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Balancing Cycling and Marriage

Old 06-03-19, 07:51 AM
  #76  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
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.
+1. /thread
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Old 06-03-19, 07:54 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
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.
Bob, these are two big life changing events that can push some into a life crises. Sorry to say, but there are no quick fixes here. (so don't expect one) Yeah, it's not your fault, and not "fair" to you, but what your wife is dealing with is much worse than what you are now dealing with. Thinking of it this way made it easier for me when I had to buckle in and weather the storm for a few years. Things eventually got better and it was all worth it. I love my wife and it's all part of the vows we took. I'm sure she'd do the same for me. In fact, she has.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:15 AM
  #78  
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I would not presume to make recommendations, especially on such a private affair after so many replies, and besides, I’ve got it good with a cycling spouse (not to brag, but show the possibilities):
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
What a coincidence that your wife and girlfriend both ride the same bikes. Do they ride together?
In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston. We have toured in New England and the Maritime Provinces, and one trip to the DelMarVa peninsula…

After the birth of our son in 1988, I have pretty much been a year–round commuter only
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Who do you like to ride with?

...My most intimate cycling companion has been my wife, but not for many years now. Before children, in our touring days, we rode amiably together, and can you think of a better cross-country ride companion than a new bride (on a cycling honeymoon)?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
what are your favorite (winter) conditions?

...I guess my favorite Winter conditions too are mid 20’s with hardpack snow.

It’s best when the winter challenge is just enough to be comfortable, but not so bad as when my usually understanding wife chides me: "You just want to ride so you can write about it on Bike Forums.”
However, since we currently don't cycle together, we serendipitously found as an alternative mutual interest:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Besides cycling, I enjoy my job though I spend a lot of time at work.

(Our) other outside interest is ballroom dancing after about 8 years of lessons in the 1980's. My wife and I go out [almost weekly on Saturday nights].
Indeed after a Saturday Ride, I'm well-warmed up to dance the night away.

Finally, I enjoyed read this post from the Touring Forum about a cycling activity to share with a non-cycling "Significant Other," "I'm taking off on another 2 day trip tomorrow"
Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
I've been doing these fun rides lately... Pick a cool town about 50 or 60 scenic miles away. Book a nice room near town. Ride there (in my case, with my dog along). And then have my wife drive there to meet for a nice, romantic night on the town. It takes her an hour or two, to drive to where it takes me and my 20LB dog to get in a leisurely 6 hours or so.

Some fine dining. A hike. Shopping. Maybe live music.
Next morning, charming breakfast, etc... Then I ride home, usually a different route.

It has been great. I get two days of serious riding, and she gets fun little get-a-ways close to home. We are exploring towns near us that we would otherwise never spend a night in, except that for a cyclist, it is a day's journey.

Healdsburg, CA. a few weeks ago
Halfmoon Bay, CA. a couple weeks ago
Tomorrow, Guerneville, CA. Staying at a place built in 1905. Cabins on the Russian River.

I guess you could call it short range, luxury touring with a spousal inclusion component.

Anyone else into this kind of thing? Or lucky enough to have a girl that will do the rides with you?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I have thought about such rides for a long time. My own personal last tour was in 1986 for three days.

A couple years ago I thought about making up such list for weekend getaways, as you described, and posting to the local Metro Boston thread. We live in downtown Boston, and can go out in all directions (except eastward into the Atlantic Ocean).

So for here on the Right Coast, counterclockwise around Boston, such destinations would be:
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-03-19 at 02:00 PM. Reason: inserted quote by Maelochs
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Old 06-03-19, 10:35 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
And FYI, children come first. Always..
Positively NOT true. Marriage comes ahead of children in priority. A unified set of parents who can demonstrate male-female relationships, forgiveness, caring and courage goes the farthest to raising emotionally healthy and secure children.
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Old 06-03-19, 11:03 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
unpopular opinion here. go ride when you want and let the chips fall. life is short and will be over soon
Marriage is like having a dork disc welded to your Chris King hub.
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Old 06-03-19, 11:10 AM
  #81  
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Back to the original question, I had an "issue" with my wife last year, she groused that I was spending too much time riding (which was true, I was routinely heading out the door on Saturdays for a full-day jaunt with friends.). My viewpoint was that we didn't have any competing kid activities so I was free to exercise. SHE felt like I was never around. She just wanted to spend time with me so I had to re-balance my riding. I was grumpy for about 2 months but eventually worked it out.

Btw, one of the ways I keep my fitness up so that I'm still "available" weeknights is riding on a trainer (using zwift). I get plenty of base miles in and it doesn't interfere with "us" time.

My wife is generally supportive of my riding, understands that I need to exercise and does periodically ride with me, she was just unhappy with my availability. Be present when you're there, it goes a long way. Good luck.
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Old 06-03-19, 11:15 AM
  #82  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Positively NOT true. Marriage comes ahead of children in priority.

A unified set of parents who can demonstrate male-female relationships, forgiveness, caring and courage goes the farthest to raising emotionally healthy and secure children.
Dennis Prager, a national radio commentator on sociopolitical topics, and also an erudite interpreter on the Jewish religion has made that same point. He hosts a weekly Male-Female Hour on his weekday talk show for such commentary.

On my preceding post I wrote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Besides cycling, I enjoy my job though I spend a lot of time at work.

(Our) other outside interest is ballroom dancing after about 8 years of lessons in the 1980's. My wife and I go out [almost weekly on Saturday nights].
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Indeed after a Saturday Ride, I'm well-warmed up to dance the night away.
When our son was about four years old, his pre-school teacher told us he was playing house (innocently) with a girl, and he took her out dancing (like his parents did on Saturday nights).

He's grown up in his 30's as a respectable professional, and we have had the pleasure to go out dancing with him, and two of his (sequential), steady girlfriends.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-03-19 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 06-03-19, 12:05 PM
  #83  
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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.
Well, yeah, but not ALL the time. The big question is, how much time does he spend with her? Cycling as an activity takes some time. I think there's more going on that what OP is writing.
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Old 06-03-19, 01:47 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
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.

My situation is VERY similar to yours.
Timothy H and AlmostTrick make some good points. I need to take that advice.
My wife works some distance away, doesn't have many friends where we now live (although she doesn't try very hard), has no real hobbies, has some medical concerns, and is the one that actually got me into cycling about 4 years ago.
But yeah - minimal cycling, minimal music, and lots of complaints.

Maybe a tandem would help our situations.
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Old 06-03-19, 05:35 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Positively NOT true. Marriage comes ahead of children in priority. A unified set of parents who can demonstrate male-female relationships, forgiveness, caring and courage goes the farthest to raising emotionally healthy and secure children.
You are wrong and you are off topic.
My reply was strictly in regards to the OP who clearly demonstrated a scenario where his partner was demanding unreasonable amounts of attention.
Bottom line remains the same though. Children come first.
Don’t have children if this isn’t priority one.
What’s up with your insistence on demonstrating ‘male-female’ relationships btw? Psychology doesn’t support it.
Same sex partners can’t raise healthy and secure children?
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Old 06-03-19, 06:21 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by PGHNeil View Post
Bob, your wife deserves your attention, but as many here have said the amount you actually engage in the activity isn't that excessive. When you're around her though, maybe you shouldn't obsess about it so much. Instead, find something the two of you can do together. I agree, sitting on the couch and watching TV isn't it - nor, unfortunately is riding bicycles. What does she like to do, or is she having trouble not being a mom or a daughter anymore?

Whatever the case may be, she clearly needs to talk to a professional and I hope that person can help her face her issues without fear of judgment. That being said, I'd go so far as to saying that her calling your activities (cycling, playing in the band) as being obsessions is just not fair. If anything, she's the one who has obsessions - or at least attachment issues. I don't think your cycling is an obsession. I'd call it exercise - and quite frankly if she's prone to moping the endorphins from getting away and doing it are probably contributing to keeping you sane.

That being said, I think now is the time to focus on the two of you as a couple. She certainly deserves you set up a regular date night, but even better is something that gets you both out of the mundane. When was the last time you two went on a vacation alone?
My wife has her first solo therapy session this Wednesday. We do vacation alone as a couple twice a year. We mutually enjoy hiking in national or state parks, and we've been doing that for the last three or four years. Sometimes she will also come to my conferences or out of town meetings and spend the evenings together. We travel very well together, whether it's for family, work or vacation. We are going hiking in a Tennessee state park for the Independence Day extended weekend. We also have a wedding in New Hampshire in August and will extend the trip with one of our daughters and my sister-in-law to Acadia National Park in Maine.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:24 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Of course ... we're only getting one side of the story here.
Admittedly. I'm trying to be as objective as possible, but it is only my side of the story. I did spend a lot of time answering many of the previous post. So I'm trying to be honest.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:25 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
You have no idea what you are talking about…And FYI, children come first. Always.

Whether they are still in your home or moved out.
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Positively NOT true. Marriage comes ahead of children in priority.

A unified set of parents who can demonstrate male-female relationships, forgiveness, caring and courage goes the farthest to raising emotionally healthy and secure children.
Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
You are wrong and you are off topic.
My reply was strictly in regards to the OP who clearly demonstrated a scenario where his partner was demanding unreasonable amounts of attention.
Bottom line remains the same though. Children come first.
Don’t have children if this isn’t priority one.

What’s up with your insistence on demonstrating ‘male-female’ relationships btw? Psychology doesn’t support it.
Same sex partners can’t raise healthy and secure children
?
If same sex partners are “equivalent” to male-female partners, that doesn’t ipso facto negate the premise that “Marriage comes before children.”

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-03-19 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:27 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post


Indeed. You ought to see what's being written on the forum the wife visits.

Just kidding around, bassmanbob.
Literally, I laughed out loud. Thanks.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:33 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
We do vacation alone as a couple twice a year. We mutually enjoy hiking in national or state parks, and we've been doing that for the last three or four years. Sometimes she will also come to my conferences or out of town meetings and spend the evenings together.

We travel very well together, whether it's for family, work or vacation....
FYA, in case it was lost in the tangle of replies, I posted earlier:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…I enjoyed read this post from the Touring Forum about a cycling activity to share with a non-cycling "Significant Other," "I'm taking off on another 2 day trip tomorrow"
Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
I've been doing these fun rides lately... Pick a cool town about 50 or 60 scenic miles away. Book a nice room near town. Ride there (in my case, with my dog along). And then have my wife drive there to meet for a nice, romantic night on the town. It takes her an hour or two, to drive to where it takes me and my 20LB dog to get in a leisurely 6 hours or so.

Some fine dining. A hike. Shopping. Maybe live music.
Next morning, charming breakfast, etc... Then I ride home, usually a different route.

It has been great. I get two days of serious riding, and she gets fun little get-a-ways close to home. We are exploring towns near us that we would otherwise never spend a night in, except that for a cyclist, it is a day's journey...

I guess you could call it short range, luxury touring with a spousal inclusion component.

Anyone else into this kind of thing? Or lucky enough to have a girl that will do the rides with you?
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Old 06-03-19, 06:34 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Bob, these are two big life changing events that can push some into a life crises. Sorry to say, but there are no quick fixes here. (so don't expect one) Yeah, it's not your fault, and not "fair" to you, but what your wife is dealing with is much worse than what you are now dealing with. Thinking of it this way made it easier for me when I had to buckle in and weather the storm for a few years. Things eventually got better and it was all worth it. I love my wife and it's all part of the vows we took. I'm sure she'd do the same for me. In fact, she has.
Yes. I agree that this is worse for my wife than it is for me. She was very close to her mother and still is with our daughters. We have had other difficult times in the past, and at least one of them was DEFINITELY my fault. I can get resentful, but then I will take a reality check and focus on being as supportive as I can be in that moment. I definitely don't do it flawlessly, but I try. We are committed to making it work and eventually get around to doing the work required.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:40 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Well, yeah, but not ALL the time. The big question is, how much time does he spend with her? Cycling as an activity takes some time. I think there's more going on that what OP is writing.
In an attempt to be honest, I've always said that there are three sides to every argument or issue in a marriage: His, Hers and the Truth that sits somewhere in between. Perspective is everything.
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Old 06-03-19, 07:09 PM
  #93  
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Riding takes time. So does golf. I can understand why my wife wants me to spend more time with her. It seems to me the real problem is work. If I could just overcome the need for employment, everything else would fall into place.
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Old 06-03-19, 07:39 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I appreciate your reply, but I think this would be antagonistically counter productive.
Or it would provide a badly needed does of reality.
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Old 06-04-19, 06:12 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Or it would provide a badly needed does of reality.
I agree. It may provide some reality, but in my experience with my wife, this tactic has been counter productive. When I'have done this kind of thing, the tit for tat method of marriage maintenance never felt right for me.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:17 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
My wife has her first solo therapy session this Wednesday. We do vacation alone as a couple twice a year. We mutually enjoy hiking in national or state parks, and we've been doing that for the last three or four years. Sometimes she will also come to my conferences or out of town meetings and spend the evenings together. We travel very well together, whether it's for family, work or vacation. We are going hiking in a Tennessee state park for the Independence Day extended weekend. We also have a wedding in New Hampshire in August and will extend the trip with one of our daughters and my sister-in-law to Acadia National Park in Maine.
This is great!

Your wife is fortunate to have such a loving husband who continues to show understanding and support during a most difficult period of her life. By doing this you are actually making it easier for her to get well. You are to be commended, sir.

Continue to support, but whatever you do, don't try to "fix" her. She has to do her own work. Continue to show love and understanding as you've been doing to help pave her way. You are wise to realize that making demands or slapping your wife into reality is not going to help her, or get you the results you desire.

Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
Yes. I agree that this is worse for my wife than it is for me. She was very close to her mother and still is with our daughters. We have had other difficult times in the past, and at least one of them was DEFINITELY my fault. I can get resentful, but then I will take a reality check and focus on being as supportive as I can be in that moment. I definitely don't do it flawlessly, but I try. We are committed to making it work and eventually get around to doing the work required.
It is admirable of you to take ownership of your part in this. Commitment is the key to working out marriage issues, so it's great to hear you both have that. Hang in there BMB, once you and your wife get through this period you'll have an even stronger and more loving relationship! (and only your legs will be limiting your biking!)

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 06-04-19 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:20 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Or it would provide a badly needed does of reality.
Can you point to any medical institutions or respected doctors who deal with people in depression who would endorse your advised "treatment"?
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Old 06-04-19, 08:08 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Can you point to any medical institutions or respected doctors who deal with people in depression who would endorse your advised "treatment"?
Probably Dr. DumAss who posts common sense medical and marital advice under numerous pseudonyms all over the Internet including on BF threads.
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Old 06-04-19, 08:34 AM
  #99  
burnthesheep
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Here's the deal..........you don't have kids.

I don't mean to sound very forward, but without kids it should simply be easier than you make it sound.

What are your job's hours? Other hobbies, or just the bike? Do you travel for work?

If you work 45 hrs a week and don't have a long commute then should easily be able to have a fun and fruitful marriage and ride up to 12 hours a week.

I'd just make absolutely sure that other things don't throw the balance off like work hours, long commute, helping at the house, etc.....

If those things are in check, it's all likely that she doesn't have a healthy outlet for herself and needs to address that in the therapy. People who don't typically carry resentment no matter the level of personal entertainment the other person does.

You could ride one hour a week and they'd complain.

Also, don't give folks an excuse to complain. Do your chores, be fully present when it isn't bike time.

I've always told everyone that if you want a healthy family the balance comes in equal thirds.......EQUAL thirds (assuming kids):

-between you and the kids
-between you and the spouse
-between you and yourself

People who put too much of the balance on any one category probably come off as a bit unstable or in need of help.

You know.......the mother (or dad) who dedicates life to children ignoring all else. The husband (or wife) who throws it all out for a personal job or hobby ambition. A partner demanding ONLY time together and nothing individual.

Balance.

Also, you can easily bag 4 to 6 hours a week by getting up early on weekends to go ride when daylight is plentiful. Leave by 6:15 and home before lunch on the weekend!!! Who's to complain about that? Long ride Saturday morning, recovery ride Sunday morning, a 1 hour HIIT workout at a time convenient for family, and a 90 min week night group ride.

There's 8 1/2 hours right there.

And that's a schedule doable for a person with kids.
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Old 06-04-19, 09:25 AM
  #100  
bakerjw
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You don't have kids....
But as I mentioned previously and speaking from experience, our marriage went real nutso, mostly on my part, when our sons left. Going from 19 years where everything is focused on providing for the kids and making sure that what needed taken care of was in fact getting taken care of to... What now? can be a hard thing. It didn't help that our youngest spent a year in a war zone too.

Things settled down. We ride our tandems and enjoy each others company. We tolerate each others idiosyncrasies for the most part.
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