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Balancing Cycling and Marriage

Old 06-01-19, 08:16 PM
  #26  
DT Tandem
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My wife and I are empty nesters as well. What took 2 years to talk her into was a tandem. Once she tried it she loved it and it is how we spend time together.

It may not be for everyone but is definitely worth a try.

Good luck to both of you.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:38 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I'm 54 years old, married to the same woman for 29 years, I've been cycling for the last 5 years and we've been empty nesters for the last 4 years. Things have been getting rough with our marriage, so we went to a the******. It's not our first time, and it has helped a lot in the past. My wife definitely has issues she is going to address now, but her biggest problem with me is how much time I spend either cycling or doing cycling related activities. That may include coming here, checking routes for potential rides, reading about cycling and social events with my local cycling club. She complains that cycling has become an addiction for me. While I don't think it has, it is plausible.

This came out because I wanted to start training again for a few century rides this coming fall/ winter (I'm in Florida). I've cut my cycling way back to 150-250 miles a month for the last six months instead of the usual 100 miles a week. Life just got in the way the last few months.
100 miles a week (and especially 150-250 a month) doesn't seem like an unreasonable amount, particularly for an empty nester. I do ~100 miles a week with two young kids and it isn't an issue. My guess is that she has other underlying issues. Having said that, you may just have to accept that she's being unreasonable and accommodate her anyway.

In the meantime, can you cut down on the type you spend on other cycling related things (like this forum)? I'd cut that before cutting my riding time.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:41 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
She complains that cycling has become an addiction for me. While I don't think it has, it is plausible.
Your wife is telling you she has some serious complaints. Your job is to hear her and validate her feelings. And then work on meeting her needs as best you can. It's not that she doesn't want you to cycle, it's that she wants and needs things from you that she is not getting. Give them to her!

You will likely need to cut back on cycling for a bit, but if you take proper care of her you might find she will be happy to see you spending time with your hobby.

If I was in your situation, the last thing I would do right now is negotiate for cycle time. Or try to justify my present cycle time in any way. I'd just quietly cut back and work on satisfying her needs and desires. Soon, I'd expect to find myself pedaling happily with her blessings.

I'm 58, and my wife and I have been married 36 years. Together 40!

So the question is how do you balance your cycling activity with your marriage and family?
Wife and family first, everything else will follow.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:06 PM
  #29  
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It's a lot of communication to coordinate my hobby of cycling, my volunteering(which is part of my hobby), my children's activities(soccer, volleyball, and equestrian), and my wife's hobby(equestrian).

It's a lot of communication and a lot of balancing. It works because we both want it to work for ourselves and the other spouse.



It's never fun to hear a couple's setup isnt working for one or both people. Hopefully some time spent discussing the issue(s) helps out.


The time you list out as cycling time just isnt a lot. Its especially reasonable when you compare it to golf 2x/week, fishing, etc.

Perhaps finding out what she views as reasonable time spent cycling as well as what she wants you to do in the newly formed free time will help you better understand her side.

Good luck.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:15 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Lots of advice from fools in this thread.

A wife doesn't need a hobby or dogs. She needs a husband who spends time with her.

If her husband doesn't spend time with her then she is going to get herself a different husband who will.

Wife comes first. Everything else is secondary to that.


-Tim-
I see this same general line of advice given put when these type of threads pop up every few months.

I cpuldnt disagree more with your claim thats wife doesn't need a hobby. I wpuld guess that every married woman in this forum would disagree since, you know, they all have cycling as a hobby and presumably like it.

I can't imagine how tragicly the convrrsation would go if I told my wife she doesn't need a hobby, she just needs me.
It would start with her laughing so hard she was in tears, and would end with her continuing her hobby because, you know, she likes it.

As for a wife coming first and everything else coming second, that seems quite inconsistent. Why isn't it expected for the wife to view the husband as coming first and everything else coming second?

In the end, mutual respect and interest in cooperation is required. Thst means both people need to want to work to give and take.
I cherish my wife because she is capable and independent.

It isnt up to me to make her happy, it's up to me to support her as she figures out what makes her happy.


I'm guessing this just sent me back on the iggy.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:20 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Lots of advice from fools in this thread.

A wife doesn't need a hobby or dogs. She needs a husband who spends time with her.

If her husband doesn't spend time with her then she is going to get herself a different husband who will.

Wife comes first. Everything else is secondary to that.


-Tim-
Relax. It was one thought from my own reality.

I spend time with my wife, but she loves the dogs and how they give her something to "baby" since the kids are young adults and we don't have grandkids, yet.

Ever see how many older couples have dogs (or cats) and share photos of them on the internet like they are family members?

Pets fill a void for many empty nesters.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:26 PM
  #32  
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You are missing the whole problem. Itís right in front of your face. You are spending too much time working. Retire (quit your job) and you will have plenty of time to ride and be with your wife. Why are you working anyway? After that many years and the kids are gone whatís the point? For example if you take an 8 hour work day and divide into 4 hours of riding and 4 hours of husbanding everyone will be happy. Donít worry about the money, the bike(s) you got will last a long time with just regular maintenance.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:37 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
As for a wife coming first and everything else coming second, that seems quite inconsistent. Why isn't it expected for the wife to view the husband as coming first and everything else coming second?
It's not one or the other. In a successful marriage it's both!

Then again, maybe the OP just needs a new bike?
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Old 06-01-19, 09:45 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
It's not one or the other. In a successful marriage it's both!
Agreed. And I said as much in the subsequent two sentences from what you quoted.

In the end, mutual respect and interest in cooperation is required. Thst means both people need to want to work to give and take.
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Old 06-02-19, 03:06 AM
  #35  
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I would find a Marriage Counselor that rides a bike.
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Old 06-02-19, 03:56 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by road292 View Post
"Cycling has become an addiction" sounds like it's covering up the actual issue(s) troubling your wife. I'll guess that "addiction" means bicycling takes up a lot of your time, but is that really the underlying issue? If you didn't ride at all for, say, a month or two, what would you do instead with the time that you normally would be out riding? Would you and your wife do stuff together? Would you take care of household chores that she now needs to do because you "don't have the time"? Would you go on a trip she's been wanting to do for years and now you can because your empty nesters? Etc.

Or is it the money you spend on bicycling? Your wife thinks it's excessive, you can't afford it, it should be spent on the kids/house, etc.?

I've been married about the same amount of time, and usually when my wife complains about something kind of general ("bicycling has become an addiction"), there's other, more specific issues at the root of the problem.
There are obviously other issues going on. I didn't ride or do other cycling related activity much at all December- February, and things didn't get better. I've also encouraged my wife to find a hobby or exercise. She used to run, but now she has chronic pain (for which she is being evaluated). Her other previous hobbies included scrapbooking, the kids and photography.

Now she watches TV and naps-- it's maddening. And yes, I'd encouragingly discussed this. I think the biggest issue is her chronic depression from her mother passing four years ago and the kids moving out about the same time. Part of what I'm hoping that will come from our couple's therapy is that she will address her depression as well. She goes for her first independent visit this coming week.
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Old 06-02-19, 04:01 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Ditto what others have said, as well have you considered getting your wife interested in cycling ?.

Ö.. My wife also see's that if I haven't gotten a ride in a few days a week I'm a grumpy SOB, where as I'm as nice a guy you could meet after I get back from my morning ride. She likes me better when I'm not grumpy.
I have attempted to get her interested in cycling. She doesn't do well on two wheels, as she has a fear of falling. I brought her on a newly formed family oriented group gravel ride once, and she shut down after the first half mile. She has a fear of riding near others. I immediately calmly and supportively stopped my ride, and we returned to our car to drive home. Since then, we have done a handful of local riding with just the two of us, but she usually declines my invitations to ride casually. I rarely ask anymore.
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Old 06-02-19, 04:14 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I have another activity that takes me out of the house a lot -- playing music. A similar topic comes up on web forums for musicians. One common piece of advice is: "Your spouse needs to get her own hobby." This can be easier for some than for others.

It doesn't have to be the same hobby, and maybe it shouldn't be. For instance, suppose your spouse gets into cycling but doesn't want to ride fast on roads. That's pretty unnerving to most people. Then you'll never be able to train at a level that you prefer.

My spouse got into running. She now runs multiple marathons per year. Sometimes these events overlap, for instance, I can ride my bike to one of her events and meet her at the finish line. One thing you can do is, when you're not out on the bike, take care of **** that needs to get done, so your spouse actually has time for a hobby, and let your schedule be flexible around her interests.
I'm also a part-time musician, hence my name. This became an issue for my wife too. I left the last band I was in because we were gigging 3-5 times a month and rehearsing once a week. That's 8-10 nights out of the house a month. That was too much for even me. Then I was asked back into the band a few years later when they promised me one gig a month. Well if you know musicians, they can't say no to a gig. We were soon gigging 2-3 gigs a month. After explaining to the band I agreed to once a month, I gave them 10 weeks notice to replace me. Now they call me to fill in as needed-- once or twice a year.

On the other hand... I must admit that when I get interested in a hobby, I jump in intensely. For her, I just substituted the band with cycling. So admittedly, I have a history of obsessively diving into an interest. Finding balance has always been an issue for me, hence my request to see how others have balanced their lives.
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Old 06-02-19, 04:16 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
There is no balance. Wife comes first.
I agree that the wife comes first, and I'm attempting to make changes. But I'd like to have my wife come first without loosing my own identity.
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Old 06-02-19, 04:19 AM
  #40  
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I appreciate all the contributions, but it's time to get ready for the day-- to spend with my wife. I will reply to the rest later today or tomorrow. Thanks, all.
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Old 06-02-19, 04:46 AM
  #41  
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Bassmanbob. I was thinking you were a bass fisherman with a bass boat I was going to say take her bass fishing with you.
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Old 06-02-19, 04:52 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
She does her thing, I do my thing, and we do our things together. We both have utmost respect for the other person's time engaged in activity, and a healthy respect for any REQUESTS to be together, even if we might have to skip a workout here and there.
THIS. So. Much. This.

My wife and I got married pretty young and moved around a lot, which led to a lot of codependent stuff. We both realized we were giving up a lot of things we loved in an effort to only do things we enjoyed together. Working through that and embracing solo activities has been awesome for us- She does a lot of rock climbing and is re-picking up the guitar, I spend a lot of time doing bike stuff. When we're both home, we're both happier for it.
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Old 06-02-19, 05:16 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
.......In the end, mutual respect and interest in cooperation is required. Thst means both people need to want to work to give and take.


TODAY, June 2nd is our 46th Anniversary. "Mutual respect and interest in cooperation" has served us well. I guess since we are confident with each other as well as within ourselves helps minimize the jealousy and disrespect that can cause issues with any relationship. Each of us have upper limits that must be recognized by the other and adjustments must be made to not exceed them, simple common courtesy.
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Old 06-02-19, 06:08 AM
  #44  
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I am very lucky. My GF and I met at work 20 years ago. She mentioned that she wanted to try cycling. I had been off the bike for 8 years but before that had ridden for 20 years. I offered to help her get started. Got her to a bike shop and helped pick a bike. She then said,"So, you're going to ride with me, right?" And, I thought, "What have I gotten myself into?" But, 20lbs overweight and missing those 8 years of fitness, I got my bike out and we rode. She was strong. I sucked. Since then, we have ridden together and between us have 6 bikes. We have lived together for 15 years and continue to ride together. To borrow a line from Lou Gehrig....."Today I consider myself the luckiest man on Earth."
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Old 06-02-19, 07:53 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Agreed. And I said as much in the subsequent two sentences from what you quoted.

In the end, mutual respect and interest in cooperation is required. Thst means both people need to want to work to give and take.
Agreed, and that's the goal. Often in an impasse such as this, someone has to give first, take the first substantial steps to help reach that goal. When one gives, their partner is more receptive to doing the same.
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Old 06-02-19, 08:03 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
Now she watches TV and naps-- it's maddening. .
Next time she's watching TV, turn it off and tell her to pay attention to you. Next time she'd napping, wake her up and tell her you need attention. If you do that religiously, I think you'll see fewer issues with your bicycling time.
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Old 06-02-19, 09:15 AM
  #47  
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My issues with my wife mostly are the cost. Married 21 years, I am 54. Been on my beater for 4 years, done some fixing up so it isnít much of a beater, but the thought of a serious road bike starts heating things up in not the best way. (And I am talking modern vintage as opposed to the 3k new bike). Time isnít the issue, I was doing long distance, that wasnít going so well with a flat land move, and hence moving into cycling. Running is pretty cheap, if you shop on shoes there isnít much expense other than entry fees for races. I may not win this one. Hang in there, you will figure it out.
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Old 06-02-19, 09:17 AM
  #48  
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BassmanBob, so many things I could add about my experience with my ex-wife (passed at age 38) and my wife. I'm 54 and my wife will be 48 this month.

The ex suffered depression her whole life and never overcame it.

My wife suffered depression and health problems after a job layoff in 2016. She got saved again about a year later and it really brought up her spirits and outlook on life. Her health improved dramatically as she learned how to live with less stress. Plus, she has been working again for the last 1.5 years.

I can't say what works for anyone to have a successful marriage. I sure do hope that your wife and you figure out what works for you.

------

BTW, my "get a dog" comment wasn't fully presented earlier as I was typing on my phone which is frustrating and I lose train of thought.

Basically, my wife doesn't like when I go out of town for work. She feels like her security is diminished for several reasons, something as simple as the AC quitting or her car having a flat tire. Or the thought of an intruder.

So, the dogs give her somebody to fuss over and care for. Plus, they are little alarms systems as they will bark if anyone is near our house. The dogs aren't replacements for me, but they allow her to relax a bit more, especially when I'm away. Too bad the dogs can't fix the AC. I'd pay 'em dog treats.

Of course, getting a dog isn't a fix for other issues.
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Old 06-02-19, 10:13 AM
  #49  
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250 miles a month probably eats at least 25 hours a month with prep, planning, showering, etc. That's a lot of time and strain on a marriage. Somehow you need to make her feel she is more important than the riding. Figure that out. How about "dates", dinners together at the dinner table, not in front of the tv, planned excursions.

Good luck. My first wife had the same issues. It's one of the reasons I am on wife #2 who is much more sympathetic and rides with me occasionally. One of the things we do is to plan our week. That way we know when we'll be together, how to plan things together (like gardening, of which my wife is a master and I am the hired help, but we're together and she sees me being involved in her stuff.)
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Old 06-02-19, 10:41 AM
  #50  
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We have balance because my wife has other interests. But also because we know when to bend. For example I thought I would ride yesterday after several weeks off due to family obligations but yesterday another popped up. I needed to show my 23 yr old son how to properly clean his bedroom windows including removal vacuuming washing etc the whole deal . Then guess what, I helped get his bike ready for the season and he rode it to his friends house. At least someone got a ride in
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