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"Wife Hates Your a Hobby, What Do You Do?" Topic

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Walter White Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 9:42 p.m. PST

I read all of these stories about wives who accommodate their spouse's war game hobby. Good for you, lucky guy.

But what do you do if your participation in the hobby creates marital tension?

combatpainter Fezian Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 9:51 p.m. PST

Dump her! Unless she looks like mine:


Sundance29 Dec 2014 9:53 p.m. PST

Find a game or theme that intrigues her and that youcan include her in.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 9:55 p.m. PST

In what way? Is it "She doesn't want me wargaming," or "She doesn't want me wargaming at three different clubs every week"?

Harry Pearson observed in 'Achtung Schweinhund!" that wise women liked their men to be interested in odd male hobbies, the better than they be interested in hairdressers.

Certainly, my wife is happy that my hobby is cheaper than golf/sports cars/you name it, and involves spending time with middle-aged men of cheerful mien.

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Dec 2014 9:57 p.m. PST

I have heard guys ask them if they would rather they go out drinking at the bars every night picking up other women. They usually look more favorably on the hobby after that.

Tango0129 Dec 2014 10:22 p.m. PST

Invite her to a good and expensive restaurant.
Then… to a romantic nigh…
Not forget to buy her flowers.


Privateer4hire Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 10:27 p.m. PST

That I'm not going out to bars argument is great if you married below your league. Not much ammo if the wife counter offers to go out to the bar whenever the husband is wargaming :)

Temporary like Achilles Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 10:34 p.m. PST

Sorry for your trouble.

Depends on the situation. Wouldn't want to give advice without knowing more because it might just make things worse.

Does she hate wargaming in particular, or is it general dislike of you having hobbies/activities outside of couple/family situations?

In my case to keep things smooth I make sure to spend plenty of time on family activities and that if I have a big day's gaming my wife gets some time off on her own in return.

But playing a wargame is much better than going out on a bender, so as long as wargaming isn't taking up too much family time it's not a problem in the grand scheme of things.

Best of luck,

DesertScrb29 Dec 2014 10:40 p.m. PST

Give up wargaming and switch to crack cocaine.

artaxerxes Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 10:46 p.m. PST

combatpainter, I think you are playing fast and loose with the truth. :-)

sneakgun29 Dec 2014 11:38 p.m. PST

Negotiate, what does she want? My wife likes to go visit her sisters and the grandchildren which includes long trips. I play, she visits; both are happy.

Mako11 Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 11:40 p.m. PST

Perhaps you could clue her in on things you don't like that she does, but that you tolerate.

To be fair though, I'm unmarried, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but it is an option.

Personally, I can't see why she should have a say in hobbies you choose to indulge in, if you reciprocate.

combatpainter Fezian Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 11:48 p.m. PST

combatpainter, I think you are playing fast and loose with the truth. :-)

Just an excuse for some gratuitous skin. :) I like to slip her into a thread whenever I get the chance.

artaxerxes Inactive Member29 Dec 2014 11:52 p.m. PST

I wasn't actually protesting tvarich.

Shardik Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 12:17 a.m. PST

My wife has been calling me boring for years. Recently I told her she'd be better off if I was an unemployed junkie who liked to party. It shut her up for a day

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 12:23 a.m. PST

I have been married twice. My late wife and I were together for nearly 30 years before she passed away after a long illness. I made sure she saw the army men and realized how much time, money and effort I put into them before we got married. I tried to spend time with her and coordinate my wargaming when she had to work, or invited the guys to my house so I could wargame and not have to go anywhere.

My present wife and I have been together for nearly 8 years and I did the same with her. She embraces my hobby and spends time with me while I paint and build models and she does cross stitch or computer games or watches TV. We get along great.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

The Beast Rampant30 Dec 2014 12:25 a.m. PST

How's her life insurance payout? What's important here is, you can always use more miniatures.

Ewan Hoosami Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 12:38 a.m. PST

Easy choice as far as I can see. Give up the hobby, personal relationships are far more important than trivial things like hobbies.

Pedrobear Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 12:54 a.m. PST

She doesn't hate your hobby, she hates what it means to her.

blacksmith30 Dec 2014 3:49 a.m. PST

Mine thinks wargaming is childish. I just keep low profile…

KatieL Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 4:59 a.m. PST

"Perhaps you could clue her in on things you don't like that she does, but that you tolerate."

I cannot think of worse advice.

Find out what the *actual* problem is. Is it; The paints/figures scattered all over the house? The solitary painting which doesn't involve her? Something philosophical about the glorification of war? The money spent on it which should be being spent elsewhere?

All those things have solutions, but without discovering what the actual underlying problem is, then doing something about it is going to be completely random.

Mr Elmo30 Dec 2014 5:11 a.m. PST

your participation in the hobby creates marital tension?

What kind of participation? Theres a difference between 5 gaming nights a week vs Tuesday night gaming. If your wife thinks the latter is too much, seek counseling for her overcontrolling tendencies.

Then there is spending money on toys. If there is sufficient disposable income then spending your portion on miniatures is as reasonable as spending on Spas, clothes, or more than two pairs of shoes.

Razor78 Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 5:16 a.m. PST

My wife used to have an issue with my hobby as I was always "hiding in my painting room", then one year for Christmas she bought me a very sturdy TV tray. So now I do most of may painting sitting on the couch with her while we watch TV and all is well. It wasn't the hobby she had an issue with but the time.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 5:25 a.m. PST

Walter, how long have you been married? Did your wife know about your hobby when she said yes? I showed my then girlfriend my minis and the whole gaming set up on the second or third date. We've been married for 40 years. Maybe yoaru e too involved in the hobby? I've never gamed more than once a week (at most). I seldom go to cons, if I do it is a day trip. Most importantly, I never spend household money on toys.
My game room is right off the family room, so even if I am deeply engrossed in painting, I am always part of what is going on.

Lupulus30 Dec 2014 5:53 a.m. PST

1. Talk to her.
2. Listen to her.

Jeigheff Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 6:28 a.m. PST

Lupulus offers good advice.

whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 6:36 a.m. PST

Since "Causes marital strife" is such a vague term and you haven't returned to explain what you mean I'm going to assume the worst and you're screaming harpy of a wife loudly resent every dime you spend one your hobby and every second you devote to it, like my first wife did. I married young and with a child on the way so the first year or two of my marriage I didn't game, too many other things going on. I reconnected with my high school friends and started playing RPGs again. My ex-wife resented the time and money I put into the hobby and I quickly went from hosting RPG games at my house to playing at friends houses. As money got tight I stopped buying gaming books and items and eventually got around to selling things on ebay to make rent at times (which I got pretty good at and did as a side business for many years). Eventually it became too much. Although it was a symptom of a bad marriage and not the cause I was unwilling to stop seeing my friends I had known since middle school and enjoying myself with a hobby that wasn't costing me a dime. My ex-wife saw it as competition for her attention and my affection for her, and not as something which I enjoyed and was actually essential to my happiness and mental well-being.

My now long term girlfriend I am living in sin with has has the opposite opinion of my hobby. I do a lot more miniatures gaming than I do roleplaying these days. She sees that I enjoy myself and that sometimes the only times I get to see my friends are when I play games with them. She appreciates the effort that goes into the hobby and thinks it's funny when I can fill in the gaps in my kids high school history classes becuase I'm such a history buff and how it works itself into the hobby. I'm also older and wiser and know that even though I can, almost literately, game seven days a week that I shouldn't. I limit myself to two days a week max (I often only do one) and a monthly Saturday mini-convention the local club puts on. She gets upset when I leave all my miniatures stuff from one end of the house to the other, but that's not a gaming issue it's me being a slob. Times are tight again since I quit my job and went back to school, no extra cash for minis. She doesn't begrudge me selling off a quite old Magic the Gathering collection to bankroll my hobby since it's not taking money away from the bills.

If your wife truly 'hates' your hobby and it's causing marital strife you need to figure out for yourself which is more important, your hobby or your marriage. In my experience with friends wives they either are interested in some aspect of the hobby or they aren't. You won't find the magic niche that they have resisted for years but now turns then 180 degrees around to your hobby. It is perfectly ok for spouses to have hobbies that don't interest the other. It's not generally ok for spouses to hate the others hobby. Unless you are actually spending too much time on the hobby and neglecting your duties at home or are spending enough money that it is effecting your ability to pay your bills, your wife is being unreasonable. It's not like your hobby is strippers, gambling or drinking.

Like Lupus said, talk and listen. If it's as bad as mine was you probably need to get some marriage counseling or a lawyer. Therapists are cheaper in the short term…

Lee Brilleaux Fezian Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 6:49 a.m. PST

Great advice there, Nate (whitphoto).

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 7:56 a.m. PST

Great advice – especially the talk and listen bit; one of the big sources of tension in marriages generally is around time, and this is not confined to wargaming; many spouses, for example, are not crazy about guys who spend their evenings watching sports and their weekends playing golf. If the tension is related to time, make sure that you spend time with your spouse – the minis will wait

Also, Razor78 and others have a good idea about where, for example, you paint – I used to always paint in the basement, but now when the weather is nice and my wife is sitting in the back yard reading I bring the minis out and paint alongside her in the back yard – we chat and enjoy the time together

freewargamesrules Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 8:04 a.m. PST

Both my ex-wives hated my hobby…thats why they are ex!

smolders30 Dec 2014 8:13 a.m. PST

First wife hated my fantasy wargaming hobby on religious grounds…long gone! I think there is an irony in that statement somewhere!

As for advice, try to figure out what is so offensive about the hobby and try to work a compromise that makes the both of oyu happy….like others have said listen and talk..remember you were given 2 ears and one mouth so oyu can listen twice as much as you talk!!!

Tarleton Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 8:18 a.m. PST

If its that bad, why are you still together?

Old Slow Trot Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 8:26 a.m. PST

I try to keep mine informed,she understands in the main.

Ethanjt21 Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 8:36 a.m. PST

I'm 23 and I've only been married 6 months but I'll throw my .02 in anyway. My wife knew about my hobby by our second date, because I showed her my collection. At first, she was very uninterested, which was OK to me because indifferent is better than annoyed.

Later, when we became engaged and moved into an apartment together, things were a little different. My wife has never had a problem with the idea of my hobby. The only time it's ever been a problem is the mess I make and the money I spend.

After a few arguments we sat down and discussed it all in detail. After that she is 100% OK with it and supports it so long as:

A. I don't leave my crap all over the apartment she takes the time to clean and maintain.

B. I don't stretch our usually tight finances to buy more crap.

B was the sticker for us. I used to buy crap for periods ill never game because shiny. Once I curbed that tendency and stuck to two periods and ONE box/kit at a time, she never had a problem with it again.

My wife is actually converted now, after a few gaming sessions of DnD at my place, her inner nerd couldn't hide any longer and she rolled a character to join our 5e campaign. Lately I've even convinced her to try Mech Attack, which is well received with her.

I may be newly married and inexperienced but the point is marriage is give and take and communication. Sit your wife down and listen to what is bugging her about this. There is no reason you can't find a reasonable compromise so you get your hobby and she gets whatever it is she needs.

Los456 Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 9:07 a.m. PST

A: can always cause trouble, do you have a wargame set up in every room?

Mako11 Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 9:32 a.m. PST

Perhaps it's really transference, and she doesn't like you cooking meth with that young kid, out in the desert, but is afraid to complain about that, directly.

Jamesonsafari Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 9:36 a.m. PST

My wife is a hobbyist herself; knitting and quilting. So she gets it. She also helps me run my yearly convention and webstore.

She does get upset if I spend money we don't have on toys or if I'm spending too much time gaming and neglecting family stuff.

Walter White Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 9:43 a.m. PST

Hello everyone. Thank you for the comments, many of which are helpful. To answer some of your questions:

1) She knew about my hobby before we got married, accepted it, and generally did not seem to have a problem with it. Money spent on the hobby is not an issue, just to clear that idea off the deck.

2) I game about once a month, but have cut back lately to an every other month format, as a compromise on my part.

3) I think that the main issue with her is one of "time" more so than the actual hobby. Specifically, it seems to be the time spent painting that annoys her.

4) I have consciously cut back my hobby/painting time by about 50% over the past six months; however, this does not seem to satisfy Herself. Her response: "big deal, that is what all the other husbands would do".

5) There are weekends where I probably spend 75% of my time (not including sleeping time) doing family activities and helping out the kids with their activities. I feel like when I have spent, say, 8 hours hauling the kids around to all of their activities on a Saturday and then doing it again on Sunday, that it is not unreasonable for me to have a couple of hours to myself. Apparently Herself does not agree with that premise.

6) I think that I have gone out of my way to cut back on my hobby, spend more family time and generally compromise in every way. But I get no concessions or compromise coming back to me. I have tried to pin Herself down to establish what is a reasonable amount of time that I can spend on painting and hobby related activities. I say to her that on a scale of Zero time spent on hobby to 100% of time spend on hobby, that there must be some reasonable percentage of time to we can compromise and agree on, but she refuses to answer this question. It is like trying to compromise with an inanimate object.

7) I don't want to get divorced over war gaming and painting, but neither do I want to give up on my hobby. It is one of the few outlets that I have that calms me down, de-stresses me, and dare I say it, makes me happy. I work in a stressful job and often the thought of being able to unwind for an hour or two at the end of the day is all that keeps me going through the day.

8) I have never had the type of relationship with Herself where I felt like I had to "ask for permission" to do something, but even when she concedes that I need a little bit of painting time, I can tell that she is resentful of the time that I spend.

Ethanjt21 Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 9:51 a.m. PST

A: can always cause trouble, do you have a wargame set up in every room?

Haha, no. I try to do my hobby activities in proximity of my wife so we can still talk and share time together. I am also guilty of being lazy when it comes to picking up after myself. Sometimes I'll leave ongoing projects in different rooms which is a no no. I can't blame the Mrs for that one so I just humbly apologize and proceed to pick it up,

In that case, I would point all of that out to her and ask what the problem is. If you're being honest you've already made considerable compromises and strides forward in balancing hobby time vs family time. If she is unwilling to acknowledge that I'd say she is simply being controlling, but it may be more complex than that as I'm no psychiatrist.

To the point, it seems the sticker is your time spent painting. Try focusing the conversation on that aspect. Maybe she'd be ok with it if you painted in the same room as her? Good luck bud, hope you find a solution.

Dynaman878930 Dec 2014 10:43 a.m. PST

Walter – you and your wife have a problem and have to work it out. Counseling may be an option.

Your Item 6 is the red flag. You see yourself compromising but getting nothing in return, I'm sure if we asked your wife. If this keeps up you will (already are actually) going to be resentful and that will lead to more bad feelings and problems.

brucka30 Dec 2014 10:55 a.m. PST

What does she like to do? Specifically with you? Could this be the issue? 'Hauling kids around' is not usually quality time with your wife. How about a date night; see how that goes then see how receptive she might be to 'alone time'. It may not be the hobby itself, it may be she wants something you both do together -like before you were married?

redbanner414530 Dec 2014 11:02 a.m. PST

Sorry for your troubles.
My wife walked into the room the other night and just started to laugh. I asked what was so funny and she replied it was me listening to my ridiculous music and painting little tanks. She just thinks I'm an idiot and we get along great.

saltflats192930 Dec 2014 11:27 a.m. PST

Considering your screen name is "Walter White", you could be spending your free time a lot worse.

My own issues were "painting time", like many above. The wife just felt excluded. Moving it into the living room when she was home helped out.

Dave Crowell30 Dec 2014 11:46 a.m. PST

My wife actively dislikes any and all wargaming (with or without miniatures), military modeling, and wishes I wasn't still playing D&D and doing other gaming, even with the kids. She knew I was a gamer before we got married.

It has always been a source of tension.

I do my best to make sure I am doing extra family stuff to make up for it, and keep my toys out of the family rooms.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 12:44 p.m. PST

What did she think of it before you married, and how long did it take for her to come around to her present way of thinking?

BTW, I never give marital advice. I do not want to be held responsible for anything that would result from anybody being stupid enough to listen to what a stranger tells them.

All I can say is "What do you want, and how much are you willing to live with the consequences?"

sarangkhan Inactive Member30 Dec 2014 1:01 p.m. PST

Point out that the other, more traditional, hobbies you might be interested in are; drinking, womenizing and wife beating.

Rogues130 Dec 2014 1:26 p.m. PST

@Walter I think I can relate to everything you have said at some point in my 25+ years of marriage. My wife is less than indifferent to my hobby (she has threatened to take a hammer to my figures a number of times), but she fluctuates depending on what she wants, which is mostly my time and attention. It is not a money thing with me, though I don't think she has any idea how much stuff costs – it is about time. Sometimes it goes ok, like I am doing my annual game day this weekend with my group and she is fine with that – though I had to move it twice. Other times life events get in the way, I want to do one thing, she wants me to do another and we have to compromise. You are not going to get a percentage answer, nor are you going to be able to use the "we agreed I could go gaming once a month and this is the day" logic, it is temporal at best. I have just learned to count to 10, not respond back immediately and thank my friends for understanding when I can't make it. I was hoping after my kids had grown up and moved on, I was done with the Reserves and had more free weekends I would have more time for the hobby, and in many ways I do have it, but I just have to do it differently now (I paint in the kitchen now so I am not down in the basement all of the time, and I help with convention planning and run less games both of which I can do after hours). I am not sure how it is going to be 10 or more years from now when I retire and have the time if I will be able to game more, but it is interesting to note that all of my friends with the exception of 1 or 2 claim that they have understanding wives, but don't game a whole lot more than I do now (about 1/month). I have started to send stuff out to paint or sell it to reduce how much time I spend doing that aspect, but it does help me relax some from work and is a part of the hobby I like but it is very time consuming. I think my one friend said it best, marriage is like the game show Let's Make a Deal and you are not always Monte Hall, sometimes you are still in the audience waiting to get told to "Come on Down".

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Dec 2014 2:35 p.m. PST

Do what I did.
I dipped her in Quickshade and sprayed her with Dulcote.

Not a peep since.

Who asked this joker30 Dec 2014 2:45 p.m. PST

I think you need to ask her rather pointedly what the problem is? Get it out in the open. Tell her all the things you consciously did to cut back and so forth. Talk about the problem in direct and in no uncertain terms. It is the only way. You are not trying to spoil for a fight so remember that when you approach her about it.

coopman30 Dec 2014 5:42 p.m. PST

Are you painting in the same room that she normally occupies, or in a different room? If painting them in a separate room, she could be thinking that you'd rather be with your toys than to be with her. Maybe get a TV tray and paint in the same room that she is in. Or pay someone to paint your figures for you. You did not mention how long you've been married. After you have been together for a long time, she won't be bothered so much about what you're doing or where you go.

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