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Not sure if I'm being a supportive wife or a mug!!

(31 Posts)
gallifrey Sun 07-Oct-12 20:46:57

My DH has a hobby that takes up a lot of time, often at the weekends he is out at events and during the week after work he does a lot of training.
I am fully supportive of him doing all this, as he was with my passion of horses when I had one.

However I am beginning to feel a bit taken for granted, I feel like I just look after the children all the time and he goes and has fun. Next weekend we are all going away with him so he can do an ultra marathon and I've got to go and amuse 2 children for the day, but it's ok because his mum is coming with us!

However I do plan to use this to my advantage and get him to take me away someone nice for the weekend!

AuntieStella Sun 07-Oct-12 20:52:06

As he was supportive when you had a time consuming activity, I'd approach it in the spirit that he'll be supportive again. Have you had any conversations already about how his level of commitment to these marathons is beginning to take too much of a toll?

gallifrey Sun 07-Oct-12 21:08:06

The thing is that we only had 1 very easy child then, now we have 2 dc's and the 2nd one is very high maintenance!
I have mentioned to him a few times my feelings, I don't want him to give up his hobby at all and I am aware it is very time consuming but there doesn't seem to be an easy answer.

AbigailAdams Sun 07-Oct-12 21:17:20

It sounds to me like your life has changed since having children and his hasn't really. Presumably you were supportive of his hobby while he was being supportive of yours. Now the balance has changed and that isn't fair. So I am not surprised you are fed up and even resentful.

There are only so many hours in a day/week. It is pretty selfish to use those hours persuing a hobby that the rest of the family isn't also involved with. Will he put aside a day at the weekend to spend with the family? Will he compromise at all? I think the answers to those questions will tell what priority puts on his family.

gallifrey Mon 08-Oct-12 11:56:54

Yes he does have weekends where he spends time with the family, actually only 1 or 2 weekends a month is he off doing stuff. And last time he spent a few weekends away he made it a priority to spend the time with us.

I need an equally time consuming hobby so I can go off and do things and leave him with the children!

Yes, you need to actually commit some time to a hobby of your own. You should have the same amount of child-free, chore free time as he does.

AThingInYourLife Mon 08-Oct-12 12:11:15

Given that he thought it was OK to ask your son to lie about having been exposed to porn, I would have serious concerns about him being around children.

Anyone who teaches children that they should lie to their mother about seeing pornographic images with a grown up is a danger to them.

He has basically normalised grooming for your son and made him more vulnerable to abusers.

Can you live with that because he is a "nice man"?

AThingInYourLife Mon 08-Oct-12 12:12:43

Oops, wrong thread.

Just make sure you get as much free time as he does as well as spending time as a family.

If that isn't possible, then you are being taken for a mug.

ClippedPhoenix Mon 08-Oct-12 12:15:28

I get the gyst that the OP's husband's hobby is something sporty, can't see any porn in it AThing grin

AnnIonicIsoTronic Mon 08-Oct-12 12:16:06

ATIYL - that's quite an accusation to throw at a man who likes running as a hobby grin

MorrisZapp Mon 08-Oct-12 12:18:18

Similar issue here, sort of. DP is a golf obsessive. Plays every weekend, sometimes two rounds, sometimes hundreds of miles from home.

To be fair, he is happy to 'pay back' hour for hour, and let me have time off too. But that then means we have little actual time together as a family and inevitably I feel guilty about this, and scale down my own free time.

DP says in a few years, DS will be golfing alongside him, and I'll have tons of guilt free downtime. Can't blooming wait, to be honest! Quite glad our only child is a boy <hideous sexism>

anonacfr Mon 08-Oct-12 12:21:50

Ann you took the thought out of my head. grin

WhoNickedMyName Mon 08-Oct-12 12:26:53

actually only 1 or 2 weekends a month is he off doing stuff

Do you also get 1 or 2 weekends a month to do whatever you want to do?

How many nights during the week does he train?

How old are your children?

Is it only since you had a second, more demanding child that he's wanted to spend a lot of time with his hobby?

PurplePidjin Mon 08-Oct-12 12:43:56

Dp runs ultras - I'm pg with our first - and it takes up a hell of a lot less time than your dp seems to be taking! Club runs two evenings per week 7-8:30 plus Sunday morning 9-12 (times are approximate, depends what run he goes on) and he cycles to work 5 days a week - 12 mile round trip. He ran the Giant's Causeway in 2011 and is currently training for London-Brighton next year.

Once the baby arrives, he plans to cut to one club evening per week (the other clashes with my job) plus Sundays, which will be alternate distances (20+ miles) one week and walks with the baby in a sling the next (we live near a national park where the club meets. Several older members prefer to take a gentler pace off road so he'll join them). This is our planned compromise - he still gets to run he's a bloody nightmare on no exercise tbh but i get a break and he gets to spend time with his ds.

You should have equal amounts of leisure time, so if he wants to run x3 per week, he needs to either do so when the dc are in bed (and likely to stay there) or be prepared to take responsibility while you do the same!

gallifrey Mon 08-Oct-12 14:58:36

He also does adventure racing so has to train on his mountain bike too!

Our children are 9 and 18 months, it has all worked out rather well for him, that I gave up horses and had a baby at about the same time he started running seriously. I often wonder what would happen if I still had a horse!

I think what my problem is that I don't have anything to do while he is off running, which is actually my problem not his! I seem to spend a lot of time on my own with the children basically hanging around waiting for him. He does try to include us like next week we are all going away for the weekend, and we are going to a theme park type thing while he runs 100k, my lovely MIL is coming so at least I'll actually have some adult company!

PurplePidjin Mon 08-Oct-12 15:22:32

He doesn't have to train on his bike or for running, he has to look after his family!

Dp has to run a couple of times a week or he gets grumpy (plantar fasciitis this year was hell!) but he doesn't expect me to trail round after him endlessly while he does competitions - there'll be time for that when the kids are grown. Once or twice a year for charity, great. Once or twice a month for the hell of it and at the expense of the rest of the family is selfish.

PurplePidjin Mon 08-Oct-12 15:23:38

I'll run this past dp when he gets in, see what he thinks, btw. Get a serious runner's POV for you smile

I see what you're saying, but don't try to deflect this too much into 'oh it's my problem for not having anything to do'. Sure, maybe you could find some more activities, but that doesn't address the fundamental issue of him being away from the family a lot.

That's why I asked how often he trains. If it's once or twice a week, okay sure, if he's training practically every night and half the weekends, that's a lot when you have young children who presumably would like to spend some time with their dad.

I definitely think everyone deserves 'me time', I just think it's awfully convenient the way some men take up time-consuming 'hobbies' when their children are young and demanding.

gallifrey Mon 08-Oct-12 16:00:06

PurplePidjin if my husband isn't a serious runner than I don't know what is!!

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that if I did have something to do then he would make time for me to do it, my argument about me never having any "me" time wouldn't stand up to much if I didn't have anything to go and actually do. I did start running because I thought if you can't beat 'em join 'em and when I wanted to go for a run he would literally drop everything so I could go, the trouble is I actually hate it!!

PurplePidjin Mon 08-Oct-12 18:12:10

Dp reckons ywbu to stop him doing it completely, however hibvu to sacrifice so much of his time when he has a family.

Yanbu to ask him to scale it back. Perhaps he could take the kids swimming on a Saturday, good exercise and family friendly? Get a toddler seat for his bike? Dp's club's junior section welcomes dc from age 8...

peppajay Mon 08-Oct-12 18:47:35

I have the same problem with my DP he is out every sunday now and he sometimes he doesnt get home until mid afternoon and we try to eat together sun night as we can't at lunchtime so have to start cooking at 4 ish to eat for 530 ish so a sunday is gone. We do try to spend saturdays together as a family but more often than not he escapes on his bike as he finds the kids extremely hard work. I know I am being taken for a mug because he NEVER has or NEVER will do anything with them on his own because he can't handle them. I literally do everything. He would like to be more involved but mentally I don't think he could handle it. My kids absolutely worship him and never leave him alone this is why he finds them so hard as they stifle him so he sees his hobby as his escapism!!! I would love a morning or even a couple of hours off at the weekend but I know with him this is never going to happen. I should probably end the relationship but he has said he would never be able to handle the kids on his own so if he did leave he would never see the kids and they would hate this. So I let him have his own life and I don't have one!!! Mad I know but too late to change things now!!

peppajay Mon 08-Oct-12 19:16:47

just want to add if I could turn back the clock I probably shouldn't have had kids with him as he is not dad material but I didn't realise this till it was too late. I think if he enjoys spending time with the family and with you he should cut back on his hobby otherwise time will go by and he will resent the time he spent training and not seeing his children. However if he uses his hobby as an escape route like my DP then don't do what I have done have some guts and tell him enough is enough!!! So wish I had. Hope it works out for you :0) x

PurplePidjin Mon 08-Oct-12 19:30:06

Wow, peppajay, how on earth can you have any respect for such a pathetic specimen? He needs to grow some balls - what would he do if you were ill, put the kids into care? I hate the phrase, but he really needs to man up. I assume your dc are young - by the time they get to be teenagers they'll have seen through him and either emulate his behaviour or just sack him off completely sad

spookytoo Mon 08-Oct-12 20:18:01

peppajay, can he spend time with one child at a time. My DH wasn't hands on much but would take DCs with him and leave them to run about whilst he did his hobby.

But your DCs can join him in his hobby in years to come, they will be teenagers and adults some day, but not if he doesn't form any sort of relationship with them. It will be his loss. He needs to work out what he can do with them now.

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