jmoorecraftworks

Something no woodworker should face! Spousal disappointment!

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Alright guys lets get down to the nitty gritty!

I, like a lot of my fellow woodworking brethren, I am essentially a weekend woodworker for the most part. I'm currently wrapped up in a possibly huge money maker that could bring in some serious dough, but I haven't been able to allocate the time I need to build. Most of my free time is spent on family related time and the utmost wanting to please my better half. I know a lot of you are married and manage to get in the shop despite opposition or you affirm your place when it comes to woodworking. I was wondering what plans/schemes/attitudes one would need to convince their spouse to agree that one should spend time in the shop.

Let me also say that when I talk about the money part she is all for it! However, when it comes down to it she tends to make a big deal that I'm going out to work on something. Other times my house gets flooded with company, (this happens on a daily basis) and I feel obligated to entertain!

Is this a personal problem and I just need to get over it and do what I want or is there some silver tongue technique that an old masters can give me to get me in the shop more?

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*The big secret*

 

Build her a few things. What is she gonna say if you're out in the shop slaving away for her. 

 

Once you build her a few nice pieces, you start casually talking about a tool that could have made a certain task easier, and BAM, she's doing research! Not that she'll necessarily buy that tool, but she's starting to take an interest and finding a curiosity as to what the hell goes on in the shop.

 

Once in a while, ask her opinion about a design element, get her involved. 

 

When I first started dating my girlfriend 4 years ago, she didn't really understand my obsession with woodworking. Now, she buys me most of my prized lie nielsen and veritas hand tools. She loves to talk shop with me, watches all the guild videos, asks about what Im currently working on etc. I even take her into the shop and let her play with all the hand tools. 

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Freddie knows...Or build the kids, her sister thst she adores, favorite aunt or cousin something nice! Say it was from US! Tell her if you had a $4000, powermatic 8" jointer machine it woulda looked better yet! Lol

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Every time she asks for something, I usually build it for her. Spent quite a bit on tools for myself, so this is my way of letting her know the tools were for "us" ha.

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If I were a for-profit woodworker, the money aspect would be a ticket to ride for sure.  If banking cash and building her stuff isn't enough, you're in for a tough time, sorry to say.  Freddie touched on one last angle...bring her into your shop and let her "play" with your "hand tools."  A good time will be had by all!  Or at least, by you. :ph34r:

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You guys have some good ideas!  My wife (of 30 years) just gives me free reign as far as shop time but y'all really have some good techniques!!

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Sounds like she is trying to control your time more than being against woodworking.

Or, she just wants to be more scheduled.  I think you need to work with her on scheduling.  The next time you are talking about the big money project, talk about how many hours it will take, and get her to schedule out some time for you to work on it. 

 

Do you guys have a calendar?  Do you put your shop time on it?  If she wants to invite some guests over, and there's free time on the calendar, then you really can't blame her for scheduling visitors in a free spot.

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This is the classic conundrum for people who work at home - regardless of the type of work. Bringing her into the shop to give her a feel for it is a good way to bond, but not when it comes to work time. The best advice I have seen is that you need to have specific dedicated "work hours", and when you are "working" and the door is closed, you need to be left alone. The onus is on the rest the family to respect that. The onus is on you to hang up your shop apron and rejoin the family life when your "work hours" are up.

Now, if she wants to be part of the business, then that's a different story. Would she enjoy learning how to sharpen? Clean up? Sand? Cut joinery? Apply finish? Etc. if she has any interest at all, you could really crank up your productivity.

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Now, if she wants to be part of the business, then that's a different story. Would she enjoy learning how to sharpen? Clean up? Sand? Cut joinery? Apply finish?

 

Business plan?  Sales?  Take orders?  Shipping?  Design advertisements?  Do the books? 

 

Of course, it could backfire.  You could be relaxing watching the game and she could be saying, "Get in the shop!  I promised that we'd have those orders filled this weekend!"

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Far as my time, her time, the best thing that ever helped me was swing shift. For most of my life I worked varied shifting schedules, 4 on 4 off, 21 swing, any type of a 24 hour rotation that you could think of I probably worked it. After a while wife and kids learned to be independent and dad would spend time with them when he got the chance. Now that I have a straight day job, she has stayed in  the mind set that if she wants to do something she will, I am invited but not required to attend.  When  I say I am headed to the shop, she usually just say have fun. I do try to attend most family things, hell I was late to Christmas eve with the in-laws and not a word was said. Yep, I was in the shop. 

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Freddie hit it right on the nose. I build specifically for my house. I've build tables, a nice built in closet ( basically book cases ) working on some kitchen cabinets right now. I get 0 flack from the wife. 

 

I just sneak in a few projects here or there for the shop ( router cabinet ). 

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This sounds more like a boundaries issue.. and not boundaries in the sense of one party or the other crossing lines but communication on where boundaries should/could/would be. 

 

ie.. You openly and honestly discuss what are her expectations of time and what are yours and then come up with a win/win solution. You stated that company comes over every day and you feel obligated to entertain.. why/who is coming over every day? Discuss if your wife can entertain them without you, would it be better if people came over less or not at all for x time period, offer to entertain for X time but you need time to dedicate to your project/business... Somewhere in there is a line that needs to be established, communicated, agreed upon, and respected.

There is so much more I could toss out.. but may get a little too personal.

Feel free to PM if you want to discuss more offline..

 

I highly recommend the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud.. every couple should read it together and discuss together.

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You tell her " I'm going out to the shop." You do what you need do to then move on. She is your wife not your mother. She shouldn't set your schedule and you shouldn't set hers. Being married doesn't mean being attached at the hip every waking hour. Make time to share and make time for your self. I've been married for 30 years this month and I can't think of a time my wife has told me I could not go out to the garage and play with my old truck. The shop is a job so that's a mute point in our house. You don't need a hall pass in a healthy relationship.

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You tell her " I'm going out to the shop." You do what you need do to then move on. She is your wife not your mother. She shouldn't set your schedule and you shouldn't see hers. Being married doesn't mean being attached at the hip every waking hour. Make time to share and make time for your self. I've been married for 30 years this month and I can't think of a time my wife has told me I could not go out to the garage and play with my old truck. The shop is a job so that's a mute point in our house. You don't need a hall pass in a healthy relationship.

 

Im sitting with my gf on the couch and I read this out loud to her, and she says with a scrunched face and baby voice, "someone's an angry little particle board" haha

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PB speaks the truf!  Gotta agree with that.  A healthy relationship is one that includes an adequate amount of freedom.

 

Complete the checklist below to see if you qualify for freedom:

 

__   I hold a steady job.

 

__   I am not a drunk.

 

__   I am not a pathetic degenerate gambler.

 

__   I am not a wife beater.

 

__   I am not a cheater.

 

 

 

Congratulations, you've qualified for freedom.  Go do what you want.

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My wife kicks me out of the house and into the shop all the time. All you need to do is piss her off :D

 

On a more serious note, I do agree, there is nothing better than spending time with the one you love. But there is nothing better than having a little time to yourself either.

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I agree with the above posts, a healthy relationship should not require you to ask for permission to do your hobby.

Now that being said, do you work an obscene amount of hrs per week and never see your wife? If so, she may just be looking to spend some time with you, which is a different story.

Does your wife have any hobbies?

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You tell her " I'm going out to the shop." You do what you need do to then move on. She is your wife not your mother. She shouldn't set your schedule and you shouldn't set hers. Being married doesn't mean being attached at the hip every waking hour. Make time to share and make time for your self.

 

I could not agree with this more. I think it's having other interests and hobbies that make people more fascinating to one another (they fell in love with something, right?) and it's ultimately healthier for a relationship. Woodworking is a creative activity just like drawing, painting or photography is, and heck, some of those keep you at home anyway. If someone isn't supportive of my passion to create and demands to cannibalize ALL my time (aside from family and common-sense responsibilities), then that isn't the person for me. Because I could never see someone like that as a partner...I'd see them as a parasite.

 

And not to say the OP's partner is like that, I'm really thinking of some of my friends here who entered marriages / relationships with questionable people and suddenly disappeared or never went out AT ALL (one guess why).

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I don't want to come off as a jerk and I'm definitely not a marriage counselor but I read your post a couple of times and it really sounds like part of your problem is you. Quote1 "  Most of my free time is spent on family related time and the utmost wanting to please my better half ". Quote 2 " Other times my house gets flooded with company, (this happens on a daily basis) and I feel obligated to entertain!" On quote 1 you can't please your spouse until you please yourself. On quote 2 if you feel THAT obligated you really can't blame your wife. If I would rather be out in the shop than entertain guests I'd be out in the shop. Life's to short to worry about making everybody else happy. Like I say I've been married to the same great gal for twenty four years but that don't make me a marriage counselor so take this for what it's worth.

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I do not recommend this but it is what it is.

I retired and got banned from smoking in the house so, I moved to the shop.

We have an intercom so I get called when it is time to eat or if company comes. I call in when I am going to leave for some reason and get called if she needs something.

I have a beer box, flat screen TV, my computer and  all my woodworking tools at hand all day. I go to the bathroom and eat and sleep in the house  and occasionally go in just to see what's cooking. 

If you want to see me just come to the shop, I'll quit what I'm doing and we can talk, have a beer, watch a ballgame or solve the problems of the world.

We have only been married for 45 years so I'm not sure how long I can get away with this but, we both seem to be happy so far. :)

 

Rog

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This sounds more like a boundaries issue.. and not boundaries in the sense of one party or the other crossing lines but communication on where boundaries should/could/would be. I highly recommend the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud.. every couple should read it together and discuss together.

Studied the whole 'boundaries thing'....it has some good points but a healthy relationship with respect, consideration, and communication will work itself out.  JMoore...there's a lot of techniques here and a lot of them have merit - talk with her about it - in 30 years of marriage, communication and a lot of it has been a key....maybe schedule your time in the shop - a calendar may help but let me say, if you have planned shop time or especially if you have commitments out there to build things, IMO you are not obligated to entertain just whoever decides to stop by.  "Man, I'd like to spend some time with you but I have to work....how about next week or when I'm finished". Many are stopping by anyway because they have nothing to do.  You have things to do so when they just stop by, let the guys come out to the shop and sit and talk while you work.  It gets a little slower but some of them might get bit by the woodworking bug and want to help.  More problems there too; but in a better way.

To the degree that your wife will get involved with you in the shop, encourage that, because in the long run, it's all about spending your lives together, it's all about being one.  You can 'lay the law down to your woman' and stomp off to the shop, but you're shooting your relationship in the foot. Communicate....hey...maybe she is wired for the business side of it...vision, marketing, etc and she's your key to quitting the day job.  Get her out there with you some and see.  Just some thoughts.....

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