Sunday, January 09, 2011

Poll: please respond by comments

Please write a comment and describe your relationship versus BJJ negotiations (if any.) For example: you're single but future relationships will have to accommodate your desired level of training as part of the deal, as Kitsune mentioned... or you're married and can train twice a week, or whatever. Feel free to comment anonymously if that makes you feel better. I would get more out of greater levels of detail or a historical perspective (like, first we agreed on this, then we tried that, now we're looking at this other thing, or one relationship ended over jits, now this one is experiencing issues).

Also I think there's a bug in Blogger right now-- don't freak if the blog tells you your comment is too large or whatever.  I am getting multiple multiple copies of your comments and people are emailing them to me, thinking the length is the problem, but they're coming through just fine, and I will approve them all (even the snarky ones that make me want to cry, wink.)

THANK YOU!

Edit: Pictures from this weekend. Harrison is now 3 lbs 3.5 oz; Ella is 2 lbs 9 oz. Yay!

Here's Ella (sorry it's so dark, obviously flash would disturb them..)


And here's Harrison.  We came during a quiet time for them, so the lighting is very subdued with just blue bulbs.

35 comments:

Zack said...

whitney is pretty supportive. If I wanted to move us across the world to diversify my training, she would be on board and excited. That said, I'm sure there is a limit but I don't push the envelope. If I am away for more than 3 evenings a week, she will mention that she's missed me and that is enough for me to realize I need to be more aware of my training/home balance. 3 classes and an open mat is my sweet spot anyway. When I do more, I find it more difficult to retain and apply everything.

maybe you can move south to be closer to the gym. It will save travel time and hubs can train with us.

Mark said...

First post! ;)

My prior GF didn't like the the time spent at BJJ nor did she like the extra time training at home etc...

At the time I was dating her, I had a fellow BJJ'r as a housemate. Which becomes quite a lethal mixture!

Here's a typical Saturday:
Morning - "Hey dude wanna do some tabata intervals before breakfast?", housemate, "Sure!", girlfriend, "Stay in bed and cuddle?"...

After morning intervals we would go about our day with our respective GF's. While at the mall she says,"Hey you wana blah buh blu haba bal blah burble..." Me, "What? I was just thinking about this awesome mount escape. Were you just speaking Portuguese? That's hot!"

1pm, meet at the official dojo for Saturday class. Girlfriend is probably in her car, road-raging back to her house. I didn't give her a key to my place yet, because the relationship was still a bit young. Although, she could still burn my house down from the outside.

5pm, eat dinner with GF, text received from housemate about training later that night. We both ask our respective GF's what the night's plans were. Mine said, "Cuddling!" His said something about fixing the two flat tires on her car before the coyotes eat her.

9pm, night training done. So I find GF, rolled up in the bed wondering WTF I was doing and why I was not rolling around with her instead...She's not interested in a very sweaty, nasty smelling bastard, babbling about a sweet inverted flying omoplata.
Roomate, is asking where the tire iron is...

The last call from GF(ever): "You spend too much time with BJJ and your housemate. I'm jealous, Goodbye!"
Me(to roommate), "Dude no dinner plans tonight! Wanna hit up GNC for some Ultimate Meal?"

In my scenario, she was 100% right. I did spend a ton of time training. It was like that before I met her, I explained it to her when we met, and she resolved to give it a go and see if she could "change" me. I've been doing martial arts for 30 years...not much will change unless she shatters my femur. At which point my pullup regimen would be insane! ;)

For me, the moral to my story is finding someone who is just as obsessive about the same things. Yet restrained/independent enough you both don't blow out a relationship fuse. Too much of a good thing and all of that philosophical BS.

Looking at how my parents seemed to operate, they both did martial arts together, to include practicing at home quite a bit as a family. Yet, my mom had her own arts and crafts room, and my dad had a gun/reloading room. They would spend their times in their respective rooms, then meetup in the rest of the house for family time. I never, ever once saw them argue over purchases or time spent. They just seemed to have found the perfect, happy balance between all interests/hobbies and their interpersonal life.
-Mark!

Anonymous said...

When my wife was not working and was home all the time, I had to stop attending night class. Then she found a job in retail and works mainly the night shift. Thank you Jesus! But yes, my 7-8x a week jits sessions were becoming a massive issue, and if it wasn't for the job there would have been more issues...because I won't quit for nobody. I am not about to become this sedentary home body. I do not love jits more than my wife, but I care about my health, if it wasn't jits it would be basketball, weightlifting at the gym, biking, running...etc.

Christopher said...

Ahh, familiar territory....

I'm married and started training just about a year ago. At the beginning, my wife didn't really understand why I went as often as I did, and why I was not terribly willing to be flexible about missing classes. That has been a not infrequent---though far from constant---source of tension. It requires a little give and take on both sides--she has come to see that I really am passionate about the art, and I have come to be a bit more accommodating about missing a class here and there. At one point, she told me that it seemed jiu jitsu had always taken precedence over plans with friends since I started training. Part of that is, I'm sure, the law school mentality, where you pretty much have a license to be selfish for a few years because if you're not you're going to fail miserably. Part of it is also that my wife and I have different brains; she doesn't understand how jiu jitsu can be fun and rewarding and enlightening, only that I kept saying that it is. This semester, she wants me to train only 3 or 4 days a week rather than 4 or 5, which might occur just out of necessity as school demands grow during the semester.

Also, my wife is big on figuring out how people's brains work (e.g., whether they assimilate information best when presented visually, aurally, or kinesthetically) and then presenting information in a way that the listener would be most likely to understand and internalize it. She knows that I am a very physically-minded person, and having a physical outlet is necessary for me to be able to function. That alleviates a lot of the "your jits is tearing us apart" stuff, because without it I would be a gaping asshole. One thing she read was about "5 languages of love" or something, which talks about the different ways in which people most like to express and receive appreciation and love. We're lucky in that neither of us requires a lot of quality time from the other to understand that we love each other. She likes gestures (like filling up the car with gas so she won't have to in the morning or doing the dishes) and I like hugs. A late-night-and-weekend marriage can work for us, but not for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm a professional with a 3 kid family. Luckily my gym has training sessions beginning at 7 and 8. This allows me to meet all my family duties as well as train 3-4 nights a week plus teach one intro class. Because of work or family there are weeks where I only get in 1-2 nights (the holidays). However, generally after one to two of those weeks, my wife will insist on getting my fix in ... she says it helps with my demeanor.

Anonymous said...

I took a lot of night classes until my wife got a boy friend then I switched to day classes and she dropped the boy friend so it's really important to make time for your s.o. otherwise they will either eat until they are really fat or cheat. Truth.

Andy said...

I'm single at the moment but have dated here and there in the past year since starting training at Relson Gracie Austin.

With each passing gf, I've become more and more attuned to how much I enjoy bjj while really noticing her personal level of fitness. In the most recent relationship, she scarcely did much to keep active, so it was just weird that we never could connect with me on that front. She was respectful of my time commitments with bjj, but who knows how much that would change for the worse if we got more serious (especially if she didn't "get" my passion for bjj and running).

So I guess I'm coming to feel that although a girl I'm interested in doesn't have to be into bjj specifically, she does have to have to be passionate about at least one major physical pastime (running, biking, hiking, hardcore yoga, etc) in a serious, long-term way. Otherwise, I feel like I don't know how we'd connect on that aspect life. Would we vacation to south america, and I'd run, bike, or hike while she does something else? Just can't see it.

So I just can't see a long term picture with a girl if I was trying to share an experience with training for a marathon or bjj stuff, and she has no way to understand or relate.

leslie said...

Single. No relationships over the course of training so far. Yes, future relationships will have to understand that I will continue to roll around with sweaty boys and will continue to train as much as possible.

(I guess, as a girl, I think about how a boyfriend would feel about me rolling around with other boys. So part of any negotiations for me would include no limitations on my training partners.)

One of my teammates' wife works retail until late each night, so he trains and then picks her up. But she has negotiated an official Date Night on her night off.

Josh Artigue said...

I can bring a couple of perspectives to this. My first martial art was taekwondo and a first wife was there. She accepted it because I was already a BB and was quite successful as a competitor and instructor.

When I started Judo I was back to square one and she resented it due to my drive and determination to learn Judo. I didn't balance mat time with family time and she got feed up with it. While other factors were attributed to us splitting up it was one of them.

Now the second wife comes in and I have a BB in Judo and again fairly successful as a competitor and instructor. I start learning BJJ and I am determined to not repeat the same mistake.

So just talk to each other and determine a good schedule for you and them.

More importantly make sure they understand how important training is to you. They should understand the benefit you gain from it and the desire to achieve and accomplish a goal.

Jaime said...

I'm married, work in an office of a major food company so my work hours are long (14 hour days plus work at home every night is common) and I'm in a band that practiced 4x a month and performed about 2x a month.

Because of my band and training there were 3 or 4 days a week where I didn't get home before 10PM.

I didn't think it was a big deal because I'm not going anywhere. My wife and I are going to die in each other's arms. What's the big deal?

But my wife thought differently. We had a LONG discussion about it. It came down to the fact that she didn't like not seeing me so many days in a row.

So, I adjusted my schedule. Now I only train BJJ on Tuesdays and Saturdays and practice with my band every other week. Gigs of course aren't scheduled as everything else so I adjust my schedule accordingly when they come up.

This has helped tremendously. We get to spend time together and I continue to train BJJ as I like.

Would I like to train more, sure, it's an addiction, but it's also a marathon not a sprint. So if it takes me a little longer to get my black belt so be it. It's not like I'm going to stop training once I get it.

Anonymous said...

I've been training BJJ for about five years and have been single for most of that time, which I currently an now. Being single has allowed me to train when I want, with whom I want and where ever I want.

Yes it can be a lonely life. I would like to be able to share my love of BJJ with my husband/boyfriend. Especially as my family has had trouble accepting my life style. And yes I believe BJJ is a way of life and not just a sport you train two to three times a week. It is a part of you whether you are at the academy or not.

Maybe this is a little selfish but getting my black belt is my goal. I have given up a lot, more than I have even mention to friends and family, to train BJJ.

SavageKitsune said...

There are some things that are so central to who you are as a person that you can't be expected to give them up and still be the person you are.

It's harder, though, when the relationship predates that other thing (or predates the level of
importance that that other thing has grown to take on). We all continue to grow and change and evolve. Hopefully, most of it is in a good way. But there is some expectation that the person you're with is going to be the same person s/he was when you first got together- and when that person changes (you're changing TOO, but that might not always be so obvious or disturbing to YOU), you're surprised, confused, disturbed, and there may be a sense of "Hey, this wasn't the deal!"

There does have to be some compromise. We have our priorities, and they have to be BALANCED to a degree that is bearable for all involved. Sacrifices are inevitable, SOMEWHERE. If you tackle the issue early, you get a say in deciding where and how- instead of having other people or circumstances decide it for you later on, because you've been off sailing on a River in Egypt until things got to a complete crisis point.

Once the resentment builds up and it turns into a power struggle thing, it gets ugly. It's no longer even *about* jits (or whatever the issue is).

Anonymous said...

I'm married with 4 kids. Self employed professional. I train 3 nights a week and take 3 of my kids to BJJ/Self defence class 1 night per week.
Currently my wife is happy with this situation (yes, this blog topic prompted me to ask her!). She has noticed that since starting to work for myself if I don't train I get stressed and basically painfull to be around. Apparently I have always been prone to get down on myself and unpleasant if I don't do any physical activity, even prior to BJJ training.
So, she is very supportive. She does however get annoyed if she schedules a dinner or something on a training night and I make disagreeable noises. Apparently I am being selfish! Still a bone of contention, I mean there are 3 other nights in the week where she could organise these...
So I suppose it is a bit of give and take. A work in progress so to speak, as I would like to train more but I understand that the family does miss me.
I did enjoy Marks response above where he goes out with his GF and she is talking and all he hears is blah, blah - thinking about BJJ. I do this a lot!

Ray

Anonymous said...

I had done martial arts for several years before meeting the gal who would eventually become my wife, so she knew up front how important training is to me, not just as a hobby but for personal health reasons.

Fortunately, I'm one of the lucky few who was able to convince her to train with me, and now we're actually able to use the sport as our "couples activity."

She actually wanted to train with me in my prior art (TKD), but I had already earned my black belt and there was a big experience difference. BJJ was nice in that we could both start out at roughly the same time, and learn and gain rank together. I think if I had been training for years already and was at a significantly higher rank, she would have had a harder time getting into it with me.

There's always some give and take in terms of my ability to engage in other hobbies, hang out with friends, work schedule, etc, but as far as BJJ is concerned it's part of life for both of us. Even on the occasional day when one of us is sick or has a conflict with the practice schedule, we encourage the other to go because we know it's important, and value the workouts (for both ourselves and each other).

Dolph said...

When my partner and I first moved in together, we agreed that we would set aside at least two evenings a week for each other. One is always Sunday evening (about to start after I finish this comment), and the other evening floats depending on our schedule.

My work also requires that I attend an evening meeting or event once or twice a week, as does his.

We make and print a weekly menu (including each meal and snack), and this menu includes the time each of us is scheduled to get home each night.

As a result, this means that I get to train 3-4 evenings a week and once or twice on the weekend (Saturday class or open mat Sunday).

This is enough training for me to feel that I'm making progress, and it allows us time for our relationship.

If I wanted to train more than this, however, I think we would need to renegotiate our agreement.

Also, I asked my partner to read this to confirm that it's not just from my perspective.

Kage said...

I train about 3 times a week sometimes 4, with a least 2 privates a month. I have a girlfriend and she's been pretty supportive about my bjj habit. Every 5-6 weeks i stay evenings with her. So she doesn't feel like I'm excluding her from my life. She is good with that.

combatsportsreviewblog said...

Oh, the relationship thingy. When I first started in Martial Arts, my BF was a black belt. He was also an engineer in research and development for the Siemens corp. He traveled all over the world and was always gone. When I mentioned training in martial arts he encouraged it whole heartedly. He knew it would be good for me and my sons. Like I said, he was gone most of the time, so the time together factor didn't exist.

Years later, I'm single and this guy was sniffing around. He liked the idea of having a GF with a "hard body" (his words). One day I sat down with a calendar and showed him how much time it took to get that "hard body" he wanted. Never saw him again. Which was cool with me. If he wasn't on board with the martial arts, IMO, he wasn't that into me.
Decades later, my children are grown and gone. I'm still training and still single. I like it that way though. I don't require a S.O. to justify my existance. And I can do what I want when I want. BUT, that's what is important to me. Other people want / need a S.O. in their life. It's about your individual priorities.
Future me may well sacrafice some training time, if the guy is worth it. It would be better if he were athletic, and understood my passion for martial arts. But future me doesn't exist yet.
Oh, BTW, I'm a cranky witch when I don't train. So, I would probably be easier to live with if I train.

Anonymous said...

I was always training various martial arts before I met my wife, so in a way, I do always have that "well honey I'm just doing what I've always been doing...it's part of who I am" argument. But she's a very hard worker and earns the money that pays for me to dilly dally around the country doing my BJJ so I tread carefully with that line.

I kind of monitor things myself and have voluntarily restricted my pure BJJ classes to two a week as from beginning this year. Before I would go training as and when the mood and practicalities dictated sometimes none, sometimes 5 or more a week. However this did not necessarily coincide with whether my wife thought that moment was a good time or not for me to go training so occasionally I would get a few words from her about this. Hence my voluntary timetable, with the caveat that I will regularly use weekends to go compete, seminars or do s&c. Oh and I make sure I do all my things to keep the house tidy and kids happy - which are my world of course.

Having said all that, the training part was never the problem. The real issue whenever there has been conflict is my obsession with all things online...writing, blogging, drawing, networking, whatever. It takes up time. So I restrict myself to 'working' my media stuff after midnight. I seem to survive on four hours sleep a night. But it is my only real 'me' time.

Megan said...

Single and future relationships must accommodate my training. I'd actually love to date a guy that also trained, but probably at another school. Not sure I want that much of myself tied up in one place.

Afrorican said...

I'm married with three children and deploy from time to time with the Army. I started training BJJ years after I was married so it has been a slow uphill battle working training into our lives. I try to take the kids with me to training giving my wife some personal time which works some of the time. It seems that she is fine with 3 days a week and a nice heads up if I plan to train on my off days from work (i.e holidays)

workplayobsession.blogspot.com

Tree Frog said...

I'm in a bit of a weird situation: I am in a long distance relationship and I moved back home to make grad school more affordable.

She lives in Chicago, but travels every few months to far off places. She will have been to or will travel to Eritrea, Kenya, Nepal and East Timor within the past year. I live in New York and due to school and work, I can't travel with her. So when she's in the States, we try to see each other once a month.

What's helped me considerably with the family and significant other is making my schedule physically available to them.

Tacked my class schedule + usual BJJ times up on a kitchen wall for the family to see and put my calendar online for my woman to see and use (she can put events on there). Having that upfront and constant reminder of "This is what I'm doing and when I'm doing" really helps.

It's still a battle between "You do it too much" and my own "I don't do this enough". Other than my brother, my family isn't involved in physical activities. My girlfriend isn't really either. They do not know the difference between "elite competition" level and "doing it for fun" level and what it takes to get good.

However, what's worked with them is presenting it as "developing expertise in something I love", rather than as a purely physical exercise/sport. I know my father in particular came around once he came to a tournament and videotaped things/took pictures etc. He saw what the good competitors looked like, rolled like and talked to them about their lives.

Having the ability to text and communicate in between classes or work makes things much smoother, as I'm in constant contact with my woman. Subject matter of texts are both serious and fun. I view both as necessary to keep the communication lively and meaningful.

I do plan on moving to the same city as my girlfriend, so there will likely be some friction in the future about spending physical time together. I feel pretty confident that she understands and with the already extant "I treat her like a princess for one day a week" arrangement, it'll work out fine.

When I was single, I did notice that I kinda missed my shot at a couple relationships (kept it as friends with benefits) because I would be rolling during the prime companionship times. Dropping by afterwards for some nookie only works for so long...

Su Ling said...

I've never had this problem with my Significant Other... I guess we're one of those rare and lucky ones in the sense that we're both equally as crazy about Jits (and it's not the case where I'm doing this for him because he introduced me to it). There are times where he can't make it to Jits for work so I'll attend the class solo or the fact that I'm pushing us to compete @ the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials during our Valentine's day holiday in Sydney (i know psycho!), my instructor greatly appreciates my enthusiasm for the sport :)

We both train anywhere from 5-6 times a week sometimes even more during competitions and we work out 2-3 times a week to help keep our conditioning up.

We spend a lot of time doing jits together so it probably doesn't feel like we're not spending time together at all.

I have to admit, there are times where we feel like we've BJJ ourselves out (esp after training for a competition) and our bodies are really tired so on what we feel are 'down times' for jits we may skip a class to stay @ home and rest together.

Shark Girl said...

I’m new to the whole jits thing. But exercise has always been an important part of my life and it takes up much of my time. Husband and I started our relationship by running together. We’ve run marathons and half marathons and most other distances as a couple. He could do it much faster but runs slowly so that our runs become time together.
Husband and I have 2 kids and jobs with demanding schedules. My available classes are M-W-S. I like to go to all of them or I feel I don’t learn anything. Husband just told me I can’t go this W or S, nor next W either. He has work commitments. So, the option is for me to find/pay for childcare and train or stay home. I’m disappointed, but for me work and family come first. I gave Husband a hard time about it, because I don’t want him to cavalierly take away my training. (Plus, there goes the money I paid for January mat time!) If he says it’s important than I trust him. He knows that if I don’t get in the requisite exercise, he is the one that will pay for it because, as others have said, me minus exercise equals banshee. To compensate, I will train extra hard in my basement “gym” (a rug, an elliptical, an old Reebok Step circa 1989 and some turquoise weights, Dynabands, and ankle weights).
Husband and I try to compensate when we have to take something away. For example, if he has an addition to his schedule that bumps some “me” time, he will try to give it back someplace else. Doesn’t always work. But what’s important is that we know each other has good intentions.
Time constraints are different for us now with children than they were without. Before kids I used to be the one stressing out about Husband’s schedule. He would fill up his “free” time with his band and extra professional stuff. Once the kids came the schedule got so much tighter and time more precious. We had to learn to compromise and coordinate. While it has been more challenging schedule-wise, I am happier with how we work together to help each other do the things we want to do, which include a lot of family time.
People change throughout their lives. Ten years ago I wasn’t training jiu jitsu. Ten years from now, who knows what I’ll be doing? If I’m the same person I am now, then, really, what a waste. The challenge in a relationship is to grow and change separately as well as together. People need their individual space plus they need to keep connected to their loved ones. This takes tolerance, compassion, understanding, compromise, and respect. Sometimes one person will get what they want and the other will not. Hopefully most of the time both will get what they want. I know in ten years I want to still be with Husband, no matter who I am by then.
Good luck, Georgette.

Shark Girl said...

I’m new to bjj thing. But exercise has always been an important part of my life and it takes up much of my time. Husband and I started our relationship by running together. We’ve run marathons, half marathons and most other distances as a couple. He could do it much faster but runs slowly so our runs become time together.

Husband and I have 2 kids and jobs with demanding schedules. My available classes are M-W-S. I like to go to all of them or I feel I don’t learn anything. Husband just told me I can’t go this W or S, nor next W either. He has work commitments. So, the option is for me to find/pay for childcare and train or stay home. I’m disappointed, but for me work and family come first. I gave Husband a hard time about it, because I don’t want him to cavalierly take away my training. (Plus, there goes the money I paid for Jan. mat time!) If he says it’s important then I trust him. He knows if I don’t get in the requisite exercise, he'll pay for it because, as others have said, me minus exercise equals banshee. To compensate, I will train extra hard in my basement “gym” (a rug, an elliptical, an old Reebok Step circa 1989 and some turquoise weights, Dynabands, and ankle weights).

We try to compensate when we have to take something away. For example, if he has an addition to his schedule that bumps “me” time, he will give it back someplace else. Doesn’t always work. But what’s important is that we know each other has good intentions.

Time constraints are different for us now with children than without. Before kids I was the one stressing out about Husband’s schedule. He filled up his “free” time with his band and extra professional stuff. Once the kids came the schedule got so much tighter and time more precious. We learned to compromise and coordinate. While it has been more challenging schedule-wise, I am happier with how we work together to help each other do the things we want to do, including a lot of family time.

People change throughout their lives. Ten years ago I wasn’t training jiu jitsu. Ten years from now, who knows what I’ll be doing? If I’m the same person I am now, then, really, what a waste. The challenge in a relationship is to grow and change separately as well as together. People need their individual space plus they need to keep connected to their loved ones. This takes tolerance, compassion, understanding, compromise, and respect. Sometimes one person will get what they want and the other will not. Hopefully most of the time both will get what they want. I know in ten years I want to still be with Husband, no matter who I am by then.

Good luck, Georgette.

Qatar said...

It's tough with wife and 4 kids.

Whenever there's an obstacle to training the wife gets happy ! I can tell by her face....

Jen said...

My husband and I try our best to train together 3 nights a week. Our 14-year old participates in the adult class, in addition to the kids class, if homework allows. My 7-year old trains in the kids class 3 X per week. Time and money are both limited resources so we chose to make BJJ a big part of our social/recreational life.

Frank said...

So I was living with my ex, a couple of years ago. We had actually met at a martial arts club, and she had taken some BJJ with me, but didn't love it and quit.

I started training at a serious academy that offered classes every night of the week and Saturday. I made a committment to myself to train as much as possible. So I was out of the house at least four weeknights a week.

Our relationships had other problems, money, stress, blah blah. Me being gone didn't help at all. I think if other things had been going well it might not have been an issue, but it definitely hurt us. We eventually broke up.

Now, in the very unlikely even that I ever meet a datable girl again, I would make it VERY clear what my training schedule is like. It would be ideal if I could date a girl that was into BJJ as much as I am, but that's not going to happen.

I sort of am in a casual, FWB relationship, and we have essentially set aside Tuesday and Sunday evenings as date night. If there's something special going on during the week I am willing to miss class.

Our relationships are important. In some ways BJJ can be a problem. I wasn't happy with my ex, so I just used the gym as an escape so I wouldn't have to deal with her. In retrospect I should have dumped her sooner, or make a serious effort to fix things. I don't think she was being totally unreasonable about being annoyed at how much I trained. I don't know.

Anonymous said...

9+ years of training. started single, then girlfriend who turned into wife. now, twin 4 year olds. family first, no if, ands, or buts about it! period. jits will always be there but will always always always be second to my wife and children. train 3-4x per week.

jordan

JCC-CSV said...

Two situations:
Past –
I dated a girl seriously, for about 2 years. When we first started I was really into learning to wrestle/brawl. I had a GREAT teacher and roll-mates and plenty of time during the day while I was an administrator. Near the beginning of our relationship, I was rolling 3 times a week (6-9 PM), powerlifting 6 times a week (6-8 AM) and sprinting Wednesday and Sunday. Not far into it, I had a hamstring injury and a (long-time-scheduled) vasectomy, which put me out several months. The itch gets to you, though. So I told her about getting back to rolling and she was not happy about it, due to the blood/bruising/injuries and the general “not fitting in” with her lifestyle/image at the time (neither she nor her support system found any value in fighting). For the sake of the relationship, I put it all aside. After all, I thought she was the one. After our break up, I’ve slowly been getting back into it in a new city. I wish I had never given it up.
Current –
I see that BJJ is a lifestyle, but I can’t quite commit myself to the entire immersion. My life needs a great deal of balance and juggling (which includes some intense life choices/directions) so I can’t, realistically, become a nut, although I find it very fun and I like to hurt people for sport. My lovers have had to be compartmentalized in my life. I am a selfish prick and okay with that. Though, I know as I move into a more serious relationship, I will give up some of my activities to cultivate that union.
In a marriage, though, I imagine there has to be even greater balance. Since I have never engaged in that kind of game, whether by choice, accident, dare, video (available at Vivid.com) or bondage scenario, I suppose my experience is not a great help. I’m not even sure why I’m posting this.

Anonymous said...

I've been training for 5-6 years and I now have the joy of having a partner who trains with me! My now husband was initially put off by me rolling in such close proximity to men. And frankly, he was a little uncomfortable with being in that same situation when he first started. But, once the BJJ bug got him he fell in love with the sport. We train 3-5 days per week depending on work and such. It has not always been this easy, though.
There have been instances (when I was training more often) that he would get a bit upset that I seemed more interested in BJJ than him. This is when we realized that we needed to set up US time and a BJJ schedule that would work for us. He got to have some input into when I trained and I think it helped a lot. I think honest evaluations of how much time your partner needs is something that any responsible partner should do. If you aren't willing to consider your partner's wishes then there is some selfishness there. And at the same time, if your partner demands you stop jiu jitsu and doesn't consider your feelings about the matter then there is an even bigger problem with the relationship. I think once my husband saw that I was willing to make some sacrifices and set US up as the priority he relaxed and we didn't argue about training again. I could probably go back to my old schedule and not have a problem.
I think we all need to remember that although BJJ is a lifestyle it is not our best friend, our confidant, the father/mother of our children, our biggest fan, the love of our life. It is something we love but it isn't going to hold our hands when we are on our deathbeds. If you want your cake and be able to eat it too then you are going to have to compromise.

Steve Spencer said...

I'm married, and have 4 kids. I started into Jiu Jitsu for something to do with my two older kids (at the time they were in their teens.)

My wife is supportive of me going 2 or 3 times per week. But I think that much of that is because one of my sons still goes with me, so it's something he's really into as well. If it were just me going I would guess that 1 or 2 times per week would more likely be her tolerance level.

slideyfoot said...

Wow: I sometimes forget how many readers your blog has, then a post like this brings everyone out of the woodwork. :)

Personally, I haven't had much in the way of conflict between BJJ and my girlfriend, but then I tend to only train twice a week anyway, which isn't hard to fit around other stuff. She has noted it is too expensive (back when I was paying £90 and then £100 a month at RGA HQ from 2006-2009), and she doesn't like it when I come back with niggling injuries, but that's about it.

Also, I wouldn't say I was anywhere near as into BJJ as a lot of other people whose blogs/forum posts I read. It isn't my life: if I hypothetically had to stop training or lose my girlfriend, I would stop training. I wouldn't be happy about it, but my relationship is more important to me than BJJ.

We also both like our independence, which helps. For example, on a recent trip we did to Berlin for our 10 year anniversary, we both wanted to do different things with the limited time we had on one day. So, I went to an art gallery, she went to check out another area of the city her friends had recommended. Similarly, if I go train BJJ, that means she has more time to do stuff she likes to do on her own (e.g., writing, painting etc).

Rena said...

My husband and I both train at the same school, and we have a young daughter. Consequently the majority of our BJJ arguments revolve around how we are both going to fit enough classes in each week, and still spend a lot of quality time with our little one. We try to both fit in 4-5 classes a week, but make sure to schedule plenty of family evenings where all three of us are together.

However I recently experienced being the significant other who doesn't train. I was forced to take a break 3 1/2 month break due to a shoulder injury, and my husband took advantage of the extra training time. I was happy that he was improving, and doing something we both loved, but it was hard having him gone so much, and expending so much energy in something I couldn't share. At times I wanted to ask him to spend more time at home with us. I'm back to training and we have more balance now, but I can easily see how this would strain a relationship.

juliajohansen said...

I posted this a bit earlier. I'm single, so right now, training 5-6 days a week is only irritating to my roommate, aka my cat.

If I started dating a guy I would negotiate 3x per week of BJJ INSTEAD of him time. Meaning, if he worked until 9pm every night, I could go to BJJ every night. I would expect the same from him, though.

juliajohansen said...

Actually, I did have a boyfriend who was VERY upset by the amount of hours I spent with my roleplaying group. We were together all Saturday every Saturday, from about 11am until around 2am.