Monday, December 21, 2009

Time to Cajole the Husband


Last week, Dimity and I had a lively debate via email about what verb to use to describe handling a husband who is less than supportive of a wife's mileage. She had "dealing with," but I thought that sounded too negative, suggesting "cajole" instead. To me, that word implies coaxing, enticing, sweet-talking, and it has a joke element to it. All the things that sum up how I finagle Jack to not get grumpy about my running.

The topic was much on my mind last week as I was trying to find a way to break the news to him that I am about to start training for marathon #6--Big Sur on April 25. As I was quick to point out to Dimity in our email exchange: "It's not a question of Jack 'letting' me do another marathon or not. Ultimately I have free will. It's just how much I want to rock the family-boat."

Ultimately I made the Big Sur proclaimation with a good news/bad news approach, without putting it in those stark terms. One evening, after the dinner dishes were cleared away, I shoo'd the kids down to their basement playroom so Jack and I could converse in relative quiet. I told him I'd decided I was going to take a break from my rowing team until at least May 1. As I had expected, he was very pleased with this news. (He's not opposed to rowing, just the drama that is constantly simmering on my team.) I waited a few good moments, then followed it up with, "And I'm running the Big Sur Marathon in late April." I then blah-blah-blah'ed about what a fabulous marathon it is, such as having just been named by Runner's World as the Best Destination Marathon in the U.S. I might as well have been describing, at length, the new pair of knee-high boots I'd gotten or the color of lipstick a friend had worn to book group.

Yet without saying much, Jack quickly got on board. Partly, I think, because with rowing out of the equation, I can now run long on Saturday instead of Sunday, thus avoiding the Sarah-run versus Jack-Mass log jam. I've now worked a mention of Big Sur into several conversations, making it seem a natural part of our family landscape. After about the third time, even Jack made some joking mention of Big Sur back to me, telling me he's okay with it.

I'm pleased to see my cajoling worked as I'd hoped.

-SBS

10 comments:

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

YIPPEE! Smart to do it after the dishes were cleared, you wise wise woman. Big Sur here you come!

Jill said...

You're going to LOVE Big Sur. Stay at the Marriott - trust me on this one!! Run tons and tons of hills, especially long ones. And try to find a wind tunnel to train, that will certainly help!

Hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas. I am cell phone-less having just washed it in the machine, spin cycle and all, or I'd text ya to wish ya the best this season. Drop me a line sometime and let me know how you are!!

Carolina John said...

i prefer the brute force approach. cajoling can also be construed as manipulating. i also signed up for my second marathon yesterday. and i'm trying to cajole the wife into accepting that i'm going to do another half ironman next september. that family boat's not fun unless it's rockin', huh?

Merry christmas, SBS.

c.a. Marks said...

Hmmm, I have never thought of this before. I'm training for my FIRST ever HALF marathon so it is "new and shiny" at our house still. But what happens when I want to do another one and another and another one? LOL

shellyrm said...

I am relived to actually read that someone else has a family that is not in LOVE with their running and all it requires. I though I was the only one! I will try this cajoling to see if I can get my hubbs to be a bit less jealous of running...no, not running, just MY running. He is perfectly ok with everyone else running.

Glad you put the dishes away first. That could have gotten ugly. ;-)

Leah said...

Cajole is the perfect word for all the reasons you mention. :)

marybob143@aol.com said...

So...saying, "Quit being a prick. I'm doing it," isn't a suggested approach...hmmm.

Adrienne said...

Awesome post and great use of the word cajole! I am signed up for Boston, but my husband wants to move the baby train along. It gives me some inspiration for how to convince him that we can wait until after April 19th.

Katie A. said...

Yay! Just getting caught up on your posts and saw this! I'm doing Big Sur, too! Actually, I took a crazy pill and am doing the Boston 2 Big Sur challenge, so I may not be doing all that much running in Big Sur :)
Glad the hubbs is on board!

Mobile Bookmaking said...

I don't know why there will be someone that they don't want to support his wife. In something like this.