Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hunting comes in first, family second

Mssc made some comments on my post that tied in nicely with what I wanted to say in today's post.

Husband and I started into counseling because we were having the same fights over and over again. One of the bigger topics of discussion was hunting. So I thought it productive to think back upon what was discussed and learned then.

What I remember learning is that I see Husband as choosing hunting over me, which goes back to the "never been good enough or important enough to be chosen" theme of my life. Husband sees hunting as the way to gain his father's approval, and a way to be "manly."

In an attempt to compromise, we talked about each of us needing time to do our own thing. Also, about the fact that I needed Husband to prepare for hunting by making sure the cleaning, errands, etc were done in advance of his leaving. We agreed that one "me time" event a month was good. So when the calendar flips, we take our colored marker and block off our event. Mine is typically a Friday night from after work until 11 pm or so. I go scrapbooking. Husband wants a whole Saturday. But since he took our Daughter with him some, I didn't mind. Of course, he had to leave Friday so he could be there to hunt early Saturday. That was okay too. Only then it turned into leaving early on work Friday (unpaid time off) so he could hunt Friday night. Of course if he kills a deer on Saturday evening, he has to stay until Sunday. Then on Sunday, he requires several hours to clean his guns and re-organize his stuff.

I've commented to Husband that "it's never good enough." No matter how much I give in, he wants more. So I find myself saying things like, "you'll not get to hunt at all this year because of our new baby." My hope is that then when he does get to hunt a little, he'll be satisfied. It doesn't work that way. though.

I tried to find him a place to hunt locally, rather than having to drive 1 1/2 hours to hunt. That helped. He's hunted two evenings here locally. And I found a colleague with some hunting land who offered to take Husband hunting turkey. I am hoping that if Husband becomes interested in hunting more than deer, then he can spread out the hunting instead of trying to do it all in two short months. Part of the problem is that deer hunting season and the Tgiv/Christmas holidays overlap and it just becomes crazy. However, Husband doesn't appreciate my efforts except to think it means MORE hunting for him.

I've been hunting with Husband. I used to go quite often. After our daughter was born it became difficult for me to go. Then when it became an obsession with him and he began to do more regarding hunting than me, well I lost any desire to share in his interest.
I've told Husband that I would like him to spend as much time, energy and effort planning something for us and our family, as he does with hunting. I'd like him to spend as much time shopping for Christmas gifts for our family as he does finding gifts for himself (which he then has his parents send him $$ for). I'd like him to spend as much time overseeing our finances as he does browsing for deals on firearms. I'd like him to spend as much time organizing our documents and making sure they are secure as he does recording gun serial numbers and locking them in the safety deposit box.

When I first told him all of this about two years ago, he planned a very nice date night. We left our daughter with his parents, had a very nice dinner and stayed in a hotel that evening. Nothing like that has happened since.

Over the weekend, he asked if I minded if he went out to finish his Christmas shopping. Of course I didn't mind. He even took our Daughter with him. He came home several hours later. He went to.....Dick's sporting good and Walmart. Where he bought a hunting blind for himself (insisting he used money left over from his summer birthday) and a scope and mounts for his gun. Oh, and he needed to run back out and finish up shopping for me. He didn't quite get around to that.

Right now my emotions are running high. With starting back to work, I recognize that I'm not calm enough to discuss much. But after the holidays (and hunting season is over) we are definitely going to have a talk. If it requires returning to counseling for a session or two, so be it.

However, there is one thing I will address now. He is not invited to my sister's house for New Years unless he promises that he will never ever complain about having to use his vacation time to see my family. If he doesn't want to use his time off to visit, then I don't need him too.

So - if your significant other has an obsession, are you involved in it? Do you participate or attend? Do you find your involvement varies depending on your relationship? I find that I'm much more inclined to suggest he go hunting, accommodate hunting, and even go out in the woods with him, when he has made an effort and put time into our relationship.

(my idea of hunting these days :) )


Marj aka Thriver said...

LOL! Love the cartoon! I'm sorry you're a hunting widow. It does seem that his time is a lot LONGER than yours, but I'm glad you insist on time for yourself.

I appreciate that time is not something you have a lot of, but would you please help and submit something to THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. I'm afraid it's going to die, and I really don't want that to happen. I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks!

Kahless said...

Yes, my partner has an obsession and it really pisses me off at times. I feel second fiddle at times. I get sick of it.

(Unfortunately) it is charity work. So I put up and shut up. Dont I sound awful. I dont talk about it much. Dont like to as I feel selfish.

DM said...

Believe it or not, my partner also had an obsession a few years ago. A friendship with another woman that started out awesome, a healthy addition to her life...where she could do girl things, just the two of them soak in the jucuzi, take walks, go for an ice cream cone, antique shopping. I was 100% supportive..until it felt like there was another person in our marriage....suddenly she was over at her friends house all the time, evenings, Weekend afternoons...it went from a balanced good thing to an obsession....wife even commented she prefered her house to ours...wierd thing is we've always had a good channels of communication and a dynamic friendship...This went on for a couple of years...this other woman unfortunately hung out with some "bad apples" and the scriptures talk about "bad company corrupting"..well, believe it...

We also had to make some appointments w/ the marriage counselor to help us attempt to find a balance...in the end, the friendship blew up...she was not the person she pretended to be to my wife..I picked up some things my wife told me later she saw but chose to ignore.

In the end, we both learned several lessons...our marriage is stronger than ever, and I thank God there was a couple that did marriage counseling we both respected who helped us sort things out...

jumpinginpuddles said...

we are a work widow and so understand hpw much it hurts and often we felt betrayed, our marriage ended sadly because he couldnt see how work had become his first wife, we are glad you guys did what our ex wouldnt do and see a therapist

Angel said...

You know, it's not that I don't like his hobby. If I wasn't feeling like it was being shoved in my face so much I might even enjoy it myself, and by myself. For me it's more that there is the household stuff which has to be maintained regardless of what else is going on. If he is contributing less to that, then that means that I am contributing more in order to cover his slack. No, no relationship is ever 50/50 but it would be nice to somehow have it balance out occasionally.

If he were to be just as concerned about how he is going to cover the household responsibilities so he could be gone yet not cause more work for you, would that make you feel more cared for? (It would me, but that's me.) Instead he seems to be more concerned about how best to "zing" you so that he can get exactly what he wants--a pardon to go hunting--while you get stuck with all the work. That isn't fair.

It is good to revisit what was learned in counseling and try to change the pattern. It's interesting how your husband hasn't tried to utilize any of that knowledge and it's up to you to try to "fix" the problem. Again.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I got your submissions to THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. Thanks, Enola. You rock! :)

Angel said...

Something that strikes me is that you say that hunting is more of something that your husband does for his father's sake than for his own--so it isn't that it is something he really cares personally about.

Teaching Sunday school wasn't something he enjoyed yet your husband took on more responsibilities that weren't really important in him--instead of being at home with his family.

So why is he continuing to find other things to add to his agenda than that which should be the most important to him, his family? If it was something he was passionate about, that would be one thing. But how can you keep from feeling second best when he is choosing other activities that aren't even that important to him?

Ethereal Highway said...

The title for this post seems to sum up the situation. I can see how it would be doubly upsetting seeing as you, like all of us, feel the need to be 'chosen' by those we love. The part that really gets me is having a newborn in the house. I don't get it how that doesn't change his life much. It infuriates me how children, in most quarters, are still the mother's job and the father gets to skip out and do whatever the hell he wants. What if the mother needs help or rest? What if the child should also have the right to be attended to by his father?

Anonymous said...


I want to begin by saying that there are always two sides to each story and then somewhere else is the complete "truth."

My Mrs. could have written this post a few years ago. Man was I such a selfish prick! I'm still selfish, to a degree, just not a prick. lol

My wife used to "nag" (aka bitch) at me all the time about the time I spent hunting. I just figured it was part of the price I was willing to pay for my fun in the woods.

The thing that bothers me most about this post is that your children are young. Once those years are gone....

I mean what was your husband's point in having children? Especially this newest baby.

I guess it's a good thing that hunting season isn't tht long there. Hunting sure can get in the way of being a daddy and husband.

I don't recall you saying if your husband is a "believer" or not. If he is... it sure seems like hunting has become a god to him. Evaluate the amount of time spent hunting as apposed to developing relationships with the Lord, wife, children.

The order of priority shold be God, wife, children, husband/father. Period. (gosh that is so easy to type!)

MEN SHOULD ALWAYS COME LAST ON THE LONG LIST OF PRIORITIES!!! Especially if it's just about having fun.

The only other thing would be: what will it take for your husband to finally say "My dad loves me and accepts me"? Would that be an "event" he could do or is it more about his feelings of never being able to measure up as a child growing up?

The bottom line SHOULD BE; husband's behavior should have nothing to do with wife's behavior and vise versa.

In a perfect marriage both husband and wife "perform" the way they should regardless of what the other is doing or saying.

Enola said...

Now Angel, you've hit the nail on the head. Husband readily admits an inability to say No. Can't figure out why though.