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I have been married to my college sweetheart for 11 years and we have 4 young children (in elementary school). I am fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom.

My husband's job is very stressful and he has always needed a hobby outside of work to occupy his mind and de-stress. I totally understand and fully support that. For the past several years, he has been competing in triathalons. When he first began, I was 110% on board. He could train whenever he wanted, for however long. I catered to his changing nutrition habits and washed his stinky work-out clothes. I listened endlessly about training strategies and didn't say a word about the money he shelled out for equipment, race fees, travel, etc. For 3 years, I dragged the kids to countless races across the country, fueling him at feed stops, massaging sore muscles, taking photographs of him along the way.

While on the one hand, I am proud of him and how hard he works toward his goals and I think that he sends a very positive message to our kids. And yes, we have spent time as a family traveling to various places. However, it is always my trying to find a way to occupy the kids while he races, rushing around trying to get the "right" photos, arranging all the travel, etc.

We recently went on our first family vacation in 5 years that did not involve attending a race of his. Nonetheless, we still had to deal with his training. Although he tried to schedule it to minimize the impact on us (ie, running in the am before we got up), it still affected what we did--us missing some activities because he didn't get back in time from a ride, him being tired after a workout, us following him to take photos.

He is going out of the country to train for 2 weeks next month (as he has done in the past). I am fine with him going--he has asked me to come (either alone or with the kids), but I know it will largely involve following him around with food and drink and taking photos. He was recently watching a certain race on tv and said, I can't believe you don't want to watch me do that. Is it selfish of me not to want to tag along and support him while he trains and races? Again, it's not an issue of letting him compete or train, it's just the issue of MY participation (or lack thereof) in his racing and training.

I guess I am looking for perspectives: am I not being supportive enough? Am I not expecting enough from him? I feel like I and the kids are not his priority. Thanks in advance for your comments.
 

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You're being plenty supportive. I don't think you're looking for anything other than a little reciprocity. If he'd devote the same level of attention, time, and energy to supporting your wishes, you'd probably be happy to wave and squirt water on him as he runs past.
What happens if you say, "sure, I'll go, but I want you to go to ____ with me for two weeks."? One family trip in five years sounds like a lopsided return compared to the many times the family has supported his interests.
This should be something he can understand easily. He jealously guards what goes into his body and he is careful to exercise religiously. He knows the outcome of the race depends on
the amount of effort and commitment he puts into this hobby. His marriage is way more important. He should put at least as much care and effort into nurturing and growing that.
Sooner or later, his body won't allow him to run or work. The only enduring thing he can have in this life is his relationship with his family. He can only have that if he works at it. He gives himself fully to his job and to his hobby...both fleeting things. He needs to make you and the kids his priority because in the end that's all he's going to have.
 
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