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do i have to choose between my horse and my SO?

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  • Original Poster

    i'm very familiar with that 'spending time together' argument.
    and i try to respect his needs. so i'll get up at 5:30 a.m. to get to the barn before work, so that we have the evening together. but then i'll get lip in the evening when i'm dead tired by 10 p.m.
    and you know what, he has no basis for complaints anyway. this weekend i was home on friday night, saturday afternoon (we watched a movie and went to borders), sunday we threw a football around while kipper was grazing nearby, then we went to a park, monday went to borders again. all those days we had breakfast together (made pancakes on saturday a.m.).
    it's not me. it's him. the sad thing is that when i start to really miss him i look for faults with myself -maybe i could've done something different to make him satisfied. i realize this is so dysfunctional. but old habits are hard to rid off.
    btw, this thread made me realize that this is a serious problem encountered by many 'horse obssessed'. why? i wonder if avid bird watchers encounter that much hostility from their SO's?

    "It appears we are being transformed from an information
    society to an informant society." Rep. Dennis Kucinich
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


    • #22
      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

      my SO has been in recovery for 6 years.

      I'd be worried that he is in a place where his recovery is in jeapordy. My SO's drinking was somewhat under control when he was working. Since he has been out of work it has gotten steadly worse. The control issues, self esteem issues are all warning signs.
      \"given the choice of a majestic horse and a guy who\'s only part of a horse, I\'ll take the horse any day\"
      Budweiser commercial


      • #23
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by marta:
        seems that every time $ gets tight my SO starts throwing my horse expenses in my face.
        i don't understand his position. i am willing to take on extra jobs to support my 'horse habit', yet, that's unsatisfactory to him because it takes away from the time i could be spending with him.
        what does he expect me to do? get rid of the horse? that's totally out of the question! knowing what role horses play in my life, why would he get involved with me if he disapproves?
        he's laid off, i'm paying most of the bills and he tells me that he's getting screwed.
        i feel angry and hurt. i support my horse with my $. i pay my share of the bills. i don't see how i'm contributing to his financial distress.
        needed to vent.

        DITCH HIM NOW!

        It won't get any better. I HAD a boyfriend like that. HAD being the operative word in that sentence.

        It will suck for a while - and you will cry and cry and scream and throw things and cry - but as soon as you find that perfect someone who understands your passion of horses - life will be all better again. I PROMISE.

        Damn - I think I could write a book on this topic.


        • #24
          Marta, at least you can get him out of bed before 3 pm, and your SO will go places with you. Mine sleeps and watches TV, and whn he's watching tv the world could come to an end and he wouldn't notice. We rarely go anywhere and if i suggest going somewhere he says he'd rather stay home and relax (meaning watch tv). So all we do is work and sit on the couch (well, that's all he does. I work and then do housework).

          One day he said that when our financial situation is better he should get a sailboat instead of me getting a horse because I've already had two horses. Excuse me? I worked my @$$ off for those two horses and had them before I met him anyway.
          Just because I have a short attention span doesn\'t mean I


          • #25
            But my best friend is, and she recommends that all women in situations like yours RUN to the bookstore to pick up Contolling People by Patricia Evans. Here is a link to some information about the book:



            • #26
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by marta:
              if you'd ask him today, he wouldn't remember one damn thing i've done for him or for the house.

              Being underappreciated is the worst feeling in the world. There are more fish in the sea.


              • #27
                "his drinking is under control" when he's working????????? and he's in "recovery"??????? He's EITHER.....OR.....
                (being an alcoholic myself, I can speak to this....)
                His drinking issues, although they do effect you, are just that...HIS ISSUES! It sounds as though there is a lot more going on here...deflecting from himself onto you. Don't let him make HIS issues YOUR issues. He may feel out of control, e.i. job, actively drinking again, and by throwing horses in your face it makes you the "bad guy" too.
                IME, the drinking issue must be addressed as the #1 problem underlying all the rest of the bulls$%*. Idon't know it this helps, and it only MHO, but I'll be glad to offer any more insight on the alcoholism twist. Does he attend AA?

                ***My horse bucked off your honor student!***

                ~~ Founder: LOFL (lawn ornaments for life) clique~~


                • #28
                  Oh Marta.

                  I don't get out of bed before 10:00am (Hans gets the kids ready and off to school) so the thought that you'd get up at 5:30am so that you could spend time with an SO, who then continues to remind you that your efforts are worthless...

                  Ask yourself, 'would I be happier, in the long run, with him or without him?', 'am I willing to play emotional punching bag for an SO who's selfish and stubborn?'.

                  It's clear that you go to great lengths to make him happy - what does he do for you?


                  • #29
                    It's a fine line to walk between family and horses. Currently, I don't own a horse, but have a friend that let's me ride hers and in exchange I take care of them when she is out of town. I have tried to handle this, by keeping to a set schedule ( as much as possible - i.e. I am out at the barn only Tues and Thurs - unless they are out of town.) When they are out of town, I keep my riding( staying later at the barn) to a minimum - I might ride an extra day but not every night. This way he knows when we can have "our" time and when I have horse time. When it comes to shows and stuff, he can get a little impatient, but has been more supportive over the years. I feel bad this week bc I was out of town all last weekend, and then this week I am out at the horses 3 nights and a clinic all day Sat. But he hasn't grumbled too much yet.

                    With my SO a lot if it is trying to let him know a kind of consistant schedule, he feels more comfortable that way.


                    • #30
                      My take on this general issue may not at all apply to Marta - but I have some strong feelings on this. Of course since I'm single, I'm not speaking from experience and maybe that makes me somewhat unqualified....

                      I feel like many times when I hear these problems erupting between SO's, there are some patterns:

                      1) the relationship did not start with a heavy horse-habit. The [husband/bf] did not realize this time/expense when he got into it. The wife 'had a dream' and when the married life settled in, she pursued it.

                      2) The horseperson went from a manageable habit (one horse on her own dime) to multiple horses and/or a hardcore habit. I've seen this often - when you committ to a marriage, you committ to compromise - maybe you just *can't* afford to own many $$ horses and compete every weekend *AND* be a part of a family. You made that choice when you married.

                      3) The horseperson cannot/willnot compromise for special events, husband's weekend interests or "dates". Before this becomes an issue, set aside time to have a 'date', assigned weekends doing the SO's favorite pastime, etc.

                      I'm not sure that Marta is married - if you have not made a life-committed to this man - then I suggest considering the ramifications of marrying someone who does not see the importance of a horsehabit - its hard for outsiders to consider this expense "valuable". It isn't necessarily that he is a "big bad control freak" - maybe he just cannot see this hobby as a "lifestyle" - which is really what horsing is. Too bad for him - he isn't right for you.

                      Horses are part of 'who I am'. I have had them since I was born and will always be involved.

                      That said - it really bothers me when (not talking to anyone in particular!) people start whining about how they're married and their spouses don't like the time/money they spend for the horse.

                      I think having one horse, taking some lessons, boarding somewhere safe and affordable, and riding 3-5 times a week for a maximum of 2 hours away from home is reasonable for a spouse. If a spouse takes serious issue with this - sure I can appreciate that there is a marital problem.

                      However, often the people complaining own many horses, take many lessons, compete every weekend, and spend 3-6 hours a day away from home. If you get married - you are committing to devoting part of yourself and your life to another person - somtimes children too. That means sometimes sacrifices will have to be made - its part of life.

                      I have a friend who has been going through this - and despite her husband's concerns, she now owns something like 8 horses, travels every weekend and weighs her horse habit against the value of her husband and child regularly. It's a situation that really bothers me.

                      So - if horses are more imporant that BF's or families (I'm not being sarcastic - they are for me right now!) - than don't date, and don't get married - because you have to be prepared to sacrifice whether a little or a lot. Wait til you find that special person who can live with your lifestyle. It will be worth it and its the right thing to do for yourself and your future family.


                      "We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur." -- Vice President Al Gore, 9/22/97
                      Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish & the NervousNellieWorryWart* cliques!


                      • #31
                        Make your point and take a stand!
                        Park Ms Nice Guy at the door and get to the point.

                        (hey, does you barn need somebody to muck?!)

                        Loosing the job is a whammy, not fun at all, but there are things that are not acceptable at any time IMHO.

                        I am not one to give up on things easy, but with somehtings I cannot live.

                        Why is it that women always have to justify how they spend the money they earn?!

                        Make it clear how things are, and if he insists on behaving bratty and childish send him on his merry way.

                        Take care and be strong!


                        • #32
                          mcmIV, I do agree that there are many situations where what you have described is true. In my case, it is not. When I met my SO ( we used to work together) he saw pictures of my horse at my cubicle and said he used to ride as a teen, but no longer could because of his ankle. We were just friends for a couple of weeks before we started dating, and he went out to the barn with me, saw my checkbook, knew all the horse-related expenses. When we got married I half-leased my mare to a very competent rider so our expenses would be cut in half and I could spend time with him (this was before Mocha tore a suspensory and we found out about her fibroid). I donated her to a chapter of horses and the handicapped after that. I also cut down on showing. I'd love another horse, but I know that it's not realistic due to finances and lack of time, so all i have asked for is one or two lessons a week or an inexpensive partial lease, but that is always the first thing cut when we have to tighten up, but he refuses to brown-bag his lunch or cut down on drinking sodas. He spends about $15 a day in food and sodas. I've cut down on my only real expense again and again.
                          Just because I have a short attention span doesn\'t mean I


                          • #33
                            the relationship did not start with a heavy horse-habit. The [husband/bf] did not realize this time/expense when he got into it. The wife 'had a dream' and when the married life settled in, she pursued it.

                            Yep. That's exactly what happened when I met my husband. I'm lucky though in many ways, though it can be very difficult trying to show and spend time with my husband, but we do really work at spending time together doing things we both enjoy like traveling.

                            Beware, ladies -- spreaking from experience, if an SO didn't grow up around horses and horse shows, sometimes they can get really resentful of the time and money spent on the horse, especially if they grew up in a frugal household.

                            My poor husband thinks that no horse should cost over $2,000. Poor, poor, misguided man.....


                            • #34
                              I'm kinda surprised, Martha, that your three options listed all blame the horse person... It *always* takes 2. I love ya, girl, but I don't get where you are going with that one, unless your friend's experience has shifted your paradigm in that direction. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                              Marta, ditch him. Then only date guys who will jump at the chance of a first date trail ride. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

                              I guess I shouldn't have put the [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] there, because I'm mostly serious. That is exactly what I did and it worked perfectly. If they won't trail ride, that dawg won't hunt. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]


                              • #35
                                And now *I'm* on a rant because I can't believe what women put up with...

                                If they want together time, tell them to come riding. Why does "together" time always have to be what the almighty HE wants to do? Complete crap.

                                Don't let that develop in your next relationship. Nip it. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                                Please type up the Clairol (or whoever) slogan "Because I am worth it!" and place it on your fridge, in your car, everywhere. 'Cause baby, you are.


                                Get a little uppity, break out a can of chutzpah and live your life!

                                [This message was edited by Camstock on Nov. 12, 2002 at 02:08 PM.]


                                • #36
                                  Oh Marta,

                                  I am sorry you are going through this. Many, many of us have been where you are now.

                                  I think the advice you got from JReed was right on, and second Heidi's comments as well.

                                  You have done a lot of accommodating in this relationship - and it seems to me like you are not getting similar consideration in return. That is not a relationship of equals, and is very likely to get worse, not better.

                                  You have a right to expect that your decisions will be treated with respect. His continued complaints and requirements sound extremely unreasonable to me, and very controlling, especially since you are the one picking up the tab.

                                  If he is REALLY so anxious to spend more time with you, he could offer to come out to the barn and learn a bit about the horses, yes? Most people who love each other make at least a passing effort to understand each other's passions.

                                  Please consider doing LESS compromising, not more. The more you tolerate this kind of behavior, the worse it tends to get.

                                  For what it is worth, there are plenty of guys out there who are not threatened by their SO's other interests... just think of how nice it would be to have someone working *with* you rather than against you all the time.

                                  I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
                                  Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)
                                  \"It\'s a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.\" ---W. Somerset Maugham


                                  • #37
                                    Gambit, sorry you are confused [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                                    Marthas SO is in recovery, mine has just admited he is an alcoholic and has not even attempted to do anything about it. I just brought it up as a warning sign for Marth, when a guy looses his job (well when any one does) it's a big hit to the self esteem. Easy for a AA to fall off the wagon under thoses circumstances.

                                    I have made the decision to ditch my SO, we are not married but own a home to gether so it's just as complicated. I know that it will never get better for me even if he does get sober, he will not stop complaining about the time I spend with the horses.
                                    \"given the choice of a majestic horse and a guy who\'s only part of a horse, I\'ll take the horse any day\"
                                    Budweiser commercial


                                    • #38
                                      you wrote:
                                      it's not me. it's him. the sad thing is that when i start to really miss him i look for faults with myself -maybe i could've done something different to make him satisfied. i realize this is so dysfunctional. but old habits are hard to rid off.
                                      Speaking, unfortunately from experience, stop right there. With flame-suit on, and showing my 46 years of life on this earth, I was raised to believe that women are the negotiators, "the willows that bend". But that is a different kettle of fish than feeling "&lt;I&gt; could have done something different (implicit here being the idea because &lt;I&gt; wasn't smart enough, nice enough, patient enough, fill-in-the-blank-yourself enough, it is your fault for whatever).
                                      I still think women are the negotiators. In a relationship ideally, both should be "the willows that bend". But, key to this is total honesty with YOURSELF, and of course honesty with the SO. Listening between the lines of your writing, and I may be off base here (hence the flame suit), have you told yourself that your needs are legitimate and have you really understood and accepted that just knowing what you need to be happy is wonderful?! There are folks walking about who don't even know the answer to the question, "What makes me happy?" You want to aspire to being honest with yourself because you respect yourself enough to acknowledge you deserve to be happy and if the fates are kind, know peace. And then march forward, alone or with SO, and claim what is rightfully yours. Only YOU can make yourself happy.
                                      And no one has the right to ruin your day. With guilt or anxiety.
                                      And no offense or judgement directed at anyone.
                                      \"The world\'s greatest achievements often happen on the edge of chaos\"


                                      • #39
                                        If you need a flame suit, I need a nuclear attack shelter. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]


                                        • #40
                                          And if I can be of any help to either of you, please let me know...I am not embarrassed to talk about it (not proud, just honest) and don't have all the answers, but I can give you my perspective when possibly th SO can't. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
                                          redmare, I agree, unemployment is a big "trigger" to fall off the wagon...

                                          ***My horse bucked off your honor student!***

                                          ~~ Founder: LOFL (lawn ornaments for life) clique~~

                                          [This message was edited by gambit on Nov. 12, 2002 at 02:26 PM.]

                                          [This message was edited by gambit on Nov. 12, 2002 at 02:29 PM.]