I (30M) feel my wife (32F) is more invested in bugs and plants than me

My wife and I have been married for a year, we dated for six. She has an extreme interest in plants and bugs. I think it’s kind of cool. She makes artificial biomes to keep her bugs in- trying to make them as accurate as possible- and keeps up a huge garden in our backyard. I love her and her passion, but lately, I just feel second rate. She spends so much time on her garden, and when I come out to help, I just get told to stand there. She says she doesn’t want me hurting her plants, as though they’re people. If I don’t like the bugs, I’m somehow irrational and they’re “not that bad.” Even the ones that sting and bite “aren’t that bad.” I feel sometimes like we’re never going to have kids, these are just going to be our babies. When I bring up kids, she says she has “other” priorities, and we leave it at that.

She spends hours on them. Sure, we go on dates and we love each other, but I’m convinced she loves those bugs and plants more. She baby talks them, coos over them and constantly says how much she loves them. My wife wants more tanks, and has her eye on a big trip to Asia or Africa to study some of the native fauna. I don’t really like to travel. Home is good enough for me. But she always wants to go see things- new plants, new bugs. I feel like I’m not good enough sometimes. How do I reconcile this? I don’t want to start a fight, but anytime I try to talk to her about it, we both get so up in arms. She says I don’t respect her, and I say she doesn’t respect me and we just yell.

TL;DR: I think my wife is more invested in her passions than me.

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23 thoughts on “I (30M) feel my wife (32F) is more invested in bugs and plants than me

  1. quite_vague February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Imagine, if you will, that you got to decide exactly what happens now. You get to choose how much time your wife spends on what.

    What would that look like? “More time with me” is nice, but can you be more specific? In your ideal imagination, how much time (total) is she spending on her bugs, plants, and biomes?

  2. scrawledfilefish February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Did you two not talk about having kids before you got married? Did you two ever talk about your differing interests in traveling? Did you two talk about keeping stinging, biting insects in your home?

  3. HanabinoOto February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    A good way to approach an SO whose hobby is taking away from your relationship:

    *Don’t* ask them to stop something.

    *Do* ass them to start something.

    With your wife, don’t ask her to spend less time with her bugs. Instead, ask her to spend X1 nights a week doing X2 with you. If she’s meeting your relationship needs, what she does with her other time should not affect you.

    The kids discussion seems a separate issue, and not one you can just “let lie.” When she says she has other priorities, does that mean “no?” You need to get clarity on that before you can decide to spend the rest of your life with her! Don’t delay, serious conversation today….

  4. luro2 February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    I guess what I’m wondering is, since you have been together for 7 years, what’s changed? Has she been like this all 7 years? If so then I’m curious why you feel bad about it at *this* time. Not judging or saying it’s wrong to feel bad, just curious to know why.

    If she got like this lately, do you know what triggered it?

    Or if she has always been like this AND it has always bothered you, have you come up with compromises in the past? Has she broken them? Or did she make promises that she didn’t fulfill?

  5. earthgarden February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    >When I bring up kids, she says she has “other” priorities, and we leave it at that.

    She’s 32. If you guys don’t decide, soon enough nature will decide for you. You need to talk this out and if she does not want to have kids, then you need to decide if this is a deal-breaker for you and act accordingly.

    Her interest in plants and bugs may be a bit unusual, but doesn’t seem to be the cause nor source of your problem. Now granted I may be a bit biased (trust me, I *live* my name) but a garden takes up hours of your time even without a grand passion. If you do have a love for the earth, for growing things, for the various fauna that inhabit it including bugs, then yes it is going to be a major, important part of your life. It’s ok if you don’t share her grand passion, but instead of sitting around while she’s working with either the plants or bugs consider getting a hobby of your own to devote time to. What do you like to do, what are your interests? Is there a joint interest that you have together? Or interests that can be combined in some way? That might help you come together more.

    For example, I LOVE gardening but my husband has very little interest in it. However he does LOVE wood working (which I have very little interest in) and has built me a fence for the garden, a bench for the garden, and this summer will build be a glass bottle door for the garden. I love making candles, he loves glass work, and has cut and sanded me glass tumblers to use for candles. I love sewing, crocheting, quilting, making rag rugs, stuff like that, so I’m going to ask him to make me wood frames. I love to read, he’s made me bookcases and tables. We both love fitness, so go to the gym together frequently. So perhaps there are things you like to do or would like to do that would align with her hobby as well or something you could do together.

    But again I don’t think this is the actual problem…not that I’m dismissing your need for attention from your wife (this is completely valid and understandable) but the greater issue seems to be you two are at odds on when or even if to start a family. Get this out on the table, really have a discussion about this. Then you will know what to do that works best for you going forward.

  6. Jootmill February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    You two don’t sound compatible at all. Or, if you want to stay together, you’ll have to accept you’re going to do quite a few things apart. She wants to travel, you don’t so you have to accept that you either break up or just let her have her holidays alone.

    But first of all, you both need to have an honest tall about whether she wants kids or not. If she doesn’t then what does that mean for you? That’s definitely a defining factor of whether you can make it as a couple.

  7. hawthornetree February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    So I see three paths:

    * If you want parenthood, and she doesn’t, you need to drag that out into the open soon, because the window is going to close, and that’s a legitimate relationship ender. Getting pregnant after age 35 gets increasingly dicey, and if you’re going to have children with someone else close in age to you, you need to be out there meeting them soon.
    * If you want children together, the two of you need to make that a priority in the next few years, and you should not accept the stalling.
    * If you want to stay together childless, for the long haul, well, addressing your feelings of neglect get interesting: you probably have to both address some needs elsewhere (your own social life and hobbies, separate from hers) and tempt her back (without being resentful about it) towards enough to make a basis for a solid relationship.

  8. everybody_eats February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Shit, dude. This post is so similar to me I came close to asking my SO if they made this and fudged the ages and genders. However I’ve always made it abundantly clear to my prospective partners that I am *really* into plants and insects and am unlikely to put any partner before my passions.

    Do these interests predate you being in her life? Did she tell you that her top priority in her life is her passions? It’s awfully shitty of her if she said one thing and is now doing something else. Did you two discuss kids prior to marriage? Because she doesn’t seem on board with kids.

    Right now it sounds like when you two discuss your desire to spend more quality time together she walks away with the impression that you’re putting down her hobbies. And to be honest when I read the first paragraph of the OP I kind of got the impression that you *are* putting down her hobbies. When you talk to her about what you want to see more of in the relationship you might want to take more care to focus more on what you want more of, like quality time, your relationship going toward a specific goal like kids than what you want less of, because she’s likely to interpret that as you putting her down.

  9. WeirdOctopus February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Do you have hobbies on your own? What do you want to do with your wife? You just complain she has hobbies, but you don’t see, to have anything yourself? Your comment about traveling also sounds super boring. How are you not even interested in leaving your home? To me it looks like you don’t have anything fulfilling for yourself so your wife has to give up what makes her happy too.

  10. pitqov February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    How are you going to deal with a baby if you get jealous of the attention she pays to a centipede?

  11. powerofperception February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    this isn’t about the plants or the bugs OP. this is about the affection and attention you’re not getting from her regardless of the other interests in her life.

    also, if you really want kids you’re going to have to find a way to have a more constructive conversation than you’ve been able to so far. what are her other priorities? for how long will they be her priorities? etc.

  12. Berlinesq February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    I’ll be honest, you lost me at the “home is good enough for me” philosophy. International travel is my passion-you see and explore and experience new cultures, languages, religions, life. Sounds like your wife feels similarly (seriously, she needs to go to Costa Rica for flora/fauna). It sounds like fairly fundamental incompatibility she’s enjoying her passions and interests and you want to stay home and eat dinner, watch tv, and settle into a domestic routine. You can find ways to make those 2 opposing life philosophies compliment each other, though. Maybe setting goals for time together or even counseling to communicate better would help.

  13. StarsSunMoonEarth February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    In the long run, you guys don’t sound compatible and won’t work out as a couple. She has other priorities that you don’t share. You need to have a serious talk with her…

  14. bounce-bounce-drop February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Honestly, it doesn’t sound like you respect her. You dated her for six years, this doesn’t sound like a new hobby, and yet you proposed. Did you expect her hobby to suddenly not be important to her?

    > When I bring up kids, she says she has “other” priorities

    You should’ve talked about that before getting married.

    Honestly, I’d figure out whether you’re compatible on the baby front and, assuming you are, find your own hobby.

  15. deepCfish February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Honestly your wife sounds awesome. On a more serious note have you ever made an effort to learn more and get into her hobby genuinely? I think if you spoke to her about it she’d probably be thrilled to teach you and it could become something you get excited about together. As for the issue of children… if she doesn’t want them it’s not a good idea to force it. It should definitely be a discussion between the two of you but you’ll likely have to compromise, so be prepared for that.

  16. IFinallyWokeUpHaveU February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Sounds like a divorce is in your future, honestly. Or you’ll continue to be unhappy.

  17. thehortlak February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Your focus on the bugs seems really misplaced. What are your hobbies? What are you interested in (maybe children)? Are you not feeling fulfilled in those aspect of your life? These are the questions to be asking, not “would my wife pick me or the bugs?” Nothing about your wife’s interests sound particularly worrying or pathological– either you’re using them as an excuse to cover up a bigger problem (like her not being ready for kids, or not being affectionate enough towards you), or you’re really just not compatible as people.

  18. Pechugapechuga February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    You two probably shouldn’t be married. You don’t seem to have the same life goals, and that will just get worse and worse.

  19. BornRecommendation February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    It sounds like you are jealous she has hobbies and interests outside of you. I think your lack of interests is not super healthy. Maybe you could get some hobbies as well. Wanting to spend time together every day I also think is unrealistic.

  20. LOLsrslythooo February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    She is more passionate about plants and bugs than she is about you and her marriage. She enjoys it more. She cares about it more. Perhaps suggest counceling and if she does not agree to that, decide whether you want to be second best for the rest of your life or not.

  21. insomniagame February 14, 2018 / 12:58 am

    If push comes to shove, she probably will pick her hobby over you. That’s because people (your wife) don’t like being told what to be interested in (bugs), and they will take that out on the person (you) doing the telling. So, choose this battle carefully.

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