General Dance Discussion > Wife dancing without spouse

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

  1. nondancer

    nondancer New Member

    I did a little lurking here and you seem like a sensible group so I registered so I could post a thread.
    I am a nondancer, don't want to learn, will most likely be bad anyway. My wife has been ballroom dancing for about a year now and she also would not want me to learn dancing. She now dances about five to six times a week and I believe she's pretty good at it.
    My problem is that all of this dancing is upsetting me so much that we are contemplating breaking up our forty years of marriage. We both love each other and have no other problems. I don't feel I am jealous and I trust her, so why is it upsetting me so.
    I have tried to analyze my thoughts and I think it has something to do with her dressing up and dancing with other men while I'm home waiting. Maybe it's because I feel like it's just not the right thing for a wife to do. If she would cut back to twice a week I think I would be okay but then she would probably be unhappy about it.
    Please help if you can as I do want to save our marriage. Thanks.
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    You think you aren't jealous and you think you trust her, but you obviously don't if the thought of her dressing up and dancing with other men upsets you so. If it's the thought of being home alone "waiting" for her, get out and do something! Go bowling. Play cards. Hell, go to a gentlemen's establishment.

    And see a counselor.
  3. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    You are jealous. The first step is to see if you're jealous of her dancing, or just the time away from you in general. If it's the second, either learn to dance with her, or ask her to dance less, but find something else you can do on those nights TOGETHER>

    If the issue is the dancing itself, then just her cutting back won't help you, and you need to deal with that jealousy itself.
  4. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Although you do, IMO, have the right to ask her to put you closer to the top of her priority list...which means 5 or 6 nights out dancing is (possibly...probably) too much.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    welcome to DF and thank you for your courage and honesty

    okay...IMO...the 5-6 night a week thing usually peters out...granted, it may take a few years...but it does...*********THIS IS A VERY COMMON SCENARIO**********

    secondly a breakdown over dance isn't about is about the relationship having become a bit stagnant...

    the way to fix that is to start doing things don't have to go ape over dance but if it is a passion of hers and you love her, you might consider trying to be at least servicable at dancing as a gift to her...if she isn't important enough to you for you to go through that amount of discomfort, you can hardly pout that she is disregarding you in a similar fashion...

    look, it is okay to feel threatened by her new passion, frankly you should see it as a wake-up call... however, clamping down on it wouldn't be the way to handle it...and tending to your own hobbies as joe suggests is only solving part of the problem b/c it isn't putting the two of you together...IF you won't take some interest in dancing, at least begin to take steps that the two of you have two nights a week set in stone to discover new things together or enjoy things you already know you enjoy....

    as for jealousy...she is passionate about dance and it makes her feel alive and beautiful...sure, she could end up crushing on someone there, but trust me, if you went to a dance studio you would see that there isn't a wealth of available intriguing men from which to choose...

    make time and effort for your lady and don't take no for an answer...but leave her dancing out of the picture other than to state that you want her company two nights a will wear the meantime join her dancing or don't, but leave it alone....

    fix the marriage, not the dancing...hug
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    NO NO NO:rolleyes:
    (joe, I swear...where's that baseball bat that I keep around for moments such as this?)
  7. nondancer

    nondancer New Member

    Thanks for all of your advice and I am taking them all to heart (it's almost morning and I haven't slept). Yes Joe, I do join my friends in the bars, from once a week I am now up to two to three times. I'm still refraining from going to the gentlemen establishments.
    Sorry but my wife does not want me as a dance partner and I am definitely okay with that.
    Is ballroom dancing like an addiction where it takes over your life i.e. clothes, shoes, cosmetic doctors, dvd's, no trips, etc? Hopefully I can cope with it.
    I am still not convinced it's my jealousy because wouldn't jealousy be more anger? I think what I feel is hurt. What I'd really like to do is not even think about it and not even care.
    Well. I appreciate all of your replies.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    A)that she doesn't want you as a partner right now, doesn't mean that won't change eventually...she is new herself and knows that it feels better to dance with someone better than herself...eventually she will get good enough that someone elses' struggles wont mess up her don't use that as a cop out...take some lessons without her with a female...
    B) alcohol is a depressant and bars are not good places for hurt men to be hanging around feeling sorry for themselves...
    C)not thinking about it and not caring will be the same as actively throwing away your marriage...doing nothing is a sign up for more of the same or worse....things don't change unless you do....
    D) jealousy can take all sorts of forms...depression, anger, passive aggressive punishment (pretending you don't care and making her prove she cares instead)
  9. Easy

    Easy Active Member

    I have to go teach 11 hours straight, but this thread intrigues me. When I get home, hopefully I can add something that'll help. For the moment, it seems she wants it as her a personal hobby. I had a student who was just the same way.
  10. nondancer

    nondancer New Member

    Just to let all of you know, I am using you all as our marriage counselor because she is hesitant to go to one. She does not know I am doing this but eventually I will show this thread to her. Don't worry you can knock me down, it's okay with me. Thanks for all the help.
  11. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    None of us are trying to nkock you down nondancer, and I hope it doesn't come across that way. Rreally are trying to give you good advice (though, as fasc said, ignore joe's advice about the gentlemans' club :) ). There are some very smart people here who can give great relationship advice, though I'm not on that list. But if you listen, you should be able to get some help here. It will only work if you take it to heart and try to make the changes, though.
  12. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    fasc gave you the best advice with this short statement. The fact you are posting on dance-forum shows that you are focusing on the wrong issue (not meaning to say you should not post here). Dancing is just a distraction. Try to see the whole picture.
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    The first thing that occurred to me when I read your post is that you feel hurt and left out of your wife's new passionate interest, and it's understandable. You have a long history together, and suddenly the status quo is disrupted.

    Partner dancing hits a lot of nerves, it's not just one or two things that make it so appealing when the bug hits. But one of the most addictive aspects of dancing involves just the physical movement of the body, how pleasureable it can be to spin, to move down a ballroom floor like's a form of play for adults, and makes you feel young again.

    My suggestion, whatever it's worth, is...since you have stated you are certain that your wife does not want you to enter this world of hers right to find a physical pasttime you can engage in as frequently as your wife does with hers. Go to the gym every night...explore different fitness classes to see what takes your fancy. There is so much available in the fitness world right now...spinning (a class where everybody rides stationary bicycles), yoga, all kinds of weight training. But get your body moving, and do it out at a facility where you are meeting new people and discovering new things about yourself, similar to your wife.

    Getting your mind off the hurt, getting your own body moving in new ways, and your own social circle expanding will enliven your life and give you something new to think & talk about with your wife. And perhaps some stagnancy will break away, and something surprising & new will emerge...perhaps even an invite from your wife into her dance world, or just a shared feeling that the two of you can be as kids again.

    I'm wishing you both all the best, and echo fasc's gratitude for being so candid here. :)
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    *shrug* I actually thought it was really good advice.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    While I agree with a lot of the advice here, I disagree with a lot, too. (Aside from the gentlemen's clubs...what's the big deal???)

    Finding something to amuse yourself while she's out is a good thing. I can speak from experience when I say that it absolutely does not help the situation to be sitting at home bored and feeling sorry for yourself.

    And, yes, you should work on the marriage and not place all the blame on the dancing.

    That said... Dealing with the situation by just forming a life of your own while she's out having a life of her own is not always healthy, either. At that point, you're basically living as roommates, presumably with "benefits." It does nothing to build your life together, and strengthen you marriage (although it might slow the deterioration of it).

    Likewise, if she's out dancing 5 or 6 nights a week, regardless of if you're sitting home, out at a bar, working out, or at a gentleman's club...I still say that's too much time. I'm sorry...I know that'll run me into a world of trouble with the people here, but I'm not backing down from it. Yeah, it'll probably taper off...probably. And how long will that take? And what state will the marriage be in by that point, assuming it has dropped off? That's too much of a risk, and not fair in the least. I think it's perfectly acceptable to say that you feel like you're not a priority in her life anymore. Which, IMO and IME, is real trouble. Be it reality that you're not a priority, or just your perception...neither is good. You have a right to be a priority in her life.

    Bring on the flaming replies, peeps! :)
  16. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    I can understand your feelings, Nondancer. If my wife or significant other was spending 5-6 nights per week away from me and she did not want me to even try the activity with her, I'd wonder what was going on.

    Having said that and also acknowledging that ballroom can become addictive (I'm hooked), most of the men, if not all, who dance do so to dance, not pick up married women.

    I am no psychologist, but I would look to fix the marriage as Fascination suggested. This sounds like a symptom, not the illness. And I'd look for something to occupy my time meanwhile. Only my opinion. Good luck!
  17. WorksForShoes

    WorksForShoes Member

    Actually, I agree with you, Peaches. Yes, DH and I spend 5-6 nights a week dancing, but it is an activity we do together. We also each have our priority list of most favorite to least favorite dance activities throughout the week, and therefore we each have our nominees to give up if work or personal life intervenes. Presumably, OP's wife has her favorite nights and least favorite nights -- I would recommend she articulate (as much for herself as for your piece of mind) what she likes about these nights, and which ones she would be willing to give a pass once in a while. Those nights should be spent together, cultivating an interest for both of you.

    I think your wife should also reconsider making room for you in dancing, even if neither one of you thinks it is a spectacular idea at this point. It would do you good to be immersed in the dance world a little bit, and, frankly, to make your presence known there. It would be good for her to be reminded that part of marriage is accommodating each other and accepting each other in your worlds. I have seen examples where the wife starts dancing to fulfill a lifelong curiosity when the husband is a confirmed "nondancer." By the time he starts to express an interest, she is reluctant to attend the beginners classes and generally work through "beginner's hell" with him when she feels she could be dancing with leaders at her level, and she shuts hubby out. This is terribly damaging, and it is something you may consider preventing. There's nothing in the world wrong with you taking an occasional dance lesson, and she can agree to the occasional golf game.
  18. nondancer

    nondancer New Member

    Wow, you guys are great. Looks like I'm not sleeping.
    Okay, I thought it through and I'm quite certain we have no other problems with our marriage, physical or mental. We have most of our meals together, we used to take a lot of trips together (don't dancers take breaks?) and we visit with our friends and relatives, everything else is good.
    So now it seems I just need to not let this dancing bother me but I also believe Peaches' last thread may have some depth.
    I felt that this was the right place to ask because if anything the advice would be more biased toward the dancer's side and again, that's okay with me. I just want to fix this thing even if it means terminating our marriage because I need to be happy also. Of course I would try living with it first.
    Thank you, I really appreciate all the replies.
  19. BM

    BM New Member

    I know that when I started out with social dancing, initially, the thrill of being in a social environment where friends and strangers interact so readily and so intimately (particularly with Western culture, where we associate dance/touch with sex, when in reality it's not as much the case) outweighed the prospect of doing something else that was "normal" (visiting family back home, hanging out with non-dancers, etcetera). I wanted to go out dancing at every given opportunity. Now I still love going out dancing, but it's also been a few years since I started. I've realised/remembered that dancing is NOT the only fun thing to do, and I've cut back from dancing socially every week to perhaps once or twice a month. I'm past the honeymoon phase. :)
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    it's all a process...

    there is something behind nondancer's wife craving that much engagement with her new hobby... sometimes it's not a "reasonable" thing, but a deep soulful craving that just needs to be fed, perhaps because it has been unfed for so long. and maybe it's the right thing for her to do, to honor that for the time being.

    ruts & stagnancy & lack of growth are common in long marriages... whether or not nondancer's wife maintains the same pace, if she's out there exploring & growing in her own way, i think it can only be a healthy thing for him to get up & out & physical. there's no guarantee as to the outcome, but their doing a bit of their own thing separate from each other for a bit of time may eventually enliven a feeling of coming back together with fresh perspectives and feelings... could be a wonderful thing.

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