(Topic ID: 59787)

Pinball Veterans Tips for dealing with Wives


By Jared

7 years ago



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    #1 7 years ago

    And now we shall discuss the most important topic in all of pinball. More important than Stern speculations, holographic backboards, Hobbit LE production or the newest pins on the drawing board in England...

    Pinball Wives.

    Some of us are very lucky, and have happy, accommodating, and totally complacent wives who let us do whatever we want in pinball. And for the rest of us here in reality, lol, dealing with your hobby and your marriage can in fact be something of a big deal.

    For those of us who came into the hobby AFTER marriage, where the interest had not yet been established, a wife could find it quite shocking that you all of the sudden want to collect vintage boxes of wood, plastic and glass that cost thousands of dollars and take pictures of them for the internet. In fact, your wife may just have a huge problem with that...

    If you have the good luck to make so much money that she does not care, then good on you. But I think even those of us making 6 figures have to juggle a pinball budget around with our wife and what she will tolerate.

    And no, I dont personally think its as easy as saying "If your wife is a good wife, then she will 100% support your hobby". LOL. Thats something a single guy would say...

    SO HUSBANDS (Or wife's if this applies in reverse), what strategy or advice can you share with the community to make a dedicated pinball obsession work within a dedicated marriage, with a wife who quite possibly is 100% uninterested in pinball or games of any sort?

    Pinball Veterans Tips for dealing with Wives. Share your knowledge.

    Post edited by blondetall : Edited "wife's" to "wives" because it was driving me insane. -Blondetall (Pinball wife)

    #3 7 years ago

    Don't ever put pinball or any hobby before your family. Plain and simple. The rest will fall into place (at least it has for me)!

    #4 7 years ago

    happy wife happy life

    #5 7 years ago

    I'd like to hear from the vets too.

    #6 7 years ago

    My rule is just to not give her a reason to hate the hobby. I have a lot of hobbies and side interests, and my wife views them all with the "if it makes you happy, it makes me happy" mindset.

    As long as I don't start setting machines up in the living room or spending our car payments on pinball, she is cool with whatever.

    In return, I try to be cool about her interests. If there is a bag or something she is coveting, it's no different than me drooling over an AC/DC.

    #7 7 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    If there is a bag or something she is coveting, it's no different than me drooling over an AC/DC.

    But a $7,000 machine VS a $400 bag is hardly fair for her, no?

    Each NIB pinball is like buying a new turbo Jet-Ski. Maybe I life in the wrong neighborhood, but when I go into someones house and they have 8-12+ Turbo Jet-Skis lined up in a row in a room I would be shocked... lol.

    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    My rule is just to not give her a reason to hate the hobby. I have a lot of hobbies and side interests, and my wife views them all with the "if it makes you happy, it makes me happy" mindset.

    I like that a lot. Sounds like a keeper for sure. Then again, they should all be keepers... which is why any of us got married to begin with..

    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from Jared:

    But a $7,000 machine VS a $400 bag is hardly fair for her, no?

    We don't look at it as "tit for tat".

    Quoted from Jared:

    Each NIB pinball is like buying a new turbo Jet-Ski. Maybe I life in the wrong neighborhood, but when I go into someones house and they have 8-12+ Turbo Jet-Skis lined up in a row in a room I would be shocked... lol.

    I agree, but I also don't have 8-12 NIB machines. I have a F-14 I poured a thousand hours into to restore, and a NASCAR I saved for a year to buy. Buying a coach bag and wallet is a spend for us as a family, just like buying a pinball machine would be.

    I would never just show up with a $500+ pin if she wasn't expecting it to show. I respect her enough to keep her in the loop where our money is concerned, even though I am the single income for us. She is a stay at home mom, but I wouldn't trade with her for all the tea in china.

    #9 7 years ago

    Biggest tip, don't marry one that is going to give you crap about something that truly makes you happy. Real love doesn't do that.

    Of course you have to be responsible with it too. As others have said, do not ever put this or any hobby above your family. Don't spend money on a hobby that is needed elsewhere. Make sure to support her hobbies in return, even if you think they are silly. If there's a pin she loves, make sure she gets it so she can be a part of your hobby too.

    The ones that make being in this hobby painful for their husbands are probably the same ones that spend more money on makeup and shoes than a pin costs per year. I really have no patience what-so-ever for people that supposedly love each other, yet "forbid" things that make them happy if it is safe and financially responsible to do.

    Remember guys...marry responsibly.

    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    We don't look at it as "tit for tat".

    I agree, but I also don't have 8-12 NIB machines. I have a F-14 I poured a thousand hours into to restore, and a Nascar I saved for a year to buy. Buying a coach bag and wallet is a spend for us as a family, just like buying a pinball machine would be.
    I would never just show up with a $500+ pin if she wasn't expecting it to show. I respect her enough to keep her in the loop where our money is concerned, even though I am the single income for us. She is a stay at home mom, but I wouldn't trade with her for all the tea in china.

    Great advice.

    I think personally I misstepped by purchasing my own pin without asking her at all. She was very upset that I just took $1200 out of the account without even a discussion (and rightfully so).

    I have money to buy more machines, but she is determined to build up a large savings, pay off 100% of any interest accruing debt ahead of schedule, and live on a budget... even though we dont really need to. Basically... she is very responsible and organized... and it makes it tough for a guy like me who loves shiny objects... and even has the money to buy them... to not be "allowed" to do so. I dont want pinball to damage my marriage in any way...

    Which is why I am seeking a thread with tips from veterans.

    Hopefully I am not the only one who might benefit from this thread.

    #11 7 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    I try to be cool about her interests

    I also make it a point to support her interests.

    #12 7 years ago

    If she is organized and loves a budget, maybe you could appeal to that.

    Work with her to come up a plan that puts a set amount of money aside every month as "fun" money for pinball. Then, it's up to you to save that money up for a machine, or spend it on parts, etc....

    She can rest easy knowing you aren't going to screw up all her hard budgeting work, and you can get to spend your "fun" money, no questions asked.

    #13 7 years ago

    My wife enjoys the hobby, we found a machine that is hers. We also make pinball a family time.

    #14 7 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    She is a stay at home mom, but I wouldn't trade with her for all the tea in china.

    This quote took my mind to this song immediately:

    #15 7 years ago

    It's all about respect. I make sure I do whatever needs done around the house and with the kids first.

    #16 7 years ago
    Quoted from Jediturtle:

    Biggest tip, don't marry one that is going to give you crap about something that truly makes you happy. Real love doesn't do that.
    Of course you have to be responsible with it too. As others have said, do not ever put this or any hobby above your family. Don't spend money on a hobby that is needed elsewhere. Make sure to support her hobbies in return, even if you think they are silly. If there's a pin she loves, make sure she gets it so she can be a part of your hobby too.
    The ones that make being in this hobby painful for their husbands are probably the same ones that spend more money on makeup and shoes than a pin costs per year. I really have no patience what-so-ever for people that supposedly love each other, yet "forbid" things that make them happy if it is safe and financially responsible to do.
    Remember guys...marry responsibly.

    More simply put, don't be a dick.

    #17 7 years ago

    Spending large sums of money without discussing with your spouse is a bad idea, period.

    That said, I see an empty "Owned in the Past" section in your collection. I'd suggest you suck it up, tell her you're sorry, and sell the machine if she's upset about it. You'll still have five machines, she'll see that you can get your money back out of them, and hopefully it will help to mend the relationship.

    Ultimately, it comes down to what works for the two of you, but a summary of my agreement with my wife is:
    - Bills get paid first
    - I can buy what I want if we have the money (after talking with her)
    - If we need the money due to unforeseen circumstances, I sell machines

    #18 7 years ago

    If you can get her into the hobby, at least just interest in playing, then try to go for some machines that she may like as well. My wife absolutely did not have a problem with me selling my LOTR and getting a WOZLE as she loves the WOZ film, lol. When it comes to spending money on a pin I've explained to her in the past that I set aside 10% of my paycheck for our retirement, that the bill are paid, that I'm not buying the machine on credit and that I've earned it to get something like a few pins after working hard to get a degree and doing well in my career.

    I think selling a couple of my pins also helped make my wife realize that as long as you don't get ripped off you can usually sell a machine for what you bought it for and in some cases it may actually go up in value over the years. Still...I need to preorder a Hobbit LE soon as we want to have a baby in a few years. Time to get all those NIB pins now, lol!

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    More simply put, don't be a dick.

    Bingo! And don't marry one either.

    #20 7 years ago
    Quoted from Jared:

    Great advice.

    I think personally I misstepped by purchasing my own pin without asking her at all. She was very upset that I just took $1200 out of the account without even a discussion (and rightfully so).

    I have money to buy more machines, but she is determined to build up a large savings, pay off 100% of any interest accruing debt ahead of schedule, and live on a budget... even though we dont really need to. Basically... she is very responsible and organized... and it makes it tough for a guy like me who loves shiny objects... and even has the money to buy them... to not be "allowed" to do so. I dont want pinball to damage my marriage in any way...

    Which is why I am seeking a thread with tips from veterans.

    Hopefully I am not the only one who might benefit from this thread.

    I feel you here. I'm not married, but I do live with my girlfriend of 4 years and we are very much in a "like married" relationship. I know a lot of people put less gravitas into it since "oh, she's just your girlfriend," but we do own the house together, share expenses, basically everything like a married couple minus the tax break and legal papers.

    Anyway, she is not a pinball fan at all really. It was also an after our relationship started obsession, so she feels it carries less weight then some of my older hobbies. Because of that, she gets fussy with how many I have. She's flabbergasted that anyone wants or needs 8 (or more!). I've settled her well with 8, but any more in will be an issue. However, she does seem warm to the idea of if I built an exterior game room via a Dutch barn or steel building in the back.

    I think part of our problem is polar opposite finances. I've always been responsible and never accrued debt, good with my money and I also make about $20k more a year than she does. She has never been very good with budgeting, has loans that are interest driven, etc. I do carry more of a load, and rightfully so, on the house and expenses, about a 65/35 split with me carrying the 65.

    However, I think it bothers her a lot when I spend thousands on a game when she might be struggling some that month. It's a tough situation though. On one hand, of course I want to help, but on the other hand I feel like I do and that my reward for being smart with my money is the ability to divulge in my toys and hobbies.

    I also have an issue with my employment. I literally hate going to work everyday and being a corporate schlub. One of the only ways I can deal with coming into this God awful cubicle life daily is to use the money I make from it to have the things I really enjoy to mess/tinker/play with in the evenings.

    #21 7 years ago
    Quoted from The_Director:

    I really enjoy to mess/tinker/play with in the evenings.

    In the big scheme of things my wife realizes this is much less expensive therapy than a shrink

    #22 7 years ago

    Husband loves electronics and likes pinball. He has a list of things he wants to buy this year, such as the latest iPad, XBoxOne, PS4, etc. I have a list of pinball machines that I'd like to own if the opportunity came up. Both lists are expensive, but pinballs cost more. The difference to me is that as long as I don't spend crazy money on the pins, there's virtually no way that I could lose tons of money with them. We've got 6 pins sitting downstairs, but to me it is almost like a savings account that I can play with. I'm not saying pins are a valid investment, but with the teeny tiny interest rates that savings accounts pay these days, I'd rather get a pinball machine, play it, and eventually sell it for a gain/small loss if need be than have money sitting in the bank. Husband understands this. Bills and 401K come first, then extra money after the household budget costs can be spent on other things we'd like.

    #23 7 years ago
    Quoted from blondetall:

    I'd rather get a pinball machine, play it, and eventually sell it for a gain/small loss if need be than have money sitting in the bank.

    Very true. I never think of them as investments, but I have not lost money on a pinball machine yet. Everyone I've sold I've either broken even or made a little on the top off of.

    #24 7 years ago

    Noobie here, been planting the seed with my wife that I want a pinball machine for a while. Then one day she starts asking me a bunch of questions about the hobby. A big question was what do they cost. I explained what a new one goes for (Me: "for about 5-6" Her: "hundred? Thats not bad" Me: "no Thousand", Her: "WHATTT????"). then told her what A++ titles like MM and AFM go for. Then I explained what a reasonably priced B title goes for. She then agreed that I could get one and gave me the ok to spend much more on a machine than I would have ever expected or asked for. There are certain criteria that we as a FAMILY need to meet, but I will get one soon and it will not have a negative effect on my family because we made the decision together.

    Be careful not to assume you wife will not be supportive of the hobby, I painted my wife in my mind as someone who would never support this hobby and she has been great about it.

    I do look forward to hearing more tips from the vets!

    #25 7 years ago
    Quoted from blondetall:

    Husband loves electronics and likes pinball. He has a list of things he wants to buy this year, such as the latest iPad, XBoxOne, PS4, etc. I have a list of pinball machines that I'd like to own if the opportunity came up. Both lists are expensive, but pinballs cost more. The difference to me is that as long as I don't spend crazy money on the pins, there's virtually no way that I could lose tons of money with them. We've got 6 pins sitting downstairs, but to me it is almost like a savings account that I can play with. I'm not saying pins are a valid investment, but with the teeny tiny interest rates that savings accounts pay these days, I'd rather get a pinball machine, play it, and eventually sell it for a gain/small loss if need be than have money sitting in the bank. Husband understands this. Bills and 401K come first, then extra money after the household budget costs can be spent on other things we'd like.

    Great way to look at it.

    I think I might have to let a few go to prove this to my wife, which will put her at ease. If crap ever "really" hits the fan, we can always cash out of pinball and have that money back (or so I theorize). Thats actually kind of a assurance.

    #26 7 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    Work with her to come up a plan that puts a set amount of money aside every month as "fun" money for pinball. Then, it's up to you to save that money up for a machine, or spend it on parts, etc....

    She can rest easy knowing you aren't going to screw up all her hard budgeting work, and you can get to spend your "fun" money, no questions asked.

    This, and I'd even take it further: if you currently just have all of your money in one big pool, consider opening new separate accounts for both of you and giving yourselves an "allowance" every month. Money that each of you keep separated from the joint finances and can do whatever you want with. My wife and I do this and it has been 100% worry- and argument- free. We are both free to save it up or blow it all on pinball or shoes and makeup or whatever, and there is never any issue with either of us spending too much or using joint money without prior approval or anything like that.

    #27 7 years ago
    Quoted from 1967Firebird:

    My wife enjoys the hobby, we found a machine that is hers. We also make pinball a family time.

    +1 to that.....Her POTC will be at the house Friday.....next will be for me....wonder what it will be?

    #28 7 years ago
    Quoted from Jared:

    I have money to buy more machines, but she is determined to build up a large savings, pay off 100% of any interest accruing debt ahead of schedule, and live on a budget... even though we dont really need to. Basically... she is very responsible and organized... and it makes it tough for a guy like me who loves shiny objects... and even has the money to buy them... to not be "allowed" to do so. I dont want pinball to damage my marriage in any way...

    My wife is exactly the same way as yours, with wanting to save as much as possible.

    So, I did exactly this:

    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    If she is organized and loves a budget, maybe you could appeal to that.

    Work with her to come up a plan that puts a set amount of money aside every month as "fun" money for pinball. Then, it's up to you to save that money up for a machine, or spend it on parts, etc....

    She can rest easy knowing you aren't going to screw up all her hard budgeting work, and you can get to spend your "fun" money, no questions asked.

    In fact we labeled the money exactly that, "fun" money. It worked great. She feels confident that we are saving enough money each month and does not stress out about each purchase.

    With that said, communication is still key. I always text or call her before getting any game. At this point she knows enough about pinball and my want list that she actually acts like a reality check. So, she will sometimes say, "do you actually want that game," or "is that what that one typically goes for, it seems like they are asking too much." She will even push me when I am hesitant with a, "What are you waiting for, we both know you want that one, go get it."

    She still isn't a huge fan, but she at least is not stressed about the money now, and she just wants to support what I enjoy.

    #29 7 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    Spending large sums of money without discussing with your spouse is a bad idea, period.
    That said, I see an empty "Owned in the Past" section in your collection. I'd suggest you suck it up, tell her you're sorry, and sell the machine if she's upset about it. You'll still have five machines, she'll see that you can get your money back out of them, and hopefully it will help to mend the relationship.

    I've flown a little too close to the sun (you can see in my gameroom pics). I think having a few slots for turnover is a good way to go. it lets you trade/sell off for new machines with little cost impact.

    #30 7 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    If she is organized and loves a budget, maybe you could appeal to that.
    Work with her to come up a plan that puts a set amount of money aside every month as "fun" money for pinball. Then, it's up to you to save that money up for a machine, or spend it on parts, etc....
    She can rest easy knowing you aren't going to screw up all her hard budgeting work, and you can get to spend your "fun" money, no questions asked.

    Quoted from blondetall:

    Bills and 401K come first, then extra money after the household budget costs can be spent on other things we'd like.

    ^100% this (these?). We have a dynamic budget that allows for entertainment funds after all other priorities, including savings, are met. Some years that allotment is healthy; currently with two kids both at driving age and approaching college, it is not. Play within your means, and talk with each other about big purchases.

    Quoted from Jared:

    For those of us who came into the hobby AFTER marriage, where the interest had not yet been established, a wife could find it quite shocking that you all of the sudden want to collect vintage boxes of wood, plastic and glass that cost thousands of dollars and take pictures of them for the internet. In fact, your wife may just have a huge problem with that...

    Quoted from Jared:

    I think personally I misstepped by purchasing my own pin without asking her at all. She was very upset that I just took $1200 out of the account without even a discussion (and rightfully so).

    Is it what you're collecting she has a huge problem with....or how you're doing it. Two different issues.

    Not passing judgement- I've totally been there.

    Quoted from daley:

    With that said, communication is still key.

    Bingo.

    #31 7 years ago

    Give her whatever she wants. Problem solved

    #32 7 years ago

    This is such a tough topic, because the number of factors that come into play make it different for everyone. It's financial, yes, but also the way you interact as a couple frames anything that happens with pinball.

    First off, you are lucky to have a woman who is conscientious about finances and works to pay off interest-bearing debt. That's fantastic! But as they say, you can't take it with you, and if you don't allot a certain amount of fun in your life regularly, then you will be living a financially secure but empty life. The "balance" and "communication" replies pretty much sum it up. I'm a strong believer in being practical but remembering that you only live once.

    The other piece of advice is along the "tit for tat" lines, but not as a direct monetary conversion, more on a psychological level. There's no way around it; if you do something nice for someone, they are more likely to do something nice in return. Human nature. If you want to pop the question about a pin purchase, look for an opportunity to do something nice or generous proactively, first. The worst way to sabotage this dynamic, of course, is to SAY, "Well, I did x for you! You should let me do y!". Relationships are about ensuring that both you and your partner are getting what you need, because you are in a relationship, and not because you want to get the next thing YOU want. But that is a nice side-effect.

    #33 7 years ago

    Lots of good advice above. Basically, "do unto others..." Don't treat her in a way you wouldn't want her to treat you.

    My wife is worth immeasurably more to me than any possession. At the risk of bragging, here is a recent photo. Not bad for a 52 year-old, eh? We've been married 31 years. Probably the best decision I ever made. She's a gem.

    Wife_pic.jpg

    #34 7 years ago
    Quoted from The_Director:

    Very true. I never think of them as investments, but I have not lost money on a pinball machine yet. Everyone I've sold I've either broken even or made a little on the top off of.

    Yup! That is my train of thought as well. They are fun toy objects that don't lose value (as long as they don't break and go to hell). I have always came out even, maybe lost $100, or made money on my machines. If I had to sell any today, I could make or come out even and that is why I also like this hobby.

    EDIT: oh man so I have a gf and the other night we were "syncing" our schedules up. I got season hockey tickets to our local college team. And in Oct. there's a game that falls on the SS Billiard's pinball circus. But I said...I have to go, I need my 2 full days of only pinball mayhem. And she joked back, you go but I never want to hear about pinball again for 6 months When she comes to my house, she will randomly turn on JM and fire a few games off. She loved waterworld.

    As long as respect is given and taken I think it can work. But if I made some crazy stupid financial decision like missed a house payment to get a pin, she would be mad at me. Otherwise if I have play money and buy one she is okay with it. I will however try to find a pin she would enjoy to play more than my current ones.

    #35 7 years ago
    Quoted from Craig:

    We've been married 31 years. Probably the best decision I ever made. She's a gem.

    Much better than the Williams 1985 Comet that you no longer own. You are a lucky man

    #36 7 years ago

    Ok, here is what has worked for us over the years. Your mileage may vary.

    Now I will say it's been an educational experience for me over the years.
    I can remember vividly at our beginnings and even the first pinball "blow up" with my wife.

    We were newlyweds, it was almost 15 years ago, at the time I only had 1 pinball a DE Simpsons Pinball. We went out for Valentines and over dinner I brought up in conversation that I wanted another pinball....a Black Hole I had called on from an ad in the Thrifty Nickel up in Oklahoma. She about flipped! "You want ANOTHER ONE!"

    Over the years it has gotten better. Not to say that we haven't had several arguments over my hobby over the years. Some I've won, some I've lost. But through it all we still love each other and as much as she sometimes may think pinball is more important than her, she's wrong. She is #1.

    One thing that we've done to keep things in line with my pinball obsession. Is that many years ago I opened my own checking account. This account I use for all of my pinball fun money. It is completely separate from either of our pay checks and it in no way is supplemented by our incomes. It is the account I use for my parts and machine buying, game selling etc. Pretty much if the money isn't in this account...then I can't buy it. We had problems years ago where although I would write a big check to Pinball Resource for $200 out of the main account she was freaking out, "you spent $200 on pinball parts!"While a day or two later I would reimburse what was taken out from selling a game, doing a repair, etc. Now this isn't an issue anymore as I only buy parts from the funds I have segregated into my pinball account. She really doesn't know what I spend on pinball parts now a days as it's coming from my own pinball checking account. It's no secret though, she's welcome to look at it. I just keep it separate from our main checking account to avoid confusion.

    Jared don't worry your not alone. My wife is like yours and many others and doesn't really care about pinball. She refers to herself jokingly when I'm cranking games out for customers, the aution or the Texas Pinball Festival as my Pinball Widow. I ask of her patience during these times, and many times I try to reward her with something for putting up with the crunch time. Example being I cranked 4 games out for repairs to customers as well as a few I sold at the last auction. I was burning the midnight oil a couple of weeks ago trying to get these games ready. She was getting frazzled that I was spending so much time on the games. In the end I've made it up to her, as some of you know she is a kindergarten teacher and I made it up to her buy giving her $200 toward buying herself some new clothes for this school year. We're also going school clothes shopping for the boys this weekend, I'll help out with this pinball money too.

    She's supportive of the fact that I have a hobby I enjoy, but she doesn't care for it as she isn't much of a player. I think she has played our AC/DC Pinball 3 times and I've had it for several months now. In the same regards, she loves scrapbooking........I could care less about them. But she enjoys making them and I'm supportive of her hobby and I like looking in her books she has made of our boys.

    All in all, I think the best advice I could give is try to be balanced with it. As much as I love tinkering with my machines, I try to balance family time too. Which at sometimes is hard (as stated above getting games ready for the TPF). Also don't hide anything, be open about what your buying and why. This part may be easier for me as I've made a lucrative side business of buying, selling and restoring games for customers over the years. Without the selling and repairing of games I do for customers, my hobby couldn't exist as it's all self sufficient.

    Thats my .02. Hope it helps.

    Happily married to a Pinball Widow of 15 years now

    #37 7 years ago

    I am not married, but my girlfriend and I have lived together for the last 6 years. We each pay half of the bills, but otherwise, our money is separate. This is mandatory for me and will remain the same after getting married. I see joint accounts working for one income couples, but if both are working, I can't see any reason to not keep the bank accounts separate. I buy pinball machines, and she also has no problem spending her money on stuff she likes.

    We also separated areas of the house. I have full control of what happens to the garage and one bedroom that I use as an office. She can do whatever she wants to the rest of the house. She doesn't ask permission, nor do I. Of course we usually discuss purchases, but it is not trying to justify or get permission. This has worked well for us. She tries to put stuff in the garage once in a while, and a couple times a year I have to reiterate that our garage is not for cars, but it doesn't really cause problems. She tries to gain a little control in those areas, and I deny it. I don't really try to add anything to the other areas because, honestly, I just don't care to...and I like that each of us has freedom to do what we want.

    I know a lot of people think this is weird. My friends just can't grasp how I "am allowed" to use the garage for a gameroom. I can't grasp how they ask someone, who is supposed to be their equal, for permission to do something. I don't think I could survive in what most people think is a normal marriage.

    #38 7 years ago
    Quoted from hassellcastle:

    Ok, here is what has worked for us over the years. Your mileage may vary.
    Now I will say it's been an educational experience for me over the years.
    I can remember vividly at our beginnings and even the first pinball "blow up" with my wife.
    We were newlyweds, it was almost 15 years ago, at the time I only had 1 pinball a DE Simpsons Pinball. We went out for Valentines and over dinner I brought up in conversation that I wanted another pinball....a Black Hole I had called on from an ad in the Thrifty Nickel up in Oklahoma. She about flipped! "You want ANOTHER ONE!"
    Over the years it has gotten better. Not to say that we haven't had several arguments over my hobby over the years. Some I've won, some I've lost. But through it all we still love each other and as much as she sometimes may think pinball is more important than her, she's wrong. She is #1.
    One thing that we've done to keep things in line with my pinball obsession. Is that many years ago I opened my own checking account. This account I use for all of my pinball fun money. It is completely separate from either of our pay checks and it in no way is supplemented by our incomes. It is the account I use for my parts and machine buying, game selling etc. Pretty much if the money isn't in this account...then I can't buy it. We had problems years ago where although I would write a big check to Pinball Resource for $200 out of the main account she was freaking out, "you spent $200 on pinball parts!"While a day or two later I would reimburse what was taken out from selling a game, doing a repair, etc. Now this isn't an issue anymore as I only buy parts from the funds I have segregated into my pinball account. She really doesn't know what I spend on pinball parts now a days as it's coming from my own pinball checking account. It's no secret though, she's welcome to look at it. I just keep it separate from our main checking account to avoid confusion.
    Jared don't worry your not alone. My wife is like yours and many others and doesn't really care about pinball. She refers to herself jokingly when I'm cranking games out for customers, the aution or the Texas Pinball Festival as my Pinball Widow. I ask of her patience during these times, and many times I try to reward her with something for putting up with the crunch time. Example being I cranked 4 games out for repairs to customers as well as a few I sold at the last auction. I was burning the midnight oil a couple of weeks ago trying to get these games ready. She was getting frazzled that I was spending so much time on the games. In the end I've made it up to her, as some of you know she is a kindergarten teacher and I made it up to her buy giving her $200 toward buying herself some new clothes for this school year. We're also going school clothes shopping for the boys this weekend, I'll help out with this pinball money too.
    She's supportive of the fact that I have a hobby I enjoy, but she doesn't care for it as she isn't much of a player. I think she has played our AC/DC Pinball 3 times and I've had it for several months now. In the same regards, she loves scrapbooking........I could care less about them. But she enjoys making them and I'm supportive of her hobby and I like looking in her books she has made of our boys.
    All in all, I think the best advice I could give is try to be balanced with it. As much as I love tinkering with my machines, I try to balance family time too. Which at sometimes is hard (as stated above getting games ready for the TPF). Also don't hide anything, be open about what your buying and why. This part may be easier for me as I've made a lucrative side business of buying, selling and restoring games for customers over the years. Without the selling and repairing of games I do for customers, my hobby couldn't exist as it's all self sufficient.
    Thats my .02. Hope it helps.
    Happily married to a Pinball Widow of 15 years now

    Amazing post, thank you. My wife is also a Kindergarten teacher. Moving to 1st grade this year. Her 5th year.

    #39 7 years ago

    I've been collecting since the late 90s...a few things that I\we do.

    The wife and I have separate bank accounts. We both direct deposit X amount of dollars into our join account which covers the bills..and has a rainy day balance also. What we do with our separate money is our business. She likes to brag to me how much she has in her account..I like to buy pinball machines

    When we bought our house we made a deal...the basement was mine...everything else is hers. No random pinball machines showing up in the dining room..living room etc. For the most part she has nothing in the basement. I make sure she has a spot in the garage in the winter time.

    When ever I make I purchase I always include her before (OK..mostly before ) making the deal. Even though I use my own mad money...I consider it respectful to let her know what's going on. I 'ask' her about a purchase. She's never said no...including a 20K + purchase a couple years ago.

    When a new games comes home she always gets to play it first. She certainly isn't a pinball player and would never head to the basement by herself to play...but again it's respect thing. Kinda funny have 4-5 guys stand around an unboxing party watching the wife play the first game =)

    I very much limit time spent playing or fixing stuff. I usually try to get some games in when she's not home. If I have a mini-project I wanna get done on a game...I'll let her know. Something like 'Thursday night after work I wanna do XYZ.' The idea is to give the illusion that the hobby does consume me...even though it really does.

    What's worked for me so far...include the wife in purchases and make sure feel important in the hobby, keep surprises to a minimum, 'schedule' pin time to do stuff and most importantly, don't ever make the wife feel she's a back seat to the hobby (even if she is =) )

    #40 7 years ago
    Quoted from Jediturtle:

    Biggest tip, don't marry one that is going to give you crap about something that truly makes you happy. Real love doesn't do that.
    Of course you have to be responsible with it too. As others have said, do not ever put this or any hobby above your family. Don't spend money on a hobby that is needed elsewhere. Make sure to support her hobbies in return, even if you think they are silly. If there's a pin she loves, make sure she gets it so she can be a part of your hobby too.
    The ones that make being in this hobby painful for their husbands are probably the same ones that spend more money on makeup and shoes than a pin costs per year. I really have no patience what-so-ever for people that supposedly love each other, yet "forbid" things that make them happy if it is safe and financially responsible to do.
    Remember guys...marry responsibly.

    Some damn good advice right there.....

    #41 7 years ago

    As a "pinball wife" Get her involved. If you belong to a league, take her out with you. She'll meet the other ladies who are interested in pinball and then you have it made. My husband and I have been playing in league together since 2008. Granted, he is much better and more into the scene than I am, but we have fun and have made a lot of great friends.

    So, take her with you!

    #42 7 years ago

    The money issue can be solved - see suggestions above. That leaves:

    1) Space
    2) Noise
    3) Time dedicated to the hobby
    4) Friends you make through this hobby and that she does not necessarily approve

    Space and noise can become critical issues - depends on where you live.
    You should be careful about time...
    Finally, issue 4) is not specific to this hobby...

    #43 7 years ago

    My wife is far more aggravated with my Pinside use than my pinball playing! That said, my migration from 0 to 6 machines in 5 years has been bumpy at times. And I now sit one over our agreed upon limit of 5. To get there I played the "ask forgiveness later card". But it's the last time that will work. It's all about including her, and mutual respect. If you're wife feels you dont include her in big choices she'll feel disrespected and then you gotta problem.

    People will tell you that "a couple thousand dollars of my own money is none of her concern...or "it's only $1,000 bucks"... But MONEY is the #1 cause of marital tension...so duh, expensive hobby, not caring what wife thinks...trouble. I've been honest with my wife about everything. I wasn't upfront about the FT I just got, because I didn't have time to convince her a HUO FT with a no fade cabinet was too important to wait on. It ultimately resulted in a good conversation with the wife that makes her feel she has a say in how we spend thousands of dollars of disposable income on adult toys that only I want.

    Slowly setting her up to make 6 the new baseline.

    #44 7 years ago

    Wife is slowly warming up to pinball. I think Woz is really the title that made her realize pinball can be fun. Then when I brought EATPM home, she's like "I remember playing that in college". First time she's played a title before I did. Then while I was away on a business trip, she's like "I tried turning it on but couldn't figure it out, I wanted to play". I know I got her hooked now.

    One rule I made even when I bought my very first EM, I said "I promise to always try to buy with 100% saved up money that doesn't come out of work income", I.E. fix computers, work on websites, birthday/christmas money, work bonus money, selling ebay stuff. Even though she says I don't have to, I think she appreciates that I don't put a strain on our finances.

    I also don't buy NIB, and usually what I buy needs work so I can get pins reasonably priced.

    #45 7 years ago

    The topic title already suggests a problem:

    "Dealing with wives" sounds negative.

    One should embrace being married/having a family, not feel as if they are putting up with it.

    Our family celebrates pinball as well as other things (read as: I support her/our son's passions and interests as well). After almost 20 years of marriage and 25 years of knowing my wife, I've noticed the things that always seem to help in all situations-not just pinball related issues: communication, support, respect, love, honesty-the basic foundation of any successful relationship. Relationships take work, and don't take anything for granted.

    If one is looking for a quick solution for "dealing with wives", Don Corleone sums it up nicely in The Godfather:

    "Do you spend time with your family? Because a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."

    #46 7 years ago
    Quoted from hassellcastle:

    She about flipped! "You want ANOTHER ONE!"

    HAHA, she about flipped. I like that.

    #47 7 years ago

    I keep my wife in the dark. The less she knows how much money flows to and from the better.

    I remember when the first NIB game came home. Three NIB IM's (2 for customers and 1 for me), you'd have thought I slept with her sister. Never mind the 100's of games before that or the MM I bought the month before with every intention of keeping. Those weren't "new" so they were ok, go figure. I guess it's all perspective.

    Get her conditioned, my MoPLE has been sitting in the box in the garage for months now and I haven't even been asked what it is.

    #48 7 years ago

    Although my divorce was final about 3 weeks ago it wasn't the pinball addiction that ended our marriage. It was alcohol. Maybe pinball drove her to drink, I don't know. Anyways, We never fought about pinball.

    We had our own separate bank accounts and a joint account. I put enough into the joint account to pay all the bills (100% me). Anything that was left over I could put into savings or spend however I wanted. She kept everything she made in her own account and spent it however she wanted.

    I always included her in my plans for purchases and let her know if I was going to be working on something for an extended period of time. That seemed to work well for a few years.

    On the bright side, I have bought 2 new pins since the divorce, I have a new girlfriend now and she loves pinball. She goes by my place and plays pinball when I am not home. Maybe she is the one.

    #49 7 years ago
    Quoted from Marc:

    I keep my wife in the dark.

    The problem is communication.....too much communication (Homer Simpson)

    #50 7 years ago

    My wife and I have been to the last 9 Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdowns and once to the Pinball Expo and this has allowed my wife to find games that she likes. I have bought several that she wanted and over time the games that she liked have moved on and now she does not play any that I have. If I had it to do over again I would have kept one of her favorite games. Now I cannot afford anymore right now and I keep looking for something she would play again. Of course we both want an AC/DC and I am all for that.

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