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Balancing Cycling and Marriage

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Balancing Cycling and Marriage

Old 06-04-19, 11:15 AM
  #101  
autonomy
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I try to squeeze in riding whenever possible but never at the expense of family time. That means bike-commuting on my only day of the week when I'm not on daycare duty, taking my kid to daycare by bike, which is so much more hassle to organize even though she loves it, waking up at 5:30-6am on the weekends while everyone sleeps in to do a quick ride and get back and showered before 8, or doing a Zwift session at night after everyone goes to bed (more frowned upon since the wife prefers me to be there).
My wife rides too but not as fast or as far as me, we go on family rides and on training rides together where I push her but just a little. She hates any sort of off-road or climbing, so I try to avoid that as much as possible.

As far as marital problems... well, really difficult and maybe not my place to say, but maybe sounds like your wife needs your companionship. Try spending time together, I mean spending time together. Maybe hiking, kayaking, not sure what she would enjoy, but be there with her, don't try to pull her into your own interests.
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Old 06-04-19, 02:59 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
I'm 54 years old, married to the same woman for 29 years, I've been cycling for the last 5 years and we've been empty nesters for the last 4 years. Things have been getting rough with our marriage, so we went to a the******. It's not our first time, and it has helped a lot in the past. My wife definitely has issues she is going to address now, but her biggest problem with me is how much time I spend either cycling or doing cycling related activities. That may include coming here, checking routes for potential rides, reading about cycling and social events with my local cycling club. She complains that cycling has become an addiction for me. While I don't think it has, it is plausible.

This came out because I wanted to start training again for a few century rides this coming fall/ winter (I'm in Florida). I've cut my cycling way back to 150-250 miles a month for the last six months instead of the usual 100 miles a week. Life just got in the way the last few months.

So the question is how do you balance your cycling activity with your marriage and family? I would still like to do three to five century events each year, but I'll need to train more than I've been riding recently to do that. I have considered going to bed by 9PM, waking at 4AM to be on the bike for 90 minutes before I get ready for work at 6AM three times during the week. I have also considered getting up at 4 AM on Saturday, out the door at 5AM for two hours prior to my group ride that begins at 7:15AM. This would get me home by about 10- 10:30 for the rest of the weekend.

How do you manage your time to do both? Is it possible?
So you have many years on me marriage wise but I can only reiterate what others said about your significant other coming first or getting so involved in anything that it's just covering up the real problem. I will say you being away from your wife that long all day isn't bad as long as it has purpose and that your wife shares that goal with you. I imagine when you had kids everyone was okay that you woke up a disappeared all day since I assume you went to work to support your family and your wife shared that same goal. Now that there is no kids and no work you have created your own goals for personal fitness, so as long as you can openly communicate to her how important this is to you I don't think it's unreasonable for you to continue. Now if she can't stand the fact that your away for 8 hours everyday just biking your heart out I could understand. My wife and I had a rocky 1st year of our marriage since she was never around. Basically she had not become an RN yet so money was tighter and she was doing double shifts 3-4 times a week and when she wasn't working she was sleeping or hanging out with her friends. I started to resent her and actually hated her and acted out in many ways. In the end I told her what's the point of being married if I never see you? Luckily she became a RN shortly after and things got better.

I would take a deep look into why you are always biking, is it literally to get away from her or just because you love biking? I am not saying this is you but I am 32 and I have seen this with a few of my friends parents where they get the kids out of the house and they have to literally start dating each other again because for so long it was all about getting a house, raising children, getting the kids through college ect ect but when all those goals are gone sometimes people forget why they were together in the first place or they simply grow apart.

Last edited by Jrasero; 06-04-19 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 06-04-19, 03:38 PM
  #103  
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I love threads like this. They are yet another reminder of why I'm so grateful to live alone. I just came back from a beautiful early morning ride with nobody to question me about it. I might go and do a bit of meditation before work today.

I already have two overseas pleasure trips planned this year, one already booked and paid for, the other I've already saved for, so it's just a matter of deciding where I want to go.

I've done everything sexually that I've ever wanted to do.

I decided at the age of eight I wasn't having any children and it's the best decision I ever made. Sure, it's cost me a few relationships over the years (I've had women tell me to my face they wanted to start a family with me, thank God I said 'no') but it was definitely worth it.

One day I'll make a list of all the localities I'll never live in - simply because I don't have to live there. I can afford better (and yes, I have had the luxury of turning down job offers in certain areas simply because I didn't like them).

No balancing needed.

To those who start threads like this (they come up fairly often) or have this dilemma, you people really need to make a firm decision on what's important to you as an individual. Then you need to follow through on it. Is your marriage the number one priority in your life? Or are your life goals (regardless of whether the are cycling-related) more important? The simple fact is, life is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day, or 168 hours in a week. Decide what's important to you, focus on that, and count your blessings.

Yes, I know I sound selfish, and indeed I am, but you know what? So is everyone else. We all do what is in our own best interests. The least selfish thing you can do is be honest about what your interests are, and let other people decide whether that matches their interests or not.
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Old 06-04-19, 04:09 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Can you point to any medical institutions or respected doctors who deal with people in depression who would endorse your advised "treatment"?
Of course not. None of my ex wives would recommend it. None of my previous marriage counselors would recommend it. None of my anger management the******s would recommend it. But by god, I can look myself in the mirror and know that I went down dealing a dose of what was desperately needed.
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Old 06-04-19, 04:11 PM
  #105  
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I think in any successful relationship, there have to be some things that you enjoy doing together (and sex is not enough - though it can certainly be one of the things) and some things each of you enjoy individually. Perhaps she has lost track of her own individual interests. Happens a lot when raising kids. Then they grow up and move out and you don't know what to do with yourself.

Absolutely spend time with your wife doing things you both enjoy. But encourage her to also find things she likes doing by herself or with her other friends. Then maybe she won't resent the time you spend with your bike quite so much. And maybe ease up on the time spent on bikeforums or doing other non-riding but cycling-related activities.
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Old 06-04-19, 08:37 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
But by god, I can look myself in the mirror and know that I went down dealing a dose of what was desperately needed.
I do not doubt that there are a lot of jokers in prison who beat their wife or worse who "know" the same thing for dealing a dose of what was "needed".
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Old 06-05-19, 08:13 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
I love threads like this. They are yet another reminder of why I'm so grateful to live alone. I just came back from a beautiful early morning ride with nobody to question me about it. I might go and do a bit of meditation before work today.

I already have two overseas pleasure trips planned this year, one already booked and paid for, the other I've already saved for, so it's just a matter of deciding where I want to go.

I've done everything sexually that I've ever wanted to do.

I decided at the age of eight I wasn't having any children and it's the best decision I ever made. Sure, it's cost me a few relationships over the years (I've had women tell me to my face they wanted to start a family with me, thank God I said 'no') but it was definitely worth it.

One day I'll make a list of all the localities I'll never live in - simply because I don't have to live there. I can afford better (and yes, I have had the luxury of turning down job offers in certain areas simply because I didn't like them).

No balancing needed.

To those who start threads like this (they come up fairly often) or have this dilemma, you people really need to make a firm decision on what's important to you as an individual. Then you need to follow through on it. Is your marriage the number one priority in your life? Or are your life goals (regardless of whether the are cycling-related) more important? The simple fact is, life is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day, or 168 hours in a week. Decide what's important to you, focus on that, and count your blessings.

Yes, I know I sound selfish, and indeed I am, but you know what? So is everyone else. We all do what is in our own best interests. The least selfish thing you can do is be honest about what your interests are, and let other people decide whether that matches their interests or not.
I don't like equating making life choices that don't involve the traditional route with being selfish. Selfish has such a negative connotation. You and I have made many of the same choices. I don't consider that selfish. I consider it responsible. What good comes from getting married and having kids if you know that's not the type of life you want to lead? My father went that route. I firmly believe that he did it because he thought it would change him into the sort of person he was not but thought he should be, in part because of his career path. Didn't happen, and my parents' marriage ended when I was 7 or 8. All and all it was a good thing. It allowed him to live the way he wanted to, which made him a more happy person. His lifestyle also exposed me to a lot of things I likely would not have experienced had my parents stayed together.
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Old 06-05-19, 08:35 AM
  #108  
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I don't consider those choices to be selfish either. My wife and I decided early on we didn't want kids. Some would say that is selfish. Selfish to who?, I would reply. There are no kids there!
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Old 06-06-19, 04:10 AM
  #109  
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I have been married for 44 years and cycling is like every other aspect of married life. For one thing , my wife loves cycling as much as I do . The only issue is her physical disability that keeps her from joining me most of the time. At 64 years old(soon to be 65) , I still work a lot of hours and only ride one long ride a week which she is OK with. I squeeze in lunch rides when possible as I am self employed . We have our issues from time to time but we are honest with each other and that makes it work. I think cycling is like anything else , if it is important to you , you fit it in. We were both bike freaks when we were young , riding pretty much everywhere together in the seventies. We gave up driving cars for 2+ years when we were in our 20's and that was terrific except in the rain! Joe joesvintageroadbikes.wordpress
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Old 06-06-19, 04:21 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Selfish to who?, I would reply. There are no kids there!
Exactly! You cannot neglect a non-existant spouse and/or kids.
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Old 06-06-19, 03:33 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
In the end, mutual respect and interest in cooperation is required. Thst means both people need to want to work to give and take.

I cherish my wife because she is capable and independent.

It isnt up to me to make her happy, it's up to me to support her as she figures out what makes her happy.
I'm an aging 40-something Gen X-er who has been married 15 years, and I can't agree more with the statements above. Though I do often see other marriages, usually in older couples, that don't conform to these concepts of mutual cooperation and respect. Is it an old school of thought that a wife is this fragile, volatile creature that requires stepping on eggshells and constant attention? Like a mid 20th century family sitcom? That seems awfully sexist in 2019.

My still-married parents are bordering on elderly, but my mother shared this with me years ago: It is not the responsibility of a husband to make a wife happy, and it is not the responsibility of a wife to make a husband happy. If you are not a happy person independently, you will not be happy in a marriage.

Also, I believe a marriage is a lot more healthy without unreasonable demands and ultimatums. Clearly you have to hold up your end of the bargain and meet your responsibilities in terms of housework, income, or whatever share of tasks you can equitably divide, depending on work schedules, health, and other factors. And you should make some time for your relationship aside from these responsibilities. But if cycling makes you happy, your wife should not demand that you give it up, assuming you are not neglecting your responsibilities or dropping everything on her.
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Old 06-06-19, 09:07 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
I'm an aging 40-something Gen X-er who has been married 15 years, and I can't agree more with the statements above. Though I do often see other marriages, usually in older couples, that don't conform to these concepts of mutual cooperation and respect. Is it an old school of thought that a wife is this fragile, volatile creature that requires stepping on eggshells and constant attention? Like a mid 20th century family sitcom? That seems awfully sexist in 2019.

My still-married parents are bordering on elderly, but my mother shared this with me years ago: It is not the responsibility of a husband to make a wife happy, and it is not the responsibility of a wife to make a husband happy. If you are not a happy person independently, you will not be happy in a marriage.

Also, I believe a marriage is a lot more healthy without unreasonable demands and ultimatums. Clearly you have to hold up your end of the bargain and meet your responsibilities in terms of housework, income, or whatever share of tasks you can equitably divide, depending on work schedules, health, and other factors. And you should make some time for your relationship aside from these responsibilities. But if cycling makes you happy, your wife should not demand that you give it up, assuming you are not neglecting your responsibilities or dropping everything on her.
That's all true, but what about when a spouse becomes ill? Depression is a serious illness that can last for years.

Sometimes, in a strong and loving marriage, one or the other spouse needs to do most of the heavy lifting for a spell to keep the ship right. That's what loving couples do. It's even right there in the vows we all took! In sickness or in health.

"your wife should not demand that you give it (cycling) up" is a straw man. OP never said his wife demanded he give up cycling.

Telling a spouse who's struggling with depression they're wrong and need to give you more is not going to help either spouse for long, if at all. Nor will it help build the marriage.
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Old 06-07-19, 02:02 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
I'm an aging 40-something Gen X-er who has been married 15 years, and I can't agree more with the statements above. Though I do often see other marriages, usually in older couples, that don't conform to these concepts of mutual cooperation and respect. Is it an old school of thought that a wife is this fragile, volatile creature that requires stepping on eggshells and constant attention? Like a mid 20th century family sitcom? That seems awfully sexist in 2019.

My still-married parents are bordering on elderly, but my mother shared this with me years ago: It is not the responsibility of a husband to make a wife happy, and it is not the responsibility of a wife to make a husband happy. If you are not a happy person independently, you will not be happy in a marriage.

Also, I believe a marriage is a lot more healthy without unreasonable demands and ultimatums. Clearly you have to hold up your end of the bargain and meet your responsibilities in terms of housework, income, or whatever share of tasks you can equitably divide, depending on work schedules, health, and other factors. And you should make some time for your relationship aside from these responsibilities. But if cycling makes you happy, your wife should not demand that you give it up, assuming you are not neglecting your responsibilities or dropping everything on her.
I agree that each of us need to be happy with ourselves before being happy in a marriage. I can't make her happy and she can't make me happy. I believe in providing the atmosphere to allow one's happiness to flourish, but a spouse can't create their partner's happiness.

I don't think I've mentioned this, but I do contribute to housework and income. In fact, this has been reinforced by one of our daughters that has come back to live with us for three months due to extenuating circumstances. I find myself explaining to her that her mom is depressed and therefor not as active with her contributions to the house as she once was. Lately, I have been asking for more help from my wife. She has been mostly accepting of those requests.

I think one of, if not the biggest issue for us has been the difference of how much together time is needed by each of us. That's the balance that is elusive.
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Old 06-07-19, 09:07 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
That's all true, but what about when a spouse becomes ill? Depression is a serious illness that can last for years.
Perhaps I missed the post where depression was a factor here? It's not mentioned in the original post, but possibly alluded to. Please explain how cutting a few hours of cycling per week is going to help another spouse with her depression? It sounds a bit like scapegoating to me.

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Sometimes, in a strong and loving marriage, one or the other spouse needs to do most of the heavy lifting for a spell to keep the ship right. That's what loving couples do. It's even right there in the vows we all took! In sickness or in health.
I said exactly that in the post I made, mentioning health as a reason for the shifting of responsibilities. Again, I say other responsibilities take precedence over cycling, including making time for your relationship.


Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
"your wife should not demand that you give it (cycling) up" is a straw man. OP never said his wife demanded he give up cycling.

Telling a spouse who's struggling with depression they're wrong and need to give you more is not going to help either spouse for long, if at all. Nor will it help build the marriage.
You follow your claim of a straw man with a straw man.

I don't think 100 miles a week is an excessive amount of cycling for an empty nester, unless they are moving VERY slowly. It's probably 5-7 hours of "working out", which is frankly, just a healthy amount of working out for an adult. If you go to the gym a few times a week, you are likely still expending a similar amount of time.

Last edited by HarborBandS; 06-07-19 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 06-08-19, 12:18 AM
  #115  
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As some have said, I think people need to be honest with themselves as to what they have as intrinsic life goals and work to explain those to their spouses. Hopefully before marriage but also throughout it.
I am an avid outdoor pursuits person. Being asked to not do those things would make me a miserable resentful poopy pants to be around.

Thinking you can constantly ignore the inner values or dreams you have for the sake of another will only lead to unhappiness. Of course, that doesn't mean you don't compromise or adjust for temporary circumstances but if someone feels they have to deny themselves to make another person "happy" they will eventually only resent that other person.

There is a middle ground for sure but thinking the wife is always right isn't healthy at all for either party. Nor the Husband, just to be fair.
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Old 06-08-19, 05:10 AM
  #116  
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My wife encourages me to cycle. She believes it is good for my health, and, for whatever reason, she wants me to live for a long time. My cycling doesn't interfere with our family time so much, we both work, and have a young daughter in school. In Tokyo, the sun comes up at 4 am in the summer, and I can get in a lot of riding before the rest of the family wakes up.
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Old 06-08-19, 05:54 AM
  #117  
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Doing 3 to 5 century events in a year is going to be difficult without a lot of training to keep up the conditioning it demands.

The big picture: the purpose of marriage and the purpose of cycling or surfing, etc.
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Old 06-08-19, 07:57 AM
  #118  
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It sometimes helps to flip the script to see another perspective.

If a wife who was done raising kids wanted to take up a hobby that had the side benefit of being healthy for her, but required a couple of training sessions per week and a block of time on the weekend, would that seem unreasonable to most people. What if the husband said no, they prefer if the wife stayed at home and took care of their needs...

After becoming empty nesters my mother went to college in her 50's to study fashion design, a passion she had put on the backburner for most of her life while being a housewife and mother. First person in our family to go to college! At the time she bowled us over with that one but was a great example and it was weird/cool (in a good way) to see her study and apply herself like that.

My wife has been singing for 20 years in a top level chorus with a world wide organization (Sweet Adelines) and travels/competes internationally every year. Because of it she has traveled far more extensively than me. Weekly evening practice and many weekend workshop/retreat sessions for 6 months leading up to major competitions. I am nothing but proud of her.

These are good things in my books. My job is to support my wife, not tie her down. She feels the same about me. She is an extrovert and needs group dynamics. I am an introvert and need solitary time. As a result I spend a lot of time training and engaging in solo outdoor pursuits, own a lot of expensive gear and go away by myself for extended periods. We negotiate how to achieve these disparate life goals but have learned not to deny who the other person is. Fully engaged and supported we both shine brighter for each other and feel good about maintaining a supportive marriage. I couldn't imagine suppressing my wife's passion. It would feel morally wrong for me.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 06-08-19 at 08:02 AM.
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