"Lost" my wife. Still have trains. Win win. Share your own story.

jacobmarley Apr 11, 2014

  1. Dameon

    Dameon TrainBoard Member

    I knew from the get-go that when I ever got married, my wife did not need to share my hobbies but she had to be tolerant or accepting of them, not just put up with me "playing with his d@mn#d toys" as I had so often heard how my friend's wives talked of their hobbies. I knew that didn't work out in the long run. You don't need to share you partner's hobbies but you need to be respectful of them.

    My wife is onto horses and making jewelery, so what I spend on my trains and wargames forever pales by comparison to what we've already spent just on the land alone for her horses.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I sure understand the huge dent in finances a horse can make. Our household funds were precarious to start with, that's what has now ruined us financially, as well as what was left of the marriage. By comparison, model railroading is quite inexpensive.
  3. p51

    p51 TrainBoard Member

    A pal said it best, "Women always say they want you to be yourself, and they do, so they know what they'll have to change once you're married."
    Trains don't bug my wife, my interest in military history does. I do reenacting and collect WW2 US stuff. Many re-enacting friends had it happen, they'd get married, and they'd drop out of the hobby, then turn up divorced and back into the hobby years later.
    I was ready for what happened 6 months into the marriage. Mind you, I've bee in that hobby since I was 5 and was an Army officer in real life at the time. She sat me down one afternoon and said I needed to, "think about what was really important," in life, meaning her over anything she didn't like.
    I asked her what I was dressed like the second time she ever saw me (a Civil war union officer)
    And the third time (a WW2 paratrooper)
    And I asked what I did for a living (Platoon leader at the time)
    Then I asked what our first road trip was (us driving to the place I had bought a WW2 Jeep from, so I could drive it home after the purchase)
    Then I said I agreed that marriage was a lot of compromises, but if she wanted me to be someone not into that stuff, then she clearly had no idea who she married after all. I reached for a phone book and a phone.
    I didn't have to say a word, she knew what that meant.
    Inside, I was about to have a heart attack but I think on the outside, I was ice cold. Her expression backed that up. She clearly didn't expect that reaction AT ALL.
    We did sit down and have a real talk. She did have a point about me spending much of what little free time I had on hobbies. That point was fair, I thought.

    It wasn't easy and she's still ticked every now and then, but I'm getting ready to build a On30 layout in the back bedroom (where the rest of my collection is). Our marriage is pretty strong now but like all, it wasn't always like that.
    What would I have done if she'd grabbed the phone and started looking for lawyers? I'd miss her greatly today. I'm glad she didn't and I love her dearly, more so every day, I think.
    All that said, compromise is one thing. But I would never let any woman tell me I can't at all be who I am when what I am isn't hurting anyone or even really odd in any major way.
  4. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

    Just came up on our one year wedding anniversary. Got permission to go on a shopping spree at my train store. We dated 5 years before marriage. Never had a serious fight! I can owe that to the golden rule, communication. We never ever go to bed angry. She loves my hobby. She has one as well. She likes the fact that im here at home and doing something I enjoy but I have heard the many questions already posted that wives ask "is it done yet!?!" LOL

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  5. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    Those of you who live on the Atlantic Seaboard, or close to it, might remember a number of years back when the owner of [a certain large train/toy show that has shows in many locations in the East] sold it. The new owners did a poll, and, allegedly, there was a large number of people who favoured eliminating the toys and going to trains, only. The new owners implemented the policy. It did not last long.

    While this is not the case in mine, in more than a few households, She controls the purse strings. Daddy goes to the train show, sees something that he wants, calls home and tells Mommy that he is going to spend _______________ to buy_______________. The reply? "Forget about it, Honey, we can't afford it, now please come home. I want to go to the dress shoppe, the shoe store, the accessories boutique and then to Aunt Hettie's". The vendors, even those that sold only scale models, began to complain about lower sales. To be sure, some of the vendors bring that problem on themselves, as they have a high opinion on the value of yesterday's merchandise or even on used HOON-kay for which they want list price or its equivalent. Still, GF and I were hearing this complaint from even the better vendors.

    They put back the toys, and things got better. It seems that when the toys were there, Mommy, Daddy and kiddies all wanted to go, or at least did not mind. Mommy would see something that she liked, kiddies would get a little something and Daddy could have a choo-choo, as well. In addition, if Daddy were not spared the trips to the aforementioned places of horror, at least he was spared one, or more of those places. (For me, it would be a toss-up between Aunt Hettie's and the accessories boutique, if I had only one place that I could choose to avoid)

    Fortunately for me, I do not have to worry about dealing with GF over what I buy. She does, however like the dress shoppe, the shoe store and the accessories boutique. That last one is one place that I absolutely dread.
  6. p51

    p51 TrainBoard Member

    One thing I've noticed over the years (been married since 2000) is that if my wife is with me, I can usually get all kinds of stuff. It's when I order it and it just shows up on the doorstep or I come home from a show or a hobby shop trip, then she is not amused. But if I'm with her, especially since I've shared my plans for the On30 layout, she's actually said at hobby shops, "Well, if you're going to need eventually, you might as well get it now."
    It's not just trains, either. When I'm with her, I can usually get what I want, obviously within reason.
    She handles the finances and does so very well. We'll have the house paid off in less than half the normal time, made easier financially because she wasn't able to have children (though through no lack of effort on our parts, and two attempts at invitro. There's nothing worse than knowing you just threw away well into four figures on that with nothing to show for it). I knew marriage would be a matter of coming to terms with another person, and each molding into the other to a degree, in almost all things.
    God knows it wasn't an easy road at times (and she's still the most easily aggravated human I've ever encountered), but I think we're pretty happy now. It helped that we both had parents who had solid marriages and divorce wasn't on the table for either of us. I think some people throw in the towel too early as it's in the front of their minds more than others. Yet, some stick with it way longer than they should. It all depends...
    All that said, I do wish she had some manner of hobby. I sure have more interests than any one man should.
  7. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    Gentlemen, I've been reading this thread with interest, understanding, and sympathy in many cases. As a youth and young adult I had no concept of a spending cap. Thanks to my wife of 55 years, also a very conservative accountant, we now are enjoying a comfortable retirement, having lived at least 10% below what we could have afforded while we were working and raising our boys. My parents were very upset with the homes and neighborhoods in which we lived, but I was not. Believe me when I say our sons are both successful professionals of whom we are proud. They did not lack for education or the necessities of their youth, though they might have disagreed with that at the time.

    Did I get to do everything I wanted all the time...Hell No. But I was happy with everything we did as a family...Hell Yes !

    Like many of you have said, it's mutual respect first, then rational communication and compromise every day...and snuggle at night.
  8. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    "Oh great, I knew HE would respond to this thread."

    I would not say my marriage and subsequent divorce was public, but because of the situation, it sometimes felt public. My former wife was into trains. We even had our honeymoon in Galesburg IL during RR Days, became the first honeymoon couple at the then Railfan Bed & Breakfast run by Ron and Rita Hatch. I got my wife's brother into railfaning and N scale and spent many great days trackside with the former wife and brother in law. Both were even members on Trainboard. My former wife went everywhere with me, had her own T-Trak modules and together we built a large O scale layout. From the outside looking in, many fellow club members, Trainboard members, industry folks and railroad friends thought I had the perfect life.

    I will not say anything bad about my former wife, regardless of what has been said of me. Yes I have lost a lot of railroad friends for various reasons. Fortunately I am now comfortable with the fact that God forgivess when mankind will not. So what happened? I'm man enough to say I had plenty at fault in the relationship. She did some things that broke my trust and her family (other than her Brother) never really excepted me as family. We both grew a part, I was focused on work to the point that I lost focus on what I loved including trains, my Jeep and of course family time. Yes, I joke it was my former wife that took my beloved Jeep away but in reality it was work. True she HATED the Jeep and for whatever reason lusted after a minivan like a mid life 40 something lusts after a European Sports Car. But it was my job that I made change everything in my life. A mistake I will not make again. PERIOD. The reason we drifted a part was because we both lost our focus on what is real and persued what is temporary. We divorced almost ten years after we had married. After she moved out, I tried to make a go of it by offering that we both go to counseling, but she wanted no part of it by then. That was six years ago. Together, we lost the house, and a few items. Whatever I kept from the divorce was eventually sold to help suppliment my income and I slowly became a bitter, angry man.

    Flash forward to my present day situation. No, I do not live a new house in a subdivision. No I do not drive a loaded brand new Caravan, I'll keep my two 15 year old Jeeps thank you very much, and no I'm not married, just living in sin with a wonderful woman. My life is more simple now with the formula, God, Family, Trains. Work is work and other than being on the road, I do not devote as much time as I did when I was married. As much as I love trains, Ang isn't at all like my former wife. She certainly likes them a lot more than model airplanes because in this house, model airplanes pay the bills. She doesn't run out and buy trains or go to train shows with me except for Galesburg, she likes my friends. She NEVER questions me on how much I spend on my hobby, or why I bought what I bought. I have my check book, she has hers. Simple. She enjoys coming into my office and watching me work on something and just talking, or going for an impromptu railfan trip (she loves history). I treat he right, take her to fine dinner dates, weekend get aways, send flowers to her work place and buy her shiney things. I'm trying to invest in her as a person, not just with money but with time. Unlike wife one, she LOVES Jessica my Wrangler, but I don't spend more time with the Jeep than her, same with the trains. If I do have to be out of town for work or play for a few weekends in a row, I make sure to devote a weekend to us somewhere other than home.

    My priorities have changed, maybe I got older and wiser, guess a lot of you would question that. I miss some of my old friends in the industry, in my clubs and even here, but you can only feel bad and say sorry so many times. Again God forgives so that is all that really matters. I haven't spoken to my ex or her family save one relative in over five years. Just because your a Christian, doesn't mean you'll forgive. Yes there are times I miss "the old days" but after I got my life sorted out, stopped hateing God, life, society and addressed my own personal demons, I saw life in a fresh new way. God blessed me with Angela and her son and daughter. We have a great thing going, five years strong. For the traditionalist out there, yeah there will be more of a commitment other than paying my half of the bills, when the time is right.

    So what can we learn from my mish mash of random words? If you scrolled past, you've learned nothing. Priorities. I realize everyone on here has not had the same situation as me, it was your spouse that made the change and took off. To you, I say, welcome to a bold new and better world. God has something better for you. To people like me, Keep your girl happy. Spend time with her, listen to her, value her. Realize your hobby is not more important than relationships. Some of my best times with my hobby is when Ang comes in to talk with me while I work and answer her questions or just listen about her day at work. And above all, don't put a job above your family like I did. Your work can replace you so fast your desk chair hasn't even cooled off before the replacement is there doing your former work. Family is not as easily replaced.

    Don't sacrifice the perminant on the alter of temporary.
  9. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

    I'm 66 divorced twice and still have my trains many of the N scale when I started in '82. I live alone and very happily, dating women but never letting interfere with the qualities of my life. I am still very active in trains at my place, running, building, repairing, tuning everyday in my train work room and have 2 layouts in my living room. If any woman makes a stupid insensitive remark when seeing it she is automatically ejected from the premises.

    After what I have gone through, I appreciate everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Next to insects and pests, wives are the mortal enemy of your hobby. Here is why.

    First wife: During the divorce proceedings, everything was kept in the house where she lived. One day at work she called to tell me to "pick up my trains" and a little voice told me to get there asap. I found the trains stacked outdoors in the front yard. From that point the divorce turned into a major feud, that now it is 30 years later, we are finally talking.

    Second wife: Very amiable divorce, and she was very generous, even helping me with making shelves in my new place, helping moving my layouts and trains, and didn't include my large inventory in the property settlement. However, I had some projects in some old boxes in an upper shelf we both procrastinated moving, and one day they were all gone, Kato, Atlas, MicroTrains and all. Based on the majority of my trains she didn't account for, I forgave her when I went to get them.

    I have had some girlfriends, as women down here in So Fla are very plentiful, and you wouldn't believe the comments you get when they enter my living room and see them. Most of the remarks are indicators of future attitudes if the relationship went long term.

    In my overall opinion, anything that takes up time and interest, poses a direct competition to the nature of women. That doesn't stop the hunt, maybe there is one out there.

    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
  10. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

    Caught my wife playing with her train tonight.[​IMG]

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  11. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

    Very well said! I have been told by my sons Mom (I was never married to her), that I put work ahead of my son sometimes. I have also been told sometimes that I work too hard by my wife.

    With what you said, it makes me realize that life is more than work and play. Life is about FAMILY. If a man is happy at home, he is more than likely going to be happy at work as well. Which makes everyone happy.

    Now with that being said, when my wife and I were dating she asked me a question one time. She asked me what I wanted in a relationship? I said (in simple terms) that I wanted what each of my grandparents had. I want that long loving relationship. My Grandparents on my Dads side had almost 70 years of marriage before my Grandma passed from cancer. My Grandparents on my Moms side are still married 65 years now.

    As far as the statement about work goes. It is TOTALLY true that work can replace you before your desk chair has even cooled off. I got pulled into the office one day just short of 20yrs and was told it was my last day. Not one single write up on file with HR in almost 20 yrs. Long story short I breathed, bleed, and drank the company juice for almost 20 years for what? No appreciation and as a result I put my family in a bad position.

    I wont make that mistake twice!
  12. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    More of that happening everyday then people are even aware of. Had a friend who worked at a local branch of a national company. He got the exact same treatment you did...after working there 28 years !!!!
  13. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

    All of this is all too common these days. Big business sucks.

  14. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

    Pays to be union

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  15. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

    If they were today what they used to be. Yesterday Strong , Today Spineless. Found that out in my last year of employment in a case where I needed them. CWA local 7076
  16. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

    Once again that's hot...and what makes it hotter is the bottom box looks like a vacuum (lol)
  17. Kevin Anderson

    Kevin Anderson TrainBoard Member

    Yeah the boxes are vacuum boxes lol. Waiting for garbage day. She's hiding behind them.

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  18. craigolio1

    craigolio1 TrainBoard Member

    I love my trains, but I LOVE my wife and kids. She does not love my trains but she gets that I do. I do a pretty good job of putting them first so she doesn't often say anything about my time spent modelling. I don't get a lot of time to work on my models at home so when I do she usually says something like, "Oh good you're finally doing something." I guess that's her only complaint is that I keep buying trains. She often says,"Wouldn't you rather spend the money on this "layout" you keep dreaming of?" A very valid point but I don't have much time to model right what with work and my kids' activities. So that's how it goes. She also wishes I had just one hobby. I also run marathons/Ironman triathlon, and enjoy Home Theatre. I'm a bit of an ADHD kid so one day I'm head over heals about building a bridge, and the next looking at carbon fibre wheels for my bike. I know that's frustrating for her at times but she's awesome and supports me in whatever I'm into today.

  19. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

    Update: I had been growing increasingly frustrated with my HO layout stuffed in a 10x4 closet since I started construction on it 3 years ago. At the same time, my dad had been building an N Scale loop in a coffee table.

    She saw his little layout in progress and had suggested to me more than a few times that I should switch to N scale. After stewing over it a few months, I decided to go for it about 2 weeks ago. Don't have time or money to build a shed, so lets go smaller.

    We have been living on my income since our son was born. Hiring a babysitter would eat most of what she would make teaching, may as well stay home. Money has been tight but we are back in construction season with plenty of overtime and a 17% raise on the way this summer. My wife has been supportive of the scale change process, I think she will be more supportive of the hobby in the future when our finances improve.

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  20. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

    Money Money, always money. This IS an one of the more expensive of this sort of activity. I've become convinced that purely about economy in scale modeling the RW you can't beat scratch building of static ship models in wood. That is, one you've acquired a few tools, and if you still retain the physical attributes that fail with age.

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