhere outside the home. Not at work - a hobby or a too-often-frequented pub.

Of course anyone's hobby is going to involve members of the opposite sex, and of course they will form friendships there. No problem. The problem is when the amount of time they spend in that group is excessive and unreasonable vis-a-vis the 'wife at home'

And no, these situations are not solved by the wife going out and seeking fun (I don't mean sexually!!) in similar proprotions

isthisactuallyfair Fri 07-Feb-14 17:19:17

I do actually feel at breaking point. I am on my own looking after three small children pretty much 24/7 during the week and at weekends when DH should be supporting me he is off enjoying himself knowing full well that I am struggling.

I may ask for this thread to be moved to Relationships because the more I think about it the more angry I feel that he thinks it is acceptable to do this. Literally to just bugger off for hours on end leaving me on my own with the children. I get that he works hard during the week and needs an outlet but me bearing the brunt of everything isn't on either!

The posters who said that partners who have a SAHM just get used to them being there 24/7 and don't even consult them about spending time pursuing their own hobbies and interests have got it spot on.

SlimJiminy Fri 07-Feb-14 17:19:33

rookiemater I agree. Perfectly possible to run shorter distances and still raise money if you don't have the time to commit to something like a marathon. But my guess is that won't make him feel good enough...

But if it puts a strain on his relationship and means his kids are missing out, then - squillions for charity or not - is it really worth it?

KatnipEvergreen Fri 07-Feb-14 17:19:43

My dad was a marathon runner- but I'm an only child and I was a bit older than yours when he took it up. My mum would occasionally get annoyed by it (more by waiting around for him after races, in the days of no mobile phones!) but it didn't really get in the way. I'm a runner, but I don't do marathons as I think it takes up too much family time.

My mum got me time as well though- that's the important thing, there was balance. Whereas you don't have enough breaks, OP.

You need to have a good chat with him, and also think about the things you want to do, on your own, as a family or together as a couple without the children. Shorter races which are less time consuming to train for can also be a challenge. How about he aims for speed over distance? Personal best for 10k?

kitnkaboodle Fri 07-Feb-14 17:20:07


You put it better (and more succinctly!) than me!

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 17:20:58

I'm so sorry OP. I hope we can help

Guiltypleasures001 Fri 07-Feb-14 17:23:31

I don't suppose he's got a female running mate has he?
My spidey senses are tingling

SlimJiminy Fri 07-Feb-14 17:26:48

op when you use phrases like 'breaking point' it's definitely time to talk about how you feel. No surprise that you're angry when you're struggling with 3YO, taking care of the other 2 and he's swanning around spending his free time as he pleases. Something needs to change. Do you think shorter distances could be an option for him? He still gets to run, but the time he spends out of the house when he's training could be dramatically reduced if he was prepared to do this while the kids are still so little.

crescentmoon Fri 07-Feb-14 17:28:15

"He needs to connect to his own DCs and fast, the easiest way that this can happen is if you are not there, as whilst you are you are, and always will be, default parent."

totally agree, and thats what i found worked. i had to disconnect from the children a little to make DH connect with them more. i know that you just want time together all as a family but in the short term you need to get out of the house yourself and leave him with the kids. if you cant find a hobby to commit to or there are none on in the weekend when your husband is home. get up early this saturday morning, brush your teeth, get dressed, and leave them all and go to the local coffee shop and read a book/magazine for a few hours. or just go to town, visit a local museum, anything, but he has to no longer see you as the sole person in charge of their car but that you both are.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 07-Feb-14 17:28:33

I am a runner. He is running far too much for a marathon.

One of the benefits of sport is that you feel better about yourself and you are healthier, have more energy etc etc. What use are these benefits if his wife and children don't ever see him?

Family should come first and you fit your running around that, and running is great for that.

My running took a back seat after the birth of both of my children. The youngest (and last) is nearly 5 and I've just managed to go back to club running, get longer runs in at the w/e etc. That's how it is when you have a young family.

He's being rather selfish tbh.

crescentmoon Fri 07-Feb-14 17:30:28

dont think about their breakfast, getting the house tidy before you go unless he is considerate like that for you before he goes off for his hobby? he might not take care of them to your high standards, but they are his offspring, he wont let them die. as cack handed as DH used to be with them thats what i told myself and i left them to each other one day every weekend.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 07-Feb-14 17:30:49

YANBU. He's being completely selfish and it's sad he doesn't want to spend more time with his family. It sounds very hard on you - does he realise this? Please talk to him and explain how you feel. He should scale down his running. With three kids he needs to be around for his family, not live life like a single person.

NoFavours Fri 07-Feb-14 17:35:18

isthisactuallyfair I do actually feel at breaking point. I am on my own looking after three small children pretty much 24/7 during the week and at weekends when DH should be supporting me he is off enjoying himself knowing full well that I am struggling.

There is clearly a big(ger) problem here - particularly if you say that he knows that you need help/time . . . and still doesn't do anything.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 17:35:32

I agree crescent

Although it's a crying shame that anyone has to do this

Timetoask Fri 07-Feb-14 17:36:35

You are definitely right to be annoyed.
My DH is a keen cyclist, he used to go out on sundays for 5 hours. Since having children I am really happy that he realised it was not possible to stay away for such a long part of the weekend. Specially when the DC were smaller (they are 9 and 7 now) I would have gone completely crazy on my own with them all sunday.

DH now trains every morning (before work)and for a couple of hours early sunday so he is free for family time the rest of the day.

rookiemater Fri 07-Feb-14 17:38:25

I'm so sorry for you isthis, it's not fair that you're at breaking point whilst he's out chasing his PBs ( personal Bests). FWIW I don't think he's having an affair, I have some friends whose DH's are running obsessed twats, I can easily see how he would spend that much time doing it.

I don't think this is a SAHM issue though, its a selfisharsehusband issue - and these are just as likely to occur when both parents are working.

ShedWood Fri 07-Feb-14 17:49:28

Why don't you just tell him that you're so inspired by his running, you're going to take it up too.
So two night's a week he needs to be home by 6pm so you can go out, and on Sat and sunday you'll go running in the middle of the day when it's night and light (being you're a woman and all) and he can go in the evening once the kids are in bed.

Also, you've booked a running holiday to Portugal and are leaving the day he comes back.

If he splutters about how he's going to manage childcare/time off work etc, just explain that he didn't give you that courtesy so why should you give it to him?

Sometimes people will only see how they are treating you if you treat them in the same way.

ShedWood Fri 07-Feb-14 17:50:48

*nice and light (& to give him quality time with the kids, obviously)

sixlive Fri 07-Feb-14 17:52:25

He is avoiding the family time. Leaving you alone to put 3 kids to be most nights is just pure selfishness.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 07-Feb-14 17:55:51

Yes it's unfair, it sounds like he's lost perspective regarding it being a "hobby" and thinks he is Superman or similar, because he occasionally raises some money for charity. If he totted up the time he spent doing it he might be doing more for the charity if he just worked the extra hours and donated his wages, which just shows that the running is, in fact, all about his enjoyment and achievement.

What has he said when you've raised this with him?

isthisactuallyfair Fri 07-Feb-14 18:05:26

I was pretty pissed off a couple of weeks ago after I'd spent all Sunday morning and afternoon at home with the dcs while he was off doing one of his 'long' runs. It's not just the run its everything that follows that takes him away from time spent with us. When he gets back from the run he has to have a long bath, do his 'core' exercises, get changed etc so it really is all consuming.

We had a long conversation where I told him how pissed off I was, how it wasn't fair to the dcs etc etc. This resulted in him taking the children to the park for a couple of hours so I could have time to myself. I think he felt by doing this he had 'done his bit' and there was no reason for me to complain. However, taking the children to the park I don't think compensates for the excessive time he spends pursuing his own self interests.

So I guess this weekend to make up for being out of the house all day tomorrow he will probably do something with the dcs for a couple of hours and will then feel exonerated. Interested to hear what people think about this? Am I unduly moaning as to be fair he is taking his children out for a couple of hours so I can have time off.

Chipandspuds Fri 07-Feb-14 18:06:18

I think two evenings a week isn't too bad, but the amount of time that your DH is out at the weekends would annoy me of it was my DH. Could he not get up early and run very early in the morning say run from 6-8am and then you still have the whole day together as a family and you could grab some time to yourself then too op?

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 18:08:11

It's not enough if it's just to get you off his back. And he's not spending time with you either.

How's the rest of the relationship?

Quoteunquote Fri 07-Feb-14 18:09:31

"No, that will not work for me/us"

repeat until he comprehends,

We are a very active family, we do a lot of sport, but the difference is we do together, of course we go off and do things alone, but it is balanced, neither of us dominates the leisure time.

We both work, so we all do equal amounts of house work, even when one of us has been home based doing child care, the house chores were shared,

Because if either of us were single we would still have to clean,cook and organise, so work is no excuse not to do your fair share.

and I believe if anyone is doing childcare, then that is what they are doing as a job , no different to any other job.

OP, when you married this person did you agree to just be an enabler to his life choices, or were you signing up to an equal partnership?

We both train, but we do it when it won't interfere with family life or with the children.

The thought of spending an entire day on my own with them all tomorrow makes me feel quite down.

he is going to Portugal for a week

Has he organised childcare? Did he just assume you would be available? How rude, Has he not leant that assumption is the mother of all fuck ups?

Just keep repeating ""No, that will not work for me/us"

I would get in the car and go and visit a friend at least a hundred miles away, turn up on sunday night, after the children have gone to bed, and have a sit down discussion about where assumption belongs in your relationship.

You need to stop this before you compromise yourself out of a life.

You are a doormat now, bog brush next.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 07-Feb-14 18:13:20

I think it makes you feell alive to have a passion.

But his single-minded devotion to his means there is no space for you to be able to do your own thing.

He needs to cut it down some, and give you some time to get out alone and pursue your own passions before you lose yourself.

isthisactuallyfair Fri 07-Feb-14 18:15:46

There is just an assumption that as I do not have a paid job (on a career break after having my youngest) I am always available on tap to look after the children. His going away for a week actually conflicts with me going to my best friends birthday party. I did tell him that I wouldn't be able to go to the party if he wasn't around (we have no family to babysit). He mumbled something about re-arranging his flight so I could go to the party. I think I will have to make sure he follows this through!

I am actually spurred on to talk to him about this tonight when he gets home, after everyone's great advice. Thank you.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 18:16:30

Good good luck OP.

isthisactuallyfair Fri 07-Feb-14 18:18:03

Thanks newt smile

Yanbu. I have sympathy but no solutions .

I had the same problem when DC were smaller, and it gave me the rage.

The only thing that worked in the end was by not always being at home when he expected us to.

Basically, I stopped counting on him for mealtimes, when ge eventually showed up I would say " oh, we have eaten. Have some toast" or in the summer I would be at friends houses or in the park (bbqs , picnics, walks) and not tell him where I was. He would often come home to an empty house. Or I would go to see family for the weekend. Or friends. Anything but sitting at home waiting for him.

I was the opposite of a martyr ( not saying you are, but I used to be), I had fun, we did not need him.

He started missing us, he did not like coming home to an empty house, he felt excluded. He made some changes ( swapped hobby for a more reasonable one.

This worked for us, though It may have led the other way, to separation, who knows?

It is hard for you to do this.

Can you get babysitters? Family to help?

Also make sure you spend the same amount of time and money on yourself as he does!!!!

Leave him with the kids for a week. Do this.

whois Fri 07-Feb-14 18:27:34

You're not being U, having so much time to yourself is quite selfish in a family situation. It's not exactly a hobby you can all share and do together!

Rather than saying 'I hate you rubbing you need to do less' try and approach it positively. 'You need to do a lot of rttaining for this marathon,eta talk about when you will be running and when you will be with your family'.

For example, long run on Saturday morning 6.30 to 9.30. Showered and with the DCs by 10 am. I think this has to become a morning hobby at weekends, and a late nighttime during the week eg out for an hour and a half from 9pm. He might not like it so much then, but then you'll know it's not about the running but about time on his own!

PanicMode Fri 07-Feb-14 18:31:46

Good luck - hope you get something constructive out of it and that he can see how unfair he's being.

kaizen Fri 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.

From what I've seen , men get all the chances to express themselves through sport without assuming that their partners might want to do it too. Leave them with the kids and come swimming, running or whatever. Sorry, rant over - good luck with the chat smile

mouldyironingboard Fri 07-Feb-14 19:08:11

My ex spent all his free time on hobbies when our DC were small and we ended up getting divorced.

You need to tell your DH that you are very unhappy and things have to change. Would he listen to a counsellor or close family member if he doesn't listen to you? i hope he will take you seriously otherwise the relationship isn't likely to survive long term.

HopefulHamster Fri 07-Feb-14 19:29:23

Definitely make sure you don't miss the party.

Bonzodoodah Fri 07-Feb-14 19:32:06

Oh good luck talking to DP. Explain to him how you want some life too. Not just a 24/7 childcare job.

theimposter Fri 07-Feb-14 19:40:35

At least he hasn't got into triathlon... Bankrupting in terms of time and money... Agree with whoever said 2 long runs at weekend is too much too close together

Ot is such a mid life crisis thing as well. In the 80s it was a red sports car and affair with the secretary.

These days all blokes approaching 40 seem to either run or cycle, mainly for ego charity....

paxtecum Fri 07-Feb-14 19:57:32

He's just escaping from the family, but because it is running and not sitting in the pub then he thinks it should be ok.

He is being incredibly selfish centred and even obsessive.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 07-Feb-14 19:57:49

But presumably it's not just about you having "all or nothing" i.e. you look after the kids on your own nearly all the time, except a couple of hours when both he and the kids are out? You might like to spend some time all together? How much time do you two spend together, awake, (with or without kids present) in the average week do you think?

I think he may have mistaken you for someone who has nothing else in their life other than caring for his needs and those of his children.

You are DEFINITELY not being unreasonable to detect bullshit when he thinks his 2 hours alone with the children is balanced with your - what, 80 or 90 hours alone with them every week? Unless his time is 45 times more valuable than his of course.

If he doesn't get what the problem is, I would start leaving the house just as he's about to go out at the weekend. Maybe be ready and then if he starts getting ready to go out without checking it's ok with you, while he's getting changed just call out "just popping round to X's!" and then depart for a few hours leaving him with the kids. What would happen do you think?

ginmakesitallok Fri 07-Feb-14 19:59:34

You are not being unreasonable. My dp runs too. Did a half marathon last week, signed up for an ultra in a couple of weeks, then has another couple of halfs and a full marathon later in the year. But he trains by running to and from work, and rarely runs in the evenings or at weekends, so it's only on race days when we don't see him

kaizen Fri 07-Feb-14 20:00:08

This link to a post above is interesting and sad too- as are the replies that she gets. I realise the situation isn't that bad OP and he's not gone down the road of triathlon, as is said above, it's bankrupting in terms of time and money.

theimposter Fri 07-Feb-14 20:01:45

I like the way Fiscal said she dealt with her situation. Also I wouldn't worry about affairs or anything like that. The tri guys I know are obsessive about training and it is all about boasts about who has done what race, what time, how long, ate the best etc. Boring as hell, very addictive and am glad I left my club which now has hardly any women and a bunch of testosterone fuelled, diet obsessed dicks who as Kaizen mentioned compete as to who's beleaguered wife lets them spend the most time and money on their hobby. There are exceptions but most get exercise addicted and lots of divorces happen. Nip it in the bud and tell him to get a proper training plan where sessions are more spread out with one longer run a week not two. Unless he is Mo Farah it is too much. (He might think he is Mo though...)

theimposter Fri 07-Feb-14 20:02:49

Oh yes, forgot; there is a proper term- MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra)

ibbydibby Fri 07-Feb-14 20:14:09

isthisactuallyfair I really feel for you. My DH trained for a marathon, once, when our DS was aged 2.5 yrs. DH would come home from work and go straight out again, 2 evenings a week. And the weekends revolved around "the long run". I found it really really hard. But it was just the once. And we only had one child, at that time.

When DS2 was in Y1, I ran a marathon, worked from home, so could run in the daytime. Still did long run at weekend, because was training with a friend, and was very aware of how much my training impinged on family life. I think he is perhaps obsessed with his hobby. It does sound like he is overdoing the marathon training as someone else said wayyyyy up thread. Yes he needs downtime from work. But so do you. No helpful solutions though. Other than hide his running gear.

kaizen Fri 07-Feb-14 20:21:22

The trouble is, if you are training for something, you can't really do anything after long sessions, apart from lie down or stare at the telly. I used to need a nap after a long run, so that was Sundays done with. I was bloody exhausted all the time and slept loads. Also you can't really drink the night before a training session or it affects it, so the whole of life is impacted on (im in bed at 8 after a long swim and will be tomorrow too)

He is training too much too, and wait till he's injured and grumpy.....

SlimJiminy Fri 07-Feb-14 20:22:10

Good luck talking to him tonight op. I like the suggestions from Fiscal and Elephant - if talking things through doesn't work, perhaps you can try something like this?

iworemyfringelikerogermcguinns Fri 07-Feb-14 20:31:22

My sympathies; YANBU. My ex (we didn't live together) would go running 4 evenings per week and what with shower, dinner after etc he wouldn't see me until 9.30 pm, when he was half asleep. And at the weekend there was a 9am start on Saturdays, so no late nights / alcohol / smiling on Friday. His fitness group went for coffee after so it was home about noon. Sundays - long run...tired after...recovery exercises...too tired to go out and all that nonsense. I was really proud of him after his first marathon (he said that would be the last one) and a bit disappointed he entered the second (he said that would be the last one) and then fuming when he booked the third one overseas for my week off, when he'd promised we'd go away together.

We used to actually do stuff together eg go fell walking, go away for the weekend, go out and have some drinks but bloody running took over. I completely trust him that there was nobody else - I did have a "spy"! He was partly not that bothered about me any more, and very much obsessed with running. That's why we split - he wasn't prepared to cut it back even a bit and we had nothing in common any more, as we never did anything together. Good luck speaking to him about it.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Fri 07-Feb-14 21:56:45

I would be getting up at 5am tomorrow and be out of the house before 6. Then text to say you'll be back to discuss your marriage this evening at 7pm and until then, the children are of course his responsibility. No, you didn't think to discuss your day out with him in advance as in the wake of all the training/Portugal/out for the weekend developments, you didn't think that was the way this marriage was run anymore.

Seriously, you HAVE talked to him. It is making no difference. He is taking the piss and also seems quite happy to spend no real time having a life with either you or his children.

NewtRipley Fri 07-Feb-14 22:12:12


You are absolutely right.

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?

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

How did the conversation go op? Yanbu btw

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"

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.

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...)

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

Yep kaizen Thats what i thought.

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

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now