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rideonbestrong
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:45 AM
ok...say you have this boyfriend who said when you started dating that he would support your eventing no matter what. He helps at your events, you travel and do things together other than eventing. But after a couple of years, he starts to back off helping you. Five years after you starting dating, he's saying you should quit eventing, eventing is too expensive and he won't go to or show any interest in your eventing. You still do other things together but it doesn't feel the same.

What's the problem, and what's your choice?

FlightCheck
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:48 AM
You already know the answer to that question.

CZF
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:49 AM
Relationships are give/take. If he's worth keeping, you might consider cutting back a bit to spend more time with him, but he needs to understand that without horses in your life you won't be you anymore.

Can a compromise be reached?

LisaB
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:51 AM
No one should EVER give an ultimatum like that. What a jerk!

sarah88
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:56 AM
"don't let the door hit you in the a** on the way out" :)
but seriously, I agree w/ LisaB ultimatums really tick me off, you should be able to do a sport that you love.. I know of S.O's who get concerned bc they hear how dangerous the sport is..could this be part of it? If not and he really is just being a jerk.. I look big picture, chances are if this is something that has been slowly escalating it is not just going to all the sudden get better..

alg0181
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:57 AM
Him saying he won't go to events or "show any interest" sounds like he's trying to emotionally blackmail you. And make it "eventing or me." Very immature IMO.

If he has a legitimate complaint about money (like if you guys live together with joint finances) then sit down and negotiate. Go to 2xmonth lessons or limit the events you go to or clean stalls for reduced board. Horses ARE expensive so if he's footing the bill in all or in part, he needs to have a say.

If he feels like he isn't seeing you enough, make appointments. No, really. Take 1 day a week and make it a no-horse day. Go to dinner or bowling or whatever his hobby is.

My husband is not horsey at all. He showed concern about the time we were not spending together. We had a good talk and I helped him realize that he spends at least as many hours on video games as I do riding. He just felt like they were different because with the video games, he's at home. But really his mind isn't, and I shouldn't be punished because my hobby requires me to leave the house.

I also ensure that my horse habit doesn't affect our personal finances, which means I sometimes have to work odd jobs etc. to make sure he isn't paying for my very expensive hobby.

I hope some of this helped you see that there are grey areas. We can't know your scenario so listen to your heart and try having a good talk with him.

elizabeth Callahan
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:20 AM
I go to events by myself - her gets to do what he wants and I get to do what I want

pointtaker86
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:22 AM
Have you talked to him about it, and see if you can compromise like CZF said? If not then I'd be ending the relationship. No BF should make you chose one or the other. Does he have a hobby, like video games, etc? If he does then he has no room to complain!


My husband and I have a similar relationship to alg0181 and her husband. I threw him into horses on the second date (just to see if he'd stick around) and he never looked back. We are now looking for a OTTB for him to train/event alongside me. He has his video games and I have my horses. I work to pay for my horses (unless its a crazy vet bill and then he helps me out) and he pays for his video games and nerdy stuff. Granted he pushes me to show (and pays for them) because he likes to show off the ribbons to people haha. But if he ever made me choose between my horses or him...It'd likely be the hardest choice of my life (although I'm leaning toward the horses but don't tell him that :-p)

Canaqua
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:27 AM
I don't think one necessarily needs their partner to spend a lot of time and money on their horse activities, but you DO need them to at least not be resentful of them.

I don't need my husband to participate in my activities with me (horses included, he has little interest), we are both pretty independent and are comfortable doing our own things separately. I financially support my own horse habit, as well as make my fair share of contributions to household expenses, so it doesn't cost my husband anything. My husband does not complain about more of my income not being available for "fun stuff" that includes him, so we're fine.

If your boyfriend is going to complain about the time you spend on horses and the expense, that doesn't bode well for marriage or a long term, serious, relationship.

scubed
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:33 AM
My DH is super supportive, but never goes to events, has not even been to the barn where I have boarded for 2 years and has only seen my horse in pics and video.

We do some other things together (dance lessons, movies, dinner) and when I am at barn he watches many more movies, cooks gourmet food, shops, etc. Yes, he wouldn't mind if the barn took less of my time, but he totally gets how important it is to me (and isn't to him).

It helps that our finances are totally separate, so money doesn't really enter the equation.

KateWooten
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:36 AM
I would say that's fine. Every relationship evolves, and changes. Life isn't about everything staying the same for the full 90 years, some relationships last a short time, some a long time, some are endless. They're all good, and they all have a lifespan. Yours lasted five years. Well, just look back on those five and remember the good times. One thing a relationship is not about, is stopping each others' dreams.

My husband isn't interested in eventing, but he will show up once a year to a big show. He roughly knows the names of the ponies. That's fine. He would no more try to stop me riding, than I would try to stop him plunging down rivers in Ecuador and Uganda.

(well, ok, maybe I'm trying to dissuade him from the Uganda trip, but you know, if he goes, he goes)

ACMEeventing
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:43 AM
Maybe he needs clicker training.

Petstorejunkie
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:51 AM
What I hear is someone who has happily sacrificed alot for you over the years, and it's getting old.
It only "gets old" if you are not doing something of equal sacrifice. It may be because he doesn't have a passionate hobby like you do, or it could be that he's never asked for you to participate in his hobby, etc. but feelings change and people stop giving when they feel unappreciated.

rideonbestrong
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:59 AM
Great comments - and helpful...and no, he doesn't share any expenses with me and yes, I do more with him but this doesn't solve the problem - his answer is for me to give up eventing and horses. His complaints are hard to deal with and resolve. I don't expect full-out support but do expect to be the same person he knew when we first dated. I'm not saying I'm not at fault too as my choice is eventing.

Loved the clicker training comment.

yellowbritches
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:00 AM
Something is up if he goes from all to nothing about it. I can see having some issues or whatnot, but saying you should give it up all together rather than talking to you about what his issues are and see if you all can work out the issues is a big red flag to me.

Eventer55
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:05 AM
Maybe he needs clicker training.
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

I can only tell you that my husband and I do everything together, he goes eventing with me and is my coach, trainer, groom and driver. I go hunting with him and we have a blast. Because we do everything together, we always have something to talk about and neither is ever left out of the other's life.

This is just my marriage and I don't preach it for everyone, but the ultimatum part would be a deal breaker for me. Eventing is a part of me and it's who I am. If he's looking for a Stepford Wife, go find one.

saje
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:09 AM
Tell him you won't expect him to go to events with you if he won't expect you to give it up. I'm sure you don't show every weekend, so on your off weekends make sure you two do something together, and that he likes to do.

I'm another w/ a hubby who supports my horse habit wholeheartedly - but from a distance. Very occasionally he will come see me ride. He'll video, get me a cold drink, sit and chit chat or wander around with me for a bit, and then he's off to find his own fun. He's never spent a whole show day with me, never done groom duty, etc. and I don't expect him to. Suits us both just fine.

ThirdCharm
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:20 AM
Something is up if it's not costing him any money and you are spending plenty of time together otherwise. Even if not directly, is it costing him SOMEHOW.... are you able to pay your fair share of living expenses, pay for non-horsey extracurriculars, etc.? How are you managing to spend time together if you are working full-time (presumably, since he doesn't pay for your hobby) and then riding on a regular basis? Does he have a hobby or is he sitting at home alone every evening waiting for you to get home from the barn after work?

It could just be that for the first couple of years, eventing was new and interesting and he didn't mind the novelty of going to shows with you, and now he's bored with it and resents that you're not ready to move on like he is. But be fair and make sure that it really isn't impacting your time together/finances, even if you don't think it is. Not that it means you have to quit if it is.... everyone's gotta have priorities! but maybe you will be in a better position to negotiate, if you WANT to, if you make sure you really appreciate his point of view.

At least he's probably not screwing around, if he was he'd be THRILLED that you were spending lots of time away from home..... but he may be thinking about it, and this is his way of working around to justifying it.

Jennifer

deltawave
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:30 AM
If he's tired of it, that should be fine with you. But if you're NOT tired of it, that should be fine with him, too.

Relationships involve a lot of give and take, negotiation, and compromise. If both sides acknowledge this and are willing to do their half, things can almost always work out. When one half, however, starts making ultimatums, that to me is a red flag. It's often not about the ___________ (insert issue of your choice) but a sign of something deeper that's gone wrong.

Long term, do you really want to be committed to somebody who thinks his priorities are more important than yours?

BaroquePony
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:37 AM
Posted by deltawave:

If he's tired of it, that should be fine with you. But if you're NOT tired of it, that should be fine with him, too.

Relationships involve a lot of give and take, negotiation, and compromise. If both sides acknowledge this and are willing to do their half, things can almost always work out. When one half, however, starts making ultimatums, that to me is a red flag. It's often not about the ___________ (insert issue of your choice) but a sign of something deeper that's gone wrong.

Long term, do you really want to be committed to somebody who thinks his priorities are more important than yours?

Well said :yes:

RacetrackReject
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:52 AM
I think some good advice has been given here already.
My friend's husband did the ultimatum thing to her, so she quit because they had a child and she had to "try to make her marriage work". How did their life change after she quit? His didn't change any. He continued to sit on the couch and watch TV any time he had a free moment, and she was stuck finding something to do to fill the time she had previously spent with the horses. Of course what she found to do had to be ok with the hubs, so she was allowed to work out at the gym, cook elaborate gourmet meals for the hubby, or work on something around the house (ie clean and take care of stuff for hubby). After about a month she had had enough and told hubs how it was going to be and he could learn to deal with it or he could hit the road. She was the breadwinner, she took care of every aspect of childcare, and she was tired of having to take care of him as if he were her child too. Hubs cried foul then sucked it up and became a man. It's been several months now and they seem to be happy. Hubs is not one to hide his feelings, so it must be working out ok. My friend makes compromises too though. She accompanies hubs on double dates with his friends and their wives (who she cant' really stand) and goes on trips to watch sports stuff she has no interest in.

eponacowgirl
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:59 AM
That would be a deal breaker for me, end of.

Love me, love my lifestyle. You don't have to take part- I'm doing just fine supporting myself and my horses right now without help- but horses ARE my life. Sorry.

MimsEppi
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:01 AM
My horse has never asked me to choose :) Until I find a guy who reciprocates that sentiment, the horse comes first.

LisaB
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:02 AM
I go to events by myself - her gets to do what he wants and I get to do what I want
Ditto. And if it's at a venue where he wants to go play, then he comes along.
And he's allergic to horses. My horse is scared of him (abused by a tall blonde in a previous life) but he totally understands my obsession. BUT I do not break the bank. I have a job that pays the bills which I don't particularly care for and he knows if I didn't have this expensive hobby, I'd be doing something I'd enjoy more. So I'm responsible for the upkeep of my horse while splitting the bills.

ClassynIvansMom
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:04 AM
Maybe he needs clicker training.

This made me laugh! I'm borrowing this :)

ezmissg
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:08 AM
My thoughts may only be based on one relationship I witnessed of similar circumstances, but...

...Am I the only one who sees this as a control issue? Sounds to me like manipulation and a power play. "Surrender something you value highly to me".

Let's say you gave up horses completely. What would be next? ... "Your friends take up too much of your time. Quit seeing them." ... "I don't like your family. Don't spend time with them."

In other words, is this solely about horses and eventing, or is it an indicator of a bigger issue?

Food for thought?

Beam Me Up
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:14 AM
For non-horsey guys, I think of "supporting" eventing more as accepting than participating. I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect him to devote his time to attending events. Just accepting that you do.

Can you talk to him a bit more about his concerns? Whether it is the time or money that bothers him? Have you missed a few things that were important to him b/c of riding.

I do think that even with split finances, if you are one, like me, who tends to want to spend every spare dollar on horses, and not on travel/dinners/movies, that still impacts your partner, who doesn't want to eat ramen every night and set the heat at 55 so you can afford more horse stuff.


But ultimately, if I had to choose between horses/eventing in general and 1 specific unaccepting guy, it would be an easy decision . . .

Somermist
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:27 AM
My thoughts may only be based on one relationship I witnessed of similar circumstances, but...

...Am I the only one who sees this as a control issue? Sounds to me like manipulation and a power play. "Surrender something you value highly to me".

Let's say you gave up horses completely. What would be next? ... "Your friends take up too much of your time. Quit seeing them." ... "I don't like your family. Don't spend time with them."

In other words, is this solely about horses and eventing, or is it an indicator of a bigger issue?

Food for thought?

This!!!! I married one of these in my past life. After he got rid of the horses, it was friends, family.....

I had to make a decision. It was the right one for me and I never looked back. You have decide what works for you. But, be careful and take care of yourself. And, maybe this is just the mother in me, but after 5 years where is this supposedly going? If he controls you now, it will only get worse. Really.

Best of luck. Take care of you.

shawneeAcres
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:39 AM
ba-bye! Hey, I have been in a controlling relationship and THIS is how it starts. If you are making a serious effort to be interested in what he is interested in, paying your way for both your horses and other bills, then waht's it to him? I would simply say, "I don't expect you to come to every competition, but this is something I enjoy doing and I don't plan to give it up" I would also ask WHY it concerns him.

ridealot
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:45 AM
I compete a great deal and I can tell you it is pure jealousy............ are you doing well in eventing? My husband and I have been married 10 years and it was all gravy when I was riding while we were dating. I showed almost every weekend and he knew horses were #1 in my life. He would come and watch me ride sometimes but he never helped me nor would I want him to. I like to be left alone when I am showing so having to worry about someone else was not my cup of tea. I went from the approach that I was independent and the horse thing was my thing. He is into antique restoration which I personally find boring but yes like others have stated it is a give and take to a point. Do not lose your identity. I do not want to sound like I do not love my husband but honestly let’s face it relationships are up and down and my horses are ALWAYS there no matter what.... so yes they are #1 for me. Once we got married is when the horse issue became more of a problem for me. It started with the “you’re always gone to horseshows" and "horse people are calling you all the time". He wanted me to sell my horse which I had bought before we got married so that we could pay off bills from the house we bought. I refused to sell my horse and it really pissed him off. By the way I also have paid for my horses and all their expenses on my own, I work two jobs and pay for the horses and still contribute extra money to our joint accounts while he only has one job. It got very hard for him to justify they were costing us money when I pay for them. Point blank it is the time you spend with them that aggravates him the money may be a small part as I do not know if he contributes financially. It is the fact that many people cannot understand the amount of time it takes to be involved with horses, or they think it is a "phase" you are going thru. I think for many they do not understand it is a whole lifestyle for some people. In my case I do not talk to my husband about horse stuff when we are together but occasionally he will ask me out of the blue how things are going and how a client’s horse is doing in training. I will tell him and then we talk about something else. It works for me and my advice is as long as you are independent with the whole “horse thing" you will be fine. Do not let him know it bothers you that he does not come and help anymore at shows. Bottom line if he wants to spend time with you he knows where you are................ do not give up your fun and your dreams. In a relationship you both have to have your own dream........... this fear that one has to give in is really old fashion........he should not make you feel guilty either.

Fairview Horse Center
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:46 AM
A lot of men see horses as an asset, and sellable when they need a few extra bucks. Almost all think as soon as the kids are due, there goes the horse. :no:

Some men are trainable, others, not. Take a firm stand NOW and tell him the horse is not ever going unless YOU choose, because you can't pay the mortgage on a smaller home, and only after you give up other expensive extras. Tell him that includes when the kids come along, unless they need clothes, etc you can't afford. You can tell him that you are willing to compromise by only going to 1 or 2 events per month, and MAY decide not to do that after the kids if you feel the kids need more time.

Tell him if you feel the need to keep eventing when funds are short, he may need to watch the kids more while you take a 2nd job to pay for it.

He either cares about YOUR needs, or not. A horse that wants respect in the field does not sneak up to the water trough with their head down. Boldly step up, and tell him the horse & eventing is what you need to be happy. Better to find out now that he really does not care about your needs, than after you have invested many more years, and added complications.

I find most problems are because the woman dances around her commitment to the horse, and the man sees the wishy washyness as an opening for control.

ridealot
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:13 AM
A lot of men see horses as an asset, and sellable when they need a few extra bucks. Almost all think as soon as the kids are due, there goes the horse. :no:

Some men are trainable, others, not. Take a firm stand NOW and tell him the horse is not ever going unless YOU choose, because you can't pay the mortgage on a smaller home, and only after you give up other expensive extras. Tell him that includes when the kids come along, unless they need clothes, etc you can't afford. You can tell him that you are willing to compromise by only going to 1 or 2 events per month, and MAY decide not to do that after the kids if you feel the kids need more time.

Tell him if you feel the need to keep eventing when funds are short, he may need to watch the kids more while you take a 2nd job to pay for it.

He either cares about YOUR needs, or not. A horse that wants respect in the field does not sneak up to the water trough with their head down. Boldly step up, and tell him the horse & eventing is what you need to be happy. Better to find out now that he really does not care about your needs, than after you have invested many more years, and added complications.

I find most problems is because the woman dances around her commitment to the horse, and the man sees the wishy washyness as an opening for control.

I totally agree:yes:

LAZ
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:19 AM
I spent my formative years at a lot of race tracks (car racing). When I was of dating age my mom (a very wise lady) said to me "don't date race drivers if you can't stand being second some of the time. If you force someone into a show down over something they love then everyone loses". She and my dad have been happily married for 55 years, so I think she had something. That applies to women and horses as well!

If you feel like your life is better with him in it then figure out a balance. If not, then move on. Everyone who has said this is not just about the horse is right--it is a symptom of imbalance (or preceived imbalance) in the relationship somewhere. If he's been on board with the horses for 5 years I can't think he really minds it all that much, he's feeling slighted somewhere and the horses have become the focal point of those feelings.

purplnurpl
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:27 AM
question:

how involved are you?
Do you have a very expensive horse to maintain and are gone every other weekend for event?

or

Do you have a low maintenance horse and go to say, 5-8 HTs a year?

I ask this only because I just recently played BF to myself.
I have re mapped my time with horses and the money going out to them.
I have taken myself from always being broke, to riding other's horses and dishing out very little money.

Though I loved the path I was on, it was unrealistic for my life. A quick rearrange in the kitchen landed me a happier and better lifestyle without sacrificing my time in the saddle at home, and at shows.

crewgirl34
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:29 AM
My ex was fine with my horse at first. He'd even come to the barn once in awhile. I was riding 3x a week, at most, and we still did stuff together. I paid all horse expenses, along with my half of bills, and sometimes all the bills when he'd lose another job. But it slowly went downhill. He never asked me outright to sell, but he'd make snide comments when I went to the barn. Finally we had a talk, and I told him I did, and would continue to do, anything he wanted to do. I fully supported him in anything he wanted to do, and never complained about any of his hobbies. Riding my horse makes me happy. Why are you trying to sabotage something that makes someone you love happy?

He did ask me once what my answer would be if he ever said, "It's me or the horse." I told him someone who really loved me would never make me choose like that.

We're now divorced, but it never was about the horse. It was about his happiness, and his wants and needs. My case is a little different from the OP since ex suffered from depression, but in the end I know he blamed his unhappiness on me and the horse.

Outyougo
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:33 AM
At a party many years ago some gal asked me "Does your BF Let you have a horse?"

Husband-to-be answered for em. "Her horse lets her have me!"

31 years and 31 horses later still horses, still married to same guy!

Arizona DQ
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:36 AM
Don't let him control you (as others have said).

I did that once and was dumb enough to marry the man...... Luckily, that marriage did not last. It is not that he does not want to go to events with you rather that he wants you to give it up completely!

My current husband does not care about my horse, but will drive the truck and trailer to shows for me and will take pictures/videos if I ask. he just does not care to hang around at the barn....:winkgrin:

When we first stated dating, he told me that he would never ask me to give up my horses, as they are part of what makes me the person I am.....:)

Dump this guy!!! He sounds dangerously controlling........:(

jackalini
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:39 AM
I spent my formative years at a lot of race tracks (car racing). When I was of dating age my mom (a very wise lady) said to me "don't date race drivers if you can't stand being second some of the time. If you force someone into a show down over something they love then everyone loses". She and my dad have been happily married for 55 years, so I think she had something. That applies to women and horses as well!

If you feel like your life is better with him in it then figure out a balance. If not, then move on. Everyone who has said this is not just about the horse is right--it is a symptom of imbalance (or preceived imbalance) in the relationship somewhere. If he's been on board with the horses for 5 years I can't think he really minds it all that much, he's feeling slighted somewhere and the horses have become the focal point of those feelings.

LAZ, your mother was a very smart woman, and I agree with all of this. :yes:

This seems like something other than the horses - like he is feeling a bit unappreciated (warranted or not), and as big of a part of your life as the horses are, they are the easy target.

It is easier to say "your horses are more important than me" than "You don't love me or treat me like you used to."

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:50 AM
I have been in relationships like this.. I am not in them anymore! I am now with a fabulous guy who knows how important my horses and riding are to me. Infact, this morning i posted on his facebook wall
"Boyfriend, I hope you have a good warm day. I think most of my day will be spent in the snow with the love of my life... Sorry it isn't you. You run second.. not a close second, just second! hehehe JK Close second! You should feel special you come second! :) LOVE YOU!!!"

His reply
"Girlfriend, please don't turn into a popsicle! And if you do... let me hold you until you thaw out:) I love you"

While this is a little sarcastic, my SO knows his place will always be second to my horse and he gladly takes that spot! That is how a guy should be! No matter what your hobby is, he should be supportive. If he isn't then he can't be around. Any guy I date must understand that if in the middle of our date I get a phone call that my horse is sick/hurt I will immediately leave our date to go to the barn. I knew the current guy was the one when I got a call that my old girl had went down and wasn't getting up, I left our 2nd date and he came with me! He stayed with me all night while we monitored her and even left in the middle of the night to go get me coffee. :D He is pretty perfect!

ETA: he also takes fridays to clean stalls for me... I don't think you can find another one like this one!

LisaB
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:12 PM
I don't think there's a 'first' or a 'second'. I wouldn't put my husband 'second'. That's just not fair to him. Sometimes, my priorities are with the horse and sometimes not.
If the hubby needed a kidney and we couldn't afford it. The only way is to sell the horse, then I would do it for him. Even though in any other circumstance, you'd have to pry Winston off my cold dead hands.
On another note, how many of you have aggravatingly patronizing in laws? I swear if I hear one more time 'Were you at a horsie show?' in a tone like I'm 8 ...

sadlmakr
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:21 PM
I had a husband who at first was supportive. Then little by little he changed and the horses were the first thing he aimed for. I found out through someone else he hated the horses because I spent " all my time playing with the horses". I didn't. I didn't do anything with the horses while he was home.
It got worse and worse and he became more and more controlling. He began to verbally attack me in front of the kids. He set me up for embarassing scenes with his family.
I did what ever he wanted when ever he wanted. But it did no good.
He did not want me to have any horse oriented friends and tried to isolate me from any one besides him.
Sit down and try to discuss the problem. Try to keep your cool.
Five years is a long time and it sounds like he is trying to bring this to a head. It sounds like a power trip to me.
If you will be happy without the horses and he means that much to you, then sell all the horses and all the horse equipment. But I know how it affected me.
I got a divorce and had to sell my horses since we lost the farm as well.
I have no horses but it is OK since I have been alone for 20+ years now.
I do not miss the tantrums and threats and abuse I had to deal with. I got wonderful homes for my horses because I trained them well.
I love being single far more than I ever expected.
This man knows how much you love your horses. If he really gives you the ultimatum to get rid of the horses or he is gone, I would let him go.
You got along without him before you met him. You can get along without him now.
Can you trade him for the horses?
I doubt it.
There are other fish in the sea. Find some one who shares the love for horses that you have.
If it were not the horses. It would be something else. Like your faith or your family or your dog or something else.
It is a symptom of other things.
The horses are part of your life. Can you give up part of your life for this man?
I do not envy your situation. But you are the one who has to make the decision.
Regards, sadlmakr

Ibex
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:22 PM
The best dating advice I ever received was to only go out with guys who had their own hobbies. Preferably expensive ones. :lol:

fooler
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:33 PM
My ex was fine with my horse at first. He'd even come to the barn once in awhile. I was riding 3x a week, at most, and we still did stuff together. I paid all horse expenses, along with my half of bills, and sometimes all the bills when he'd lose another job. But it slowly went downhill. He never asked me outright to sell, but he'd make snide comments when I went to the barn. Finally we had a talk, and I told him I did, and would continue to do, anything he wanted to do. I fully supported him in anything he wanted to do, and never complained about any of his hobbies. Riding my horse makes me happy. Why are you trying to sabotage something that makes someone you love happy?

He did ask me once what my answer would be if he ever said, "It's me or the horse." I told him someone who really loved me would never make me choose like that.

We're now divorced, but it never was about the horse. It was about his happiness, and his wants and needs. My case is a little different from the OP since ex suffered from depression, but in the end I know he blamed his unhappiness on me and the horse.

Same story with my ex right up to the last statement, no depression. He wanted me to make him the absolute center of my world. And be his ground crew for his single-hand sail boat:eek:

Have several long conversations with BF and go to couples/pre-marriage counseling if you want to make a go of the relationship. As others have correctly noted relationships are rarely 50-50 all of the time. Each will give all or take all thru-out the life of the relationship. However one should never be giving all of the time and never receiving.

TheJenners
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:34 PM
Relationships are in a constant state of negotiation.

Relationships aren't static.

Something else has obviously changed, something other than what the OP stated in her first post. Maybe she sees it, maybe she doesn't. But knee-jerk "kick him to the curb" reactions really piss me off. I guess we're all hi-ho she-woman warrior princesses, and no one ever thinks of bending a little for a significant other, and that throwing away five years is much better than cutting back the number of events, etc.

I can tell you that if my SO started rodeoing every-freakin-weekend and it started feeling like a depressing Chris Ledoux song, I'd ask him to stay home from time to time too. And since I'd be the salaried bacon-maker, I'd probably tell him it's too expensive to boot! We don't know if the OP works, how much she makes and how much her show schedule impacts their finances. Or their personal life.

But I guess that makes me the baddie...

mg
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:40 PM
I'm not bothered by your BF not wanting to go to shows or any of that anymore, but I am bothered by his attitude. I was always amazed when my ex came to shows. I knew it was super boring for him and I didn't expect it should be otherwise. A friend of mine's husband enjoys going to her dressage shows, which always baffled me. *I* don't even like spectating at dressage shows all day and I understand them. They're BORING!

I don't think an SO needs to be actively involved with the horse activities. They do need to be supportive though and identify things you do which make you happy. Riding became a lower priority to me when I was in a serious relationship and I was absolutely miserable. Now that I'm single and immersed hardcore in my horsey-things, I do NOT want to travel down that road again with my next relationship. I want to find someone who is equally passionate about an activity that demands you invest a lot of time and energy into it.

Yes, relationships are about compromise, but they are ALSO about identifying what makes your SO happy and supporting them. If the things that make them happy aren't compatible with your lifestyle, then the relationship isn't compatible. No one should have to give up the things which bring them joy.

RacetrackReject
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:43 PM
Relationships are in a constant state of negotiation.

Relationships aren't static.

Something else has obviously changed, something other than what the OP stated in her first post. Maybe she sees it, maybe she doesn't. But knee-jerk "kick him to the curb" reactions really piss me off. I guess we're all hi-ho she-woman warrior princesses, and no one ever thinks of bending a little for a significant other, and that throwing away five years is much better than cutting back the number of events, etc.

I can tell you that if my SO started rodeoing every-freakin-weekend and it started feeling like a depressing Chris Ledoux song, I'd ask him to stay home from time to time too. And since I'd be the salaried bacon-maker, I'd probably tell him it's too expensive to boot! We don't know if the OP works, how much she makes and how much her show schedule impacts their finances. Or their personal life.

But I guess that makes me the baddie...

UUmm, did you read any of the responses? The OP stated that she works and pays for everything for her horses and quite a few people stated that she needed to make sure she was compromising as well and suggested cutting back on events.

magnolia73
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:48 PM
My boyfriend could care less about my horse or my riding, he rarely comes to the barn. I too support my habit with my own money. I am almost 100% certain if I gave it up tomorrow he would be thrilled.

But you know what, he is OK with it as it makes me happy. Of course there is the time issues and the "if you did not have the horse we could do x or live in y." But never a request to walk away from a piece of me.

Hey if you are out at shows 4 weekends a month, at the barn 'til 10 every night and feeding him Ramen while you buy your horse $350 in supplements a month... you might take a good look at what you could compromise on (and he might not realize that there can be a compromise).

Ask him to tell you why and how much you need to give up for him to be happy. So while no, I'd never give up my horse for my boyfriend, I might give up competing, move my horse or find a half leaser if there were genuine time or money issues.

Fairview Horse Center
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:54 PM
My husband and son are never second. If they have a real need, that will always be my priority. It they needed money for a serious health issue, I would also sell every horse I own. If they were in trouble, I would walk away from the Devon Grand Championship. REAL need. They would also not be happy if I had to do that, even though they really are not horse people. They understand MY love of horses, and will help me if I need it.

My husband was not always like this, but he was "trainable", and has helped me have MY horsey dream for many decades.

Eventer55
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:55 PM
After more thought, it may be that right from the beginning he said to himself,this too shall pass" Although it DIDN'T. Lisa said her inlaws ask "did you go to a horsie show" How condescending and maybe this is how he has always felt.

BTW Lisa I would bring a really nice glossy 8X10 next time with you and Winston over a monster solid xc fence, slap it down and say "why yes, yes I was and what did you do lately?

You can add "I don't plan on looking like you when I'm your age. . . ok, so leave out the last part:D

And yes, I am a Goddess, just not the domestic kind!

Fairview Horse Center
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:57 PM
Boyfriends always do start out visiting the barn, going to a few shows, even riding a bit. Horses ARE cool. They can brag to their family and friends about them, UNTIL they realize just how involved you are. Don't fool them. Tell them VERY early in a relationship exactly what you intend your horses to be to you, and for how long.

sissyfoo
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:05 PM
You already know the answer to that question.

I think your name sums it up rideonbestrong

BOAlter2010
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:16 PM
Agree with those who say it could be a control issue. I pay about half of our household bills, despite making CONSIDERABLY less money... hubby has a very expensive hobby and is also active in sports. I have been subjected to the "you forgot to buy detergent, if it was something for your d**n horses you wouldn't forget it" temper tantrums (I also do ALL the shopping, bill-paying, errand-running, etc. AND work late while he does his hobbies or sits home and watches TV, so I am responsible for all supplies, repairs, etc., and if something doesn't get done it gets blamed on the horses, NOT the 15million other things I have to do to keep the homestead running.....). One argument escalated to "the horses or me" and I WALKED because I am not stupid, I knew it was not the horses. I refused to come home until he agreed to go to counseling. Counseling was not 100% successful because he was in denial about his depression/temper problems, but it did improve things a LOT mainly I think because I let him know that although I am willing to do this that and the other, it is MY CHOICE.

Somermist
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:22 PM
I don't think there's a 'first' or a 'second'. I wouldn't put my husband 'second'. That's just not fair to him. Sometimes, my priorities are with the horse and sometimes not.
If the hubby needed a kidney and we couldn't afford it. The only way is to sell the horse, then I would do it for him. Even though in any other circumstance, you'd have to pry Winston off my cold dead hands.
On another note, how many of you have aggravatingly patronizing in laws? I swear if I hear one more time 'Were you at a horsie show?' in a tone like I'm 8 ...

Yeah, I think my in laws think they are in a special kind of hell when they visit here!:winkgrin: They are not animal people and that is kind of hard to avoid around here.

I will never forget when our kids were little, they came to stay for a few weeks. I was up early doing barn chores, the driveway is long and the mailbox is obviously at the end of it. I was in the barn minding my own business, feeding and turning out. The 3 German Shepherds were with me, one was a 5 month old male pup. Apparently my mother in law wanted the newspaper and came walking down to the box in her robe. So, puppy sees her and thinks that everyone loves him and must want to hug him. I didn't know she could run that fast!:lol:

evans36
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:26 PM
A lot of men see horses as an asset, and sellable when they need a few extra bucks. Almost all think as soon as the kids are due, there goes the horse. :no:

Some men are trainable, others, not. Take a firm stand NOW and tell him the horse is not ever going unless YOU choose, because you can't pay the mortgage on a smaller home, and only after you give up other expensive extras. Tell him that includes when the kids come along, unless they need clothes, etc you can't afford. You can tell him that you are willing to compromise by only going to 1 or 2 events per month, and MAY decide not to do that after the kids if you feel the kids need more time.

Tell him if you feel the need to keep eventing when funds are short, he may need to watch the kids more while you take a 2nd job to pay for it.

He either cares about YOUR needs, or not. A horse that wants respect in the field does not sneak up to the water trough with their head down. Boldly step up, and tell him the horse & eventing is what you need to be happy. Better to find out now that he really does not care about your needs, than after you have invested many more years, and added complications.

I find most problems are because the woman dances around her commitment to the horse, and the man sees the wishy washyness as an opening for control.

OK this is a bit of a hijack. I read this thread congratulating myself on my own 3-yr boyfriend who enjoys going to the barn and just hanging out in the great outdoors while I ride.

But the kids issue - FHC has pretty much assumed kids here. What if the question was kids or horses? I have sold mine for financial reasons but plan to own again after BF gets through school and $ isn't so tight. I have told him I refuse to trade horses for kids because I really like horses more. And you can't sell kids if you suddenly lose your job.

Told him this after we had been dating for 9months, right before we moved in together, because I knew it might be a deal breaker. He chose me... although I think he still hopes I will change my mind eventually. But recently have taken a TON of flak from my family and his about it... things like "horses don't fix you birthday dinners" and "if I had chosen horses you wouldn't be here."

What do you even say to that? What if a boyfriend accepts your horse habit now but wants kids eventually, but you would rather have horses than children?

riderboy
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:28 PM
Well, I have only the male perspective here. Run like the wind and don't look back.

TheJenners
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:28 PM
UUmm, did you read any of the responses? The OP stated that she works and pays for everything for her horses and quite a few people stated that she needed to make sure she was compromising as well and suggested cutting back on events.
Umm yes I did. She said "he doesn't share any expenses with me." I have no idea what that means. They don't live together, and therefore have no mutual bills? Or he doesn't share any of HER expenses with her, ie horses, shows, training. No where did she say she works and pays for everything herself, as you stated. She might, but I'm not inserting my own agenda into her words.

Over and over and over again this same scenario gets posted on COTH, where the woman is unfairly told "It's me or the horses" by a boyfriend or husband, and the woman plays out the pitiful "I already do everything for them and never ask for help and pay my share/more than my share of the bills and and and and..." And COTHers rally to her with a war cry of "Kick his ass out, girlfriend! He doesn't deserve you!" There are three sides to every story, and we only hear one.

eventer_mi
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:43 PM
Sounds like the honeymoon phase of the relationship is over. You know, where you stop being so d@mn polite to each other and are just a wee bit too comfortable with each other, so now the true feelings come out. It doesn't get any better unless he or you want to change. In fact, the resentment only gets worse.

Now that several years have gone by, he is no longer so anxious to please you (and you him) as he once was, and is showing this by no longer offering to go to shows, hold your horse's lead, cart around water buckets, etc. it's NO FUN for a non-horsey SO to be at a show. My ex hated going to shows and finally told me so right before he asked me for a divorce (had nothing to do with horsey issues) because every woman at a show felt that she could monopolize him to do things for her. He didn't mind carting around water buckets for ME, but for a stranger? Nope. So, I can't blame anybody's non-horsey SO to not want to go to shows if that happens.

Long story short, people only change because THEY want to change. Not because someone else wants them to. If you feel that you are meeting your part of the relationship "bargain", and that he is not holding up his end, then either change yourself or get out of it. He won't change unless he feels the motivation to change from within, regardless of what the trouble really is.

candyappy
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:45 PM
My husband is also not a horse lover , but he knew from the start that they were important for me. He knew because I made it clear at the beginning. We have been married 19 years now and I have had a lot of different horses. At times he can make an unkind comment about those " hayburners" out in our field and how much money they waste. I know that he is upset at something else and just let the comments slide when they happen. He has spent a lot of time over the years fencing and maintaining buildings, equipment and cutting hay ( i help too) when I know he would rather do something else. I stay at home and homeschool our 3 kids and do as much as possible in and outside so he doesn't have to do it after work. I just pleasure ride and keep my expenses as low as possible. I think you need to sit down and really try to get at what is bothering him and see if it is something you can work out. 5 years is a long time to just throw away. I know some men don't let their real thoughts out easily, but try first.

IronwoodFarm
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:55 PM
I don't expect full-out support but do expect to be the same person he knew when we first dated..

One of the "truths" of this world is that people do change. All the time. Call it maturity, environment, or just plain living, most people are going to change over time. It's a good thing.....Mr. IF does not have the exact same tastes, interests, etc as he had when we met 18 years ago, but neither do I. Expecting anyone to be exactly how they were five years ago is unrealistic. Hopefully in a relationship, you grow and change in complimentary ways.

WW_Queen
Jan. 26, 2011, 02:09 PM
I don't expect full-out support but do expect to be the same person he knew when we first dated.

I'm going to interpret this as its unreasonable for him to expect you to change when you were a horse junkie all along. :)

My bf (now hubby) went through stages... in the romantic phase of the relationship he was super supportive, then as time went on he also realized horses are dangerous/expensive/time-consuming and he resented/complained about it for a while. Then over time he realized that horses and me go hand in hand, for better or worse. It was his decision to either live with it or not. *shrug*

("Extremes" are a whole other story... you spend 6 nights a week at the barn for hours at a time, you skip family functions/weddings to compete, you don't contribute to the "us" bills because you spend all your money on vet bills or new equipment or coaching.... All of those things are TOTALLY fine in some situations, but the average person dating the Average Joe will end up being resented.)

Now I'm at the seven-year mark in my relationship, and not only was my Christmas gift my horse's board for a year (I know, it blew me out of the water too lol) but upon the realization that my horse needs an extended vacation to recover from injury, he says "Well it looks like we'll have to find you another one in the meantime....."

Like music to my ears. :) We went through stages, all relationships do. As long as you stay true to yourself but also make compromises for your partner, as long as they do the same it will all work out. As the song says, Que sera sera, whatever will be will be. :)

RacetrackReject
Jan. 26, 2011, 02:12 PM
Umm yes I did. She said "he doesn't share any expenses with me." I have no idea what that means. They don't live together, and therefore have no mutual bills? Or he doesn't share any of HER expenses with her, ie horses, shows, training. No where did she say she works and pays for everything herself, as you stated. She might, but I'm not inserting my own agenda into her words.

Over and over and over again this same scenario gets posted on COTH, where the woman is unfairly told "It's me or the horses" by a boyfriend or husband, and the woman plays out the pitiful "I already do everything for them and never ask for help and pay my share/more than my share of the bills and and and and..." And COTHers rally to her with a war cry of "Kick his ass out, girlfriend! He doesn't deserve you!" There are three sides to every story, and we only hear one.

I'm sorry, but "he doesn't share any expenses with me" in response to the questions asked of the OP, to me, meant that she pays for her own stuff. I'm not quite sure what agenda I'm inserting as I have none and haven't stated any as such. You seem to be the one with the agenda.

Yes, there are 3 sides to every story, but unless all parties show up to express it, we have to take what is posted at face value with the caveat of "if this is how it is, this is what I would think/do/ask". Just because you think the OP must be in the wrong because her boyfriend doesn't want her to be involved with horses anymore doesn't make it any more true than the posters who think the boyfriend is in the wrong.

I also don't see COTHers rallying in with the war cry. I see posters asking constructive questions and making constructive comments for the most part with a few nuts sprinkled in (=)). Again, more of "if it is this way, I would do this, but if it's that way, I would...".

Ajierene
Jan. 26, 2011, 02:36 PM
I'm sorry, but "he doesn't share any expenses with me" in response to the questions asked of the OP, to me, meant that she pays for her own stuff. I'm not quite sure what agenda I'm inserting as I have none and haven't stated any as such. You seem to be the one with the agenda.

There are different kinds of 'pay my own expenses'. Prime example:

My sister-in-law moved into my brother's house when they got married. All the bills had been coming out of his account, so they kept coming out of his account and new wife did not add money to the account, my brother declined it. Not a problem, but when she said something like 'I pay for the porche with all my money' (story in itself - not a new porche)). Well... yeah...but that's ALL she pays for....she doesn't pay mortgage, utility bills, phone bill, cable, etc.

Then there is - paying half the household bills, as well as paying for the hobby, but not having any money leftover so when going out to dinner, movies, trips, etc. It all comes out of the significan other's account, no matter who's idea it is.

And then there is paying at least half the household bills, paying for the hobby AND helping pay for other activities...

It is not clear category the original poster is in.

rideonbestrong
Jan. 26, 2011, 03:03 PM
[QUOTE=ThirdCharm;5383175]Something is up if it's not costing him any money and you are spending plenty of time together otherwise. Even if not directly, is it costing him SOMEHOW.... are you able to pay your fair share of living expenses, pay for non-horsey extracurriculars, etc.? How are you managing to spend time together if you are working full-time (presumably, since he doesn't pay for your hobby) and then riding on a regular basis? Does he have a hobby or is he sitting at home alone every evening waiting for you to get home from the barn after work?

----I pay all my living/eventing costs. He works part time and pays expenses for his own place - nothing to do with eventing. He has no hobbies so that is a problem area. He doesn't wait around for me. I'm seeing more issues with this relationship.

rideonbestrong
Jan. 26, 2011, 03:06 PM
It is a symptom of other things.
The horses are part of your life. Can you give up part of your life for this man?
I do not envy your situation. But you are the one who has to make the decision.
Regards, sadlmakr

Yes, it is a symptom and my horses mean more to me. Sorry about your experiences.

rideonbestrong
Jan. 26, 2011, 03:16 PM
To clarify: I pay all my own expenses - housing, eventing, anything. When he did go to events with me, I paid for everything, figuring it was my hobby. Now, I'm not so sure that was right.

breakthru
Jan. 26, 2011, 03:32 PM
You may be able to work it out if he will compromise, or you might have to walk away, but you cannot give in to his ultimatum.

Just think. Even IF you did give up horses for him- could you be happy? Wouldn't you resent him, openly or otherwise, for making this sacrifice for him? A relationship based on this kind of demand and sacrifice sets a very bad precedent, and is no foundation for a successful and healthy long term, respectful, give and take relationship.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Jan. 26, 2011, 03:33 PM
Similar story. Ex-husband blames horse, gives me the "you love your horse more than you love me." One time I had a bad fall and bruised some vertebrae, driving home was painful, every little bump in the road sent a jolt of pain through my back. When I asked him if he could help me unload the car b/c I was hurting, all he said was "it's a self-inflicted wound". And didn't budge. I don't have to further explain why he's an "ex".

Current BF of 5 years sometimes gets borderline cranky (he is a musician and spends every spare minute in his studio) on occasion ( also for reasons other than the actual horse(s)), but he knows darn well what my choice would be should he ever be silly enough to give me an ultimatum. I don't expect him to come hang out at barn or at shows with me though. Would be nice if he stopped by sometimes (and I do ask if he wants to come), but he doesn't, so that's ok with me. He has met both of my horses (with respect ;)), and concluded they were too big to be trusted ;0).

Eventer55
Jan. 26, 2011, 04:04 PM
Not to side track, but in my post I actually spelled ultimatum as
Ultium and changed it . . .

I think this should disqualify me from further commentary:yes:

eponacowgirl
Jan. 26, 2011, 04:38 PM
subk and I talked about this earlier today, she, being much ol... er... wiser... and more experienced than me, said something to the effect of "ECG, you would never marry someone who put you second to their boat/plane/golf clubs/motorcycle, and you would never marry someone who was number 2 to your horses. You want to find someone who is number 1 to you and you're number 1 to them BECAUSE they love you FOR the fact you'll never give up your horses and the life you've chosen."

Grasshopper
Jan. 26, 2011, 04:40 PM
Just echoing that it's a symptom, though it can take some time and emotional honesty (on both sides) to figure out the deeper cause.

My DH has asked me to give up or otherwise limit my horse involvement several times over the 10 years we've been together. Once we learned how to discuss these moments, it generally leads to very thought-provoking, and ultimately productive, conversations.

My DH has made these requests for the following reasons at different times: (1) worries about financial security, (2) worries about my physical safety (post-bad accident), (3) wanting to spend more time together.

Now, some of those reasons have even deeper layers to them...but we've learned a lot about each other through these discussions, and I've learned that if you can talk about the REAL issue rather than the symptom (aka the horses), you may be able to get somewhere. My DH has (I think) finally accepted that I will, if possible, have horses in my life forever. I have learned to prioritize horses more realistically, and accepted that sometimes his requests are well-founded.

Yes, maybe your BF is just controlling. I suspect in the vast majority of these types of scenarios, however, the issue is a lot less one-sided and more complicated.

ThirdCharm
Jan. 26, 2011, 04:40 PM
So you live separately and have no shared expenses other than going out, travelling together, etc?? Could he be starting to think about getting "more serious" (moving in together, getting married) and being concerned about what will happen when your finances are shared?

Of course, if he's worried about money, maybe he should get a full-time job so he's not sitting around bored.... Was he working or in school full-time when you started out (or were you working less)? I could imagine if he USED TO have something other than you to occupy his time, or if he used to have LESS free time, that could be what started the problem.....

Sounds like he needs a hobby.

I think if I was in your situation, his new hobby would be Going On First Dates. YMMV!

Jennifer

purplnurpl
Jan. 26, 2011, 04:41 PM
I don't think there's a 'first' or a 'second'. I wouldn't put my husband 'second'. That's just not fair to him. Sometimes, my priorities are with the horse and sometimes not.


I was just talking to a friend about this yesterday. Her now X said to her for the first time, "I always had a love hate relationship with those horses".

What the SOs don't understand is that the horse is much like a child. We nurture the child and it NEEDS us. If we are not there to feed it, it does not eat.
SO can go open the fridge anytime.

The nurture instinct in women is very distinct strong.
SOs are not 2nd, they are just needed in a different way than the horses.

For all said purposes, we love horses, but they do not love us back. Not really.

kristinq
Jan. 26, 2011, 04:44 PM
No one should EVER give an ultimatum like that. What a jerk!

True! But you should definitely find out why he has suddenly made such a drastic change. Are you spending MORE time with the horses than in the beginning? Are you neglecting him? Even if the relationship is beyond repair it would be worth finding out in case it is you, not him, so that you don't make the same mistakes again.

But he is sounding like a huge jackass. Don't waste your time who doesn't enjoy seeing you do something you love.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Jan. 26, 2011, 04:47 PM
Not to side track, but in my post I actually spelled ultimatum as
Ultium and changed it . . .

I think this should disqualify me from further commentary:yes:

:lol:

Somermist
Jan. 26, 2011, 05:11 PM
Not to side track, but in my post I actually spelled ultimatum as
Ultium and changed it . . .

I think this should disqualify me from further commentary:yes:

Oh, if it were only that simple.......:lol::cool::lol:

Bit O Groby
Jan. 26, 2011, 05:32 PM
As others have already said, the "honeymoon" phase of your relationship is over.
After 5 years, you know if you can live without him / or not, no one can answer that for you. I will just state that I've been in that situation before, and kept the horse(s) -- and don't have that "SO" . I was even quite sad about it, because other things were so good -- however, I realized that I would not be "me" w/o the equine life, and I really didn't want to give "me" up. Sorry that you are dealing with this, but rest assured, you have plenty of company; others dealing with the same issue. For me, the answer would be pretty simple (at this stage in my life). If you are not living together, then at least that part is "easy", and you don't have to re-create how to live.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 26, 2011, 05:40 PM
Anyone who asks you to entirely give up something that is important to you isn't worth it. That isn't a compromise....that is a controlling and selfish position.

They are not accepting who you are...

I've run into it a couple of times...guys that think they want a girlfriend who has an independent life (I have a time consuming career AND a horse habit---it is just plain easier on me to be single;))

What most of them REALLY want is someone who will do their own thing when they are busy...and then drop everything to be with them when they want you. (this can apply to girlfriends too I'm sure--I think of this as more of a human flaw not male or female)

That isn't a compromise. Spending some time together (which may mean a little less horse time or skipping an unimportant competition) ...and accepting that you will spend some time doing your own things is part of a healthy relationship. (of course all of this goes out the window when you have kids...and they suck up all your time and energy. )

You don't ask that person to TOTALLY give up something important to them...even if that thing isn't important to you (i.e. I may not have any interest in golf..but I wouldn't tell any SO who loved Golf to never play or never talk to me about it.)

sadlmakr
Jan. 26, 2011, 05:40 PM
I mentioned this to a client of mine this morning, as this has been heavy on my mind.
She said, "He wants out and is using the horses as his tool. He gives the ultimatum and she blows up and says "Hit the Road Jack". So he is out and can save face by saying "She prefers her horses to me anyway." That way he comes out smelling like a rose and he gets the sympathy. "
At least he did tell you how he feels. But to tell you " it is the horses or me " is very foolish. He knew in the beginning your love for the horses. They are a part of your life.
I have seen this all too often though. You need to get some counseling for yourself.
I am sure glad I don't have this in my life any more. The more I compromised the more he pushed. I could never give in enough. I was the 10% He was the 90% and wanted to be 100%.
I have seen the same thing in reverse. It is the wife who is telling her man the same thing.
I am sorry this is happening to you. Wish I could help but there is not much I can do.
Do look into some counseling. It will help you in other ways besides this.
JMHO
sadlmakr

Bobthehorse
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:00 PM
Here is my take, but keep in mind Im sort of compulsively single.

As soon as someone asks you to choose between them and something/someone that means a lot to you....they have answered that question. Asking you to choose is incredibly selfish. Now, if you had come to the conclusion on your own that you should cut back on riding to spend more time with the guy, thats different. But the fact that he has given you an ultimatum, basically, says a lot about him.

TheJenners
Jan. 26, 2011, 06:01 PM
After the OP's clarification that they live separate and share no bills, I'm on the fence between ThirdCharm and Sadlmakr: either he's thinking about the next step, or he's thinking about how to walk out blame-free. Either one is possible, only you can know because you know him. Judging by some of your responses...I think you already do.

Once again I'm thanking all that there is to thank that my fiance is horseyer (horse-y-er?) than I am. And I'm pretty damn horsey.

purplnurpl
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:05 PM
After the OP's clarification that they live separate and share no bills, I'm on the fence between ThirdCharm and Sadlmakr: either he's thinking about the next step, or he's thinking about how to walk out blame-free. Either one is possible, only you can know because you know him. Judging by some of your responses...I think you already do.

Once again I'm thanking all that there is to thank that my fiance is horseyer (horse-y-er?) than I am. And I'm pretty damn horsey.

yes but, you would think, if he's thinking about the next step--he would do so in a more reasonable fashion. If you are thinking about taking the next step with someone you love, you don't try to pick a fight with them.

just MO.

guys love to be the victim. I have 1 failed engagement and many failed relationships and the guys, no matter how great they are/were, always try to play the victim card.

goeslikestink
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:12 PM
ok...say you have this boyfriend who said when you started dating that he would support your eventing no matter what. He helps at your events, you travel and do things together other than eventing. But after a couple of years, he starts to back off helping you. Five years after you starting dating, he's saying you should quit eventing, eventing is too expensive and he won't go to or show any interest in your eventing. You still do other things together but it doesn't feel the same.

What's the problem, and what's your choice?

dont talk here talk to him, after 5 years if hes working and you spending money on eventing all the time it might be someone got to give alittle in orde to gain more

ask him why as the real reason behind it - as you say he did support you a lot
so what has changed we cant answer that and we cant ask him
but you can the biggest thing is listen to his reasons and open your ears and your heart and have a real dwon to earth chat take him out for a change

goeslikestink
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:19 PM
yes but, you would think, if he's thinking about the next step--he would do so in a more reasonable fashion. If you are thinking about taking the next step with someone you love, you don't try to pick a fight with them.

just MO.

guys love to be the victim. I have 1 failed engagement and many failed relationships and the guys, no matter how great they are/were, always try to play the victim card.

not nessacarily guys dont think like women they just say it as it is
hes nto picking a fight hes trying to tell you something your taking it as a fight
them to be all grown up ---- and ask for the real reason of why

it could be time asin time as a couple without the horses
men need time and need attention relationships as in good ones are not a bed of roses they are up and they downs if they was perfect then it would be boring

so you give a little and give him a chance to explain himself without flying of the handle thats its an unitmation of either my way or not at all thats selfish if you love him then give
as good relationships are give and take and understanding so far he has supported you alot and understood you but do you him - if not then its not him

Kanga
Jan. 26, 2011, 07:37 PM
ACMEventing...You crack me up!!
"Mabey he needs clicker training" That just gave me a great laugh.

I'll keep this simple......

EVENTING - First

Boyfriend - Somewhere else down the line

Do what your heart says is right for you. The above is what is right for me but perhaps does not work for everyone!

Good luck to you!!

onthebit
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:04 PM
subk and I talked about this earlier today, she, being much ol... er... wiser... and more experienced than me, said something to the effect of "ECG, you would never marry someone who put you second to their boat/plane/golf clubs/motorcycle, and you would never marry someone who was number 2 to your horses. You want to find someone who is number 1 to you and you're number 1 to them BECAUSE they love you FOR the fact you'll never give up your horses and the life you've chosen."

Excellent advice. I can't imagine any horse coming ahead of Mr. Onthebit. As someone else said if he needed a life saving operation and the only way to pay for it would be to sell the horses I wouldn't think twice about watching them drive off with their new owners. On the same hand Mr. OTB would NEVER ask me to give up horses either. It has to be a two way street.

OP, I agree with others that this is a symptom of something deeper in your relationship. Obviously we don't know what that might be without knowing a lot more about the relationship, nor do we know if this would be a relationship worth saving. Maybe you are spending more time with the horse(s) than ever before and this is his way of saying "hey, what about me." Maybe he has decided he wants your undivided time and attention and is being a self centered jerk.

subk
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:04 PM
subk and I talked about this earlier today, she, being much ol... er... wiser... and more experienced than me, said something to the effect of "ECG, you would never marry someone who put you second to their boat/plane/golf clubs/motorcycle, and you would never marry someone who was number 2 to your horses. You want to find someone who is number 1 to you and you're number 1 to them BECAUSE they love you FOR the fact you'll never give up your horses and the life you've chosen."
I think you've edited to make me sound better!

Sounds to me like the OP has the BF in 2nd place. That's a fine place for a BF to be. Not so much for a life time committed partner. After a five year relationship it's possible the BF is pushing along the level commitment and is doing a pretty poor job of trying it to figure out where he stands, and understandably he doesn't want to be #2. Who would? Instead of dealing with it in a mature way he's trying to get to the #1 spot by manipulation--knock off the current #1 and he wins by default. Sadly it doesn't work that way.

If he wants to be #1 and you want him to stay #2 maybe the kind thing to do for HIM is let him go find someone that will love him they way he DESERVES to be loved. If you are his #1 and want him to be your #1 then figure out what you can to do to meet his needs...just make sure about you being HIS #1 (and not that he's his OWN #1.) It's fine to make great sacrifices for those you love, but if they love you back they are regretful or mournful along with you at the loss of something you are passionate about. The sacrifice is a gift of your own choosing not a requirement from them.

One other thing. Money and income are not the whole equation on spending unless you believe money is the only asset a person brings into a relationship. I have no income. I do work to the betterment of my family and that work has value. Go figure out what it would cost in salary to get someone to do what I do! The DH has an income (he's also more productive when he doesn't have worry about the things I take care of. ) What I do doesn't have less value just different value. I have just as much right to spend for my own pleasure out of the joint account his paycheck is deposited into as he does because we work as a team. If I didn't think that I would be devaluing my own worth. So get over this who pays/earns what mindset--the equation is more complicated than that.

happyhaffiehaley
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:06 PM
“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” - William Somerset Maugham (just something to keep in mind...).

As others have said, it seems that the horse issues may be symptoms of another problem or set of problems. I think this calls for some serious discussion between the two of you to try to get to the root of his problems or insecurities.

There's been a lot of great advice here, and I won't reiterate it. I will say that horses, like any other all-consuming hobbies and passions, have the potential to take up a lot of time and energy, and some people use their horses to shy away from intimacy with another person. I am in no way saying this is the OP's problem, but it's worth thinking about. And there are lots of different kinds of support and compromise, but no one knows what's right except the two people in the relationship.

Good luck!

Haley

ThirdCharm
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:09 PM
yes but, you would think, if he's thinking about the next step--he would do so in a more reasonable fashion. If you are thinking about taking the next step with someone you love, you don't try to pick a fight with them.

just MO.

guys love to be the victim. I have 1 failed engagement and many failed relationships and the guys, no matter how great they are/were, always try to play the victim card.


True, but one must consider we do not have an independent eyewitness account of the conversation or the incidents leading up to it! Indifference is easily misinterpreted as hostility, and a request for compromise is all too easily read as a belligerent ultimatum.

Though I agree with you in the main (men like to be martyrs, and more than likely he's just a whiny jack*ss), but I try to keep an open mind.

Jennifer

retreadeventer
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:13 PM
Wow, what a thread. Hearts, advice, finances, drama, controlling, advice, money, happiness, advice, clicker training, inlaws, personal stories, dump the guy, more advice, I love it! I was watching American Idol but this is WAY better!
(Personally, I believe life is urgent and you have no time to waste with this guy. Lose him.)

drawstraws
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:11 PM
*sigh* Hearing these stories make me angry all over again. I thought I was doing well to find a guy from Texas who rode bareback horses because he would understand the "horse thing". Wrong! After seven years together and almost every fight being about the horses, in the end there was nothing I could do to make him not feel jealous. Not only did I get bitched at for spending too much time in the barn but at one point I also got bitched at because the one year I was working two jobs because he was unemployed I didn't spend enough time in the barn getting my horse more finished. I loved him enough that I was trying to arrange my life to keep him happy but in the end it wasn't enough. Three weeks before the wedding I came home from work and he had his truck packed with his stuff and he just left. That was seven years ago and I still believe I'm much better off. A couple of my friends hear the same sort of complaints from their hubbies and it automatically raises my blood pressure when I hear it. There's no way I could go through it again. I've been riding since I was a kid and while I'll do my best to make my SO happy he has to accept that the horses are a part of me and we're a package deal.

riderboy
Jan. 27, 2011, 07:16 AM
guys love to be the victim. .

Hey! Don't throw us all under the bus.

rideonbestrong
Jan. 27, 2011, 07:26 AM
ACMEventing...You crack me up!!
"Mabey he needs clicker training" That just gave me a great laugh.

I'll keep this simple......

EVENTING - First

Boyfriend - Somewhere else down the line

Do what your heart says is right for you. The above is what is right for me but perhaps does not work for everyone!

Good luck to you!!

Yes, yes, yes. Working things out didn't work - for me it's about who I am and was when we met (same person). It's about respect, sharing, recognizing when a person does compromise and reacting appropriately - enough already. I know who I am and what I need and can give in a relationship.

morganpony86
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:07 AM
My SO is not a horse guy. I knew that going in. He tells me he hates the smell of horses and he even tried to get me to change in the garage after coming home from the barn before stepping in the house (only half joking). However, I moved to another state for a job while he stayed behind to finish is schooling, and I decided to leave my two retirees because I adored the barn. He now goes up once a week to check on my boys for me. On Thanksgiving one of my boys was admitted to the hospital (where my SO works; he's doing a pathology residency). SO now drives the 30 minutes to visit my oldest at the barn once a week, and visits the one in the hospital on a regular basis. All because I live 450 miles away and he knows how important they are to me.

Rhyadawn
Jan. 27, 2011, 12:03 PM
The person who is supposed to be the love of your life is asking you to give up your passion. Not just eventing, but horses all together. Can you live with yourself if you weren't able to ride? Not able to go visit your horse on a regular basis, groom, or maybe just hang out in the stall for a while and tell them all your issues?

One of these things is expendable and I don't think it's the horse.....

Bit O Groby
Jan. 27, 2011, 12:58 PM
Posted earlier about "losing a guy" who didn't want the horses in the equation. I ALSO tried a relationship with a man who had horses. I thought "well, he can understand the time and commitment" -- after all -- I met him at a horse show.
So we get married. It was simply crazy, he started being jealous of the time I spent at the barn ( I was giving after-school lessons until 7 or 8 at night...) He wanted to "just do HIS horse thing".
I think couples who make it work - either because SO enjoys horses, or, more frequently, has plenty of his own time-consuming interests, are very fortunate.
That's just not worked out for me.

Mtn trails
Jan. 27, 2011, 02:17 PM
I guess I have it pretty lucky after reading some of your stories. DH also rides and has 2 horses but the only type of riding he enjoys is trail riding. That's not to say there's anything wrong with it and I enjoy it too (see user name) but it's not the be all end all of riding. We are also lucky enough to keep our horses at home so board is not an issue. I recently (within the last 5 years) got back into showing and eventing after not having evented for about 20 so that necessitates lessons and the ocassional show or event. We have separate bank accounts so I pay for all show fees and associated costs - breeches, boots, saddle, etc. etc. etc - myself. Yeah, it makes things a little tight at time because I still have regular household bills to pay so I pick and choose and maybe don't have the saddle of my dreams but I make it work.

All that being said, if DH wasn't a horsey guy and insisted I sell my horses and give up the lifestyle, I'd be out the door. It's unreasonable for him to give you this ultimatum and expect you to drop your passion to spend more time with him. What's he giving up? Hmmm thought so.

On the condescending remarks, forget the in-laws, it's the parents themselves. "Do you have a riding 'habit'"? "You must look so cute in it" I'm 51, I do not look 'cute'. :rolleyes:

Fairview Horse Center
Jan. 27, 2011, 06:30 PM
Interesting. This popped up on AOL today. Would you choose pets over a spouse? Only 25% of unmarried people would?

http://www.pawnation.com/2011/01/27/would-you-choose-your-pet-over-your-spouse/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl7%7Csec1_lnk1%7C197578

archieflies
Jan. 27, 2011, 09:07 PM
I worked late one time a few weeks ago and came home to find my non-horsey, engineer husband trying to put blankets on the horses. He was failing miserably, but he was trying. They'd even been fed. I've had to explain to him at least four times that I'm only going to an open schooling this weekend and not a real show, but he's planning on coming for a while anyway. He occasionally cuts off my head or the horses' legs in a photo, but he tries to get the timing right for jumping pictures. He's been on a horse twice in the almost-five years we've been married (one of those times was when I wasn't feeling well and he knew I wanted the mare exercised), but he did cry with me when I sold one once. He won't pet the dogs unless he's forced, but he'll go out of his way to pat my mare's neck... not the pony, though. His #1 goal in life is to make sure we keep Patty, the farm-sitter, happy at all times so we'll always be able to leave the horses (and dogs and cows) in capable hands if we go away.

In exchange, I don't spend as much on shows as I could, because I'd rather save some money for us to spend on things together, like vacations. I make sure dinner is cooked before I go out and ride. If he has something planned or just wants to hang out together, I know my horses can go without being ridden. And I'm willing to lease out the horses for a while when we have a family.

You don't have to end up with someone horsey, but you do have to end up with someone who cares, and you do have to make equal sacrifices to make it work.

BadEventer
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:50 PM
Wow, what a thread. Hearts, advice, finances, drama, controlling, advice, money, happiness, advice, clicker training, inlaws, personal stories, dump the guy, more advice, I love it! I was watching American Idol but this is WAY better!
(Personally, I believe life is urgent and you have no time to waste with this guy. Lose him.)

THIS!!!!

I wasted WAY too much of life trying to make BFs happy that didn't like the horses, or how much time I spent with them, or how much of MY money I spent on them. And for every single one of them our FIRST date was a tour of the barn (if not a trail ride) and a "THIS IS MY LIFE" speech. Along with - I will NOT change this part of my life - so don't try.

They all said OK. They all tried to change it - eventually.

Except the one I'm married to now! He's perfect and knows if he ever even thought "CHOOSE" he'd just pack up and leave without bothering to pick the fight!

TBrescue
Jan. 27, 2011, 11:28 PM
My thoughts may only be based on one relationship I witnessed of similar circumstances, but...

...Am I the only one who sees this as a control issue? Sounds to me like manipulation and a power play. "Surrender something you value highly to me".

Let's say you gave up horses completely. What would be next? ... "Your friends take up too much of your time. Quit seeing them." ... "I don't like your family. Don't spend time with them."

In other words, is this solely about horses and eventing, or is it an indicator of a bigger issue?

Food for thought?


Don't let him control you (as others have said).

I did that once and was dumb enough to marry the man...... Luckily, that marriage did not last. It is not that he does not want to go to events with you rather that he wants you to give it up completely!

My current husband does not care about my horse, but will drive the truck and trailer to shows for me and will take pictures/videos if I ask. he just does not care to hang around at the barn....:winkgrin:

When we first stated dating, he told me that he would never ask me to give up my horses, as they are part of what makes me the person I am.....:)

Dump this guy!!! He sounds dangerously controlling........:(


Anyone who asks you to entirely give up something that is important to you isn't worth it. That isn't a compromise....that is a controlling and selfish position.

They are not accepting who you are...

I've run into it a couple of times...guys that think they want a girlfriend who has an independent life (I have a time consuming career AND a horse habit---it is just plain easier on me to be single;))

What most of them REALLY want is someone who will do their own thing when they are busy...and then drop everything to be with them when they want you. (this can apply to girlfriends too I'm sure--I think of this as more of a human flaw not male or female)

That isn't a compromise. Spending some time together (which may mean a little less horse time or skipping an unimportant competition) ...and accepting that you will spend some time doing your own things is part of a healthy relationship. (of course all of this goes out the window when you have kids...and they suck up all your time and energy. )

You don't ask that person to TOTALLY give up something important to them...even if that thing isn't important to you (i.e. I may not have any interest in golf..but I wouldn't tell any SO who loved Golf to never play or never talk to me about it.)

I say he's trying to control you.

My soon to be ex did the same thing. I was a competitive sailboat racer when we met and after we got married he said he didn't want me gone every weekend from April- October and 4 weeks out of the year at races, so I quit racing. As part of the deal, I said I was going to start riding again.
Fast forward 2 years and he wanted me to quit riding and get rid if my horse. This time I got rid of him!!!

WW_Queen
Jan. 28, 2011, 12:09 AM
Well.. after reading everybody's comments....

Life sort of depends on how you look at it. It can be a competition or a journey. (Or a combination of things in between.)

The number one step is to establish what you want. Not what your parents want, not the things your friends perceive you to want, not what your partner or your babysitter or your kids want (aside from basic needs of course :D ).

What do *you* want. Not just today, but in five years. Sure, things will change but everyone needs to have a starting point. :)

No matter how much you plan... things will change. You will break bones, get pregnant, find the equine love of your live only to lose the human love of your life. *shrug* All of it is just details, unless it corresponds to your master plan.

rideonbestrong
Jan. 28, 2011, 02:36 PM
Well.. after reading everybody's comments....

Life sort of depends on how you look at it. It can be a competition or a journey. (Or a combination of things in between.)

The number one step is to establish what you want. Not what your parents want, not the things your friends perceive you to want, not what your partner or your babysitter or your kids want (aside from basic needs of course :D ).

What do *you* want. Not just today, but in five years. Sure, things will change but everyone needs to have a starting point. :)

No matter how much you plan... things will change. You will break bones, get pregnant, find the equine love of your live only to lose the human love of your life. *shrug* All of it is just details, unless it corresponds to your master plan.

Ah, yes. And women are apt to work towards pleasing those who set the rules...of course, the eventer is up to making their own choices.