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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.


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.

YippeeKiYayMakkaPakka Fri 07-Feb-14 17:00:44

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?

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