Author Topic: Arguing with the wife over cars  (Read 8078 times)

ChairmanKaga

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Arguing with the wife over cars
« on: May 17, 2016, 10:42:48 AM »
About four years ago we sold my Fit and bought a one-year newer CRV. We were about to have a second baby and to be quite honest, two rear-facing car seats just won't work in the Fit if you're taller than about 5'1". It ended up costing us about $5,000 after selling the paid-for Fit. Paid in cash, moving on.

About a year later my wife's ancient Camry finally became too unreliable to count on, especially with two small kids in tow, and really too expensive to keep running. The thing would frequently not start, the AC would stop working for days at a time (and we live in Austin, so not really negotiable, sorry), the transmission would drop a gear from time to time, usually at interstate speed. We could have fixed it for about $8,000 or bought a used car, but I can't win an argument with her and we ended up with a VERY expensive and brand spanking new family truckster that has about three more seats than we need. Thankfully we had a decent down payment and will have it paid off next fall. But still.

So full disclosure, I hate the CRV. The seats are well known to be among the most uncomfortable ever fit into a modern production car. Seriously, there are entire message boards dedicated to the issue. I have two herniated discs, so I drive around with cheap-o lumbar support rolls velcroed to the seatback. It also gets crummy fuel economy - about 21 MPG average. It's slow, needlessly big, and weirdly expensive to insure. But it's paid for and relativey reliable. And hating it means I don't want to drive it very much. Score one point, I guess.

But I also have an old project car that's been in my possession since before we were married. It's not worth a lot, but it's exceedingly cool and I don't drive it much - I mostly just wrench on it and curse at it. And I don't spend a lot of money on it, even with collector's insurance (I often tell her if I played golf or even fantasy football we'd be spending four times as much on my hobby), and when I do want to go out for a soul-cleansing drive through the hill country, that's the machine to do it. Assuming it's running at that moment.

She REALLY wants me to sell both cars and get something new. I don't see the point. The Honda doesn't even have 60k miles on it (I drive less than 10k a year, even commuting every day). She just REALLY hates my project car, I'd say to an irrational degree, and thinks I could get a new car that would be fun AND a daily driver. But it seems owing $400-600 a month for three or four years for something that I use two hours a day is just dumb dumb dumb. ESPECIALLY in 12 MPH average gridlock where  Yugo is functionally different from a Ferrari. I personally don't think ANYONE has any business spending more than $10,000 on a car, which is another discussion/argument I suppose.

I won't say this is an argument that tearing our marriage apart or even causing much friction, it's just one of those circular arguments that's never resolved and usually just ends up with her resenting me or thinking I'm just being obstinate for wanting to keep the troublesome pile of junk that I love and a crappy car that I loathe, instead of having a nice, new car $30,000 car that I enjoy driving.

Thoughts? Am I being an irrational, obstinate, and selfish jerk? Is there middle ground? And how do I win this argument with someone who is otherwise incredibly financially savvy.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3947
  • Age: 28
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 11:01:19 AM »
I'd say your middle ground is to sell the CRV (especially if it's aggravating your back issues; that's not worth it) and replace it with something similar in age/value but that you actually like and is still practical and nonstupid.  Hold onto the project car or don't, but I'd think of that as a separate topic entirely.

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 11:05:48 AM »
I don't have any words of advice for you, other than good luck. Women people who don't understand cars don't understand that it is something we love and something that really doesn't cost much money. I had a Miata as my only car for a long time, and my Mother in law hated it that her daughter was (at that time) dating someone who drove a sports car. When I got a utility trailer for it ($400 for trailer, hitch, registration, and a drill to install it) she asked why I didn't just get a bigger car--I told her because I didn't need a bigger car, I have the trailer. Perfect logic, but god forbid MIL try to understand that. MIL was mad and thought I was using her (wife) for her car--a Toyota Corolla worth $3,000 that I hated. We would have driven everywhere in the Miata if my girlfirend/fiance liked to ride in it, but she didn't (long legs).

It created stress in our relationship. My girlfriend/fiance had to defend me to her mom, I was unwavering, her mom would start to sway her, I'd get pissed... it went on and on and on. I finally "lost" that battle when we moved into the city and I sold the car. It amazed me though, in the time that I owned that car it depreciated less than my wife's Corolla (despite more miles), got similar gas mileage, cost less in insurance after normalizing for male/female differences, was just as reliable... but it was an impractical sports car. We spent more eating out over those 4 years that I owned it than I did on the car.

As soon as I move to the suburbs, I'm getting either a Miata or an Audi TT. If they don't like it I'll give them a quarter to call someone who cares. I'll get a beater too--probably a pickup--but I'm definitely getting a sports car again.

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3369
  • Location: New York
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 11:20:41 AM »
It's not about the money. There are lots of anecdotes about husbands being forced to sell their cool cars to satisfy their wives, and it's because one of two things is happening:
1. She is equating "new car" with "safe for the kids" (or "old car" with deathtrap, same thing)
2. She resents that you spend more time with the car than you do with her or the kids.

This is a conversation based on fear and resentment, so the path through is to sit down and acknowledge her feelings. Share with her that your project car is important to you and your identity. Neither of you are being unreasonable, but you have different goals and objectives. Acknowledge that and you should be able to find some compromise.

neo von retorch

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3340
  • Location: SE PA
    • Fi@retorch - personal finance tracking
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 11:30:54 AM »
This made me think about how I sold a CX-5 for an older Fit that I ended up loving a lot less than I expected (I owned a new 2007 Fit for four years and loved it), and how I own a 2006 350Z that I bought six weeks before my wedding. As Axecleaver has said, it isn't about cars. My wife is probably more frugal than I am, but when I said I've wanted the Z for a long time, and this particular deal was really good, she didn't say "that's a bad idea." She said "Go for it!" And she drove 2 hours both ways to take me to get it. If I hadn't already promised to marry her, I'd have done it then ;) Anyway, her mother said to me last week "why not sell both and get ONE GOOD CAR?" Hey now, the Z is great. I just keep the miles low, and continue to curse the Fit. I replaced the ignition coils, which got rid of hiccups and I replaced the spark plugs, which didn't seem to do anything, so it still starts slowly and drives with less zest than the previous Fit I had. So I curse it, but... it also has lost a lot of residual value, so to sell it would be a poor financial choice over driving it another 100,000 miles. Hmph.

Now, I don't have any answers or questions or advice for you, but I like to commiserate, even if that's not exactly what I'm doing here.

ChairmanKaga

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 11:31:14 AM »
mtn, dude... my situation exactly. My MIL is apoplectic over my Alfa and that just feeds my wife's negative feelings toward it. And I admit, when I go out on a Saturday and see oil seeping from possibly the rear main seal and ponder yanking the engine yet again to replace a $5.00 piece of rubber that just so happens to keep the engine from seizing, I do cuss and swear that I'm finally selling the dang thing. And she's happy. Then I eventually fix it and drive it and change my mind.

I WOULD sell the project for something more reliable but equally fun, and hopefully pocket some equity in the process. An NA Miata can be had for $4,000. Mine would go, with some effort, for about $6,000.

To respond to Axecleaver. Time is an issue, really. Two small kids, and I have to decide if I spend my weekend under a rust bucket or teaching my oldest to ride a bike and have a dance party with my youngest and still having some quality time with just the wife. Let's just say the car usually goes untouched for WEEKS. Sometimes longer. But it's sort of who I am, as silly as it sounds. I don't have much social life these days, but the "bonfire" aspect of owning this car, both with the other neighborhood gearheads and also online, sort of fills that need.

Anyway, to ketchup's comment, I did try last year to basically swap the Honda for something of relatively equal value. I brought home all sorts of used cars, from a 2008 Acura TL to a 2004 Lexus IS300 to a 2008 Mazda3i to a 2010 Civic EX. All had their merits, and of course problems, but the real issue, I think at least, is that my wife grew up in a home where every 5 or 6 years the family would drive to the Toyota dealer, trade in their Cressida or Camry or Previa or Avalon, whip out the checkbook, and go home in a brand new car. She doesn't trust used cars. She doesn't think they're a smart investment. And to her credit, she keeps cars for about 16 years. This is only her third car ever. She drives the wheels off of them. So anyway, that plan landed with a thud when I just could not get her comfortable with any of the options presented.

I think I'm just coming around to realize I hate commuting and just cannot accept spending money on a replacement car when the one we have now is relatively new, generally safe (airbag recall is done), low mileage, and reliable. I've even been trying to just keep my complaints about the ergonomics, fuel economy, or general insipidness of the stupid thing to myself. I used to gripe about it all the time and I know it upset her, because she's the one who decided we needed it. Safety and space being the driving criteria. So why is it such an issue that I just keep the thing for another 10-12 years? I'm 41 now, I'll hopefully be close to retirement by then or working from home with my own business (personal dream), with no more kids at home, and can just coast. Hopefully by then we'll be living in a place with actual public transportation options.

Marriage is hard, and it's the litle things that you'd NEVER suspect as a single person that makes it so.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6644
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 11:36:36 AM »
Alfa's are cute!!  I'd keep it.

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 11:45:37 AM »
I did try last year to basically swap the Honda for something of relatively equal value. I brought home all sorts of used cars, from a 2008 Acura TL to a 2004 Lexus IS300
SNIP>>
Marriage is hard, and it's the litle things that you'd NEVER suspect as a single person that makes it so.

Dude.. you didn't swap the CRV for an IS300?  I sold my wife's IS300 a couple of years ago and that's the only car she occasionally mentions missing.  Of course, she totaled pretty much all the others...   :-D

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 11:52:43 AM »
Thoughts? Am I being an irrational, obstinate, and selfish jerk? Is there middle ground?And how do I win this argument with someone who is otherwise incredibly financially savvy.

So, borrowing from a parenting class I took (which I think is just basically really respectful communication and mutual meeting of needs):

It sounds like selling both the CRV and your hobby car is her solution...  But we don't know what the problem is, what need of hers isn't being met, or what need of her is being infringed upon by your family's possession of these two cars.

It sounds like your needs are to have a vehicle that is under 10K that works for your family and is comfortable for you given your back issues.  One of your needs is also to have... a cool possession and soul cleansing drives through the country?  (Not judging here, we all value different things, just pointing out that keeping the hobby car is your solution to some need you have...)  IDK, think about what need of yours the hobby car fills.

Once you can each get away from your own potentially tunnel-visioned solutions, and focus on needs, you might be able to come up with a solution that meets everyone's needs.  And if everyone's needs are met, everyone wins.  It's not even a compromise, it's a win-win!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 11:55:13 AM by catccc »

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 12:12:27 PM »
For more funny similarities, my wife's family always buys off-lease Toyotas. When I met them, they had a Camry Solara, Lexus Camry, 4Runner, and Corolla (wife's). Now, they have a different 4Runner, the Solara is parked (more money than its worth to keep it going), the Lexus Camry, and a Lexus RX. The Corolla was totaled and now my wife and I share a 2006 TSX. If the IS250 had headroom, we'd be in one of those. Best car I've ever driven.

But let me propose a solution:
What is it that you're getting out of the car (Alfa) and what do you need in your DD? Can you combine them? I'm guessing the downfall of this is car seats, but play with me for a minute: if you're ever taking BOTH kids, you can take your wife's car. If just one, that would mean that you're the only one in the front seat which opens you up to a whole new array of possibilities in the backseat with the car seat. I'm thinking something along the lines of the following: 
-E36/46/90 convertible
-RX8 
-BRZ/FRS
-Mustang
-C70 convertible
-Camaro
-G37 convertible
-IS250 convertible
-Mini Convertible

With the exception of the Mini, I  have sat in the back seat of all of these as an adult and fit. Might not have been comfortable, but I fit at least. They're all fun too, in their own way.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2941
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2016, 01:29:35 PM »
Time is an issue, really. Two small kids, and I have to decide if I spend my weekend under a rust bucket or teaching my oldest to ride a bike and have a dance party with my youngest and still having some quality time with just the wife.

. . .

I've even been trying to just keep my complaints about the ergonomics, fuel economy, or general insipidness of the stupid thing to myself. I used to gripe about it all the time and I know it upset her, because she's the one who decided we needed it.

Dude, it's not about the car. Nothing in this circular argument is about the car. The cars are just proxies.

Here's what's really happening:

Your wife loves you. She doesn't like seeing you in pain. She wants to remove the roadblocks from your life so you can be happy. She wants to spend time with you and the darling little people you guys created. When she can't fix your problems or spend time with you, she gets frustrated and vents to her mom. MIL then gets frustrated that her own darling daughter is unhappy and tells you to fix her daughter's problem. See, nothing in there about cars at all.

To solve all your problems once and for all, you have two choices:

1. Never, ever complain about either of your cars ever again. In fact, to undo the damage from your past complaints, speak enthusiastically about how much you love both of them.

2. Sell the car you hate, that hurts your back and makes your wife unhappy (because you're unhappy) and get something you won't complain about.

I get it, I really do. I'm also driving a car I hate, even though it's only kinda, sorta a stupid bucket of bolts. I complained about it too much and DH came up with a plan to replace it with a really nice luxury car. I scaled back on the complaints, but I also see his point. He doesn't care what car I drive, he just wants me to be happy. Selfishly, he also hates listening to me complain about a problem I refuse to fix.

We're going to test drive shiny new cars this weekend.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2016, 02:03:46 PM »
Now I don't care about cars more than as tools, but isn't the best solution to sell both cars and get a decent, newer used car? You don't need to spend $30k, that's not the only option. Sounds like the cash from both of yours could pay for most of the cost of something used. Your wife has a large one so something smaller (our family setup)? A Fit, corolla, civic, Scion etc? If she's not comfortable with it she has her car and you drive this one, so shouldn't that be ok? My wife and I have "our" car, we switch up every now and then, but generally we stick to one. Less hassle adjusting etc. So she don't care that much what I drive.

And maybe get a different hobby than changing o-rings..? But that's just me.

tobitonic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 03:29:31 PM »
Time is an issue, really. Two small kids, and I have to decide if I spend my weekend under a rust bucket or teaching my oldest to ride a bike and have a dance party with my youngest and still having some quality time with just the wife.

. . .

I've even been trying to just keep my complaints about the ergonomics, fuel economy, or general insipidness of the stupid thing to myself. I used to gripe about it all the time and I know it upset her, because she's the one who decided we needed it.

Dude, it's not about the car. Nothing in this circular argument is about the car. The cars are just proxies.

Here's what's really happening:

Your wife loves you. She doesn't like seeing you in pain. She wants to remove the roadblocks from your life so you can be happy. She wants to spend time with you and the darling little people you guys created. When she can't fix your problems or spend time with you, she gets frustrated and vents to her mom. MIL then gets frustrated that her own darling daughter is unhappy and tells you to fix her daughter's problem. See, nothing in there about cars at all.

To solve all your problems once and for all, you have two choices:

1. Never, ever complain about either of your cars ever again. In fact, to undo the damage from your past complaints, speak enthusiastically about how much you love both of them.

2. Sell the car you hate, that hurts your back and makes your wife unhappy (because you're unhappy) and get something you won't complain about.

I get it, I really do. I'm also driving a car I hate, even though it's only kinda, sorta a stupid bucket of bolts. I complained about it too much and DH came up with a plan to replace it with a really nice luxury car. I scaled back on the complaints, but I also see his point. He doesn't care what car I drive, he just wants me to be happy. Selfishly, he also hates listening to me complain about a problem I refuse to fix.

We're going to test drive shiny new cars this weekend.

Post of the thread.

Gibbelstein

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2016, 04:52:03 PM »
Quote
Two small kids, and I have to decide if I spend my weekend under a rust bucket or teaching my oldest to ride a bike and have a dance party with my youngest and still having some quality time with just the wife.

I humbly submit to you: If the kid is old enough to ride a bike, they're old enough to 'help' you wrench on the alfa! It's a skill at least as useful in the modern world as bike riding, and it could turn into a nice thing that you share with them.  Also, spending time with the little ones bonding over vehicle maintenance could be easier for a spouse to get behind than solo time in the garage.

And, others have said it already, but you need to be clear with her about WHY you want to keep this thing, and she needs to be clear with you WHY she thinks it should go. 

In her defense, you did pick something pretty close to the edge of reliability. (If I were to ask someone to rate their car's reliability, it would be on a scale from Honda to Alfa Romeo... ). =) So, maybe there is something else you enjoy driving as much but don't have to work on as much, and therefore get to enjoy more often (like the Miata), thereby improving the enjoyment/misery ratio.  Or not.  Somewhere beyond what naysayers view as only stubbornness and sunk cost is love for vehicles that can be impractical and irrational, but no less real.

Definitely get rid of the CRV.  You can't have complaints about your 'fun' car AND about your 'reliable' car. The reliable vehicle is supposed to be neutral-to-pleasant, and blend into the background of your life.

Good luck finding a solution that works for everyone.

SJS

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2016, 06:23:40 PM »
If you've never heard of Beepi, google it!  Great deals on almost-new vehicles, delivered right to your door.  Our neighbor just bought a 2015 Audi - they delivered it to his door!  We'll be looking here for our next "new" car!  Good luck resolving your dilemma with your wife! 

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2016, 06:50:26 PM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me.  You shouldn't be driving a car that kills your back.  But you don't have to spend $30,000 to get something that would be more comfortable and would still be reliable.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4770
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2016, 05:54:15 AM »
Time is an issue, really. Two small kids, and I have to decide if I spend my weekend under a rust bucket or teaching my oldest to ride a bike and have a dance party with my youngest and still having some quality time with just the wife.

. . .

I've even been trying to just keep my complaints about the ergonomics, fuel economy, or general insipidness of the stupid thing to myself. I used to gripe about it all the time and I know it upset her, because she's the one who decided we needed it.

Dude, it's not about the car. Nothing in this circular argument is about the car. The cars are just proxies.

Here's what's really happening:

Your wife loves you. She doesn't like seeing you in pain. She wants to remove the roadblocks from your life so you can be happy. She wants to spend time with you and the darling little people you guys created. When she can't fix your problems or spend time with you, she gets frustrated and vents to her mom. MIL then gets frustrated that her own darling daughter is unhappy and tells you to fix her daughter's problem. See, nothing in there about cars at all.

To solve all your problems once and for all, you have two choices:

1. Never, ever complain about either of your cars ever again. In fact, to undo the damage from your past complaints, speak enthusiastically about how much you love both of them.

2. Sell the car you hate, that hurts your back and makes your wife unhappy (because you're unhappy) and get something you won't complain about.

I get it, I really do. I'm also driving a car I hate, even though it's only kinda, sorta a stupid bucket of bolts. I complained about it too much and DH came up with a plan to replace it with a really nice luxury car. I scaled back on the complaints, but I also see his point. He doesn't care what car I drive, he just wants me to be happy. Selfishly, he also hates listening to me complain about a problem I refuse to fix.

We're going to test drive shiny new cars this weekend.

+1

And even further, if you loathe the CRV as much as you wrote here it's going to be pretty impossible for that not to come through whenever you talk about this with her. It sounds like you hate everything about the CRV.

My guess too is this conversation goes something like:

 - I hate the CRV for <reasons>
 - You should sell that and get a car you like!
 - I don't want to buy a new car
 - Why do you always argue with me on this?

Just find something comparable to the CRV in cost that you actually like. Your CRV is probably worth quite a bit still so you could find a good upgrade that solves 100% of your frustrations with the car, makes your wife happy, and costs next to nothing.

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2016, 08:12:04 AM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.

protostache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 896
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2016, 08:19:06 AM »
I agree with the poster above who said your wife is sick of you being in pain.

My advice would be to sell the CRV and get a Nissan Rogue (2014 or newer, not the Rogue Select). My wife and I both have terrible backs and after test driving a bunch of different compact SUVs and sedans, also with an eye toward having two rear-facing little ones at the same time, we got a new Rogue.

It has the best seats of anything in the compact non-luxury SUV market, bar none. They're exceptional. My wife's back would act up after two hours in our 2014 Mazda 6 but we went on a long road trip earlier this spring right after getting the Rogue and she had zero back complaints, and neither did I.

They market them as "Zero Gravity," "Designed by NASA," etc. but they really aren't joking.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2941
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2016, 09:33:44 AM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.

Because for one entire weekend per month he's in the garage wrenching the project car. That means he's unavailable to help her care for their 2 small children; the children he wanted and helped create. As the parent of kids myself, I'd be livid at the situation. In fact, the project car would be in serious risk of suffering a catastrophic accident one day while he was away . . .

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2016, 09:48:13 AM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.

Because for one entire weekend per month he's in the garage wrenching the project car. That means he's unavailable to help her care for their 2 small children; the children he wanted and helped create. As the parent of kids myself, I'd be livid at the situation. In fact, the project car would be in serious risk of suffering a catastrophic accident one day while he was away . . .

If that is the case (and it may very well be), then you've got a good point. But I highly doubt it is 12 weekends a year. I'd imagine the actual figure is closer to 2 weekends a year and a few late nights after the kids are in bed. But that is my experience with my dad--I remember being upset at mom coming into the garage to make me go to bed while "helping" dad on his Austin Healey. Cars were probably the first thing that my dad (and grandpa) and I ever bonded over.

ChairmanKaga

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2016, 10:15:23 AM »
You know, this brings up an interesting point. It's something I've argued with my MIL over a few times.

She contends that parents should have no hobbies that don't involve the children, that in fact, your children should be your entire life. The reason you go to work. The reason you maintain the house. Your free time. And my wife sorta goes along with this, although not quite as fanatically.

About a year after our first daughter came along I hung up the guitars and quit the band I'd been in for 7 years. We only rehearsed for about 4 hours a week and maybe had 1 or 2 gigs a month, but that was too much. I couldn't handle the late nights, my wife couldn't handle the 4 hours alone on Saturday afternoon. So I gave up something I'd been doing since I was 12.

This car, which does sit in the spot in the garage where my CRV would park, is really my sole remaining "hobby." I don't get into football or sports. I don't play golf. I don't hunt. I don't really do anything because I know my wife is sort of a high-stress individual who gets overwhelmed with the kids (especially the younger one, who might be possessed) pretty easily, so I always try to be nearby at all times.

But I do find there's a LOT of simmering resentment in marriages when one partner has their "thing", whether it's golf or fantasy football or music, and the other partner for whatever reason doesn't. I don't know if it's necessarily because it's not something they do together, or more because they just don't have that release valve. Maybe it's because they just never engaged in those things before kids or because of a sense, as my MIL describes it, of being a mother bird who will literally starve themselves to death to care for the kids.

I just don't think it's emotionally or mentally healthy to forcibly deny yourself any pleasure while trying to convince yourself that all enjoyment from life has to be channeled through your children. I live my kids. I want to spend MOST of my time with them and my wife. But to think that I will not be able to enjoy the things I enjoy because I must abide some unwritten commandment that my life must be theirs to command is sorta depressing.

Regardless, I'm thinking I might sell the project car AND the CRV, get a car I want and would genuinely enjoy driving every day - but an older one that's roughly the value of the project, like a Lexus IS300 or an Acura Integra GSR - and stash the profits from the CRV sale in either a high yield savings bond for the kids, or MAYBE try to expand the stock portfolio with some safe long-term investments.

I might have to start a new thread on where I was going with the actual topic!

neo von retorch

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3340
  • Location: SE PA
    • Fi@retorch - personal finance tracking
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2016, 10:28:37 AM »
Yes, I agree that kids should not be your whole life.

There's an old-school gender role for women where they were to be mothers, first and foremost, and it was a badge of honor to be the most dedicated mother (and wife), sacrificing all sense of self. And roles have been shifting - there's lots of "comparing yourself to others" so now that fathers have increased their role in parenting, there is this "be more parent" than others competition arising, where some people believe it should be the sole thing that defines you as a person.

I disagree. Of course, I'm not a parent. So I say this only philosophically, and as my opinion. Being a parent is an important role, and it should be taken seriously. There will be countless opportunities to do it well or do it poorly. But a parent is very much a role model for your children, and unless you pretty much only care about raising your kids to be parents someday, and not individuals themselves, you'd do well for yourself to also model the role of individual for them, letting them see how you pursue your own interests outside parenting, and helping them discover those interests for themselves in addition to that. And you should model boundaries and balancing responsibilities while also making time for interests. I don't think any of those things are really possible if you are "only a parent."

prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Location: Texas
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2016, 10:33:53 AM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.

Because for one entire weekend per month he's in the garage wrenching the project car. That means he's unavailable to help her care for their 2 small children; the children he wanted and helped create. As the parent of kids myself, I'd be livid at the situation. In fact, the project car would be in serious risk of suffering a catastrophic accident one day while he was away . . .

I'm sorry but this sounds quite unhealthy. I don't think a person spending 2 days a month on his hobby that does not necessarily involve his family, but as others have mentioned could potentially even be a bonding experience with kids as they grow up is bad. Better yet I would hope that at least one of the other weekends of the month or maybe 1 day every other weekend he takes care of the kids while she does something she can enjoy to destress.

Living only for your kids or partner and nothing else at all no matter how small is extremely unhealthy behavior. If he was working on his project car every weekend spending 1-2 days a week working on it I would agree it is too much, but at 2 days a month sorry but let him have his hobby and get on of your own. If you enjoy spending time with your kids so much that you don't need a hobby don't use this to push it on your partner.

Also really hope the catastrophic accident thing is a joke as I suspect it is because if not this thinking is on the level where I would recommend looking for some professional help.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2941
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2016, 10:35:16 AM »
No one's saying you have to give up your hobby and devote your life to your kids. I agree that's not a healthy way to go. However, if you're going to keep the hobby, you need to stop complaining about it. If you really, truly like this hobby, then stop cursing when it needs a repair. If repairing the project car is truly part of it's appeal, then you should at least feel neutral about that activity. It that's not possible, then yes, maybe it's time to consider letting it go, or replacing it with a different project.


prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Location: Texas
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2016, 10:41:07 AM »
No one's saying you have to give up your hobby and devote your life to your kids. I agree that's not a healthy way to go. However, if you're going to keep the hobby, you need to stop complaining about it. If you really, truly like this hobby, then stop cursing when it needs a repair. If repairing the project car is truly part of it's appeal, then you should at least feel neutral about that activity. It that's not possible, then yes, maybe it's time to consider letting it go, or replacing it with a different project.

I'd have to disagree again with this. I don't know if this is a personality difference and I can't even speak as to cars since I have two left hands when it comes to that kind of stuff, but I can look at it the way I like playing video games. I like tough video games and when I am having trouble I can get worked up and annoyed, but then overcoming the hurdle is all the better afterwards. So yes I may seem agitated at times while playing, but that actually leads to more enjoyment as a whole. Why would he have to let go of something he enjoys as a whole just because she doesn't like how he enjoys it? Also I don't think he mentioned complaining about the project car the way he has about the CRV, but I may be wrong on that and if he does complain about the project car to her a lot and she doesn't like this he may need to learn that she doesn't really want to be part of his hobby and eave any conversation about it to a minimum, he may be trying to involve her in her hobby and sharing too much of it.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 10:43:59 AM by prognastat »

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 935
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2016, 10:47:51 AM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.

Because for one entire weekend per month he's in the garage wrenching the project car. That means he's unavailable to help her care for their 2 small children; the children he wanted and helped create. As the parent of kids myself, I'd be livid at the situation. In fact, the project car would be in serious risk of suffering a catastrophic accident one day while he was away . . .

I'm sorry but this sounds quite unhealthy. I don't think a person spending 2 days a month on his hobby that does not necessarily involve his family, but as others have mentioned could potentially even be a bonding experience with kids as they grow up is bad. Better yet I would hope that at least one of the other weekends of the month or maybe 1 day every other weekend he takes care of the kids while she does something she can enjoy to destress.

Living only for your kids or partner and nothing else at all no matter how small is extremely unhealthy behavior. If he was working on his project car every weekend spending 1-2 days a week working on it I would agree it is too much, but at 2 days a month sorry but let him have his hobby and get on of your own. If you enjoy spending time with your kids so much that you don't need a hobby don't use this to push it on your partner.

Also really hope the catastrophic accident thing is a joke as I suspect it is because if not this thinking is on the level where I would recommend looking for some professional help.

I agree that a person should not have to live only for the kids and partner with nothing else in their life.  Hobbies and outside friends are very important and should be part of everyone's life.  If you devote 1000% of your life to your kids then what happens to you when they are out of the house?

However, it is all about balance.  If the wife is a SAHM and in a traditional role doing all the cooking and cleaning, then the weekends are really the only way for her to relax and share some of the responsibilities with her husband.  If he is spending 1 entire weekend working on him hobby, then I could see how she might be resentful of it.  True it is only one weekend a month, however in terms of in the house-work time, that means she is "on" 12 days straight (2 work weeks and 1 hobby weekend) with no break. 

If she is not a SAHM mom then again I can see how the home-work might feel unbalanced if he is spending 1 entire weekend on his hobby.  If they are both working full time, then why is it more important to devote 1 full weekend a month where she is kid wrangling and he is hobbying.  Does she get 1 full weekend a month for her hobbys?  The best thing I think for anyone is to figure out a balance that will allow them to participate in their hobby without their spouse feeling like they are being neglected. 

I also think TrMama nailed the crux of the problem.

prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Location: Texas
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2016, 12:26:31 PM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.

Because for one entire weekend per month he's in the garage wrenching the project car. That means he's unavailable to help her care for their 2 small children; the children he wanted and helped create. As the parent of kids myself, I'd be livid at the situation. In fact, the project car would be in serious risk of suffering a catastrophic accident one day while he was away . . .

I'm sorry but this sounds quite unhealthy. I don't think a person spending 2 days a month on his hobby that does not necessarily involve his family, but as others have mentioned could potentially even be a bonding experience with kids as they grow up is bad. Better yet I would hope that at least one of the other weekends of the month or maybe 1 day every other weekend he takes care of the kids while she does something she can enjoy to destress.

Living only for your kids or partner and nothing else at all no matter how small is extremely unhealthy behavior. If he was working on his project car every weekend spending 1-2 days a week working on it I would agree it is too much, but at 2 days a month sorry but let him have his hobby and get on of your own. If you enjoy spending time with your kids so much that you don't need a hobby don't use this to push it on your partner.

Also really hope the catastrophic accident thing is a joke as I suspect it is because if not this thinking is on the level where I would recommend looking for some professional help.

I agree that a person should not have to live only for the kids and partner with nothing else in their life.  Hobbies and outside friends are very important and should be part of everyone's life.  If you devote 1000% of your life to your kids then what happens to you when they are out of the house?

However, it is all about balance.  If the wife is a SAHM and in a traditional role doing all the cooking and cleaning, then the weekends are really the only way for her to relax and share some of the responsibilities with her husband.  If he is spending 1 entire weekend working on him hobby, then I could see how she might be resentful of it.  True it is only one weekend a month, however in terms of in the house-work time, that means she is "on" 12 days straight (2 work weeks and 1 hobby weekend) with no break. 

If she is not a SAHM mom then again I can see how the home-work might feel unbalanced if he is spending 1 entire weekend on his hobby.  If they are both working full time, then why is it more important to devote 1 full weekend a month where she is kid wrangling and he is hobbying.  Does she get 1 full weekend a month for her hobbys?  The best thing I think for anyone is to figure out a balance that will allow them to participate in their hobby without their spouse feeling like they are being neglected. 

I also think TrMama nailed the crux of the problem.

Well I did mention "Better yet I would hope that at least one of the other weekends of the month or maybe 1 day every other weekend he takes care of the kids while she does something she can enjoy to destress.".

I agree if it is the situation where he is not allowing her to take off similar time each month for herself, but if he has offered to do this and she declined because she doesn't want to she can not hold it against him the she doesn't "get" to and so he shouldn't.

I would also assume that one those weekends he doesn't get up and jump in to the garage right away not to return until bed time. I highly doubt he does nothing at all to help around the house on his hobby weekend.

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2016, 04:18:30 PM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.
I would see it as a giant pile of useless decaying crap wasting my garage.  It would get under my skin every time I had to look at it.

prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Location: Texas
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2016, 05:57:49 PM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.
I would see it as a giant pile of useless decaying crap wasting my our garage.  It would get under my skin every time I had to look at it.

Just figured I would correct that for you.

ChairmanKaga

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2016, 06:06:48 PM »
To be clear, it's a hobby, something I enjoy (despite what I said about cussing the darn thing, which is simply part of the game), and frankly something that keeps me from becoming a boring sadsack - but it's NOT my life. I'll sell the damn thing if it becomes a REAL issue, like if my wife has some evidence that it's damaging our marriage, or kids, or our security. But it's not. We argue about this because honestly we don't have much else to argue about.

But dammit, I DO hate that CRV. I'm shopping for something to replace it. I want a clean (unmodified, unwrecked, unstolen) Acura Integra GSR. I had one 15 years ago and I miss it every day. Fuel efficient, reliable, easy to repair, fun to drive, with a useable back seat for the kiddos AND with a hatch big enough to swallow an Ampeg SVT bass rig (not that I have one anymore, but in the day it could). Under 100k miles would be ideal. As stock as possible. Less than $8k, because I'd like to sell the CRV for around $10k, then bank the difference for repairs over the life of the car, which'll be a while.


mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2016, 08:43:44 AM »
http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?endYear=2011&zip=18914&listingType=used&listingTypes=used&showcaseListingId=428850764&mmt=%5BACURA%5BTSX%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&vehicleStyleCodes=WAGON&modelCode1=TSX&startYear=1981&makeCode1=ACURA&showcaseOwnerId=555387&firstRecord=0&searchRadius=0&listingId=423359929&Log=0

Shame these either weren't made with the 6-speed, or are almost impossible to find with manual! (Also they'd have to be about $10k cheaper :))

Yeah, but if he is targeting a GSR he won't be happy with a 2nd gen TSX. The GSR is probably the 2nd best handling FWD car of all time--second only to the ITR. The first gen TSX is a pretty good handling car, but nowhere near the GSR. The second gen only got bigger and softer. (I have a first gen TSX, which I liked better, but we were shopping hard for a second gen since my wife liked it better. We settled on the first gen only because of price).

ChairmanKaga

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2016, 10:53:11 AM »
I actually like the TSX. The problem with the first gen is "black death." The first gen cars were fitted with an AC compressor that was prone to mulching its innards with no warning. Changing it out and refitting the system is a $2,000-ish job (unless you can do AC work yourself - it's not something I know a thing about), but if the compressor goes it literally takes the ENTIRE AC system with it, which becomes a $4,000 job. Being that I live in Austin where it's not uncommon to have 100 days of +100 degree heat, working AC is non-negotiable.

I simply don't like the 2nd gen cars. The handling is crap and they're still too expensive, generally speaking.

So I'm falling back on the GS-R. Like I said, I've owned one and it remains my favorite car. The WRX wagon comes a close second. Two doors is maybe less than ideal, but the oldest is  old enough to get herself strapped in, so I only need to tighten the belts. The younger is close to being capable. The B18 engine is ridiculously robust, assuming it hasn't been abused. The chassis is over-engineered. The handling is ON POINT. The clutch is a weak point but not terribly hard to change. The timing belt requires 60k replacement, which with the water pump and valve lash adjustment is usually a $500-600 job, and not something I'd want to undertake at home.

Yeah, I think I could get another one - stock and unmolested - and be a happy, happy fella for many years to come. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 10:54:50 AM by ChairmanKaga »

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2016, 11:26:03 AM »
I actually like the TSX. The problem with the first gen is "black death." The first gen cars were fitted with an AC compressor that was prone to mulching its innards with no warning. Changing it out and refitting the system is a $2,000-ish job (unless you can do AC work yourself - it's not something I know a thing about), but if the compressor goes it literally takes the ENTIRE AC system with it, which becomes a $4,000 job. Being that I live in Austin where it's not uncommon to have 100 days of +100 degree heat, working AC is non-negotiable.

I simply don't like the 2nd gen cars. The handling is crap and they're still too expensive, generally speaking.

So I'm falling back on the GS-R. Like I said, I've owned one and it remains my favorite car. The WRX wagon comes a close second. Two doors is maybe less than ideal, but the oldest is  old enough to get herself strapped in, so I only need to tighten the belts. The younger is close to being capable. The B18 engine is ridiculously robust, assuming it hasn't been abused. The chassis is over-engineered. The handling is ON POINT. The clutch is a weak point but not terribly hard to change. The timing belt requires 60k replacement, which with the water pump and valve lash adjustment is usually a $500-600 job, and not something I'd want to undertake at home.

Yeah, I think I could get another one - stock and unmolested - and be a happy, happy fella for many years to come.

I never thought I could enjoy a FWD "sports car" until I autocrossed one of those. Makes me wonder what the ITR was like.

ncornilsen

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2016, 12:30:47 PM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.
I would see it as a giant pile of useless decaying crap wasting my garage.  It would get under my skin every time I had to look at it.

I'm not saying this to be a jerk, but for your and your SO's sake, get some counseling. The lack of empathy displayed her is... shocking. 




mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2016, 12:50:26 PM »
I'm sorta team wife.  The project car would annoy the crap out of me. 

I don't understand this. Why? What is it doing that is annoying you? It isn't expensive to own or maintain. It doesn't make her life any worse, other than what she's made up in her mind. It gives him a cheap hobby. Unless it occupies the only garage spot, I just don't get it.
I would see it as a giant pile of useless decaying crap wasting my garage.  It would get under my skin every time I had to look at it.

I'm not saying this to be a jerk, but for your and your SO's sake, get some counseling. The lack of empathy displayed her is... shocking.

No kidding. Apparently making your husband happy is a useless endeavor, and your garage is your garage and not shared space.

ChairmanKaga

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Arguing with the wife over cars
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2016, 01:37:10 PM »
The ITR is better handling, but shorter gears, less sound dampening, and generally just a more hardcore experience. Not much fun as a DD.

I saw a video once on how they designed the car. Honda has asymmetrical weight distribution to account for the driver, which ideally would be ~150 lbs.

It's probably the finest car Honda has ever engineered and the resale values are astronomical, but I'd rather have the GSR for a DD.