Wife hates my knife making, need some tips

Discussion in 'Around the Grinder' started by Ladams19, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Ladams19


    Oct 7, 2015
    Hello and and thank you for the support I have been given from you all. Honest respect for those who have came before and had to use the old fashioned ways to learn this stuff. I have watched some of your all videos dozens of times to get something down pat, I have saved data, kept files and made a learning excel file to keep it all in. I am learning, slowing but surely. For those who know me I am also working with a handicap. I took a serious spinal injury during a training accident years ago in the Army. I have had 7 surgeries and the VA is wanting to go in again. Not looking forward to it. Honestly that is not the biggest issue I have. I have learned to work around not having full use of my hands and not being able to stand for long periods of time and just the pain in general. Even my doctor said its good therapy for me. The biggest obstacle I am having is my wife. She is giving all kinds of trouble about me making knives. She said it is evil because its a weapon. We now live in California and she is turning into a vegetarian, don't kill animals, don't hurt anything (even a bug) kind of person. Now since I have been married to her (14 years and 3 kids later) I have given up fishing (hurts fish) and hunting to appease her. She gives me a hard time when I spray for the summer time ants we tend to get around here. Now she is starting on me about the blade making. Now its fine when I repair her friends kitchen knives and repair and profile a messed up cleaver, but anything else is nothing but trouble. This is just causing problems and its getting more and more of a problem. Anyone had issues like this and if so I would be happy to get any input you might have to help appease her. I told her that you can not label every knife a weapon, lots of things are weapons. I told her a stick or a big boot can be a weapon, her answers are always the same, "thats different". She wants me to throw my bolt action rifle in the ocean so no human can ever make harm with it. She has went as far as to say once I die she will not allow any of my knife collections or weapons to go into anyone hands, she will destroy them all so no one will be harmed by them. I am going to try and get that taken of legally so that won't happen, but that is an example of what I am dealing with. Watching knife making videos is bad for my brain and I cant let the kids watch them either, makes their brains no good. The best one I have heard is my knife making is making our kids sick because I am creating bad karma. My shop is downstairs in a storage room with some basic DIY ventilation. I confirmed its not the dust she is talking about, she is seriously talking about karma. I told her that was about the limit of stupidity I could listen to and walked away on that one.
    Weitzel and ShannonSteelLabs like this.
  2. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I don't know if I'm going to be very helpful but I can honestly say that at about 50% of what you're describing I'd be getting divorced.

    You're not talking about reasonable people making compromises like "every other weekend we'll do x together instead of knife making" or "knife making comes after xyz household duties."

    You're talking about full on looney tunes, imo.
  3. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Your problem may be easier to fix than you think.

    1) Change spouse ... not really a good idea as a first chioce.
    2) Change spouse's attitude about knives ... best choice.

    #2 is a simple matter of removing the "weapon" image.
    Start making kitchen knives. A new paring knife for her will be useful as well as not a weapon.
    Then make a nice chef's knife for cutting up veggies and tofu.
    Next, make a simple Nikiri to dice and slice veggies.

    On the issues of the rifle, store it at your folks/brothers/best friend/etc. If it isn't in the house, it isn't a bone of contention.

    Oil up your current knives and keep them in a plastic storage bin ... out of the main living area of the house. If and when your wife mellows and sees that all knives are not killing machines, they may ( or may not) be less offensive to her. You could also make less aggressive knife styles like folders and art knives instead of dagger and Bowies.

    If none of the above work to any degree at all, maybe look at option #1.
  4. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    Edited... i went very legal very fast and was off topic. OP please feel free to contact me if you need a legal sounding board.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018

    BITEME Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    This is probably not the best place to get advice on this subject, you guys may need some marriage counseling or third party advice to maybe aid in seeing things more objectively
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  6. mike-E


    Mar 2, 2013
    Wow, get to marriage counseling fast. I would find out where she is being influenced and try to get the pendulum swinging the other way. Could be a menopause issue?? Either way, what a bite in the ass. Well wishes for ALL your struggles.
    JG Custom Metal Works likes this.
  7. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    Stacy has good advice but honestly I don’t know what I would do if I was in your situation. I honestly can’t stand thoes kind of people. The sad thing is most of us see California very negatively because of people like this. I’m all about believing and doing what you feal is right but don’t you dare try and force me to conform to what you think. Was she always like this? It’s easy to say yeah ditch her and fine someone else. But you have kids and been togather along time. So yeah I don’t know what I would do. My wife would not dare go down that road with me. Not just because she like guns and deer meat as much as me. But because her first marriage was very controlling and she believes that you except and love your spouse for who thy are. So I’m sorry man, wish I could be more help, I feal your pain. Only advise I can offer is like the others. Probably best to seek marriage counseling.
    GABaus, buckfynn, OilMan and 5 others like this.
  8. gusnuts

    gusnuts Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 7, 2015
    I do not know what I would do if I was in your situation. My wife does not approve of my knife collecting (mostly from a financial standpoint), however I have always loved the outdoors, fishing, kayaking, knives, etc... She knew this about me when we first met so I would find it very unreasonable for her to ask me to stop doing any of those things now. I would never ask her to quit a hobby or passion of hers unless it was damaging to her health or others. It sounds like knife making makes you happy and I think you need to continue doing that. Things change and people change... if hunting, fishing, and knife making is something that you started doing after marriage it gets a little dicier however if you've always done these things I think it is totally unfair for her to ask you to stop them now. For me the bottom line is... you need to ask yourself if you still want to be with her now that she has "changed" and if so counseling would probably be the best way to go. They will see both sides and hopefully help you come to a compromise.
    GABaus and ShannonSteelLabs like this.
  9. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    I often hear this kind of rhetoric from friends who’ve moved to a city and become afraid of their own shadows. It hopefully will be a phase(she didn’t object to your military service)that with a little patience and respect she will phase out again. To my friends who object I show quotes or video clips from artists they respect that basically repeat the old adage “I wouldn’t want to live in a society where only police and soldiers have guns.”
    Living with someone like this would be a tough proposal, though, as by the time she turns around it might turn out to have been the issue she was nitpicking on in order to justify distancing herself from you.
    If this is the case then I’m sorry, I’ve been there and it did not end well. I hope it works out for you, wish you the wisdom of Solomon on this one!
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    Rhinoknives1 and Mecha like this.
  10. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    My wife/girlfriend/significant other isn’t quite so negative, but she doesn’t like me working in the garage, cause it takes away from the time we spend together.

    Personally, I NEED to putter around the garage. If I’m not making something or have a few projects going I start getting depressed. I let her know about how it makes me feel and things are better.

    I think that you probably need to go get some counseling, both of you, and make sure you let the counselor know how what your hobby does for you.

    Any relationship is about compromise, if she can’t, or you can’t then it might be time to call it quits...
    GABaus, DanF and Justin Schmidt like this.
  11. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    Your wife has dived into the deep end of the kool-aid and thats what needs to be fixed until she can begin to see reason I am sorry but your options seem to be ignore her and do as you please or comply and suffer.
    Marko3 and JG Custom Metal Works like this.
  12. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    It seems everyone is suggesting marriage counseling.... Remember, this is Calif and counselor may well think the lady is totally correct.

    How old are the kids? If old enough - it's a tough fix, but one I went thru after 25 yrs of marriage. One person can destroy a marriage, but it does take two people to make a marriage work.
  13. herdbull


    Jan 30, 2018
    If you comply you will be miserable, if you ignore her you may face a divorce. You will have to decide which is worse for you and then do what you decide. If it were me then I would have left my wife years ago and we have been together for 35 years now and she doesn't complain about me hunting (as you can see from my avatar), tuna fishing, guns, knives etc but if she did then we wouldn't have been together for long.
    JG Custom Metal Works likes this.
  14. running bird

    running bird

    Sep 29, 2015
    While I’m not married and don’t have as much life experience as you I’ll do my best to contribute. Everyone here on shop talk is like family to me, and I wouldn’t just pass by something like this if a family member or friend brought it up.

    I understand what it’s like to want to make knives and not be able to, due to some outside force. For me when I’m away at school I feel stuck, at some points getting stuck on a pit of depression. I love school so this isn’t me just not wanting to be there. But even second I’m there I have thins pulling sensation in the back of my head. 80% of the time it’s impossible to focus, I get stuck on weighing how important making knives are compared to everything else. I will accasionally hang out with friends at school on the weekends, but after a while that began to be less of a desire for me. I ended up driving home almost every weekend to work on knives. Being slightly introverted being home to work on knives was more important to me than staying at school and going to a party, gas money, or sleep. Everyone has their own amount of drive to do any number of things, I think it’s called the “higher arch of needs” or somethingalong those lines (learned about it in psych back in high school, nearly remember anything). The best thing you can do for you is to hold back on making knives if that’s what you feel pulling you. You’ll only make yourself feel worse holding back a deep desire like that. If you have to move your equipment out of the house, maybe a friend has open space to allow you to use or you could even rent space to work.

    As for the relationship between you and your wife I can’t offer too much but again I’ll try.

    Like others said, marriage counseling is the most logical choice here. If your wife won’t agree to it then counseling of your own is another good course of action. I understand divorce is not the option you probably want to go to right away. But for divorce to not be the logical decision you and your wife have to make it work. Its not right on any level for your wife to be that controlling as to try to restrict what it is you love to do. Especially if it’s something that’s positive like learning a practical skill, making tools for others, or building yourself. Even in the circumstance of your wife telling you to destroy your firearm it’s the same. Personally I think your wife is getting extreme with the bad karma stuff. She should be much more supportive of you and your beliefs in life.

    Most of the people closest to me are not the biggest fans of weapons, but they still respect my views. Me and my girlfriend have known each other for almost 6 years now, she hates weapons of any kind. She is agrees with confiscation of fire arms from law abiding citizens. But disputes this she’s been helping me in every way possible apply for my firearms license. Because I was on ADD medications as a child I have to fill out extra paper work and jump through a few more hoops just to get my licens here in NJ. She makes sure she’s with me when I go to pick up forms or go to my doctor to get paper work because she cares deeply about my ideals are. Even with knife making, she’s started watching videos and reading into metelurgy to better understand why knives are important to me and how it all works. It’s amazing to me that the people in my life care that deeply about what I love even if it isn’t what they agree with.

    I highly suggest you talk to your wife about counseling, and I highly suggest you do your best to explain in extreme detail why the things that are important to you are that way. You should understand why she feels the way she does and she should understand why you feel the way you do.

    But above all this you can’t allow your life to be changed or restricted to that high of a degree. Don’t allow yourself to be walked over. If her behavior is this negative towards you then it’s bordeline abusive in my opinion.

    I hope for the best for you and everyone else here, take care of yourself.

    Don’t give up on yourself,

  15. DevinT

    DevinT KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 29, 2010
    There is no way of getting rid of knives in life. Everyone uses cutlery or benefits from the use of cutlery. Scissors/shears, kitchen knives, razors, clippers of all types, utility knives, exacto knives, pocket knives, knives, forks and spoons, etc. are all cutlery.

    For a pure vegan, the need for good quality cutlery increases in the kitchen. They don’t use knives to kill animals, only the processing.

    Bad people will always hurt other people with or without knives, guns, screwdrivers, cars, bombs, poison, and so on.

    I also recommend you focus on kitchen cutlery, razors, scissors, gentlemans folders, or any other type of cutlery that is not associated with hunting or fishing.

    And when she’s not looking, sneak out and get some good bbq.

  16. alclark2


    Feb 6, 2014
    I'd resort to making knives for kitchen use like Stacy recommended. Maybe branch out to some camp knives. You might not want to make a Viking seax or anything used as a weapon ;)
    GABaus likes this.
  17. HSC ///

    HSC ///

    Nov 7, 2012
    maybe she is indirectly saying you don't spend enough time with her...?
    how is your communication with her? maybe she can tell you what she wants.

    although Stacy suggested you change her attitude, I don't think that's possible, SHE has to change, and from what I'm reading, it's unlikely to happen.
    FWIW, my (ex) wife of 24 yrs was very supportive of everything as I was of her.
    But that wasn't enough. Knifemaking had nothing to do with us growing apart.
    but now I'm living in AZ by myself and have a fantastic French g/f :)

    honestly this is not looking good for you from my POV.

    good luck
    GABaus and Tenebr0s like this.
  18. Randy3000


    Jun 3, 2017
    A little story. There is a crazy woman that walks her dogs off the leash in my neighborhood (i bought the house 9 months ago). The first time i saw the dogs, they came up to my fence and were real aggresive towards my dog. The second time i saw the dogs, i was walking my dog and one came up to me. I grabbed my dog by the harness and lifted her front legs up so she wouldnt run around and wrap the leash my legs tripping me, then i pulled out a knife. I guess holding my dog up, making her look bigger, bluffed the dogs and they eventually took off. The next time i went to walk my dog, i grabbed my 9" fighter and put it on my belt. My wife went ballistic. So i went back to the bedroom and grabbed my 357 revolver and concealed it. i figured it was the open carry she had a problem with but no, she went even crazier. She basically was wanting me to not be able to defend myself if need be. I asked her what she would do, and she said that if dogs mauled her she would just let them maul her, if it was her time to go it is her time to go. This lead to a series of discussions and ultimately we are separated and she is living in her parents old house now.

    I think it is difficult to realize someone can be so insane. Get out, bud.
  19. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    Glad you made it out of that one quick enough! He’s got 3 kids though, and 14 yeRs, won’t be that easy for him!
  20. Ladams19


    Oct 7, 2015
    Thanks for all the advise, I am reading through it all. I spend lots of time with the her and the kids. I cook for us, clean the house, do all the kid stuff as well. I mostly work in my shop on the weekends after everything else is done or in the evenings during the week. Kids are 13, 11 and 2. I am trying to tell her that I am working on the artistic side of knife making. I have been showing her some of the beautiful work you all put on here all the time and show here some of the prices and what they are worth. I have been working on kitchen knives and things like that. Does not matter what I make if its able to cut butter, then its a weapon. She is in her mid 40s so not sure about menopause. I told her yesterday I am working to get my Journeyman blade smith and she is going to have to deal with it. She said its not worth the time because its dangerous and does not contribute to the household in a positive way. She was fully aware of my guns, knives and everything else before we were married. I was still in the reserves when we first got together. I gave her the full tour and even took her shooting a few times. Now she just wont go at all and is in that group that believes somehow a gun or a knife is going to come to life and hurt people. So I laid a kitchen knife on the counter while we ate dinner and pointed out the fact that no one was hurt while we ate and the knife behaved itself the whole time. She did not like the sarcasm lol. Kids did though. besides being pointy and sharp none of the knives I make are fierce looking weapons, they are just knives in general and I am learning.

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