Brasilikilt

Getting my wife to understand (long)

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I know that many of you have had to deal with similar situations before, I could really use some advice.

When my wife and I bought our house last year, one of the big selling points for me is that there is a nice 10X12 Tuff Shed in the backyard.
This shed would be for me to build my powder horns, clean guns, make knives and do wood/leather work.
It was very exciting for me to finally own my own shop......

The agreement was that my "Junk" would stay in the shed, and the house/garage would be clear of any clutter of the 18th century variety ;)

Okay, fair enough........

Fast forward several months when I had a whole bunch of stuff stolen out of my shed......
Strangely enough they left all the power tools, but took a bunch of handmade knives, a flintlock pistol I was building, powder horns with all my powder, my shooting bag, musket parts, gun flints etc etc........basically all my favorite stuff.....

One of the things I did was take a blacksmith class in order to have the equipment and instruction needed to hammer out some replacement knives.....

I have always liked blacksmithing, but didn't realize that I would love it (beyond making knives) as much as I do.

So began the quest to acquire the tools of the trade.....

Now that I have my anvil, post vise, the use of a friend's forge and even a MIG welder now.....it's obvious that my little wooden floored Tuff Shed is ill-suited to house the smithy.

I had a thought of dismantling the tuff shed and rebuilding it with a higher roof and a larger 12'X18' footprint (keeping the original wooden floor and having the "addition" be dirt floored), but this was met with fierce opposition from my wife.........Yes, it's a bit ambitious and could be expensive.

Now I would be happy to simply have an 8X12 roof attached to the side of the shed so that I may have protection from the rain, a dirt floor and plenty of ventilation for the coal forge.

She will have NONE of this.......Her reasoning is that a smithy is ugly and I will eventually turn the whole backyard into my personal junk pile. (there is some truth to this ;) )

Right now the anvil sits in the garage with the toolbox and blower, and the forge sits on the back patio with an assortment of scrap metal....yes it's cluttering up "off limits" areas.....

It makes more sense to ME to relocate the smithy under cover next to the shed where I won't have to move everything out of the garage each time I want to forge.....Plus the hammer scale, coal, ash/clinkers won't foul up the concrete patio.

I know that there are women who frequent this forum, and I would *really* appreciate a female's perspective.

I also figure that there are guys who have been in my shoes and have said the right things to get their wives to understand.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading through all this!! Any advice will prove to be quite valuable.

Take care

Iain

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Maybe it is the wrong wife for you:o. You know you have the right one when on the way to the house she stops and picks up scrap metal and when she gets home she is proud that she has found something you can use. Just Kidding. my first shop was a wing off the side of the shed with a brick floor. I put lattace up as walls and planted climbing plants and the scrap pile was cleaverly hidden behind the shed. The first wife did not have a clue but did not want me out in the shop at all. The new wife can't wait for me to go out to the shed.:D don't know if this will help but I found my zone:cool:

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Make something beautiful for her. Unless you already have and it didn't work. Then I'm all out of ideas.

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Wow, you ever think about counseling? Seriously. This will not get better without some sort of compromise. This is not just about you, this IS you. Marriage is about caring about each others needs, not about limiting each other. Married folk need to find ways to help each other fulfill themselves. Sorry, I can't imaging your situation.

My wife is very understanding of my shop, but she cuts me no slack about keeping things cleaned up. You gotta be able to tell her "this is what I need to have. What can I do to make it acceptable to you"?

I like the lattice and vines!

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One idea is let HER decorate the outside facing the house.

I lucked out when I met Deb, she raised pygmy goats and was worried I wouldn't like the idea. HAH! I like goats and built her barn early on, my shop came years later. The iron can stand storage better than living animals.

Anyway, we both have . . . different pursuits some might find offensive so we both had good reason to live and let live. It turned out better than that even, we both like and enjoy the other's "THING" (shut up Grant ;) ) so she's always looking out for tools, scrap, etc. I can use and I'm always on the lookout for things that she likes. Deb does NOT like looking at the shop and resource piles but she puts up with them.

Yeah, I'm a lucky guy alright.

Best of luck.

Frosty

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OK, Here goes. Can she see you work area from the kitchen sink? If so you need to put up a fence between your part of the yard and her part of the yard. My wife and I didn't see eye to eye on my sculpting/metalsmithing so I sectioned off a portion of the yard so see could NOT see any of my stuff and I made sure that I kept my end of the bargain. She never saw my mess unless she walked into my area of the yard. It takes time. You need to draw a plan of what you want. Show and tell always works better than tell alone. Put the plan where she can see it on a daily basis and then take her out to dinner to discuss it. That's a lot better than having her fix you dinner and talking about and then her having to wash the dishes too. Do you have children at home? If they are away from the nest try to get them on your side of the shop expansion. They can help to get her to come around, maybe. If she still says no then start filling the garage up until she decides that it is in her best interest to allow the shop expansion. You have been married to her for how long and still don't know how to get what you want? That's OK I haven't mine out either.:rolleyes:

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"Keeping the spouse happy" ought to be a sticky. They often have a totally different perspective. Often we get what we want by giving them what they want. Also many women don't like "old and greasy" (no offence, Frosty). Keep things clean and painted, looking like new. When I first started building the "Kickass" Hammers, I knew I had nailed it when I heard wives say "it's so cute".

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Since I have had to give up beating iron due to bad health I have taken up silver. Now the wife ain't none to happy about the forging going on in the house but she loves what she gets out of it, compliments. She loves it when other women ask her where she got that piece of jewelry, where can they get one, that must have been expensive, that makes he so happy. I get to do what I want and she gets something she wants and were are both happy. I get to keep on forging. Blacksmiths are notorious for solving problems so this should not be above you native cunning and intelligence.

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You have a difficult situation, no doubt. But you can get through it. Many of us have (and are). Have you asked her what specifically she doesn't like about it? I like Bentiron's idea about sectioning off part of the yard. Do you have the room? You could let her paint/decorate the part of the partition/wall that she sees from the house. That way she sees something "pretty" on her side and you see your stuff on your side. Sounds like a good compromise. After all, that's part of what makes a marriage work.

We all know that men and women are wired differently and often see things from opposing sides. When my wife and I talked about this one time, I came up with a saying that we use. I tell her it's "a pink and blue thing" . Neither side is wright or wrong, just different.

Good luck,

Mitch

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Compromise, or ride it out for a while.

She may come around, after you've made her and all her friends nice little trinkets. So far, everytime I make something new, the wife gets the first one, then she places her order for gifts for her friends. Roses, hearts and crosses seem to be the trinket of choice in these situations and almost surely will work to your advantage.

In return, I get better shop time priviledges and budget revisions to allow for whatever new toy, er, I mean tool I want and she even occasionally brings me iron to work with she may find here or there.

Keep your clutter/junk/stockpile out of sight, that will also work to your advantage. The only time the wife sees my stuff is if she wants to.

Guess I got a good woman for a wife.

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Get her to design what she wants your "area's" outside to look like---may require putting up a fence or planting a hedge or both on the inside it's *yours* she can have the rest of the yard on the outside.

When we bought my current house it was with the proviso that I got to put up a smithy and I chose the part of the lot that none of the using area of the house looks at... I also picked up an old "short bus" for free as I realized that my shop would be where all the gardening and yard tools would end up as well as our camping gear. The short bus is now my storage unit for all that stuff and is parked on the blank side too.

Of course I made sure I married a woman that had an obsessive hobby as well so she understands things like having to buy an anvil or powerhammer (and in return I understand why 6 spinning wheels may not be enough...

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What I did was marry a farm-girl. She actually stopped and picked up a length of 1/2 inch by 1.5" iron lying in the road for me!

People have made some good comments. I do couples counseling at the clinic that I work in. What I have found is that most marital/couples issues are due to inadequate communication between the partners. The important thing is to find out what she is concerned with, let her know your needs in return, and work out a solution that meets both your needs. It takes two people willing to make the effort to work towards successful solutions to make a marriage successfull. If an unmet need is a deal-breaker, then either that information is shared in a clear manner, or by being left unsaid it is allowed to destroy the relationship through resentment.

I guess the commute from Oregon to Pennsylvania for couples counseling would be a wee bit much. ;)

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lots of good advice...why have a house to live in if you cant live in it.
id go with communication, and start off with unpacking and restacking when in use and not in use, maybe a small partition/divider fence with a vine or colourbond and a rose garden or the like, then as the vine grows maybe so can your area. but keep it spotless to appease the minister for war and finace:)
if that fails then of course there's the 44 gallon drum:o

Edited by double_edge2

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I have to admit my wife is extremely supportive of my vocations and hobbies. She even helps skin deer if I need the help.
I would explain to the resistant wife that she can put her foot down in the house since that's her domain but the shop is the shop and is YOUR domain.

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I think he may have the wrong woman. I had a g/f in WV that wanted me to quit smithing and work at walmart for less money. So her drug crazed son stole most of my things. The new woman remarked last week that she was very proud to see me "working the crowd" and se loves to watch me make things. It is a much better match that I had with the control freak.

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In re-reading your original post I detect some ire in your use of quotes around your "junk". Maybe you should share this thread with her. There really are serious issues here that you guys need to get resolved, for the sake of your marriage. This kind of thing is poison. If she gets her way you will most likely harbor resentments that will come out in totally unrelated matters.

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I've been married twenty years. It's actually kinda simple.

1. She don't like the stuff you like to do. So, she is never going to be interested in any cost involved with any of those hobbies.

2. She don't like the mess that your stuff leaves around the place. Which goes back to point #1.

3. It's always easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.

If you drag this out and turn it into a fight, it will just kill and enjoyment and will turn your hobby into an issue. If you continue to do what you are doing now, it is simply going to turn your hobbie and the clutter into an issue. If you just build what you need when she aint home, and put all your stuff neatly away and get it out of her areas, you will see that "wow, it looks so much better" and bitch a little bit about the money you spent. A week from now, you will be doing what you want to be doing and she will have forgotten all about the "extra money" your hobby costed and be happy that the yard looks so much better. Plus, if you every happen to get good enough to make some stuff you can sell, she'll be even happier with the money.

It comes down to this. Your hobby, your house, the money and the areas belong to both of you. You can't take ownership of an area. And, "ONE" of you can't always be in control. Share and share alike. If she knits or something like that, don't bitch about her stuff either. Compromise. Either way, if you just do it ....... she'll forget about it long before we see one of your knew projects made in your new space posted on here ..... LOL.

The risk is up to you.

Mutt

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In re-reading your original post I detect some ire in your use of quotes around your "junk". Maybe you should share this thread with her. There really are serious issues here that you guys need to get resolved, for the sake of your marriage. This kind of thing is poison. If she gets her way you will most likely harbor resentments that will come out in totally unrelated matters.

Have you been watching Dr. Phil again?

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A lot of points have been made, but have you sat down, drawn up a landscape diagram and shop floor plan? After you do this, calculate your budget, then demonstrate that your plan will have adequate space for your tasks, and security to keep your things yours, and safe clean storage for an appropriate volume of purchased and recycled stock. Include a "vault" area in the garage, for your expensive works-in-progress, that allows for the proper number of parking spots. Buy a locking cabinet or build a thick plywood cabinet for that space AND BOLT IT DOWN! Remember that you may be storing a vast variety of different size pieces in it.

Discuss a monthly budget for operating costs, since this is a hobby. Discuss the costs of one time improvements, such as rebuilding the shed. Make sure that the plans include the best example pictures you can reasonably obtain. Don't leave out safety and fire control. Remember that "hobby costs" include all your hobbies, so if you buy that $$$ whatever thingamajiget for a different hobby, or a smithing class, you can't also spend on smithing materials. (ouch, I know)

My wife was having a fit about my efforts since its all "her" money as I am a stay at home dad. When we established budget rules and work space rules she became much more accepting. Round 2 might start if she doesn't have a garage parking space when the snow flies. I need to clean up the garage and do some unpacking to prevent this event.

If after having discussions about landscape, shop layout (she sounds only interested in "will it fit safely") hobby budget, construction budget, exterior design and shop camouflage she still is completely resistant to your efforts, maybe professional help is needed. Keep your plan modular to an extent as you may be forced to build in stages, and she may stew for a week (month) or so and come back suggesting you consult a professional landscaper or design contractor instead of a marriage counselor.

I hope you work it out. A marriage is also a terrible thing to waste. Usually wastes money, time, stress, sanity, and affects all your relationships as well.

Phil

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Hmmmm it is times like this that I think that maybe it's a good thing that I am a perpetual bachelor. Funny how this works out though. Some of my married friends think I have it so great, because I can do what I want, when I want. Yet I want what they have. Yes I can do whatever I want to, but it would e nice to have someone to share my life with. But, then again I will need to find a woman that can put up with the blacksmithing, cars, car parts, machinery, machine tool accessories, welding, leatherworking, woodcarving, wood working, ceramics, lapidary/rocks, photography, reloading, gunsmithing, shooting, hide tanning, auction finds, garage sale finds, and other hobby stuff. Looks like I will be single for a loooooooooong time.

COMMUNICATION is what your situation needs. Both of you will need to be open to some COMPROMISES. How old are you two, and how long have you been married? She will probably view the new house as her chance to show off her homemaking , and entertaining skills to her friends. On the other hand your guy friends probably won't care about the new towels in the bathroom, but will want to check out your man cave (shop) with all of the cool toys. Don't just roll over, and capitulate, as she may be testing you to see how far she can push you to get what she wants. A man has to have HIS space.

Right now she sees a dirty, smelly, and noisy endeavor on your part. Her perception may change once she hears good comments about your grimey hobby.

My Mom and Dad were married for 50 years, and had there share of disagreements, but they worked them out. Sometimes not to their satisfaction, but they worked them out. Give and take. It was a good thing that Mom hated housework, as there were always things going on at home. Model planes, woodcarving, knitting, crocheting, etc.. That is probably why I feel a bit uneasy in a spotless house, I also think how boring it might be living there. Neighbor kids used to come over to their place to build planes, because their mom's didn't want any wood chips in the house. In the end it was a good match, and through COMMUNICATION they were able to reach a COMPROMISE when things came up.

Maybe you need to find a friend, who is a perpetual bachelor, living on 2 AC who will let you smith at his place. ;)

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