General Dance Discussion > Wife dancing without spouse

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by nondancer, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    There is merit to BM's comments about the honeymoon phase. One can't maintain a constant emotional high forever. Neurochemically not possible.

    As one who has been through divorce, I'd strongly suggest you not even consider it as an option unless you are 100% absolutely positively certain the marriage is unsavable. Trust me, nobody wins in a divorce and I say that even though mine was extremely low conflict to the point that the judge congratulated my ex and me on acting like adults. It's just not a good thing.
  2. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    I'm going to put forth a different viewpoint: I don't think it's jealousy that's the issue, or even dancing. The answer is there in your phrase, "while I'm home waiting." Going out to bars with your friends, while it gets you out of the house, doesn't feel balanced because it isn't. She's found something she loves and is passionate about while you're stuck killing time waiting for her because you're passionate about her.

    The solution is simple, elegant, and frustrating: find something you like to do. No, find something you love to do. From the way you've written this I take it you're either retired or close to retirement (40+ years of marriage. Even if married at 18 that still puts you within a few years of retirement age) so maybe you have a lot more free time than you used to, either because you're not working or you're scaling back. Now is the perfect time to engage in a new passion or, better yet, one that you deferred.

    Is there something you always wanted to do that you never got a chance to because of work or raising a family? A skill you wanted to learn? An experience you wanted to have? Ask yourself, "What would I do if I could do it again?" and you'll not only have a new hobby, not only will you be happier, but it will remove tension between you and your wife.
  3. jennikins

    jennikins Member

    I agree with Samina, my boyfriend and I each have our own thing, mine is dancing, his is biking. I am currently out of dancing because of an injury, and I am feeling very left out and alone. However, if i could dance I would not even notice it. Also, have you watched her dance? If you see how much she is enjoying it and how good she is, you might feel better. Also on the nights that your wife is home, do things together. Even when she gets home from dancing do something. If you guys are not talking, then nothing will change. So let her have dancing, but don't stop being TOGETHER.
  4. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    It certainly can be. But as someone currently happy to be leading the 5.5-day-a-week dance life again, I can tell you that it's very hard to sustain that over time. The interest may always be there, but the arrangements to make it actually happen are hard to maintain. At first, a newer dancer has discovered a whole new world of possibilities, and there are so many people to dance with. But with time, one starts to discover the limits of local options for where to dance, who to dance with, and who to study with. All of those other men she currently enjoys dancing with may winnow down to just one teacher she feels can really enable her dancing, who will be out of town half the time anyway. Even in really ideal circumstances (say, younger adults in NY city) this can feel pretty dishearteningly limiting at times, because getting all the arrangements lined up just right to be able to dance your heart out day after day is quite challenging (but yeah, it's unspeakably wonderful when its happening).

    So, what I'm saying is that you've shared 40 years of your life with this lady, and right now she is discovering something very enjoyable for her, but likely with time to have a fairly high frustration-to-reward ratio. Over the next few years, the chances that she can really continue to consistently have as much kid-in-candy-store unblemished fun with dancing as she is at the moment are not all that high, due to realities of the dance world itself. Hopefully she will still enjoy it, but it will probably grow to be more ordinary hobby. There's a honeymoon effect with dancing too and there will be a time when she wants relaxation away from the emotional roller coaster of dancing - if your relationship lasts until then you could be there for that.

    But it won't be easy. I can really identify with both of your feelings, and I think ultimately they both have to run their course. Hopefully you can survive that. But it won't be easy.
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    the marriage may not be savable if nondancer tries to hang onto the status quo. from my own experience, that's the wisest piece of info i have to pass on... his wife is changing. get on board with evolving himself and don't bank on this being a passing phase... the best years of his life (and marriage) may be ahead, depending on choices he makes now.
  6. nondancer

    nondancer New Member

    Suburbaknight, I like your thinking. Yes, I am retired and I have several hobbies including one that is very involved, but they're all daytime stuff. I have been thinking of playing Texas Holdem (local gambling) at night and maybe some night computer courses. I know I would enjoy working as a bartender in a Gentlemen's Club. Anyway I'll keep on looking for things to occupy me at night but I do like your analysis. Maybe I can be a nondancer on this forum offering my advice.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    she has her work to do as well...while justified in her interests she needs to maintain the marriage as can only poo-poo counseling if one is willing and able to take active steps without it...
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    when people used to ask me how my husband and children felt about how much time I was spending in the studio I used to inform them, to their great shock, that my family left me first....can't tell you how many hours I spent contemplating my navel while he worked late or read or watched TV and while they were on the internet or expecting me to chaffeur...truth is...I just gave up and start acting self-centered like everyone else...
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no flaming is too much time for her to be gone...issue really is how to prudently solve it...being right doesn't really count for much...wooing her and working at it...will...staying busy won't
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! I agree completely.

    I'm just advocating balance.

    Yes, it's definitely a process. Yes, she probably is craving something that dance is fulfilling. (Not to slight Nondancer in the least.) Yes, pursuing that is a wonderful thing. And, if handled well, it can serve to strengthen their relationship.

    And, as you've said, stagnancy is a big issue. And each of them finding new things that excite them is terriffic...especially if each of them can then come back to the other and share that excitement. As some people know, my DH doesn't dance, but we have some of the most wonderful conversations about my dancing and how it relates to his music--being able to have our own thing, and being able to share in the other's excitement is just as good (if not better) than being together for all of it.

    I'm just suggesting that the balance is out of whack. Sure, odd's are that it'll probably get back to something more "reasonable." But the reality is that real damage can be done to the relationship in the meantime, if care is not taken to fully consider the other person's feelings, and to keep one's priorities straight. And, IMO and IME, if the other person is not your highest priority (along with yourself) over the long run--as opposed to, say, a particularly stressful time at work in a run-up to something important--there is something gravely wrong.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    how can there be nothing else wrong when you are considering throwing away 40 years b/c she has been obsessed for one?
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yes, a very real possibility. Without knowing more about the situation--and with only knowing one side of it--that could definitely be the situation. So, Nondancer, it's worth examining. (Not to necessarily blame you, just reiterating it and throwing it out there.)

    Very, very, very true. Wooing counts for a lot.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think the advice offered here has had no bias toward the dancer...only an understanding of the power of dancing over the dancer...again, involvement in other activities may occupy and distract will not enhance the quality or depth of your marriage...just my view
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Pardon if this has been said somewhere and I missed it, but have you really talked with your wife about this? Or are you just feeling like you don't want to encroach on her happiness?

    I say this because in the throes of a dance (or other--I've been on both sides of this) addiction, it can be easy to forget (or plain not realize) the effect it has on the other person. Perhaps sitting down and calmly explaining that you do, truly, want her to be happy...but that you need to be happy too, and can you work out an arrangement together which goes towards meeting both of your needs, would help.

    I know that between DH and I, the word "need" is very powerful. "I hate that you spend so much time doing blah" gets us nowhere. Saying, "I need to spend more time with you, because blah blah blah" is an incredible way of getting the other person to sit up and take notice, of making yourself realize what it is that's truly bothering you, and making yourself (and the other person) start to think of ways to "fix" the situation.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    precisely...we have to ask for what we need before we get outraged that the other person isn't providing it
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Such a simple, logical thing...and, yet, so easily forgotten, eh?
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my MA was on vulnerability...very hard to beleive that being vulnerable is a good thing
  18. lcdancesport

    lcdancesport Active Member

    It really is difficult when one person is so involved with dance while the other isn't and the time you spend together is less and less. Appreciate the time you do have together and find a new hobby for yourself. Change is inevitable and we all have to learn to adapt to it one way or another. Just remember the most important part, each other.
  19. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Yeah, that's kind of how I got started. Dancing really filled a void in my life.

    However, I think the void the dancing was filling pointed to some basic incompatibilities and issues in my relationship with my ex-husband. I think nondancer needs to think about what his wife is getting from dancing that she's not getting in the rest of her life. Looking back, I can say that I was attracted to dancing for many reasons that had very little to do with sexuality but a lot to do with style and quality of life and interactions with other people.
  20. njdancegirl

    njdancegirl Active Member

    I'm with Laura here.

    Started ballroom dancing at a time when my marriage was less than fulfilling, so I went in search of something that would be I suppose. I too did the 5 nights a week - partially because I loved dancing and all that went with it and partially, if completely honest, to not go home. In the end, I fell in love with dance...and got divorced. No longer doing 5 nights a week - as many mentioned, it is hard to maintain.

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