Page 2 | To wonder how many divorces cycling is a factor in?

(198 Posts)
Sugarcoatedalmond Fri 11-Jun-21 15:12:37

I cycle myself, as does DP. We both do other sports / clubs too & each have approximately one evening per week plus a few hours at a weekend to ourselves. We’ve both cut back on our “hobby” time since having kids though. So just to be clear I have nothing whatsoever against cyclists.

However, so many of the cycling blokes we know are regularly doing all day rides (think 100 miles plus, plus coffee/lunch breaks). They do this most weekends, plus weekday rides sometimes too.

DP asked how the ones with young kids get away with it.

I responded that I bet there’s some pretty unhappy wives/partners behind the scenes and the blokes shouldn’t be too cocksure of themselves as there’s regularly women posting on here about obsessive cycling partners & being told to LTB.

With cycling having a massive spike in popularity at the moment, AIBU to wonder how many break ups it contributes to?

OP’s posts: |
Soupforoneplease Fri 11-Jun-21 16:08:12

Just a question, do some women feel unhappy as they are generally less into hobbies, their hobbies involve the children or they put the family first? I don't know the answer just asking. I have no hobbies and I would love one, or just some time to myself!

MsTSwift Fri 11-Jun-21 16:09:18

Dh is extreme but to be fair he never dropped me in it when kids little. He got up early and was back mid morning. He also pulls his weight round the house. He does some day events now kids older but tbf our teens good company so I quite like the space of him going off and doing something he enjoys.

Also started doing it myself and lost 2 stone.

onemouseplace Fri 11-Jun-21 16:11:05

Totally agreed. It just didn't seem to click for DH when DC1 was tiny and I was on mat leave at home all week with them on my own, that him going for an 8 hour ride on a Sunday because he was training for something or other basically left me at home, yet again, on my own. And no, I couldn't take the same amount of time for myself as we would then never have spent any time together.

I resented it so much that now, even though the DC are much older and he has dropped cycling as much, it's the biggest bone of contention in our marriage by a long way. The resentment I felt is still there and comes up every so often. And actually, DH doesn't see that if he had been more reasonable at the start, then he would probablt have more leeway now to enjoy his hobby.

sonjadog Fri 11-Jun-21 16:12:39

It was a contributing factor to the end of a relationship I had. We weren't married so no divorce, but it really was unbearable to be around. Not only the hours away but the endless cycling conversations, the fact that it was prioritized over absolutely everything else, etc. I know of couple of relationships with people in the same cycling group were on rocky ground for a while too, but I think they are okay now.

TwoAndAnOnion Fri 11-Jun-21 16:14:27


There’s also fishing, golf etc.... all kinds of time consuming hobbies.

Many marriages seem to rely on a fact that the couple doesn't see each other much.

My mom has her business and rest of the time she’s with her horses, i swear the only reason my parents marriage has last for 39 years, is because they don’t spent any time togethergrin

You make a very salient point. acquaintances of ours have just split after 40 years (mid 60's), The pandemic meant they spent a lot of time together, he was made redundant, she broke her leg, they then both got covid, and they decided they got on each others nerves. No animosity, no one else. I found it quite sad.

joystir59 Fri 11-Jun-21 16:15:21

It's healthy for couples to spend time apart doing what they each love and developing good friendships as part of that time apart. Each person needs to grow and develop as an individual in order to have inner strength, self awareness, good self esteem as these qualities are needed in order to develop and grow together in a good strong relationship.


ItCantbeME Fri 11-Jun-21 16:17:21


*We all have hobbies, why don't you join him?*

Or he could join her? I’m sure you didn’t mean to infer that it’s the woman’s responsibility to join her husband in his hobby in order to keep their marriage together.

I agree with others - hobbies that take up a huge amount of time mean that the burden of childcare and housework is usually shifted elsewhere, usually to the woman. It’s basically an expression of a preference for non-family time over family time.

Actually I do think its the wife's duty to join her husbands hobby if it means their marriage does not break.

And I think its his duty to join in with hers.

It is an extension of the marriage which requires patience, dedication and understanding.

Because asking someone to not do something because it takes up too much time is unreasonable. Unfortunately some hobbies like the OP mentioned only happen at certain times and places its up to them both to make it work.

Jackofallsorts Fri 11-Jun-21 16:17:53

Cycling is the new golf. Most men who head off for hours on the bike do it for the same reasons men played a round every weekend 20 years ago.
It's relatively cheap and it's an excuse to get out of the house.
The fact most of them look ridiculous seems to be lost on them.

MaMelon Fri 11-Jun-21 16:21:00

Actually I do think its the wife's duty to join her husbands hobby if it means their marriage does not break. And I think its his duty to join in with hers.

Marriage isn’t about duty - it’s about compromise and mutual respect. Why on Earth should one party feel obligated to join in with something they detest out of duty? What an odd approach to take.

Wattleanddaub Fri 11-Jun-21 16:25:00

Everyone who is saying 'join him in his hobby'- who is looking after the children when that happens? I used to go to football games with my DH. Now I don't because we have 3 children and no-one to look after them. Not everyone is in a position to be able to 'join in 3 hour+ weekend bike rides. I dare say most of the women who resent those hours are those who've been left holding the kids by default.

CovidCorvid Fri 11-Jun-21 16:25:14

I go out for most of the day on Sat and Sun cycling, plus the gym 4 evenings a week.. Think dh is quite happy to have me out the house. smile

tatkin Fri 11-Jun-21 16:25:39

There’s a great Half Man Half Biscuit song about it

IBelieveInAThingCalledScience Fri 11-Jun-21 16:26:02

DH cycles, runs marathons and is starting to train for triathlons.

I do Peloton, run, do Yoga and weight lifting.

We have two DC (one with additional needs) and we tag team to allow each other the space to grow, decompress and stay healthy.

He has Saturday morning for his long rides while I take the children swimming.

I have Sunday mornings for my long runs/rides.

He also gets up two hours earlier every day to train and sacrifices his lunchtime so we can spend time as a family.

It's all about compromise and loads of respect, otherwise I'd imagine resentment would build pretty quickly.

Katiepoes Fri 11-Jun-21 16:27:33

I think it's perfectly reasonable to ask someone to reduce time on a 'hobby' because it 's taking up too much time. You don't get the check out of family life because you enjoy a sport - I can see my SIL's relationship heading down the tubes as her partner prioritises his cycling over her, their very small children and all family events. She does not want him to stop, she just wants him to be there for parties, for the odd trip to the zoo - even just to mess about in the garden and not spend the few hours he is home dicking about with his gear. Hw wanted kids, he seems to want to live out his Tour de France fantasies more.

ItCantbeME Fri 11-Jun-21 16:29:00


*Actually I do think its the wife's duty to join her husbands hobby if it means their marriage does not break. And I think its his duty to join in with hers.*

Marriage isn’t about duty - it’s about compromise and mutual respect. Why on Earth should one party feel obligated to join in with something they detest out of duty? What an odd approach to take.

So each person has a duty to compromise and give mutual respect. Like taking up a shared hobby and not belittling it or the people who take part in it?

Marriage has moral and legal duties, its not all butterflys and rainbows, well not all of the time.

Awalkintime Fri 11-Jun-21 16:30:36

My brother is a cyclist and currently on divorce number 2. He thinks its weird his first wife is still part of the cycling network where he lives but I remind him she had to get involved in order to see him and so she has developed her own friendships through that. He is a dick.

ejhhhhh Fri 11-Jun-21 16:31:41

If one parent spends a whole day at the weekend every week absent from parenting/household responsibilities, and doesn't afford the other parent the same, then I can we'll see how this would end in divorce. It's nothing to do with cycling really, more that the behaviour is just unreasonable. I don't see half a day as an issue (I'd be a bit of a hypocrite if I did, as me an the OH both have half days each at the weekend to ourselves. Imo that still leaves a reasonable amount of family time, and a whole day every now and again would be reasonable too, as long as both parents have roughly the same time to themselves. But a whole day every single week is too extreme and smacks of a generally selfish attitude. If they're selfish about that, it's likely they're selfish in other ways, and the marriage has bigger problems than just the time taken up with the hobby.

Cocomarine Fri 11-Jun-21 16:32:27

I’m going to say absolutely zero.

It isn’t the cycling that leads to divorce, it’s the selfishness of the cyclist.

If they didn’t have cycling, they would have:
- golf
- football
- sitting in the pub all day
- computer gaming
- choosing those shifts at work
- just opting out of contributing to family life when actually physically in the home

A selfish person will always find a way to indulge their selfishness.

tatkin Fri 11-Jun-21 16:33:27

I think with cycling there is the endless fucking tinkering and researching and fixing and buying of bits that far spills out beyond the actual ride. And the sitting next to him listening to hours and hours of cycling convos with other cyclists. And the showering off and general faffing which takes hours. And the 10 tabs open on all the cycling forums. Seems to encourage obsession and willy waving over gear. Then the buying ‘creep’, dropping into conversation that so and sos bike cost 10k (so as to prepare expectations for his own purchase)

I run but beyond new trainers there’s not much else outside

DaisyFeather Fri 11-Jun-21 16:34:40

Not cycling but running for me. It definitely contributed to our relationship breaking down. It’s not been long and he’s already ‘nipping for a run’ before he picks up DD two hours later than the agreed time. When I say anything he flips it to ‘don’t you want DD more?’ as if I’m trying to palm her off.

It started for charity, then became obsessive. At least half a marathon everyday. I went to the first few races but when it became his out for everything I lost all enthusiasm. I never wanted him to stop, I just wanted more balance. And while it helped his overall mood, it just made him angrier with me, amongst other things because I didn’t look like the women he runs with and he was embarrassed of me, and also because time with me was time he could be running.

If I ever date again, I’d be seriously wary if it was anything more than a couple of times a week (which is what I aim for.)

Everyone thinks he’s a saint because he ran for charity twice and I was painted as this horrible uninterested wife. But when someone starts calling you a cunt because you weren’t enthusiastic enough that he had his first runners high while you were three days post miscarriage and he’d left you in pain, is when you realise it’s not that you resent them, it’s that they think they’re better than you because they can do a sub-7 minute mile.

InTheNightWeWillWish Fri 11-Jun-21 16:35:55

We all have hobbies, why don't you join him?

OP does cycle, as does her partner. Try reading at least the OP, although even the title of the thread is a bit of jump to where you ended up. confused

I think the issue is that cycling is just one in a long line of activities that some men use to get out of the household drudgery. It could be golf, fishing, football, rugby, running, triathlons, video games, cosplay, board games conventions, doing up a car, banger racing, train spotting, bird watching or even work. Some men seem to be capable of finding any number of reasons why they have to spend hours and hours out of the house doing their hobbies. Cycling is just the most popular at the moment. My friend’s waste of space of a partner manages it with fucking darts hmm. Then when the pubs shut with covid, suddenly he’s interested in walking. But not with the family obviously, they’re too slow.

DH cycles (and video games and likes watching/playing rugby and football), he can entertain himself for hours on end either participating in sport or watching sport. So far it doesn’t impact on household drudgery and he does what he wants and I do what I want (which is none of those things). It’s not the cycling that causes the divorce it’s the husband’s using cycling, or fill in the blank, as to why they can’t engage in family life.

nokidshere Fri 11-Jun-21 16:35:55

My mom has her business and rest of the time she’s with her horses, i swear the only reason my parents marriage has last for 39 years, is because they don’t spent any time together

I think there's some truth in this. Me and DH have never shared hobbies. Mine can all be done on the dining table whilst his (birdwatching/nature photography) take him outside from about 4am to 10pm (in the summer months). After the last 18 months we are both breathing a sigh of relief that he is able to get out and about again, we've spent far too long cooped up at home together. He goes out about 3/4 times a week.

However, when the boys were small they came first. He didn't go out without proper planning around family life and never batted an eyelid about my getting away to a hotel alone for a couple of nights a few times a year. The boys are at uni now but DH still likes to be here when they are home or watch them playing cricket so arranges his days accordingly.

reading posts from 'hobby widows' on here it seems that people are unable or unwilling to find a balance that works for everyone so the problems just escalate.

A friend of ours 'forbids' her husband from doing a sport he loves and so he digs his heels in and starts the 'you can't tell me what to do' stuff. Personally, I think communication before starting a family might be the key for most people.

onemouseplace Fri 11-Jun-21 16:37:10

Oh god, and the constant cycling on the tv for what seems like 9 months of the year. And the insistence on watching the entire fucking stage - they make highlights programmes for a reason you know!

DK123 Fri 11-Jun-21 16:37:32

I think a lot of men think it's their god given right to have a "hobby" and "time off" at the weekends, even though it leaves the wife doing all the childcare, housework and cooking - after all, why should she complain, "it's her job." Too many men seem to think they should be congratulated for looking after their own kids.
I find the way a lot of men are obsessed with cycling and nothing can possibly get in the way of their "hobby" and "me time" incredibly self important. They seem to think that they come first and everyone else has to fit round them.

It would piss me off if cycling always came first, but my problem was that my exH was around far too much, I kept trying to encourage him to find something he liked doing (always moaned he was bored) so I'd get a bit of peace from his moods, but he never stuck with anything for 5 minutes.

PermanentTemporary Fri 11-Jun-21 16:39:02

I would almost literally have killed for my dh to be able to have a hobby that would have taken him out of the house for long, predictable periods of time. I always found parenting much easier solo and the hardest bits were trying to balance dh and ds's needs. In the last 3 years of dh's life I had one period of 20 minutes when I knew I was going to be on my own in the house and it actually happened. Usually dh was too ill by then.

He cycled a bit when he was better but could only ever manage about 90 minutes on a Sunday morning. I absolutely fucking loved it.

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