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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll try give full context to this question so you can see the whole picture.

I work 40+ hours a week. When I leave in the morning, my wife and kids are still sleeping. My wife gets up and gets the older kids off to school. She spends the rest of the day with our 3 year old. She plays, goes to the park, takes naps with her, etc. In the afternoon, she picks up the older kids and spends the afternoon with them at home. She cooks dinner (most days) and we eat when I get home.

When I get off of work, I go the gym for one hour, then I come home eat dinner with my wife and kids and spend the evening with them. I help with homework, do chores that were not done during the day, bathe the kids and put them to bed.

I have another job that I do (from home) from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Then I come to bed and hang out/watch TV with my wife until we fall asleep. So she is on her own from 8 to 10. The kids are in bed by 8.

She thinks the time I spend working out is selfish of me and I should spend that time at home helping her with the kids and the house more. She does not exercise (her choice). Unfortunately, both jobs are needed right now to pay the bills, so stopping the one in the evening is not an option right now.

I know some typical responses would be, why doesn't she get a job during the day so you don't have to work two jobs and you can spend more time together at night. I don't have a problem with this arrangement. I don't expect her to work during the day. I don't mind that she stays home with the kids. Neither does she. She likes staying home. She enjoys the freedom. I'm not looking for her to change anything.

I just wanted to get your thoughts on whether I should continue to spend that hour on myself or is it selfish, as she tells me on a regular basis?
 

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Does your gym offer any type of babysitting services?

If so, ask her to join you for that hour at the gym

Taking care of yourself so you'll be around longer is not selfish.

It sounds as if your wife may be a little jealous of your "me" time at the gym
 

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When do you get home at night? If you are home by 5:30 and can spend 5:30-8 with her, that's one thing.

But if you get home at 7:30 and from 7:30-8:00 you eat, help with chores and homework, I can see a problem.

What do you do on weekends? Do you have a job/hobby that eats up that time, too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The gym is cheap and small and they do not offer any kind of child care. I told her if she wanted to exercise, she could do whatever she wants after I get home and I'll keep the kids, but she chooses not to.

I get home at 5:30. On weekends, I stay home with her and kids. I take care of the house, run errands, play games with the kids, do stuff with her, typical stuff. I take everyone out to eat on Saturday and I cook dinner on Sunday. I do also spend an hour on Sat. and Sun. working out as well and I do work a couple of hours on Sat. and a couple on Sunday, but the rest of the day I spend with them.

I don't have any hobbies that eat up my time.

Keep in mind, she does do her own stuff as well. Weeknights after dinner occasionally she runs errands, goes shopping and visits with friends. I don't mind any of it. She does do her own thing on the weekend as well. She is not home bound by any means. She has a lot of freedom.

Its just any time I spend on myself is viewed as selfish by her.
 

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Joe:

No your not and particularly if your work is sedentary (like mine) you are preventing your wife and family from becoming fatherless when you hit your mid-50’s and have a heart attack.

We faced a similar budget decision about 7 years, at least 50 lbs. and a much better over-all physical/mental condition ago. It’s a mistake I’m trying to turn around and it has caused a bit of dissention as to where we’re going to come up with the $350 a year.

My wife is a SAHM too, and with all due respect to her, she can be a little myopic on issues not directly affecting her and the children. But you’ve got to do it.

From my experience, cutting the exercise regimen will seem like no big deal for a year or two, then you’ll notice you’re getting heavier, having to buy larger clothing; you’ll slowly get more lethargic and feel crappy. It will affect your work performance e.g., ability to concentrate and feel motivated and that will ultimately show in your role as parent and spouse.
 

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I just wanted to get your thoughts on whether I should continue to spend that hour on myself or is it selfish, as she tells me on a regular basis?
I say that you owe it to yourself and your family to spend an hour a day making sure you are strong and healthy so that you are able to take care of their needs both now and in the future
 

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Talk to her about how important it is to you to stay fit. Throw in there how important it is to you to be able to stay fit for not only yourself, but her and the kids as well. Let her know you cannot compromise this.

Raising small children all day is hard. She probably doesn't feel like exersizing much by the time you get home. She might feel more like it when they get older and are less demanding. Try to be understanding of this when you talk to her and let her know it won't be this way forever, if that is what is keeping her from wanting to work out. She could be a little envious that you are keeping in shape...how is hers?
 

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I don't think it's the counting of hours that's the issue or who does how much.

I think that she is saying to herself:

"We're both so busy and have so little quality time together & when the opportunity presents itself, he chooses not to spend it with me, and that hurts my feelings."

Probably there is time that she spends on her own that you don't begrudge her, but people are different & I would bet that her objections to your personal time are code for the above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Day Dream, her weight is fine. She looks good. 5'8 / 120 lbs. (And I tell her that all the time). She just doesn't eat a lot.

alte Dame, I think you hit the nail on the head, but what is the resolution? To be honest, she doesn't "always" take the opportunity to spend her free time with me either. If she has a better offer, she often takes it.
 

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Day Dream, her weight is fine. She looks good. 5'8 / 120 lbs. (And I tell her that all the time). She just doesn't eat a lot.

alte Dame, I think you hit the nail on the head, but what is the resolution? To be honest, she doesn't "always" take the opportunity to spend her free time with me either. If she has a better offer, she often takes it.
You should naturally know she worships the ground you walk on, but women need to know YOU worship the ground THEY walk on, and that can only be shown by spending every free minute of YOURS with them, not vice-versa. Geez...don't you get that by now? It isn't hard. ;)
 

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Your wife should WANT you to spend that hour at gym after work. Not only is it good for your physical health, but it helps you to unwind after a long day at the office.

I don't believe that it should be necessary for you to come home and help with chores that haven't been done during the day, because your W is a SAHM and one would think that she has ample time to deal with them whilst you're working. By all means share chores over weekends and holidays, but your evenings shouldn't have to be spent picking up the slack.

If you need the extra work between 8pm and 10pm in order for your family to subsist, IMO, you W should be supportive of this.

Perhaps your W feels that you are not getting enough quality time together, and this is something that you might want to address with her.
 

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Is it possible for you to get your workout in before work? What you may want to consider is getting up earlier, going to the gym and going to work from there. I know a lot of people do it this way. But the flip side is it will cut into your sleep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks DayDream, I just needed to be reminded. ;)

Cosmos, Thanks, and yes she feels like we don't spend enough time together, but how do I change that without giving up even more?

Plan 9, the morning is not an option. Is your name a Seinfeld reference or just a fan of the movie?

diwali, Thanks I needed that.
 

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Okay, so after 15+ years within 2 marriages. I'm gonna throw you a freebie.

"You working out 1 hour a day isn't fair" in English translates to "I don't feel like you spend enough quality time with me. I don't feel special to you. I feel a little overwhelmed sometimes with the kids and everything and as much as I love being a SAHM and wouldn't EVER trade it for the world, I feel a little trapped and its easiest to assign these negative feelings towards blaming your time away from the family." in womanize.

Phew, it's not easy thinking in Womanize.
 

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Okay, so after 15+ years within 2 marriages. I'm gonna throw you a freebie.

"You working out 1 hour a day isn't fair" in English translates to "I don't feel like you spend enough quality time with me. I don't feel special to you. I feel a little overwhelmed sometimes with the kids and everything and as much as I love being a SAHM and wouldn't EVER trade it for the world, I feel a little trapped and its easiest to assign these negative feelings towards blaming your time away from the family." in womanize.

Phew, it's not easy thinking in Womanize.
This isn't "womanize." Let's not make this a man vs woman thread. There are already way too many of them in this forum.

The OP's W's resentment about him spending one hour in a gym every day is unreasonable by any standards, IMO.
 

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Sounds like you do spend a lot of family time together.

But I didn't see where you spend "couple" time together?
Maybe this isn't about the gym... but about taking just her (not the kids) out once in awhile.

Doesn't have to be more than a few times a month, can you get a sitter and go out as a couple?

(The woman speak would actually be something more about how you make time for the kids, your health, the house, cooking dinner, but not for the "relationship")
 

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What is your second job? Can you do it while sitting close to your wife or otherwise connecting with her? Even just her sitting with her feet on your lap might be a nice way to physically connect.

And no, I don't think working out is selfish. I think it's great. Maybe if you want to find ground for a compromise, you could cut it down to 45 minutes? I was just reading somewhere that there are diminishing returns for working out more than X minutes a day... sorry I can't remember the number! If you're mixing up cardio and weights, though, and hour doesn't seem excessive. Not that I really know anything about working out...
 

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She stays at home, you slave away in two jobs, she resents an hour at the gym... And her complaint is that

I should spend that time at home helping her with the kids and the house more.
Sorry, but no deal. You are not trying for the slave drone part. Like you said, she does her own stuff too. If she thinks that there are things that do not get done around the house why doesn't she take less naps with the toddler and actually gets busy?

I do not like this new wave of SAHMs that complain that guys busting their arses in 2 jobs don't do enough around the house. This when they spend their own time doing next to nothing, getting fat on the couch watching TV.

Apparently they aren't interested in a husband but a work drone! I pity the guys who put themselves in that position.
 

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I'm going to offer another perspective.

I have four fairly close in age kids. Two at school and two not. I stay at home parent.

Hubz finishes work at 5pm. He could be back at 5:30pm but often moseys about. He'll stop off at the supermarket (not for anything essential.) He sometimes calls by his mum's house. It means he is often home at 6 and I tell you - trying to cook tea with four squabbling kids ransacking tge living room, and the toddler screaming and trying to hang onto my leg is very VERY stressful.

I for one would flip my lid if he suggested going to the gym straight from work - we actually have a policy where we don't leave the other partner with all four kids to deal with unless discussed and agreed prior to it happening. We both know that for us teatime and the evening routine are one of the most stressful times of the day and for me I'd be really peeved if hubz was stepping out every day. Could it be your wife feels similarly OP?

Could you compromise and maybe swing by the gym before work or at lunch? Get a couple of sessions in at the weekend when things are less stressed?
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