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Old 06-10-2008, 12:52 PM   #3
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 265
Re: jealous wife is cramping my teaching style

Whoa. You've got quite a sticky situation going. I, too, am an Aikido instructor, but I have my wife as a student. Now that's a tricky thing sometimes, I can tell you! Actually, for the most part, its quite wonderful having my wife as a member of the dojo. Its just hard some times to separate out being her husband from being her Aikido teacher. We're figuring it out and making it work.

Like you, my marriage comes first. I've told my wife that I'd quit Aikido if it ever became a problem to our marriage. Hopefully, it'll never come to this, but if it does, I'm determined to put her first. As a part of putting my wife first, I take pains not to carry on with other females in a too-friendly way. While I am cheerful and pleasant with other women, as I am with everbody, I maintain a certain reserve in particular around them. I never allow myself to be in a situation where I am alone with another woman for any length of time and I do not touch other women except to throw them during practice or to shake their hand at first introductions. My wife has never asked me to observe these things, of course - I just do them out of respect for her and my relationship with her.

If your wife has no real reason to be jealous (which is how it sounds from your post), then I'd suggest she has trust and control issues that your role as an Aikido instructor is simply bringing to the fore. The problem isn't you being an Aikido instructor to women, it is that she simply doesn't trust you. I don't think you should make this woman, who has innocently come to your dojo to learn Aikido, the victim of your wife's insecurity. This problem is between you and your wife; it shouldn't, and doesn't, really involve this student at all.

It seems to me that your wife has put you in a place where you must choose between her and your Aikido teaching. Personally, were I in your shoes, I would have very serious issue with the fact that there is no rationale to my wife's distrust of me. The kind of problem you've described sounds like you are becoming a prisoner to your wife's baseless fear. Relationally, this doesn't seem very healthy to me at all.

Of course, all that I've said arises out of hearing only one side of the story. Maybe it would alter were I to hear her side...

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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