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DP resents me

(45 Posts)
singarainbow Sun 07-Aug-11 09:51:30

I know this is not a big deal, but I have no idea how to handle it sensitively.

My DD (8) & I regulary go to karate classes, about once a week, sometimes twice if we are coming up to a grading. I aboslutley love karate, and since starting it over a year ago, I have found that it is something I love to do.
I also work full time.

My Dp is a stay at home mum & we have three kids (8,4,20 months).

The problem is that DP has quite bad arthritis and has tried to exercise, and swimming but everything makes her worse. She, therefore, doesn't get a break and time out for herself. I have suggested her doing a course, but as I work shifts, she doesnt want to rely on relatives to babysit when I am working nights.

It is becoming more apparent that she really hates me going to karate, and has said that if DD doesn't want to go anymore, I won't be able to go, as she doesn't want to "be like those wives that look after the kids, while their partners works, and then they go out pursuing their own hobbies and sports".

I don't do anything else, I don't go out with friends and we otherwise have no other out of the ordinary issues.

I can see what she is saying, and have told her that even if she doesn't swim, to go to the pool, as they have sauna & steam room & a cafe. But she doesn't want to.

I think she is being unfair, but I don't want to cause an argument by saying so!

BertieBotts Sun 07-Aug-11 09:56:31

I think you do need to make sure she has some time to do what she wants. Is there not anything she is interested in which she can do? If you are making sure she has the opportunity to do this (and making it clear you're open to anything rather than just what you suggest) might it just be that she's frustrated with her lack of movement rather than the fact you get to go out and do things and she doesn't?

Loonytoonie Sun 07-Aug-11 09:58:46

Your DP sounds like she's feeling a little isolated sad but nevertheless, is being a little unfair on you. Is she having any treatment for her arthritis? Any pain control?

Catslikehats Sun 07-Aug-11 10:01:39

Ok so you both work full time. You away from the home, her at home.

2 nights you are out, what about the other eveings when youa re not working nights or the days when you are? You say she doesn't get a break or time to herself - why not? Theer must be quite a lot of time when you are about and she could do her own thing.

She is being unreasonable stopping you going to karate if she has equal time to herself whether that be to do a course or sit in bed reading magazines.

Loonytoonie Sun 07-Aug-11 10:01:54

Meant to add, if she's in constant pain, as well as being in constant demand of the little one's, it can be extremely debilitating and depressing. If this is the case, pursuing a sport, even gentle exercise, can be an impossibly mammoth task for her. Perhaps I'm digging too deep here. Sorry if this is the case.

Reality Sun 07-Aug-11 10:02:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Reality Sun 07-Aug-11 10:04:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Reality Sun 07-Aug-11 10:04:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 07-Aug-11 10:04:37

Exactly what Reality said

upahill Sun 07-Aug-11 10:11:59

I think two nights a week doing an activity is reasonable. Most people need time away from just doing work and coming home. I know I love doing my hobbies and they are part of my identity.
If she stops you I do think she is being unfair.

I understand her pain. My DH has horrendous pain in his shoulders which means he can't take part in the activities I like to do but not for one second would it occur to him to stop me doing them. In fact he always pays an interest.

I don't know what to suggest. could she have her friends round while you are out or like some one suggested go to the cinema or maybe theatre?

Xales Sun 07-Aug-11 10:12:49

I can understand your wife not wanting to rely on relatives to look after the children one evening a week so that she can do a course. It is a big commitment from them. Also it leaves her dependent on them and their good will, if they are ill or just change their minds then she can't go.

Your hobby involves socialising with other people. Talking to your mat partners etc while what you suggest for her is solitary activities.

How do you get to your karate every week or several times a week if you are on shifts?

Is there a money problem where she thinks she can't afford to do anything? If not then perhaps you could book a manicure/pedicure or facial for one evening?

Has she been to the doctors to find out what they can recommend for her to do that may benefit her arthritus?

This is a difficult situation :-( I also have arthritis, and also had a relationship a lot like yours sounds for years with my husband. We had no friends separate from each other and he never went out without me as I felt really left out and resentful of it. We found it wasn't possible to continue like that and after 5 years I had to start coming to terms with allowing him to have activities that didn't include me. It was better for our marriage and after a few years I have actually grown to enjoy the time on my own when I have control of the telly and can watch something soppy while munching chocolate, while he goes rock climbing or plays war games.

I would advise talking to her about it. Tell her you are sympathetic that she must feel a bit resentful as her arthritis prevents her from joining you and your daughter's karate classes, but explain that it is good for you to have a hobby and that she should as well. She will resent it at first, but time makes you used to the change and so long as you don't quit the karate classes, she will adapt. Don't try to pressure her too much into finding a hobby of her own though - my husband is forever trying to get me to start a writing course or join a creative writing group, not understanding that I am an antisocial person who would prefer to be at home alone than out mingling all the time, especially without him.

Catsu Sun 07-Aug-11 10:15:09

This used to do my head in when the dcs were younger and dh would go out several times a week, when I complained he always said he was more than happy for me to go out instead, that as I rarely got the opportunity to go out for the evening, he would cancel any plans if I wanted to make some for a bog night out etc.
It took him a long time to realise that I didn't want to go out for a big night. I was shattered and all I desperately wanted was a night to do what I wanted to do without all the responsibility of being in charge of the dcs.
Dh thought if I was at home and didn't want to go out then if was almost a waste for him to give up his night out iyswim.
It took until one time when I ended up saying I was going out so he would stay in, then I booked a b&b and just had s long bath and read my book there! That's when dh finally got that my way of having time off is different to his but still just as important to me as his nights out!

Op, if your partner wants time to herself then give it to her in the way that she wants it, rather than keep suggesting sports or courses, book a night for her to do whatever she wants, you cook, deal with all the kids and just let her have some relaxing time. Even if all she does is watch tv and rest it will be her choice which is the important thing here!

puzzlesum Sun 07-Aug-11 10:17:21

I agree with Bertie that the issues of exercise and health, free time and the sharing of family work seem quite entwined - this isn't meant as a criticism of you or your DP and I sympathise with you both on a number of levels. What struck me as very strange on first reading was "She, therefore, doesn't get a break and time out for herself." Eh? Because she can't exercise, ergo she can't go to the cinema, or for a sauna as you say, or just have a bit of peace and quiet at home whilst you take the kids out? I suspect that exercise is seen as more 'virtuous' somehow because it's directly for one's health as well as recreation, whereas cinema (for example) is primarily recreation but can also be hugely beneficial in terms of recharging the batteries.

As the carer of someone who is chronically ill and in a wheelchair, I also know he can resent the things I can do more easily than him and/or without him and equally, as I'm struggling with mobility problems of my own, I also realise first hand how difficult it is when you suddenly face the fact that you're relatively young but you have a condition that either is never going to get better (my DH) or will take far longer than seems 'reasonable' (me). Adjusting the expectations of what you can reasonably do, compared to your peers, is difficult enough to achieve without three children to care for and thus a full-on life.

So you fully accept that she should have time to herself, which is good. I actually agree with you that the sauna/steam room could be beneficial to her health (as it would be for my DH were it not so difficult for him to get there) but maybe she would find the gym surroundings frustrating? So what about a massage (weekly might be rather expensive!) or a chance to read a book in peace, or something else she can enjoy without overtaxing herself physically? Perhaps even a gentle walk, with an audiobook for company?

If she does fancy a course, what about an OU one she can study around your shift pattern?

Ensuring her condition is managed properly is very important, by the way - I only googled this as an example but I know from my DH's condition there are loads of resources out on the web for people with chronic illnesses. Help and support is available, although harder to access if you don't fit the typical demographic, so as a younger person with arthritis (or in my DH's case a condition that more usually affects women) this can make life tricky.

Keep posting - and FWIW I don't think you should give up your karate, nor is it reasonable for her to suggest 'forbidding' you if DD decides she no longer wants to do it. You both deserve free time.

singarainbow Sun 07-Aug-11 10:31:52

DP does have friends around to visit when I am on nights, and as suggested I only suggested the sauna because she said she liked it, and she is contracted on a swim card scheme which she pays for every month, so she may as well use it.
She likes us to do things together when I am at home, so I do try to give her space to do what she wants, but she always chooses to do something as a family.
She is on meds for her arthritis, and usually its relatively controlled, but it flares up really quickly after tiny amounts of exercise, she is awaiting knee surgery at the moment.
I already arrange karate around my shifts because they run several classes to choose from in the week. So I don't go in the evening if I worked the day, and if I am off for the weekend, will miss the class if we have something planned as a family.
I have taken the kids out for a few hours, and come back to find she has been cleaning, etc....I would've gorged on junk food & watched a film if it had been me!! She finds it hard to relax!

FabbyChic Sun 07-Aug-11 10:35:02

She is being extremely selfish, it is not your fault she is too sick to do anything, you are trying to help her by suggesting ways she can do something on her own but she is not interested.

Your activity is also done with one of your children, it is not like you do it alone.

You work hard and have one activity with one of your children, I assume that when the four year old is old enough you will probably take them too?

Your wife needs to find something she wants to do and actively do that so she gets a break too, even if it means her going to the cinema once a week on her own.

Just because she does not want to do anything does not mean that she has the right to stop you doing anything, life and relationships are not like that.

One recluse does not mean the other partner has to be a recluse.

Do you do anything together as a couple without the children?

singarainbow Sun 07-Aug-11 10:41:48

We don't really go out much as a couple, due to finances and babysitters are a bit thin on the ground, but we do enjoy our evenings together when the kids are in bed.
She would go mad if I suggested a b&b on her own...she would think I would be getting rid of her!

ImperialBlether Sun 07-Aug-11 12:37:37

Has she had steroid injections for when her arthritis is flaring up? I have arthritis in my fingers and steroid injections have meant I don't have any pain for three months at a time.

RandomMess Sun 07-Aug-11 12:41:52

Would it be different if you completely did the "evening" shift with the dc's or at some other time several times per week and your dw went had a bath and some "me" time so didn't actually go out but got proper "time off" other than when the dc are in bed?

I do think she needs to work out what she wants for "her" time so you can support her in that rather than you giving up the karate.

singarainbow Sun 07-Aug-11 13:09:57

She used to have them (steroid injections) when she was first diagnosed, but they stopped them, can't remember why...I think it's to do with her other meds.

From reading the reponses, I need to stop suggesting things and just continue to allow her time to do what she wants.

LadyLapsang Sun 07-Aug-11 13:13:42

If you haven't got enough money to go out as a couple should you really be spending two nights a week pursuing a hobby? Your wife has a chronic, very painful disability and is battling on looking after two young children and a toddler, not mentioning all the housework (who does that?) I know living with someone with arthritis can be difficult, but not nearly so difficult as having it yourself I should think. If you are very hands on with housework etc. normally - especially the heavy stuff your wife will struggle with, then I doubt she would resent an hour at a local course, but if she is struggling with the bulk of the childcare, housework, lack of money then I think something probably has to change.

singarainbow Sun 07-Aug-11 13:51:36

Karate costs me £16 per month, the same as her swim card scheme that she is contracted into. She hasn't said she resents the financial side.
I do the all of the heavy house work, and anything that requires heavy carrying, bending/kneeling etc. She tends to do the cooking when I am on days & nights, as I am not home from work till after the kids have eaten (or in bed) but when I am on my days off I do it.
I just want to find a way that we are both happy and have time to do what we want without feeling guilty.

bananasplitz Sun 07-Aug-11 13:59:17

dont let her dictate what you are "allowed" and not "allowed" to do, you are an adult who can make his own choices

if she wants to go out, she can just as you can

RandomMess Sun 07-Aug-11 14:05:23

Have you asked her when and how she would like "me" time and what you can do to make it happen?

Perhaps you need to establish whether her issue is that she doesn't get enough "me" time or whether she's jealous or resentful that she doesn't have a hobby outside the home that she enjoys?

I wish I could find a hobby that I really enjoyed and I do think my partner is very lucky that he does but I don't resent his time spent on it, not even the various weekends away because my only thing is going out with friends for meals and to socialise and he's always happy for me to that.

Sarsaparilllla Sun 07-Aug-11 14:21:00

Have you asked her when and how she would like "me" time and what you can do to make it happen?

Just what I was going to ask, just because you like doing something exercise based as a hobby in 'your' time doesn't mean she wants to do the same, you need to talk to her about what she would like 'her time' to be and help her get that

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