Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.
Husbands Who Hunt
If you are a woman who is married to a fanatical deer hunter, please read this advice for dealing with his obsession.
First, let me reassure you: you aren't alone. Many women face the same dilemma, year after year. A man obsessed with deer hunting can have a negative effect on the family.
But then, again, it isn't always a bad thing. It could be much worse.
He could be an alcoholic, drug addict or abuser.
He could chase women, cheat on his taxes or blow his money.
But he doesn’t do those things. He just hunts in all his spare time during deer season, hog season, duck season, and whatever-other-critters-are-left season.
Now that’s not so bad, is it?
The Positive and Negative Side of Hunting
When you weigh the positive aspect of an obsessive hunter with the negative points of the preoccupation, the positive points far outweigh the negative. How can I say that?
Mainly, hunting is a healthy sport. He gets plenty of exercise hauling a deer stand around on his back for endless miles in the wilderness [sarcasm]. He gets to wade water, climb trees and drag dead carcasses for miles through the woods. Best of all, he can stay awake for long hours with minimal sleep without falling out of the tree stand.
That’s all pretty physical, so it could be called positive, healthy behavior. But how do you deal with a man who’s obsessed with deer hunting?
Ready to hit the shopping outlets at full speed? Why not!!!! Every woman has a choice. Make the most of it!
It’s not easy dealing with a hunting-obsessed man. You learn to weigh the pros and cons of both sides of the obsession. Once you learn the balance, you'll come out ahead. Acquire the coping skills needed, follow these suggestions, and you’ll soon learn how to deal with an obsessed hunter.
Follow These Simple Steps
One: Don’t take it personally that he finds deer more appealing than you for four months out of the year. This, too, shall pass.
Two: Indulge yourself in your own hobby and don’t worry about it! You have the right to be obsessed about something, too!
Three: Don’t gripe because he’s away most of the time. Enjoy it! Make the most of the time to yourself! Grab a friend, take a trip, spend money, watch ‘Thelma & Louise’! Enjoy the solitude.
Four: Act interested in everything he says about deer. Ask stupid questions like, “Did the deer run when it saw you?” or, you can ask, “How many Bambi deer did you kill today?
Five: Don’t worry about supper being ready at a certain time. You know he won’t come home at the same time every day. Be selfish. Fix what you want. He can eat sardines and crackers when he comes home.
Six: Last, but not least, tell him the bloody buck is fantastic and you’re proud of him. (Gag, gag, vomit, vomit). Then, you won’t need to stay for the de-gutting process.
In 2012, my Hunting Husband and I separated. It had nothing to do with hunting.
Two years later, he asked for a divorce and I, unwillingly, agreed.
In December, 2018, my Hunting Ex-Husband died from a massive heart attack. My life was forever changed.
Thank you for a wonderful 15 years spent together. RIP Mike Sharp.
You're Free Now.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Annette Thomas
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on March 12, 2020:
Message to 'What a Joke' response:
I am the author of this article and I'm not a man. I wrote this article about the trials and frustrations of living with a man who is obsessed with hunting. Sorry you think my article is 'pathetic'. But if you can't recognize the sarcastic undertone in the article then maybe you need to move on.
I will say this. My former husband (yes former, he is now deceased) loved hunting to the point of that was his main interest, but his love of God surpassed the hunting. Yes, we all have thorns in our side, nobody is perfect. I loved him when I wrote this article. It was my way of releasing my frustration. AND YET, I SMILE.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on March 12, 2020:
Becca: Wow, I'm so sorry you are going through this! Oh my goodness.....I feel your pain.
Becca on March 09, 2020:
Well all, I've been married for 26 years. The man I married told me he wanted a family, children, life partner. He told me he likes to hunt and that it is an important part of his life but his #1 priority was family, family, family. After 10 years of marriage, we settled into a nice community and I received the rudest awakening I could have imagined. Not being from a hunting family I had no idea of the financial cost of hunting but even more upsetting was the cost to my family. All of a sudden, hunting trumped birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, school recitals, sports, scouts, you name it...it all took a back seat. Today my kids are gone out of the house and they rarely call my spouse and I don't blame them. Too many times I asked for balance and to fence off specials dates and holidays only to be told its hunting season. The biggest fallacy is that idea that it all comes to an end after deer season. Wrong. Then its turkey season, predator season, dove season, elk season, archery season, gun season, and then.....fishing. Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with the idea of hunting, I take great offense to the impact on family and marriage. So today, after taking second and third seat to hunting and fishing again and being told that this is just how it is, I think I'm done. I carried the weight of the family, bills, home maintenance long enough and I deserve better. And just so I'm clear we've seen marriage counselors and he's been told he might have an addiction....but since it isn't drugs or alcohol, he doesn't see this as an issue.
To MH Bonham - Maybe you knew what "hunting" meant - but I did not. I certainly had no idea what "Hunting" meant to my husband. He didn't hunt for the first 10 years of our marriage. He was a model spouse. I had no idea that it would become all consuming and while I am glad that you hunt with your spouse, there is no way I could. I absolutely will not encourage this because I think it is an addiction and that addiction has destroyed our marriage. and his relationships with his kids. Stop judging people.
What a joke! on December 20, 2019:
This article is absolutely written by a man who either has a failed relationship that he is too narcissistic to realize he is to blame for it OR his significant other is very submissive.
The comments in response to this pathetic article are astounding and spot on!
How many people sign up for a part time relationship or take the lowest priority to someone because of their hobby?!?
I’m sure most women would agree that their “hobbies” better be on the same timeline as the hunters schedule. Anytime taken away from the men at home would never be acceptable. But who am I kidding! Kids and running the house are most women’s hobby and duty to their family. BTW...the grocery store sells plenty of meat. We are not going to starve if you don’t hang out in the woods for half the year.
Needhelpnavigating on November 29, 2019:
Well this is a new world to me. I have been involved with an incredible man for 4 months. He was straight up with me telling me that his kids (16 &17) are his #1 priority and that hunting is a huge part of his life from November into January. I heard him and then hunting started. I never knew how serious this is and how involved and all consuming it is... my stupidity I suppose. I am challenged navigating where I fit as he has his kids half the time and the other half had been our nights together August through October (give or take). There are a few things that have come up in a short time as he did not expect to have the feelings that he says he has for me and has said that he is terrified of it. He had been married for 20 years and has been divorced for 6 (having had 2 other relationships prior to me). For the past few weeks I do feel like he is MIA or it 'feels' like he has lost interest in me, but I am told by other people its the hunting and if I can make it until January or when it ends, we will be ok again. I also hear less and less from him as his hunting buddies no doubt are all of his calls and texts. Just to clarify, is this really normal from someone who lives and breathes for this time of year? It feels like he's cheating, and again I am told 'no he's a hunter'. I am trying really hard to mentally get myself to a place to better understand and respect his passion but to also help navigate this time for myself until January (ish) to see if we do get back to a good place. Its tough not understanding, but I really am trying to because I think he is worth the effort. HELP!
txdawn62 on June 04, 2019:
But what does a “hunting widow” do when there is not enough money for her to go see a medical specialist in another state (which she is supposed to do every year) but the husband spends almost $9000.00 just for the lease, let alone all the other supplies and trip costs; when the husband leaves the office at a minimum of every other weekend for the 5 months of deer season (its game management so much longer than regular seasons) yet the fall/winter is the slowest time of year for his company and money is scarce or even a home equity loan has to be taken out to survive financially; when the hunting husband misses a grandchild’s birthday every year because it’s deer season; when the wife is criticized for spending ANY money while the hunting husband spends freely during deer season; when the hunting husband actually takes the hint of buying the hunting widow tickets to a farewell tour of one of her favorite artists but then the hunting husband schedules the corresponding week as his “rut week” so suddenly he’s not available to take the hunting widow wife to the concert like he promised; when the hunting husband isn’t present when his father-in-law passes away and actually just refuses to answer the phone when the hunting widow tries to reach him that her father is very close to dying; and the list goes on. How is the hunting widow supposed to handle emotional abuse while the hunting widower when he throws an angry fit and so decides he will go down later but doesn’t let the confirmand do anything besides help give treat to a friend of his.
huntforbetterwomen on March 20, 2019:
a mans job is to hunt! woman's job is to clean the house and mind the kids and then cook the meat he brings home!
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on December 25, 2018:
TO THE LADY NAMED KATIE BELOW:
honey your husband not only has a hunting addiction, he' addicted to substances as well. That is the main issue. It sounds like you have come to a conclusion you want to stay. All I can say is Good Luck. Try going to Alanon, continue counseling, or get into group therapy. It will do wonders.
Cindy McNeill on December 21, 2018:
My husband is addicted/obsessed with deer hunting. As a result, his hunting comes ahead of his job and me. There is no incentive to have "more" in life. He is perfectly content living cheaply...leaving me home alone in a house/neighborhood/location that I find increasingly undesirable while he has ample time to hunt. It's not just "a season"...it's a life style.
MH Bonham from Missoula, Montana on December 07, 2018:
OMG,Ladies, I honestly don't get it. Why did you marry a hunter in the first place? Look, I hunt with my husband -- before hunting, he was into car racing. I raced then. He supported my sled dog racing when we could afford it. Now, we both look forward to hunting season.
I don't know your situation, and I don't know if your husbands are truly addicted, but you're not going to change them. I don't know what you expect from your husband and your marriage, but you're not going to get what you want reacting the same way again and again. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
Katie on November 30, 2018:
I just had a revelation from my therapist that my husband is addicted to hunting; I never realized it was an addiction, but now that I've been basically a single parent for the past 3 years during hunting season (bow for deer, muzzleloader for deer, duck seasons in multiple states, goose hunting) and had every single vacation devoted to some type of hunting, I can't believe I didn't realize it sooner. He is sulky when he doesn't get to hunt and says that he's not a "family man" and that I knew that going into our marriage. He refuses to have another child and it's caused me so much grief because I really want a sibling for my daughter. Now his hunting dog got sick - I paid $10,000 out of my own money to get her well with surgery (she was SUCH a sweetie) - and he took her hunting while she was getting chemo treatments and she got sick within 48 hours and died very quickly. I'm devastated. He's also addicted to weed and smokes multiple times a day - I just never put two and two together about the hunting addiction.
If anyone is near the DC area and wants to support one another with this "niche" addiction in their marriage, please let me know. I need all the help I can get - I want to stay in this marriage, and will continue to do marriage counseling, but it's so lonely.
Fed Up on November 26, 2018:
I see your point and I’m grateful he’s not doing the other things you mentioned in your article but I’m afraid there is a side to it that wasn’t mentioned. We have kids and I’m left tending to them every weekend in addition to all the chores that come along with owning and maintaining a home. For me, it’s six months out of the year because he spends the first three preparing for hunting season. So how do you deal with the self serving hunting husband??
Meagan on November 18, 2018:
My experience has been it’s not just hunting season it’s every weekend. They have to work the land, plant food plots, move and repair tree stands etc.. I try not to let it bring me down but after being married for 10 years I want him to want to hang out with me I don’t think that’s a ridiculous request but the problem is I don’t want to have to ask for it I feel as though that’s not genuine.
Hunting widow on October 06, 2018:
Like Tired Mom said, this is all great advice for someone without kids. Once you have kids it changes. There is no silence or solitude to enjoy with young kids to care for, let alone enjoying your hobbies or a shopping trip...lol.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on October 04, 2018:
4th Priority Girlfriend:
Well, what are you going to do? Sounds pretty cut and dry, but then if you are secure.....
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on October 04, 2018:
I think maybe your wife should just leave you for a man who is not so self-centered.
4th Priority Girlfriend on October 01, 2018:
The house is falling apart, the yard is awful, there's never any money, we never go anywhere, and he spends all his free time all year long hunting or prepping for hunting. This year on my birthday, he'll be away the camp putting up tree stands. Better yet, we don't have any meat because he's going for bigger things lately.
Tired Mom on September 16, 2018:
I LOVED hunting season before we had kids, it was the best season ever as I love my alone time.... I use to get super excited for my hubby to shoot something, sometimes I would even join him to scout, etc. Fast forward 5 years and three young kids 5,3 & 1 and I feel a bit frustrated. I respect my his passion and I even enjoy the specs now & then but every weekend and once or twice during the week and I tend to feel fed up, I can’t help it. It’s like we suddenly don’t exist... except of course when he is horny... and no matter how much I express my frustration it never changes. I had hobbies before kids that I have completely given up for now and while I don’t expect or want my husband to give up hunting, I do think he needs to remember he has a wife at home that does it all pretty much 7 days/week with no breaks let alone a stint of going at from dusk til dawn every weekend for 3 months straight. There is a fine line. I get supporting your man but when it’s not reciprocated it causes me to feel pretty resentful.
PAHunt on August 27, 2018:
If your wife won't let you hunt, honestly you just should leave her for someone who isn't so self centered.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on August 07, 2018:
Well okay. Yep, hunting takes planning in advance. I see no problem with it either. 4 months out of the year dedication to the hobby. That's cool, too.
What I have a problem with is a hunter who spends all their time engaged in the sport. Vacations aren't for family, they are for the hunter alone. Hunter gets priority. Yep.
hunter on August 03, 2018:
Most hunters spend a considerable amount of time and effort preparing their hunting properties before the season. Unlike fishing, hunting isn't something you can just wake up and do whatever day you feel like.
Just because the wife enjoys summer vacations doesn't mean I can't work in the summer and "vacation" in the fall. As long as all the work that needs to be completed is done, I see no issue in a partner dedicating 4 months out of the year to a hobby they enjoy.
Christine on August 03, 2018:
Would you change your opinion if you had 6 kids and never get a break ? I see the positive side of hunting , but when do I get time
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on March 20, 2018:
He is being unreasonable..........and insensitive. All holidays? Seriously? That's over kill.
And to be treated rudely by the friends wife takes the taco. Probably an underlying resentment on her part. That's her problem.
If he's not taking up for you it appears he's not worth staying with. It's your decision & it sounds like you have already decided but not acted on it.
Winenot70 on March 16, 2018:
I've been with my fiance for 5 years and as much as I love him I am about to walk away. I used to go hunting with my first husband all the time. I don't hunt but I would take pictures, read, and just "go away" with him. My fiance is not just a hunter- he is obsessed. He and his friends 3-4 eight- ten day hunts a year (not to mention the shorter ones to the lease). I get his traditional yearly hunts, but I am NEVER invited or included in any new hunts and there are other wives who go.
His best friends wife is a total B to me and when he finally invited me to the lease (6 hours away), I did decline because we would be in the same cabin as her. I asked if we could go at some point when she wasn't there. Nope. I asked if we could find a new family lease for all of us (get married- combine income- can pay more for a lease). Nope, he wants to remain on this one with his friends. I told him if his friends are that important then he doesn't need a fiance.
He has tried to talk to me in general this past week but we have had talked about this MANY times and he isn't going to change his mind so I think talking is pointless. I love him and am heart broken but I do not want to spend holidays alone (Thanksgiving, Christmas vacation), while he's off with is friends and never including me. Again, I am fine with his two yearly hunts with his buddies- it's everything else that I have asked to be a part of without any luck.
Has anyone else gone through this? Am I being unreasonable or is he?
Sandy Miller on February 25, 2018:
I read this article and clearly it was meant to be optimistic encouraging tolerance. The nagging question at the root of all of this discussion is really the same thing coming from every woman ringing in on this. That question simply is this "Will tolerance of this activity to an extreme make my marriage and family healthier in the long run or will i have regrets down the road?" For that answer and candid examination I think the very best evidence is to actually hear from women who took that route and ask them how it turned out for them later on. Well..here you go..I did it and I will tell you exactly how it turned out for me and my family. I am 55 years old and I married a hunter in 1995 he and I were in our 30's. He was a classic southern redneck who never got in trouble of any kind at all and worked about 14 hours a day...every day except Sunday and occasional Saturdays and the did this the entire time that we were married. Yes! I knew that he was a hunter when I married him but his obsession with hunting then was nothing at all like it came to be over our marriage.
I occupied myself with hobbies or antique shopping at first telling myself also that the time away from each other was "healthier" and it was okay...after all..his family sanctioned his behavior. There was always food in the freezer...but only deer meat..so I had to learn how to cook everything from spaghetti to pot roast with deer meat in order to justify processing all that deer meat for 20 years. That gets really old.
Every weekend that he had off in the "off season" of hunting he was still going to the deer lease anyway to "fill the feeders" to keep the deer around and fat for hunting season. This went on for 20 years and it meant that I was virtually alone in the marriage. Despite the document it was a marriage of one. Of course during hunting season he was also there. Get out your calculator ladies and start adding up the costs to your family..its quite staggering.
At the deer lease he and his friends erected a shack of sorts with a shower, bunks, table and coffee pot. They needed to spend all of their weekends here in order to "fix up" this shack with gingham curtains and luxuries for the bush. The same guys who could not fold a pair of underwear could work endlessly hard on keeping up a shack made to be a home away from home for 20 years. In fact, if I were honest it was their home away from home..they were all nesting..with each other instead of their families.
The cost of deer food, electronic feeders, wood for the shack and endless deer stands all the beer and luxuries needed each weekend plus the wear and tear on the vehicle and gas to get there...probably a hundred a week minimum. That does not include the cost of paying a meat market to process every deer killed each year, the hunting licences, the cost of the "deer tags"(legal tag for each deer killed) and then...on a completely separate but strongly related topic the cost of guns. Those guns became a completely separate hobby incorporated into the original hobby.
When he was home he was always in the garage working on guns, he even learned to make them...all kinds of rifles. I had so many rifles and hunting stuff in my house that I was afraid that the ceiling would collapse from our attic inventory and that is not a joke. Half of our master bedroom closet was filled from floor to ceiling, the entryway closet the same as well as the attic and garage.
We argued many times over the course of our marriage about the intelligence of collecting all those guns and hunting things. He justified this selfishness with "they are an investment" they will always go up in value. We argued about having all this in the house my our child especially through the teenage years...it fell on deaf ears.
Our child, a boy had absolutely zero interest in hunting..none at all. He was into video games and computers. He was a super in intelligent kid, very good never in trouble just was not interested in the hunting at all.
He is now grown and in the Navy. He never really knew his dad because his dad lived a separate life with his friends at a hunting camp. He did not throw balls with him...ever, he did not play game with him...ever. Their relationship was a mirror of my own with him. We just basically lived in the same home with separate lives.
My son moved away from home a few years ago for the Navy and their relationship never changed. My husband died just a bit over two years ago and I was left with an entire home full of guns and hunting stuff...and just trust me when I tell you the number of guns that I own...are staggering beyond belief. I have no idea what they are, how to sell them, what I can or cannot sell or how to stop someone from completely taking me to the cleaners to try to sell them. Wait...that right..my husband already took us to the cleaners when he decided to put all of our money into something that I had no idea how to sell.
Don't tell me to have them assessed..the assessors want a couple hundred to "assess" one gun...and the gun may only turn out to be worth 600 dollars. I am surrounded by an arsenal of crap that my husband spent all of our money on, I was in a marriage alone for twenty years, our son never knew him. As for my husband.. he had the time of his life..all of his life. He got everything that he wanted bar none and died that way.
So no...I would absolutely not do it again. It did not turn out well for me emotionally in the solo marriage or for our son. It devastated me financially as all of our worth is in objects that I have no knowledge to sell without getting totally screwed..again.
That's how it turned out for me after twenty years. I hope that my honesty will help some of you who are dealing with the same issues.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on December 15, 2017:
Kathy Silvers on December 14, 2017:
All of your advice is great and lighthearted IF that husband doesn’t normally work 70 hr work weeks, chooses to hunt 5 hours away from home, and have 3 young busy kids (9th, 5th and 2nd graders) with no readily available family to allow all the fun and “advantages” to his choosing the healthy woods as opposed being Home to shoulder real life.
Just saying...It’s not my intention to come off sarcastic, but realistic for many of the women of husbands that hunt.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 14, 2017:
No thanks: LOL. :)
No thanks on November 11, 2017:
I started reading and wondered if you were a man posing as a woman.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 25, 2017:
lacey: Are you kidding me? Acting dumb and shopping is fun! Whoo hoo....no standing by whimpering.
lacey on January 22, 2017:
Are you kidding me, act dumb and go shopping is your advise.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 19, 2016:
AS the author, I thought I'd better hide the identity of the person in the photos. Don't want to rock the boat.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 19, 2016:
Well honey, life is never fair. If you don't like to hunt, you'd be bored to death 'tagging along'. Make the most of what you have now, enjoy yourself, and by all means, continue your life.
Seekinganswers1 on November 18, 2016:
I want to know if this is something that regularly happens to other people with husbands that hunt. My husband wants to go on an "all guys" hunting trip but one of the other guys girlfriends also gets to go because she is hunting. I don't think it's fair that the other girl gets to join in on the hunting trip while I am stuck home with a baby. I don't think it's fair that girls tag along. It's supposed to be all guys, if one girl goes I think we all should be able to go. I am sure I could find a mall around the hunting property. Am I wrong?
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on October 31, 2016:
Yeah a mental . It's usually rooted in some other deep seated emotional trauma. (violins) Mine copped out on me due to his own inadequacy to process resentment and anger; not hunting related. Amazing what a little Sasquatch testosterone will do.
AloneinCanada on October 30, 2016:
I am seeing a theme here and two varieties of hunters - regular and obsessed. I have spent the last six years of my life with the obsessed variety, feeling very, very alone. When it becomes an obsession should it not be viewed a mental illness and treated as such. From what I have experienced and am reading here this obsession certainly creates the same havoc and destruction to marriage and family as most other mental illnesses. For some guys it moves from being just a hobby to becoming a real and serious problem.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on August 16, 2016:
Frustrated: You are not alone. I'm sorry to know that you have been brushed aside. God help you cope.
Frustrated on August 16, 2016:
What a load of crap. It's awful that he's gone practically every weekend and then crabby when he gets back because all his familial responsibilities catch up to him. He was hunting and had to be found when his first child was born. Now he's attending a wedding of one of his buds and I'm not going because I don't know any of these people. I'm so tired of acting like none of this bothers me.
Donewithit on January 20, 2016:
Ladies & Gentlemen too:
I've been there done that. It doesn't get better. Life is about balance. When you are so obsessed with something that you ignore your wife & kids, and home responsibilities then you are out of balance. Marriages cannot sustain that. My husband is doing just that. When we were dating he was completely different. Said he would give up everything for me. I never expected him to give up hunting, but I expected a balanced life. Now he could care less what I think. He also tells me to get a hobby, which I have, but he complains that I make a mess and am ruining the house because I like to paint. He always finds a way to ruin my girls weekend, because he doesn't want to be alone with the kids. The kids actually hate him now. They see him for what he is: A selfish, self-centered man. Ladies-google narcissist. It may give you some insight.
Starting out on December 01, 2015:
And I am so so sorry to hear about your marriage. You seem very kind. I have said prayers for you.
Starting Out on December 01, 2015:
I have been dating a guy for nearly a year and hunting season is now in full swing. I can't believe how much time he spends on it and how obsessed he is. I have been deer hunting with him because he wanted me to try it. It is like watching paint dry. You sit there cold for hours. He has hunted all his life and is allegedly "cutting back" for me but I think the cutting back is still ridiculous. He goes every weekend and has used his vacations only for hunting. I'm concerned this will only get worse and he talks a lot about marriage. I told him my concerns. I think addiction to anything is not healthy for a relationship. I asked him how he would feel if I shopped for hours and hours every week, spent hundreds of dollars a month and took long trips to shop and spend money. He said he would run. Exactly my point.....
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 21, 2015:
As the author of this article, I regret to say that I am no longer married to my obsessed hunter. It had nothing to do with hunting, but everything to do with HIM.
Unfortunately, my obsessed hunter chose to resign as my husband. His attitude became so hateful toward me I felt as if I was walking on eggshells. As his resentment toward me grew, he became indifferent, cold, and uncaring. As I said before, our separation and divorce had nothing to do with his obsession with hunting.
Here is my message for the readers here. I tell you this just as I tell my students in Anger Management. When you have conflict and resentment toward your significant other and you don't process it and resolve the issue, you develop a calloused resentment in your heart toward him. When your attempts to discuss and resolve your problems are met with his unwillingness to listen, accept, acknowledge, and affirm the conflict, then you are faced with the fact that you have an unwilling partner; one who is not capable of communicating and forgiving.
When this situation occurs, your partner builds resentment in his heart toward you. The indifference becomes so hardened, that HE LOSES HIS LOVE FOR YOU. When your significant other holds on to his anger and resentment toward you for so long and continually REFUSES OUTSIDE HELP OR COUNSELING, it becomes a no-win situation for you. It will come to the point that you are living in a passive-aggressive hostile environment. He'll eventually blow. Then your'e faced with no other choice.
This is what happened to me. I did not want a divorce, I believe we should have stayed together and worked through the resentment. HE CHOSE TO GIVE UP. Not I. And after 2 and a half years of separation while I lived with my aging/dying father, working a job I hated, struggling to find a better job, dealing with an addict daughter, focusing on the stability of my grandson.......HE adjusted to life without me in it. HE went on, regardless of what was happening with me; even though he was morally and spiritually obligated to remain accountable to me. And the pressure after the death of my father, him urgently handing me a check to pay for my lawyer saying "you file...I'll pay for it". I got divorced.
Three years of unprocessed grief cam pouring out of me. I bought a house, got a new job, changed everything in 4 months time. Then major depression came and it was a sad day when I realized I had been dumped by my husband.
For all of you, please do the best you can to communicate with our spouse, get counseling, stay focused on your commitment. I don't want anyone to experience the grief and betrayal I have felt the last year. Lord help you.
Megan.pb.Myers@gmail.com on November 16, 2015:
I've just got to say that my husband is 'addicted' to hunting. It has broken our family. We have a 3 and 6 year old and because of hunting, I am a married 'single' mom at least 25% of the year. Its a feeling of abandonment. This marriage isn't going to last too much longer.
Quackers on November 10, 2015:
Yea, this would all be great advice except a couple points.... A) hunters blow a ton of money. Guns, ammo, bows restrung, clothing, descent products, stands, climbing sticks, trips out of town (and out of state) all of this costs a ton of money. And b) hunting widows with children get zero free time when dad's gone all the time, many of us can't have a hobby because we are now single parents for at least 4 months....
Cnn727 on October 24, 2015:
Pretty sure this was written by a husband/hunter....
widow on August 14, 2015:
4.5 years ago I lost my best friend, my husband in an accident. Our daughter was 9 months old. I recently started dating and the man I've been seeing the last 6 months or so works all the time and otherwise gets ready to hunt. I'm a vegetarian and have a ridiculous bleeding heart, I can't imagine killing a living creature. I don't even squash bugs, spiders completely freak me out but I catch & release vs kill it, yes I realize that seems extreme but I was taught to respect life.
We never see each other and it sucks that he would rather use a 3 day weekend to hunt, I offered to go with him but I'm not invited. Pretty sure we are in the midst of a breakup. His response is that I'm trying to start a fight. When we are together, life is good but I'm sick of feeling like he's ok with blowing me off to shoot birds.
My husband was an excellent marksman but he always wanted to hang out with me. We were inseparable so this odd relationship is eating me up.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 28, 2014:
Yes......That's normal behavior for anyone who has an addiction; to anything. If you find yourself falling in love, back off now or you're in for many lonely nights. If you're already independent and it doesn't bother you, make that choice.
Sound like you have a good head on your shoulders.
1sttimedatingahunter on November 26, 2014:
I have been with this guy for about 5 months now. I had never dated a hunter before, he did tell me he was a big time hunter but I didnt know what that meant till I went to his house for the first time. He was definitely obsessed and it's not just deer hunting, all year long it's something. I'm totally independent and have my own hobbies so it doesn't bother me but what does is we live an hour and half apart and we used to only see each other once a week. I haven't seen him for a few weeks now. What does bother me is that I have only got one text from him in the last week, is that normal for a hunter?
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 20, 2014:
GREAT ADVICE FROM TARA!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT.
tara on November 20, 2014:
Im the wife of an OBSESSED hunter and a mother of 3. I've been married for 13 years. Here's my advice:
1. If you are not married to him and you are unhappy get out NOW! Run don't walk. It does not get better with time; it gets worse. Having kids or getting married does NOT make it better. It makes your role much harder and strains the relationship even more. Resentment inevitably sets in.
2. If you love your man and you are not leaving, ever heard " If you can't beat them join them" ? I tried this tactic. I took up bowhunting...taught myself to shoot and everything. I am not as avid as my husband about going, but I do hunt recreationally when I have time, and we go together occasionally when our schedules permit.... even go on hunting weekends together. I can attest to the awesome feeling that comes with shooting a buck with a bow at 20 or 30 yards.
3. Regardless, don't let your identity and self worth be defined by your husband. Pursue your own interests. Mine are fitness, travel, fine dining, college football, and watersports. If he gets a trip, I plan one for me! I prefer to go on a cruise rather than a hunting trip....so I go with my friends and he watches the kids. He doesn't like it. He says it's not the same....I dont care... Don't be a pushover! I decided a long time ago to pursue my own happiness. I will not be kept "barefoot and pregnant". I have found this mindset and demeanor has actually been beneficial in the relationship....it keeps him intrigued and interested. Sometimes he doesnt go hunting to accompany me to an event. For example, he gave up hunting the second weekend of Nov. With a full moon and the deer in full rut to go to a football game with the kids and I and many mutual friends.
Hope this helps :)
Nancy on November 09, 2014:
I've been dating a man for almost 10 years since I lost my husband 14 years ago. He is an obsessed hunter. My son got married last Saturday and instead of attending the wedding, he chose to hunt. I know I need to break up with him but I don't want to be alone. But I am alone. Haven't seen him for more than 2 weeks. He lives 1 1/2 hrs away and doesn't visit except for a few days a month from Sept til January.
Erica on January 05, 2014:
It bothers me that you've compared hunting to the primal instinct of man and that we mustn't go against nature and let them be men. The primal instinct Im assuming your talking about is referring back to ancient times when cavemen hunted their prey. What your failing to comprehend is that, in fact, it was a caveman's primal instinct not to hunt for sport, but to hunt in order to provide for his family. Much MUCH different then the hunting obsessed men YOU are referring to. Hunting in real life in fact goes against all primal instincts of caveman hunting in that it doesn't at all provide for your family. Instead, it takes away precious time you could be spending building memories with your little ones. It is heavy on finances too. So don't try and sell me that "we can only eat when we hunt" bull... A shopping cart used to get a couple pounds of steak is free. Compare that to the top of the line bow, arrows, bait, trail cameras, tree stands, hunting gear, camouflage, etc, etc, etc that sets a Hunter and his family back oh about a thousand of those steaks from the grocery store. My boyfriend and his father don't just hunt... they eat, breathe, sleep, dream, drink, drive, smoke, and blink hunting. Its obnoxious. Is it the primal instinct of a man to buy food for a deer but forget that his son needs milk and baby food? As I sit home with our 1 year old, watching him take his first steps, say his first words, and give me a hug... I wonder how anyone would pass those moments up to for a bleeping buck! I did find my obsession, it's my son. I am a mother, my boyfriend is a Hunter. End of story. I used to not mind hunting, now I despise it.
Amy on December 22, 2013:
Ive been dating my boyfriend 10 months and he warned me about long days away for hunting. However, he told me last night he was going hunting a few days and would be back after Christmas. I was outraged, and told him if he goes on Christmas, he can forget about us. He decided not to go, but he is acting resentful towards me today. Now I'm wondering if this is just hopeless relationship.
Nomoreplease on December 10, 2013:
I have been married for 16 years have 2 teenagers let me just say to you young girls who are just girlfriends get out now forget the love. The average girl falls in love 5 times in a lifetime. This one is just practice for what you don't want in life. My husband hunts fishes golfs watches all football games with friends any sport he can do. I use to be a pretty independent women I turned into a full time bill payer house cleaner baby sitter the disaplinaring taxi cab driver who is just old and tired now. My husband works hard and has a great personality and I love him very much I don't mind his habits now as much the kids are grown practically but when they were little and I worked to the weekends and nights were pure hell. I had no time for myself I was busy taking care of everything and the kids. If I had it to do over I would have not went on a second date with him. He is very sorry now and often apologizes for his actions when we were raising a family. Doesn't hunt as much becouse he is afraid I might be out dancing with friends. I am telling you it has been the biggest fight of our marriage. Don't marry anyone who doesn't make you his first priority and latter when the kids come and love there daddy you won't have the heart to leave him after all the kids don't understand. Do not marry a addicted sportsman take it from me life is to short to spend the best years of your life waiting for him to choose you just once. Your parents will come take care of you when you are sick becouse it's deer season your friends will drive you home from giving birth becouse it's gulf season and he needs to celebrate the birth! Trust me
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 05, 2013:
Huntersgf: If you're comfortable with the way the situation is now, then no need to change it. It sounds to me like you may be second guessing the relationship, which I would too. He thinks hunting is more important and doesn't want to include you at this time.
I can make a suggestion: why not offer to provide cooking or helping out at the camp, if you like to camp?
The fact that he hasn't wanted to include in meeting the family is a concern. It's obviously not important to him. Keep in mind that if you continue with him and it proves to be long term, don't expect him to change for you. It would need to be his choice.
There's more than one fish in the sea. Wink.....Good luck.
Huntersgf on November 03, 2013:
My bf and I will have been together for a year next month and so far I don't mind his being gone on the weekends. My problem is that I want to go with him to see if I will enjoy it and he won't take me! So far all I've gotten out of him is "after thanksgiving"(apparently it's considered rude to bring a non paying guest to a deer lease before then, to give the paying guys a chance, although I don't know what makes him think I'll actually shoot anything considering I've never shot a rifle before, and he hasn't mentioned teaching me to do so), he knows I need to schedule time off well in advance at work because of strict policies and if I wait too long they can say no. I love camping and being outside, but had no hunters in my family so I've never had this opportunity before. I don't think I'll have a problem with killing an animal(he only kills what he will eat), but he claims he has a strict you kill it, you clean it policy and I don't know if I can handle that part of things(maybe If I throw up on it he will alter that policy ;-p). He's been gone every weekend since bow season started with the exception of last weekend, he stayed home because my roommates and I went all out decorating for a halloween party and knew I would be upset if he left. His deer leases are both within a few hours of home and he never goes out of state. He usually has a friend that went with him on occasion, but that friend has been a jerk lately and he's been going alone this year(which worries me to no end because there is no phone reception where he is at). He has mentioned wanting a family(2 kids to be exact) and I've tried to make it clear that if we have kids it will be HIS decision because I have zero maternal instincts and to be honest pregnancy terrifies me(my family has a history of complicated pregnancies, miscarriages, etc. I have no doubt that I will develop maternal instincts and I know I will love any kids we have, but I will absolutely NOT be stuck at home with kids(that he wanted) and housework along with a full time job, while he's gone all fall/winter. I dont think I will mind every other weekend or something similar which may be something we have to work out if we get to that point. Maybe I'll really take to hunting and we will have to rotate who goes and who statys to watch the kids. ...I also have not gotten to meet his parents or a single one of his 4 sisters, yet I've made sure he's met my family and he mentioned his dad and stepmom wanting to go to dinner months ago yet he hasn't arranged anything yet(thinking about connecting with his stepmom on Facebook and setting up dinner on a weeknight and just telling him after it's set up?) And he also starts fishing as soon as deer season is over, but we live next to a lake and I go with him all the time for that, I just take a book to read, the fish aren't disturbed by my reading light, and I'm sure it's quite amusing to listen to me talking to/yelling at the fish when I hook one lol.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on October 04, 2013:
Well, Sue, I think you've answered your own question. If you've already been in therapy working this out and have come to this conclusion, it's a good sign you are beginning to look objectively at the marriage and weigh the pros and cons.
If your son doesn't like hunting he shouldn't be forced to go just because "the family of men" want him to enjoy as much as they do. He's probably bored to death with it. Your husband can't make the child like something he's not interested in.
You can't be his "mom". He's grown, makes his own decisions. He's willfully choosing to hunt. You can't make him stay home, but you can ask him "How about we .....such such ...this weekend".
Weigh your options and your feelings carefully, my friend. You absolutely do need to put your foot down and say ," this isn't fair to your family..." You need to tell him how it's affecting you, your life and your feelings for him. Communicate.
Good luck...keep working through this.
Sue on October 04, 2013:
I found this site by looking for suggestions to set up a "plan" with my husband for hunting season because I am already at my mental and emotional limit and hunting season has barely "technically" started. (It's been going on for months already at our house, planting, building, etc. as others have described.)
Instead of suggestions, I find a lot of people saying that things may have gone too far already. Sure, there were a few suggestions, and for the most part I could agree with donotfear about "go do your own thing." That's what I used to do before we had our son. Now that we have him (he's 7), he has become hubby's convenient excuse. "If I take the boy, do you mind if I go hunting?" My answer was usually, "no, go do whatever you want," since 1) moms can always use some "mommy time", and 2) I thought he was passing on a love of the outdoors, etc. But my son has started refusing to go, and that has really put a wedge between hubby and I - because now it seems like it is me that has the choice to "let" him go hunting while I stay home and do chores, take care of our son, do homework with him, drive him to activities, etc., or "make" hubby stay home and pout.
Maybe my son's attitude will be temporary, but my husband and his brother have three sons between them, all within 18 months of each other, and I know they are counting on the boys growing up loving hunting as much as they do. They own property and always consider "improving" it to be something that will benefit the boys as well. So if our son does not like hunting, it will be a blow to my husband and I am worried that he will spend less and less time with both of us.
I seriously think about divorce sometimes, for this and other reasons, but specific to the hunting I would almost love to see him have to stick to a schedule like an every-other-week custody arrangement. Except I wouldn't love it, because he would do a crappy job and my son would be miserable and that would hurt me. I have been working hard on therapy, etc. and separating my happiness from other people's feelings, but I think there is a certain amount of connection with your child's happiness that is natural, so I have a hard time trying to shut that off.
As I reread this, it makes me think maybe I need to be my husband's parent as well, and put my foot down and say, "no, this isn't fair to your family..." which is what I was looking for help to do. Guess I'll keep looking because otherwise this addiction has a good chance of ruining our family. And no, he wasn't like this when we married, but he has an addictive personality and was a workaholic and addicted to golf when he worked in the golf business. At least then he took showers and shaved and cared about how he looked! And it was something I didn't mind doing with him. Maybe it was partly losing his connection to that industry (economic downturn) that got him to transfer the addiction over to hunting. I agree that he needs something that is "his" - I think everyone does - but the burden of parenting is too much on me the way things are now. I deserve some time, too. So the one helpful comment I read above is to keep track of the hours as a way to dialogue about what is going on and to try to keep things more balanced. Any other ideas?
Sarah on September 14, 2013:
No worries, donotfear.. The thing i dont understand is that if anyone is so miserable being in a relationship with someone (and considering there's no religion that requires you to remain married, or whateve r), then why would u stay with them?!! Obviously, its not always easy to leave their selfish partner when their relationship has absolutely no hope, but seriously, the sooner u leave his arse, the better! And onviously, they dont deserve u, so show them the friggen door already!! :)
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on September 13, 2013:
Sarah, thanks for you input. The views on this article always rise around hunting season.....go figure!
Sarah on September 13, 2013:
I stumbled across this article, and its AMAZING to discover how many other women are in the same situation as me! But i have a two, and a three year old to my hunting bf.. I can relate to many of you, but 'donotfear', you really caught my attention.. I'm in the exact same situation as you- despite giving my bf a second chance at our relationship. Anyway, NEVER ever settle for second best. We deserve better! I have been hunting before, and yeah, its fun.. in small doses! (2 days or so at one time), but not to the point that you're missing out on some of the mos important yeqrs of your childrens lives- not to the poimt where you own family comes second best!!! But, theres no point getting upset about it- if your partner cannot compromise, then its time to decide whether you're truly going to be happy remaining in this hunting-obsessed relationship or not. If not, then its important that you do what makes you happy.. Life's too short to stuff around and be unhappy!! :)
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on September 05, 2013:
Alice: It sounds to me like you are the victim of spousal abuse, neglect and abandonment. This is much more than a man going off hunting; this is abandonment and selfishness, to say the least. Very dishonorable.
I'm sorry you are being treated this way. I pray you have family to lean on or can take a good, long look at your situation, weigh your options and look at the possibility of change in the immediate future.
Good luck to you..
alice on September 05, 2013:
Excuse me, are you saying I should console myself with the fact that he isn't committing crime like using drugs or beating me? News flash buck head: this is not AD 1450, or Talibanist Afghanistan, and it's he that ought to be grateful he doesn't smoke crack or smack me around because I'd see him in prison and clean his financial clock to boot.
Don't tell me to find my own hobbies when there are small children at home and I'm the only reliably present grown-up for four months of the year. Just. Don't. Do. That. Don't say babysitter either, because all that money to pay one with got spent, along with anything I would spend on a hobby if I had time for one, on this year's tags, equipment, truck repairs, ammo and gas.
Women tend to take it personally when their favorite person stops caring whether they exist or not and would rather run to the wilderness than spend time with them for a significant time of the year. Perhaps you do not inflict the same kind of complete emotional and physical abandonment upon your spouse as mine does on me, so you are not seeing the kind of hurt you are telling me to get over. Let's see, how about taking the only family vehicle out hunting for 2 weeks leaving the little woman and kids to walk 5 miles one way for a gallon of milk? How about taking off to bag a big fat turkey and coming home to discover that your wife had appendicitis while you were gone, and you didn't know because you had your phone turned off? How about not taking wife and kids on a family vacation EVER because you need that precious paid vacation for your sacred sport?
How bout making the person who was so in l
SWAMPBUCK on August 10, 2013:
Or you could just hunt with him, my wife does....
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on April 10, 2013:
It sounds to me like your stance on the sport of hunting doesn't correlate with your Bf. If you feel so strongly against hunting that it is putting you in a state of near mental breakdown because your BF hunts, it may be time to evaluate if your values are the same as his. It's heart breaking when someone you love changes in a way that is not acceptable or appalling to your norms. Or if the person does something that causes you to lose respect.
Why not share with him what you are feeling? If this is something he loves to do, not so much for the sport of it but for the "man time" he gets with his long lost buddy, he has a right. But if you are put on the back burner and your feelings are disregarded, you may want to evaluate if you want to spend your life with someone like this. In his eyes, hunting is not wrong; in your eyes it's wrong. You can't change him.
You are feeling left out and rejected. You have a right to those feelings, they are real. I would seek counseling if I was in the state of mind you are in. Please talk to someone soon. Hang in there!
HateHunters on April 10, 2013:
My partner of three years recently started hunting/fishing, and I absolutely hate it. For the first two years into our relationship he never once mentioned anything about hunting or fishing. The most was he talked a few times about liking to hike.
Then out of the blue came an old friend (a hunter) of his who he lost contact with twenty years ago. The intrusiveness of this person was a pain but manageable. What I mean is this old friend lived two hours away but inserted himself squarely into my partners life so much so it began eating into "our" time together, which isn't a whole lot. Next thing this guy moves in with my partner because my BF's old roommate moved out to get married. Now last fall suddenly my BF wants to go hunting, wants to go fishing, spends weekends away at this guys parents hunting land.
I hate hunters, I always have. To me the killing of an animal is not sport, not fun, and I always personally felt that hunters should be shot themselves, that they are lower than scum for slaughtering defenseless animals. Now I'm horribly conflicted. I love my partner, he knows how I feel about hunting, yet it seems like whatever I feel about his friend, hunting, and all the lost "us" time doesn't matter. I'm just being silly when I say it bothers me.
I don't want to know about the hunting trips, I never ask because I get physically sick thinking about the person I love killing an animal. This is putting a strain on our relationship so much so that I really don't know how much more I can take before I have a mental breakdown. This is not the kind, gentle, person I fell in love with, and the whole situation has got me so depressed lately that I honestly can't get out of bed some days, and end up just sitting crying other times.
Overit on April 05, 2013:
Thank you! Good advice :)
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on April 05, 2013:
Way to go, Overit. It seems like you're happy with your decision. I would hope you don't jump into the new relationship too suddenly, with higher expectations. It seem as though you've made peace with yourself. Good luck to you.
Overit715 on April 05, 2013:
I've been married for 16 years to a man that is obsessed with hunting. There is a difference between men that hunt a few times a year and have other interests and the guy that only thinks about hunting and fishing 24/7. I'm tired of hearing nothing but that and I'm tired of his redneck friends calling and talking about it constantly. It just makes them all look stupid. Yes, I too once had the attitude "oh that's just what men do".. Until I met a man that didnt. It's nice to feel like I can finally have an intelligent conversation with a man. I never enjoyed the entitled attitude. It's sexist period. Women would never be that selfish and a lot of men aren't. They are better off alone. Soon, he can hunt and fish to his hearts content. Yay him and yay me. Filing this week ;)
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 20, 2013:
Hang in there, widow lady!
widowofhunter on January 19, 2013:
I am thankful that other people get my position - he knows that I am committed to marriage and the union of marriage - I have tried to have those talks with him about time with me and our marriage - but he does not get it. He believes if we are in the same room we are spending time with each other - seriously one time he said we sleep in the same bed (so I guess he thinks time in my presence is time spend together). Over glorified person - I'll get it just thanks for understanding.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 19, 2013:
Oooooooh. This is seriously gross; the behavior. Has he had a moral bankruptcy? It sounds like it.
Have you told him what you think and feel about this total "oh never mind" attitude toward you and the kids? I mean really TOLD him with a sit down, eye to eye discussion 'this has got to stop' and 'our marriage is in serious trouble'.? He's behaving very selfishly, disregarding you and the children. That was just plain rude.
Good for you going out to do your own thing with the girls!! Maybe if you plan a vacation that doesn't include him.....hmmmmm. But then, that would be like him. How about "Hon, I'm planning a vacation to *^&^*&, shall I include you in the trip or are you busy?"
widowofhunter on January 19, 2013:
It is awesome to find so many other women who get as mad as me at my husband and his obsession. Last night he said let's watch a movie, kids were all gone I thought okay give this a try. Movie started - call on cell - talk about hunting trip for the day, get a beer, sit on sofa, phone rings again, someone wanting to know about his trip that day, 30 minutes later another beer, and start movie again - 10 minutes (after hearing that he is going hunting Saturday instead of working on my hot tub) phone rings - plans made for Saturday, 20 minutes (and this time I did not stop the movie anymore) another call about the trip tomorrow (and he thinks I want to sit and listen to this shit for what seems like the 15th time so I say go to another room). Finally with his 3rd beer and oh after 10 minutes he is sleeping - awwww - what a great evening together. 7:30 this morning phone ringing and we need to have talk with son, I am told I have to take care of it - guys are waiting for him to get his dogs to go rabbit hunting. No he doesn't want to go to the game tonight (I know it is because he won't be home in time) - okay girls I am going with my friend and he can wonder where his dinner is and his wife when he gets home. I am giving the kids $20 each and they can all go out and eat with whoever they want and I am buying. I am going out with my friends. Grrrrr - can we start a "Widow of Hunter Trip" I am thinking some warm tropical location, where I can get away with some people who realize it's not much of a relationship when you are sitting home by yourself and sleeping in the same bed does not constitute spending time together.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 15, 2013:
Yeah, I get where you're coming from. Sheesh!!
Crystal on January 15, 2013:
My husband also hunts regularly. I don't mind it, honestly. But when he goes to GA for 6-7 days at a time, I am home with all 3 kids by myself. I love my kids! We are a close homeschooling family. However, all moms know how exhausting it can be without help.
Well, this last time he came home from a 6 day trip, we got into a fight because he told me that when he returns I should be so happy to see him that I give him the best sex of his life. My reply: "excuse me if I don't jump your bones right away. While you spent the last 6 days at our house in GA enjoying quiet, alone time on our 245 acre property, I am home alone. with 3 kids ages 10 months-7 years. Let me have a six day retreat & then maybe, just maybe, I will be refreshed enough to jump your bones the second I lay eyes on you." Sheesh!
Don't get me wrong I missed him and was happy to see him. I hugged him and had dinner ready when he got home. The trouble started after I put the kids to bed and started that way myself. Ugh!
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 14, 2013:
I love your fighting spirit! A massage sounds quite good, especially if you pay for it with his credit card! Hahahah!
Wow.....you really are in the wilderness! I'm glad you've found a way to release the frustration by writing on a blog. I'll go check it out!
theoutdoorsmanswife on January 14, 2013:
I hear you! My husband is so obsessed with hunting I started a blog about it. In addition to the usual putting up with the time and expense related to it and periodically turning my kitchen into a butcher shop, his antics have included (and I kid you not) making me drive out into the bush at 9 months pregnant to haul his 600 pound bear into the truck, taking over his home taxidermy project while he went out hunting some more (gross!), naming our son after the sport, and making it the theme for our wedding. I'm not going to be totally shameless and put a link here (I mostly just wanted to rant), but if you're interested its the username above with .blogspot.com
widowofhunter on January 14, 2013:
Thanks donotfear - I joined a Gym last week and I am feeling so much better about myself. When he goes hunting I go to the Gym - and yes it is 9:30 am on a Monday morning and he has loaded up his dogs - and headed out to hunt again today - darn his dad had a meeting and could not go today but my son's friend is not working yeah - so yes I am heading off to the Gym before I even think about working and making any money and if my back hurts I am calling my massage therapist and getting an extra massage this week - lol. He hunts and I shall spend. Thanks for having this site!
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 11, 2013:
widow of hunter:
Way to go, girl! Bring it on!
widowofhunter on January 11, 2013:
Do not fear has made a valid point, if you don't mind him going off to other states to hunt and you are good with your current because he will only hunt more after you are married. I have a brother in law that hunts all winter (works into his schedule), he has missed Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter holidays and my sister is okay with it because she loves to go away on trips when he is gone. I on the other hand wanted a husband that was there with me and the kids and he knew this and acted like he did not hunt. Then marriage and when I was pregnant with our first off he went hunting, then as time has progressed he is gone all the time - he takes trips that are all over - and he is planning a bear hunt next year in Canada. I did not sign up for this - and did not know - that is what makes me so mad. We also have taken a winter trip with our kids and this year he is going rabbit hunting in Kansas instead of skiing - he says he doesn't really want to ski anymore - it bothers me but I realize that he is not going to change so I am changing and I am going to start taking the trips I want.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 10, 2013:
Honey, why not go with him hunting? Just try it out. Hey, he calls you every day when he's gone; that says something. You need to decide now if this is what you want for the rest of your life. I'm serious, because he won't stop hunting less after you are married. As long as you are happy with the arrangement, follow your heart. It sounds like yall do other things that are fun. go girl! Just make certain that you're okay with this arrangement before the wedding. Have a long engagement to be sure. Good luck!
Tennessee on January 10, 2013:
I'm so glad I found this discussion!!! Seems like I'm definitely not the only one with a hunting obsessed man!!! We're not married yet, and while I love this fellow more than anything, I do get a little aggravated about the hunting. Deer season here started on my birthday (September 22). My family had planned a get together for me that evening. He did go hunting that morning, but was back in plenty of time for my little dinner (I was also gone out with friends that morning, so that was all fine with me). In October, he was gone to Ohio for a week, which didn't really bother me. And of course, there were all the days in between that he hunted here at home. But then, in November, he left for Indiana and was gone for 37 days straight! Granted, his mother does live there, (and he wasn't missing work, because his work is mostly seasonal...he stays very busy in the spring and summer months), and he did help out a friend in a butcher shop on days that he didn't hunt. He doesn't really spend a ton of money on hunting and supplies...he's used the same bow for several years, and can get supplies at cost through a friend of his with a bow shop. But the real issue with me, is feeling like I'm not as important to him as hunting (I know several women have commented about that). If he gets an opportunity to go, he takes off without a second thought. I know that we're not married, and he has no family here that relies on him to be there to take care of them, but I just don't think I could do the same and just up and leave somebody that I loved for 37 days. He says it has nothing to do with how much he cares about me (he tells me that he loves me and does miss me and think about me while he's gone), but that it's just what he's always done (and it has been, for all the years that I've known him). It's something he loves to do. (Not only deer hunting, but turkey, hog, and now he's talking about booking a bear hunt). And he says that if something was planned that he needed to be here for, or something serious was going on, then he wouldn't go. And if we do get married and have children, he says he'll probably just hunt around here at home instead of going out of state for a month. He called me every day that he was gone, sometimes several times a day, but it's still hard to deal with missing someone and not feeling like they miss you as well. He told me that if the shoe were on the other foot, and I wanted to go somewhere, it wouldn't bother him....if it's something I always wanted to do, and got the opportunity, who is he to say that I shouldn't go. I'm trying really hard to understand his point of view, because when he isn't hunting, he always invites me to go places with him, comes and spends time with me, and we both enjoy going fourwheeling or getting outdoors, and just spending time together. Other than the hunting obsession, we get along great! Do you have any advice for getting past feeling like you come in second place to hunting?
widowofhunter on January 07, 2013:
Thanks - I plan to keep checking there are selfish people out there - he has became one - our mid-winter vacation that we have been doing for 15 years has just been replaced with his hunting buddies - you are right it is selfish - so thanks for this forum for me to grow some guts and start living my life.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on January 07, 2013:
Wow, your husband has grown incredibly selfish to plan a family trip then say "oh, well, never mind...." That is the epitomy of tasteless. I'm glad you have a good attitude about it. You have fun too!
widowofhunter on January 06, 2013:
Thank you for this forum!! Okay I need encouragement - I have spent over 20 years with my husband, raising our kids while he hunts, cooking and cleaning while he hunts, waiting on him to get home to go to dinners and then having to sit and listen about the darn hunting thing. He hunts all the time and it is only getting worst. He even travels to hunt can a rabbit really be that important after all we have a freezer full that I refuse to cook. When we dated he did not hunt, oh that's right he was chasing me and he knew because I made it perfectly clear - I was not going to marry anyone who wanted to spend their time hunting all the time like my brother in law does - well surprise - he loves to hunt. My children are not out of the house yet but they are getting older - I just believe we should be doing things with them and actually I would feel guilty if I left them home - although he doesn't have a problem with hunting from sun up to sun down, day in and day out, weeks on trips or whatever it takes to get the next hunt. And yes if it isn't rabbit season there is always deer, dove, or any other animal. Well I hope that I can find the strength to just go and start having fun - I am going to check back here and make sure I do this right. Now what can I fix tomorrow for dinner that he won't like - well maybe I just won't fix anything :) after all can't he fix himself a rabbit. I am mad because we are suppose to have a family trip in Feb. and tonight he just planned a trip 8 hours away for a weekend hunt at a lodge for the same weekend and said well I don't really want to do that trip. (Oh he said I could go with him and his friends but I heard him say "Oh you don't have a cook available that weekend" - are you kidding - no way and I going to be the cook and cleaner for all those men. Have fun sweetie I am just glad there are other women who see my point of view!
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on December 11, 2012:
Way to go, girl!
BurntBackMolehill on December 11, 2012:
This was my Sister's opinion or theory. Her husband was never allowed to leave her home over night unless it was work related. And sometimes she would accompany him. They have no children. So in 30 years he never had a "Man" hobby. She allowed him to watch Porno in their home and says that is how she kept him home. In my life We have raised 3 Children and going on our 6th GrandChild. I Don't have porno in my home. When I told her I found porno tapes at the hunting lease she gave this theory about all these men spending time together for reasons other than hunting. I did research on "latent homosexual". I never heard of it before. I am not going to put my hubby to the tests. Lol
Okay so bottom line is his hunting and leaving me on week-ends did not bother me so much when I had kids at home. But it has been 6 years that all our children have moved out and I am left with a man who has no outside interest other than hunting. So yes I am trying to decide what I could really be happy doing. I was raised in a musical environment. My Father played Guitars and sang in Small Gigs but it was a happy past time at home. My Brother is doing the same. He has a Day job but then also does Gigs on week-ends. I am thinking hard about investing in nice Electric & Acoustic Guitars and taking lessons. I have already told my husband. I can't make him be more fun but I can make Me be more fun.
Thanks for that "latent" word. I can now forget about it.
So next week hubby is leaving to go 10 hrs. away at a Hunting Ranch. He is taking a Customer. Guaranteed deer kill he said. Well maybe if he can get that "kill" he will lose his long face !
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on December 10, 2012:
BurntBackMolehill, maybe the word you are looking for is "latent homosexual"?
BurntBackMolehill on December 10, 2012:
Thanks for your reply. But oh yeah he IS changing and it just gets worse and worse. Before this hunting started he was a different person. If this is how he was back in 1983 I would have never been interested. I have been thinking it is because he is getting older, but I see young women living the same way. I really believe all these men spending week-end trips and week long trips together over time is not a good thing. He has even told me that men don't nag ! Some men just go do a hunt at somebody else's lease or property. This is my husband's lease. I have only went a few times in all these years. to get away from hurricanes mostly. I have found porn tapes before. Hubby told me it was not his, it belonged to one of the members. I asked why would a bunch of men watch that together ? What happens after, ya'll just grin at each other ? Okay so that is my nagging. My sister told me years ago that any man that leaves his woman home other than for work reasons to go bunk out with other men is a homosexual. She said even if he has physical relations with a woman that he can only have a close emotional relationship with men. She said that is a cover up homosexual.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on December 10, 2012:
I hope you find the answer. It's sad that his priorities are not on you or your needs. After all this time, it's pretty plain he's not going to change. I pray you find peace somehow. Get active and involved! Whatever you do, don't enable him.....hey, I know, go get your own hobby that takes up all your time. Take care and good luck to you!
BurntBackMolehill on December 09, 2012:
There was no hunting ever mentioned out of his mouth untill 200o when the company he worked for got a deer lease. Then after the company sold out the lease went over into my husbands name. You would have sworn he won the lotto. Yes it has been feeding his ego "Look at Me" syndrome. This is all year. Spring getting renewals out to members. Summers maintaining grass, fixing stands, feeders. Etc. in 2010 over 5 thousand acres with hunting camps burnt down because of a fire that the wind took out of control. When we got the news he hit the bed depressed. He did not get that upset when I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2002. In fact he did'nt even have time to notice that I had lost 30 lbs. in 6 weeks and looked sick ! I am again going through a hard time from a drug Humira. Causing muscle inflammation throughout my body. And in all my pain all this dude (can't even say Man) can think or talk about is remodeling his new bunk house or his deer stand curtains are not dark enough and he thinks the deer can see him 30 ft. Up high and that is why he is not seeing a deer lately. He missed my Birthday, not even a card. No ThanksGiving as usual. Then for Christmas he will be a Scrooge. Oh but he is just Honey Boo Boo with his Buddy's ! I always looked forward to this time in our lives that all the kids are out of the house. It has been the most boring time in my life. I need a companion. I like to dance, not him. I like to go to Church, not him. I love my doggies, not him. He has not taken me on a vacation in 29 yrs. In 2008 I planned a Mother/ Daughter trip. Well he whined untill it became Him and Me and my Daughter and her Husband. And even on the cruise he was no fun. Just wanted to relax ! This life is crazy. How Right can it be that a Husband is always making week-end plans with men instead of ever asking his WIFE to go do something. I think the Primal instinct should be "Adam & Eve, not "Adam & Steve" .
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 23, 2012:
I already have, honey. Every trip I took, I usually flew across the country on my own, husbandless. Not all of us "hunting widows" are wimps. Heck yeah, I'd take a break from the kids and husband to enjoy myself. We deserve it. Yep.
whatever on November 23, 2012:
You women have got to be kidding me with the oh well it makes him happy BS! When do you disappear without the kids to go on vacations? When do you spend four months and thousands of dollars just doing what you love without responsibilities or respect to your spouse? Are you kidding me - make meals he doesn't like, visit your parents, go to a movie really? Pathetic! How about book yourself a vacation withou him - see how well that one plays out. He will throw a fit. Hunting is not an addiction it is a sport. It is not a disease. The only reason they do is because you all act like it is no big deal the being ignored or devalued because of their "primal instinct" Welcome to 2012 Ladies. This is about being a man and hanging out with the boys. Would you leave your kids and husband behind days on end to fullfill your rpassions?
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 10, 2012:
Brokemack: If he's lying, that's more reason to mistrust. It's unacceptable. He needs professional help, if you ask me. Of course, I'm sure he would refuse, but it's obvious that guy has serious issues. No excuse for deliberate rudeness......
Ever heard the term moral bankrupcy? It may fit him. Take care of yourself.
Brokebackmountain on November 10, 2012:
I know. I am at my wits end. If it was just about recreational hunting I would be okay with it cause I am very independent. He is however obsessed. Not to mention he has admitted to lying to me and I have caught him in numerous lies. Yet he said he was sorry and asked that I forgive him. Which I have or wouldn't still be here, however when the lies and temper tantrums continue it's hard to build that trust back.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 09, 2012:
Wow, Brokebackmountain! You're really angry! But that's okay, get it out. You have a reason and a right to explode. Sounds like you're re-thinking the relationship. I would too. If he's that selfish, makes it hard to love him, doesn't it? Why not try talking to a professional about this, as well as continue with your soul-searching. There comes a time in life when we finally get a belly full and when the other person continues to take, and you continue to do all the giving, then it makes the decision a bit easier. Good luck.
brokebackmountain on November 08, 2012:
Its really nice to hear other women complain about the same thing. My boyfriend is obsessed and has been for years on hunting and fishing. It's boring to me. Broken record one dimensional. He has spent Christmas Eve with his friends on "special" hunts. To the point I am beginning to wonder if it's a Broke Back Mountain ordeal and they are really wanting time away with each other for other reasons than hunting. I mean seriously. No vacations with me yet weeks at a time with a dude in a hotel room snuggling in a deer blind or tree. Are any of you sure that is not what part of the obsession is all about? I'm not. He works hard on those stupid damn tree stands, deer blinds, but bitches if he I ask him to do anything around the house. Seems like a theme here with sloppiness. He doesn't pick up after himself. I too have a career, interest and very independent but I need some companionship here. His obsessions are all time consuming and expensive!!!!! And if you say anything to the spoiled selfish self serving brat he blows up. How dare anyone say anything about his coveted Deer hunting and fishing crap. He has cut back some but resents it. He makes a whopping 32000 a year and spends half of it on this crap and mad cause he can't afford a $40,000 boat. Top of the line hunting crap too. Used furniture, crappy house, but best of everything in his hunting gear. No bars hold on his trips. But I stay home and do nothing cause we can't afford anything after he splurges on his "passion". They all sound like self serving selfish gay jerks to me. I've tried praying for him but when I am wanting to hit him over the head with a baseball bat instead I am not sure if God is responding to that kind of heart.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on November 04, 2012:
WHOKNEW: I'm glad you recognize that this is an addiction and has nothing to do with you, personally. God bless you.....please try to go to counseling, seriously. It's gotten out of hand and you need to talk to someone!!!
WhoKnewHub on November 04, 2012:
Hunting is an addiction when it becomes unhealthy and all-consuming. It's taken years and years for my husband's once healthy "hobby" to become an addiction. It used to be a weekend here and there during deer gun season. Then bow season. Then turkey's. Then leasing land and setting up stands, blinds, posting signs, planting plots, water holes, etc. None of this was a problem and he got my kids involved and they enjoyed it and I thought it was a good thing! But now the kids are older and busy with jobs, college and friends. He's leased more land and spends twice the amount of time away, twice the expense (a freezer full of meat saves nothing when you take off of work to get it!). He talks about deer, turkey, elk, fishing, gun, bow, etc twice as much. I used to joke that he could be chasing women but now just feel like I can't compete with a buck...at least I could with another woman.
He has missed important childhood and family events. It's become worse now that our kids need us/ME less and I expressed my loneliness but he doesn't seem to care. He's encouraged me to go out, etc., but what he doesn't seem to understand that I can be in a crowded room and still feel alone. I miss him and my marriage. It hit me hard the other day when I was in the ER with my daughter (she's okay) and was talking to him on the phone (on day 3 of his 10 day trip), updating him on her condition, and he asked to talk to her so he could tell her about a deer!! I stayed composed and just said now wasn't a good time.
I'm very sad because he's always been a good man, great father, and hard worker and not this hunting obsession is turning him into someone I'm not sure I like very much. I could have all the hobbies in the world to keep me busy while he's away but feel as though that'll just make us further apart. Two obsessions are not better than one.
Annette Thomas (author) from Northeast Texas on October 31, 2012:
Kitty: Unfortunately, addictions take many forms. Hunting is just another addiction. Thank goodness you recognize it and see it for what it is. It has nothing to do with you, or what you mean to him; it has everything to do with HIM and what his craving is about. There's something about the hunt that grabs them and holds them. I think it's an inherited trait from the past when we were hunters and gatherers.
You can concentrate on you and staying healed. It's so healthy that you've been able to identify the issue and state it. Hang in there and try to keep yourself occupied. Good luck, stay healthy and God bless!