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Boys and their toys - a woman annoyed?

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

I've had my toys all my life. I'm 58yo. It hasnt changed. Around 80 cars since 17yo and 8 motorcycles. Model aircraft, sculpturing and the like. But, every woman I've had a relationship with has had either resentment, jealousy or dislike for my toys.

A friend of mine has a project. To restore a 1939 car to new condition. He has nearly finished the project, that started before his wife of 4 years came on the scene. In their first year of living with each other she helped him store and categorise his spare parts (many). She dropped the odd hint that restoring a car "wasnt worth the effort". He explained to her that it was the journey, his passion and the end result that drove him towards his goal. She said "I'll let you have your car" ???

About 3 months ago she upped the topic. The car was 75% done but the body needed sanding back and painted then the chrome added. He toiled finding the time to take her for picnics, movies and the like so she wouldnt feel abandoned. The time needed to commit to his project was exhaustive. I arrived for a cuppa one day and she openly asked me if I was in her position if I'd like to be marired to a mans 'project'. clearly there was tension. I suggested if you cant beat them join them. The car would likely get finished much quicker if she helped him. Then they can enjoy drives on Sundays to the beach. She immediately rejected the notion "I couldnt stand working on that thing".

If ever there were two sides to a story this is one of them.

Yesterday my mate visited me. He was depressed. He said his wife brings up his car project every time they discuss money, the shortness of it. He said "if I had never married her I would never have struggled emotionally like this and would have been happy to have my passion, now I want to burn the car". And "it's as if my wife has this burning desire to own me which means me not having my dream...because my dream should be her and her alone".

Men can be in love with a woman and have his toys as well. Men having toys (the word "toys" is so demeaning) is therapeutic, enjoyable and what they are good at.

Treading the fine line with this between them, I asked his wife if she had a passion of any type. "No" was the answer. She works part time and has lots of time to have one. She said if he didnt have the car she'd have the money to have a passion. I asked what that passion would be and her answer was "I dont know". mmmm

Privately I dont think she is reasonable. Is she possessive?   Tony WK

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi Tony

Chipping in here (from another 'bloke's' perspective) but I say "Yes", she is being possessive.  Either that or unreasonable.

If your friend is taking time out to be a loving husband, taking her to the movies, shopping, etc and being, you know, the caring husband at home, helping with the home things as well, then surely he should be able to have some downtime of his own.   And that then happens to be working on his project.

Also, I would imagine that his project is living in their garage or somewhere in the near vicinity of their home?   Which would mean that he's not off galavanting down to the pub or out playing golf, etc etc ... so he's more or less at home, but just with his project tinkering away.

I found it interesting to hear her viewpoint that if they had money, she'd be able to have a passion.  I wonder how much money you need to have a passion?

A gym membership can be costly (up front) but then it's paid for the whole year - ok, just one example.

I'll stop now, cause I don't want to seem as though I'm 'bashing up on his wife', because I don't want it to sound like that.

ps:  I think the term is:   "Boys and their toys" - you know the old rhyming bit.  🙂




white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Neil, yeh, I can relate to your statement about "not at the pub". I think with both sexes sometimes one should be grateful with what they have got....or who they have got close by at home.


Tony WK

Oh good god, I am a female and I think its great that men have hobbies!! Its called "balance in life". It sounds like she totally relies on him for ALL of her company. She is short-sighted and needs to add more to her life.

I love my man, and his toys...much better than a lazy, tv watching partner who yes, could be engaging in less desirable activities. I have seen this in a lot of women. Its not exactly what they want, so they badger their mate and make them feel guilty. Sadly, lots of them do not see the destruction they are doing.

Community Member

Maybe I can offer another perspective from the wife of a husband who has his hobbies? My husband has had many passions over the years and I have never stood in the way of him enjoying them. I admit we have argued about them from time to time, mainly to do with money and time, because he literally cannot see it from any other point of view but his own and he can't see anything wrong with what he's doing.

There is a very fine line between a passion and an obsession and it's a line that someone like my husband cannot see. The way you've described your friend is exactly how I would describe my husband. Do we go out places? Yes. Does 90% of the conversation we have while out enjoying time together revolve around his 'hobby'? Yes. We never escape it. He's sitting there brainstorming with me about this idea or that idea, I am involved with the discussion. If I bring up a different topic it is met with half listening and zoning out to then go back to his topic or something to do with his topic in a round about way. I just give up on talking and try and enjoy the silence or read a book. He is All or Nothing with everything and that can come across as being disinterested in things other people have to offer and it's also why he struggles to keep friends as if they aren't on his wavelength and into his hobby they have nothing to talk about.

The difference is that while I wouldn't begrudge him his hobby and encourage him to finish, he can never see anything through to completion because he doubts his abilities and himself in general and loses interest about 75% of the way through. So that's what I end up getting frustrated at, the fact that we pour money into 'needed' projects to then have them all over the yard and house going nowhere. But there's always a new obsession around the corner, so I just hope it's one that is financially viable and maybe the one that he actually see's through to the end and can finally say he's happy with it.

So I don't blame your friend or his wife for how they feel, there is a middle ground and from my point of view I feel I've had to let go of what I would like and accept more of what he wants, for him to be happy. It's a fine line to walk to not end up resenting someone.

Hi Broken

Thankyou for your very detailed account.

I would be like your husband had I not changed at around 45yo (am 59) and decided that one of my own semi obsessions would be to accomplish my hobby with the least cost and getting the time and focus on that new interest into a better perspective.

Clearly your husband has not changed at all over the years and hasnt got the mandatory insight into his obsessions. That means he wont seek help and you are the sufferer. That likely downloads to you developing issues yourself, with depression and coping problems depending on your strength to withstand it.

I agree with the balance. Thats the secret.

Tony WK

Revisiting this thread

My wife hasn't got a hobby, a passion or anything to be obsessed about.

In a relationship, is it reasonable to ask someone that doesn't have a passion to find one?

I couldn't imagine the boredom without my tinkering..