Relationship Tension Resulting from Special Interest

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Sea Gull
Sea Gull

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Joined: 7 Jul 2015
Age: 45
Posts: 235
Location: Inverell, NSW, Australia

01 Aug 2015, 11:01 pm

I have a special interest in the design and building of vacuum tube audio signal amplifiers. Due to illness I have not been able to indulge this interest for about a year, but I feel that I am well enough to go back to it.

My wife believes that I become obsessed with this interest to the point of it overtaking my life. Understandably, she is reluctant for me to return to it as it impacts on time spent with the family.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to achieve balance and control the time I spend on amplifiers?


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Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 67
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,342

02 Aug 2015, 12:29 am

I'd recommend negotiating an agreement with your partner about how much time you will spend on your special interest and how much with your family.

Though you might find it difficult to stick to the bargain, if you're anything like me. Once I start on a special interest, it can take a sledgehammer to detach me from it. Indeed, if my partner were to physically drag me away from it (after I'd agreed to give her attention and failed to keep my promise), I would forgive her. It's useful to set a timer, though a simple one might not be good enough. Ideally, it should be a timer that gives an early warning or two as the scheduled end time approaches, otherwise it's often too much of a shock to the system and all I do is turn it off and carry on working, thinking for some silly reason that I'll soon be done - then of course I forget all about it. A "snooze" feature is also useful. Be prepared for it being harder than it looks. Special interests can be highly addictive, and the urge to continue with them in spite of our resolutions not to can easily overwhelm us. But I've found that once I've stopped and a bit of time has gone by, the thing starts to lose its grip on me.

It sounds like a great special interest, by the way. I used to love making circuits for multi-track tape recorders, but I'm sad to say I frequently abandoned my ex-wife and let her down terribly with broken promises. It's probably not surprising that the marriage didn't last. It was as bad as having a mistress.