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Old 10-10-2005, 07:00 AM   #1
Esaemann
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Unsupportive spouse

I'm sure everyone has a spouse who supports their Aikido training (habit). Just in case there is someone out there who doesn't...
Not to whine, but I'm looking more for encouragement (what do you do?) than advice. I realize that the situation is what it is and not much I can do about it other than live with it.
A couple times during my four years of training, my wife has given me a hard time about not taking a certain other job because it would interfere (most likely end my training) with Aikido. I only take the two afternoon classes a week right now so I can be home in the evening with her and my son.
Thanks for listening.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:16 AM   #2
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Dear Eric:
Here is some encouragment and support. I hope you find a way to work this out.

When I first started training I quit a nursing program so I could train more. My family thought I was nuts but I knew it was right for me.
Mary
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:25 AM   #3
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Your wife doesn't have to agree with your priorities, but she should respect them, especially if she and your son are always your first priority in life. There's nothing wrong with Aikido being your 2nd or 3rd priority, IMHO

Ruth
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:34 AM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

IMHO, usually if people know they are a priority and also "win", they are more supportive. Remember that relationships are "win/win" or they are "lose/lose". Keep talking and express you love, appreciation, and commitment to the family.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:13 AM   #5
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Eric,
my wife does not support my aikido either. She just thinks it some kind of fashion and somewhat addictive.
So the agreement is, that I do it twice a week and rarely go on seminars.
Sometimes she comes up with something else, she thinks would be fun for me. In the meantime I refuse any of her "ideas", unless she wants to do it herself. Because whatever i do I want to do seriously and if i had mor time, I would do more aikido.

If I wouldn't have a family, I probably would do more aikido AND windsurfing, cross-country skiing, diving, etc. but as the family has first rank. I use most of my spare time for aikido.

Of course, family is not only duty. It is fun and leisure and we meet friends and do other things together.

And after a while my wife understood, that aikido is important for me and accepts it; but with very limited support.

Kind regards


Dirk
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:32 AM   #6
eyrie
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Family first, work second, aikido third. (Actually the original quote was karate third).

Ignatius
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:58 AM   #7
Amir Krause
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

My wife understands that Aikido is important to me, but she does not support it, just respect it. Sometimes she complains, or jokes I would prefer it over her. Other times she finds she enjoys the private moment my practice times give her.


Amir
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:03 PM   #8
Esaemann
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Thank you all for your responses. Its good to know there are others out there.
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:35 PM   #9
emma.mason15
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

ok so not a spouse as Im single ... but unsupportive mother (who babysits!!!)
so I go mornings and help at the Junior class .... I have now got an arrangement with a friend that allows her two disabled sons to go!
so sometimes I can make even classes two ... (which means some days Im training for 5 1/2 hours a day!! .... phew!!!)
My mother and I talk ... and its as I say to her ... some time out from reality is good ... and this is my time out ....
so thats my dory thought!
em x!

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 10-10-2005, 02:25 PM   #10
Larry John
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Eric,

I agree wholeheartedly with Lynn Seiser. In my opinion, being married means that you have committed to always place your family's interests above your own interests.

It may be that your aikido training is in your family's best interests--or it may not. Only the two of you can decide this, and only if the two of you talk about it openly and honestly, without preconceptions or a desire to win an argument.

Consider this another application of your training. The challenge before you is this: can you find a way to resolve this conflict positively for all involved?

Larry
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:14 PM   #11
crbateman
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, track it down, toss it around, and pin it...

Seriously, family comes first. If your wife can see you are dedicated to that ideal, then she will not feel threatened by your Aikido training, and will most likely allow you to continue.
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:29 PM   #12
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I disagree with some of these sentiments....for example: your wife allowing you to train. ick!!

I feel like my first responsiblity is to take care of myself so paradoxically I have more to give my family.
I take care of me ...my husband takes care of himself and we take care each other. (Thank God our kids are grown.)
Mary
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:44 PM   #13
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I started Aikido before I was married - she knew it. Aikido was part of the deal, and so was the motorcycle. That being said, I went out to train almost every night before I was married but now it is down to two or three. Also, I get up early and train outside by myself most mornings.

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Old 10-11-2005, 12:10 AM   #14
seank
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Ask your wife to train with you. My wife and I started Aikido together, mainly as she wanted to try a martial art and I wanted to get away from Karate.

I think that my wife may be even more addicted to Aikido than me... she's coming up eight months pregnant now and giving me stick because she has had to stop training for a short while...

Seriously though, it can't hurt to get your partner to have a look, they might surprise themselves and discover how much fun it can be
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:03 AM   #15
bogglefreak20
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Quote:
Larry John wrote:
Consider this another application of your training. The challenge before you is this: can you find a way to resolve this conflict positively for all involved?

I agree. Though, our sensei, when explaining the concept of the "third way" usually says (in jest of course) that marriage is the only place where this method doesn't work.

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:18 AM   #16
villrg0a
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

My wife doesnt like me doing aikido coz it takes some of my time away from them, yet just like the others she respects it. What I try to do is to encourage her, I teach here shihonage whenever she is in the mood and me as uke. I think she enjoys it - she enjoys pinning me down . Another way is I get her involve in our activities. Last year I made her do the narration, while me and a partner perform during an exhibition in our of the local schools in our area.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:16 AM   #17
Esaemann
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Thanks for all the insights. My comments on some.
Unfortunately, I started Aikido after we were married for awhile, but before we had our son. I'm hoping he will be interested in Aikido when he's old enough (5 or 6).
Believe me, I'd love to have her interested, but she has zero interest. I can't criticize, though, because I have not interest in scrapbooking. She even gave Tai Chi a try, but didn't like it either. She watched a test, so knows a little what its about.
Anyway, she realizes how important it is to me and maybe even that its good for us (I'll ask). It certainly has changed me for the better, I think. The compromise is that I don't go Friday nights anymore and only do the afternoon classes.
To the Sensei who said "it doesn't work with a spouse", HAHAHAHAHAHA. How true.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:24 AM   #18
Budd
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

As an alternative viewpoint, there's always Dave Lowry's article, "Get a New Wife":

http://koryu.com/library/dlowry7.html

Personally, my strategy was to get my own wife hooked on practicing aikido, as well. It's been working great for 2+ years.
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:18 AM   #19
Larry John
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Eric,

If she can see the change for the better that you mention, that's the beginning of the third way. Perhaps you can gently help her recognize that aikido's focus on this kind of creative problem solving is what's helping you be a better partner for her and father to your child.

All the best to you and yours,

Larry
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:39 AM   #20
ian
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

No matter how much you love someone you have to make decisions for yourself otherwise you'll just end up blaming them for the decision that you made. Everything is a compromise and situations aren't necessarily static. If you prefer to keep training at the moment trust that decision. Maybe in the future you will change your mind - you just have to live with uncertainty and do what is right for this particular moment.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:46 AM   #21
cck
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I am in the fortunate position that I can do aikido at lunchtime every day, so I've built that into my schedule. I can be home by 5:30 to spend time with my family. I have a 3-year old, who loves watching mommy do aikido. My husband appreciates that training is important to me, and that I am a much better person to be around when I go to class.
However, if anything in my family situation changed - loss of job, someone needs full-time care etc - aikido would be one of the first things to go. I can always return if things change, I will never "loose" it. That certain other job that your wife would like you to consider - what would that do for your family? Pros/cons? Is there another dojo with other training times? Of course, you don't want to get stuck in a job you hate AND not be able to do aikido. Is your resistance to the job only aikido? You could go over the pros and cons together to make a decision that works for everybody.
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:57 AM   #22
Devon Natario
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I have been here. I have an ex-wife due to my priorities in life.

I used to train Karate two days a week and Jujitsu three days a week, the Arnis on the Saturday. As you can see this is 6 days a week. My ex ended up leaving me.

Years have passed and I have found a new girlfriend that I have been with two years. We have a son together. When we first met I took her to Aikido with me. We actually trained together and this made it way easier to ease her into my lifestyle. In all honesty if we didn't have a new born baby, I am sure we would still be training together.

I now teach in my home to make it easier. My training sessions do last for a few hours, but they are here at home and I only do them in the mornings before my swing shift at work.

Her and I do not spend much time together because of our alternating work schedules and it's been hard, but she is supportive and understands, especially since she has trained with me.

I personally would not be with someone again that was non-supportive, and if I was, I would really put relationship in front of training. Yes, this kind of means that I am selfish, but I do not put training above my family. I could live without the training, I just do not want to. So I made sure to choose a woman that would support and train with me.

She's actually been talking about me teaching her again soon. So we shall see.

Devon Natario
Instructor
Northwest Jujitsu
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:22 AM   #23
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I've found that I'm even more moody and difficult to deal with than usual when I go a long time without training (although other physical exercise can substitute somewhat). That has prompted my spouse to be much more supportive of Aikido over time than she might otherwise be..

You could always demonstrate this degradation to her, if it happens for you as well. Before long, she'll be pushing you to get back to class..

Rob
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Old 10-11-2005, 02:21 PM   #24
odudog
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Aikido is in my blood. I get upset when I can't train. Aikido is my form of therapy! You have to not think about any problems in your life while training or you will get hurt. So, this is my only time to truely get away from all the problems or frustration that are plaging me without getting drunk. Luckily my wife if Japanese and knows that I'm not giving this up. I even have hopes of teaching our kids when they get old enough. For guys whose significant other doesn't approve of this activity. Ask that person to give up something that he/she thinks is truely an important activity. Hopefully they see the light in this respect. This is what got my wife's attention.
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:04 PM   #25
James Davis
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Esaemann,

A few years ago,before I started aikido, I didn't have anything really meaningful to apply myself to. I was just kind of drifting along, and wasn't happy a lot of the time. A few years ago, my best friend's sister came back from college and saw the changes that aikido had brought about in me. Katie and I were married in June and now we have a kid on the way! Without aikido, I would still be the frustrated and sad person she hugged goodby when she left for college in Ohio. Without aikido, we would probably not have been married. She understands the positive effect that my training has had, and would never ask me to do without it. I too have had to cut my training to two nights a week to fit night school into my schedule. I miss when I used to train more, but two nights a week tides me over okay. Try to illustrate how your training in aikido makes BOTH of your lives better.

Take care.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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