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Old 10-17-2005, 02:45 PM   #26
BenjaminH
Location: Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I did karate before I met my wife, and she knows that Martial arts are a part of who I am. We've argued from time to time about how she wishes she had something she'd like doing.. so I tell her to go ahead and join something. She never has. Ultimately it boils down to time not spent with her. Maybee it's a jealousy thing.. I dunno.

I've made it clear that I will continue to do some form of MA until I am not able to physically do them. It is all I do. I am not at a bar, I am not having an affair, I am not a druggie, I am a martial artist ,and all I ask for is 1-2 classes a week, and to have some time to practice.

Now if needed I would stop for my family's sake.. but that's all.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:28 PM   #27
K Stewart
Join Date: May 2006
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Interesting that 95%+ of the responses to this thread are from men with less-than-supportive spouses. I'm a woman practicing Aikido and have an unsupportive (sometimes very, very, very unsupportive) husband. Ack! Would like any thoughts on dealing with this.

I've been practicing only six months, and God willing I will be practicing until I physically can't. Aikido has pointed out some things I need to address in life and is helping me become a better person...lifelong process.

The problem, for hubby, is that our small dojo only is able to have classes Friday and Saturday evenings. Those are my only times to train, and I have only missed a couple classes since I started. Once I commit to something, I commit. (Including to hubby.)

Hubby is at times VERY unhappy about the Fri/Sat nights away from home. However, before I started Aikido, our Fri/Sat nights consisted of watching TV, and hubby complaining about how bored he was, but not interested in going to the health club, to a movie, whatever. So, my starting Aikido has not meant there's been a huge change to our social life, because we really don't go out with other people or do things, anyway. Sigh. I most times also cook him a nice dinner that's waiting in the fridge when he gets home, so he's not eating frozen pizza.

He's very critical of the time I spend away from home, yet if he had a hobby or interest that he was greatly enjoyed, I would *happily* encourage him to pursue it! In fact, several years ago he took a class that met Mon-Thur nights until 10:00, for nearly a year. I was happy for him, and enjoyed all the projects I got done those evenings!

I've encouraged him to find something that he enjoys doing, but honestly I feel he'd rather complain than solve the problem. At this point, I don't feel terribly inclined to cut back my practice because it is so limited as it is, and it's only two nights a week. It's just too bad that it happens to be Fri/Sat.....

Sorry so long. Help?????
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:33 PM   #28
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Invite him to practice with you... ?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:40 PM   #29
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I think the Women's Liberation happened just because of the "unsupportive spouse" problem. I also think that both men and women should continue doing whatever personally benefits them. Marriage itself is about "support," and the support should run both ways. To put it simply, no support, no marriage. You could try to find another dojo that has a more flexible schedule, but I have to wonder if
it actually is the Fri/Sat schedule that is the problem. If worse comes to worse, "Every other" is the natural solution. If you alternate every other friday and every other saturday, you'll be going to class once a week regularly and you do have a lot more negotiating room, freely exchanging fridays and saturdays. A good rule can be, if you give up this friday, you go saturday of this week no matter what. Be strong, and I hope you find a good solution that works for you. In gassho
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:51 PM   #30
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I like Mark's suggestion with one addition...

If you give up a night of training, it has to be FOR something...not just sitting in front of the TV vegging...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:26 PM   #31
wmreed
 
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Ai symbol Re: Unsupportive spouse

Quote:
Eric Saemann wrote:
A couple times during my four years of training, my wife has given me a hard time about not taking a certain other job...
I know you didn't ask for suggestions but...

I would suggest being sure that you knew why the "other job" was important to her. Is it higher paying? Better hours? A different city?

Relationships, whether marriage, friends, training partners, or whatever are made strong or weak through the strength or weakness of the communication, in my experience. I would need to know what my wife felt I was keeping from her by not taking the "other job" and I would find a way to give her what she needed through another avenue, if possible.

I moved away from my first aikido teacher to "follow" my wife to a new city because she needed to go back to school and get her Ph.D. I regret some of the consequences of that decision, but am grateful for how many other things I gained in what has become our home. I wouldn't want to move back at this time if it was her idea. I may like the aikido training in the old town better, but I love the school my children are at, I love my current job, and to be honest I HATE packing and moving, just to name a few reasons why I'm glad we're here.

In a realtionship, I believe one should try to learn what makes our partners happy and secure, and that one should be clear on what makes oneself feel happy and secure, and find the ways (plural) to make that happen for both.

(Side note: The book Just Your Type is a good one for learning about different people's comfort zones and motivations.)

William M. Reed
Columbus, OH USA
wmreed@columbus.rr.com
"I'm not the author William Reed -- yet."
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:57 PM   #32
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

My wife has always supported me in my Aikido. For the last 11 years, I have trained between two and four days a week and she has never said a word against it. In the last two and a half years , I have been teaching 5 days a week (Saturday all day as well) and she has never said a word against it. She has always said, " I want you to do what makes you happy". In response, we have a special date night and I give her all I can to make up for all she does for me. She hates cooking so on the way home, I always pick up food to go for the family. We have been married 27 years and have a wonderful relationship. She always greets me when I return from Aikido with a big smile and a kiss!

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:05 PM   #33
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Luckily, my wife has always been supportive. She grumbles occasionally. I was teaching 6 days and she felt it would be nice if I backed it down to 5 and got one of my students to teach the other. We established early on in dating-first date-that this was my thing and that I'd probably do it until I couldn't any more. She has accepted that nicely. I don't drink, smoke, gamble, chase other women, or stay out all night with the boys. I think she probably can accept the trade off. Her ex was not exactly a stellar citizen in some of those regards.
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:32 PM   #34
JMCavazos
Dojo: Aikido Center of South Texas
Location: Houston,Tx
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Unforunately, my ex-wife was supportive at the beginning and unsupportive at the end of our relationship. She was happy about me taking a position of instruction. Later she was unsupportive of the times I had to teach class - "You have aikido again....just don't go....etc..." It was hard to make her understand that the reason students came to class is because I was always there! Anyway, after 22 years - we had to call it quits (marriage not aikido)!
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:10 PM   #35
Janet Rosen
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Quote:
Kara Stewart wrote:
Hubby is at times VERY unhappy about the Fri/Sat nights away from home. However, before I started Aikido, our Fri/Sat nights consisted of watching TV, and hubby complaining about how bored he was, but not interested in going to the health club, to a movie, whatever.
well, heck, if he can't be bothered to go out with you and do something, why should you let his sloth/lack of interest in life hold YOU back?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:40 PM   #36
Neal Earhart
 
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

I got very lucky. I met my wife at Aikido 16+ years ago. Many of our mutual friends that we see socially are from Aikido. She no longer practices due to health issues. But, my wife respects and understands my training and completely endorses it.

However, I do make sure that I spend time with her in the evenings and on weekends.

I usually take 530PM class during the week, which gets me home at about 7PM. Depending on our plans, I'll leave work a bit early and take the 415PM class.

If I'm going to an all-day seminar on a Saturday, I won't train on Sunday. If I'm going to a weekend seminar, I'll typically take Friday or Monday off to spend the day with my wife.

As much as Aikido is a priority in my life (a much higher priority than my job and other interests ), my wife is still the number one priority.
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:27 AM   #37
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Some people call the unsupportive wives - Aikido widows. It all sounds funny but actually is somewhat of a serious isue because it strikes at the root of modern relationships. I know men who have to negotiate for what days they can practice. One man I know only gets two days a month and literally has to sneak out for any other days, It is something I notice all the time. I know someone else who "wins" his battles but has a lot of pressure because his wife WANTS HIM AT HOME. Aikido is only for an hour or so at most so it strikes me oddly that a husband often can't have a little time to himself. I would like to know more if any women have that problem because for the woman, it seems almost like a jealousy issue- another competition for her affections.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:51 AM   #38
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
My wife has always supported me in my Aikido. For the last 11 years, I have trained between two and four days a week and she has never said a word against it. In the last two and a half years , I have been teaching 5 days a week (Saturday all day as well) and she has never said a word against it. She has always said, " I want you to do what makes you happy". In response, we have a special date night and I give her all I can to make up for all she does for me. She hates cooking so on the way home, I always pick up food to go for the family. We have been married 27 years and have a wonderful relationship. She always greets me when I return from Aikido with a big smile and a kiss!
You are a very lucky man Jorge, and I'm sure you know it

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:28 AM   #39
K Stewart
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it.

Should we call this "Dear Aikido Abby"?

I would like him to train with me, but he's got bone-on-bone arthritis in one knee and rotator cuff problems. Probably the pain isn't doing anything to improve his outlook on life and he's not happy about how much his activity has been decreased compared with a few years ago so I emphathize with that. But still....

We are instituting date nights (tonight's the first) to go do something, even if it's just a drive. So that's progress and hopefully will help him feel less, what, left out?

I will consider going alternate Friday nights, but you're right -- we have to DO something if I take the night off training. Sitting on the couch doesn't count!

I wonder if (at least part of) the issue is that I am changing, in a good way, I believe, but there has been change. I'm more assertive, more willing to voice an opinion -- but not be confrontational -- just overall have a more centered and grounded approach. He sees that, feels that, and is scared by it or something. Ironically, I think he also likes the change in some ways, but it's still threatening (?) for whatever reason.

Yes, mutual support is a huge part of a marriage. Without it there's not much to pin your hat on. I give him the support to do what would make him happy and he doesn't do it. I think being supportive of my practice follows the same path. I will do what I need to to compromise where necessary and still practice, but I feel it needs to be reciprocal, and so far it's been pretty much me expected to change my plans to meet his.

Blend, blend, blend....

I am doing my best to look at this as another way to practice my off-the-mat Aikido. And, Aikido is just not something I will give up so we'll have to find a way to work it in.

BTW, I am very happy for those of you with mutually supportive spouses/SOs. I never want to be a spouse who says "You can't do x, y, or z" or grant permission for him to do something. Ick. As long as the activity isn't immoral, illegal, or fattening, I encourage him to do things that make him happy. That's what it's supposed to be about! I just need to work on the "mutually" part of the equation.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:44 AM   #40
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
You are a very lucky man Jorge, and I'm sure you know it

regards,

Mark
Mark, I have had a lot of people that have met my wife tell me that. Especially some of my students that love Aikido but are out there negotiating for every single trip to the dojo. I know of Sensei's wives that have nagged them out of teaching. I guess I have seen a lot but it does disturb me that in our time, we are so possesive and withdrawing rather than giivng and sharing. My wife is a better human being than I am and she has taught me the meaning of love and sharing. I always feel like I owe her and yet she never demands anything from me. I actaully feel pretty guilty. I need to save money and take her on a big trip to Europe or something for our 30th. I have already nixed Japan. That would be too self serving!

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:29 AM   #41
Robert Rumpf
Dojo: Academy of Zen and the Ways
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Re: Unsupportive spouse

To state the obvious, picking a significant other that you can live with and who can live with you (over time) is a much more important self-defense issue than most things that are mentioned on Aikiweb or in the dojo..

For me, it was and is a question of realizing trends and my ability to nudge things in one direction or another so that things work out over time.

Good luck,
Rob
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