My wife used to enjoy ballroom dancing about 10 years ago and I participated with her but never developed much in the way of skills. She is interested in getting back into the "swing" of things after being encouraged by some of her friends. Thing is we have kids now and it is difficult to get sitters sometimes and I just done't have the interest she does. If we cannot find a sitter, which is more often than not, I end up at home with the kids since I just don't have the interest in going without her. I am pretty sure she would rather attend these dance parties that our local association puts on every couple of weeks just with her girl friends. Some of her friends are married and some are not, some come with a partner and some do not.
I am having a difficult time dealing with my feeling that a married woman should go to such events on a regular basis without her husband and have been having some feelings of jealousy. The latter is particularly disturbing.
I trust my wife but still have difficulty with this feeling of jealousy. I just cannot get over the environment where essentially all of the un-partnered folks in the place are single. I would rather her not go without me but I feel like a jerk if I say so and it is not healthy to keep it to myself.
Your feelings are very personal and you need to work them out with your wife. About all I can tell you after 47 years of marriage is the things we do together seem to be enriched by many other things that we do independently. Perhaps you can come to some accommodation where you take turns with the baby sitting.
I cannot speak to your dance environment, perhaps it is more sexually charged than mine. My wife and I take lessons together and dance together at parties. However, we both dance with other partners regularly. We also take lessons separately. I often take group lessons and partner several ladies. I also have a competitive partner with whom I dance frequently and my wife is in complete agreement. An onlooker might perceive our body contact in standard dances as sexual but it is absolutely functional. In latin dance, where there are many sexual undertones, it is theatrical rather than romantic.
You say "I would rather her not go without me" but I am left wondering if you expect to be able to go out without her. Take a good look at yourself and make sure the real issue is not loss of control.
Your feelings are absolutely natural in both respects. You do not have the same level of interest in Ballroom Dancing as your wife, so it is not something you want to do as often as her, yet you are unsure how this reads to others when she is always showing up by herself & she is after all married. You should join her 4 times out of ten & when you are joining her for a dance event, make a date night of it & go out to dinner as well so the whole night is not focused on dance. This however allows you to meet the other dancers as well as allow them to meet you. Have a few dances with your wife & talk with others, that way the threat of her being out alone all of the time is not so much now that you know who she is hanging out with & they know you:)) I am an instructor now for 19 years & I find this is a common issue that is easily resolved. I also find that most Ballroom Dance circles are very safe for people to be friends & dance & not make it more unless they are single.
As stated not sure how "charged" your dance studio events are. The 5 that are in my local area are all about dancing. Married couples dance with each other as well as singles or other married folks. Sometimes they come dancing alone.
I do know a few married people (who have been married for YEARS) who's partners rarely come dancing with them or never come dancing with them. These folks have others that the go dancing with on a regular basis.
I think there is something to be gained by doing things together as well as doing things apart. Mix it up when a sitter is available. As stated earlier come out and meet those she dances with. When the kids are old enough why not get them dancing too? I've seen some kids that have become quite good and are able to match the adult steps.
Husband. You would not be the least worried if your wife was going to an Art Class. Or playing tennis ( mixed doubles ). The main problem you have is probably the body contact that is required to dance correctly. That is the Waltz Foxtrot and so on. In Latin there is less body contact but the moves can be more sexual. Its becomes an act. Thats all it is , an act. I am told that in the Rumba 60 per cent is acting. Why not find some way of joining your wife in this wonderful sport which goes back to the beginning of time if we are to believe the drawings found in pre historic caves. You will meet new friends and have a wonderful time learning, which is never ending no matter what level of dancing you are at. This is a copy. Dancing any type is. Moving to beautiful music. Creating shapes in space. and joining in this wonderful world of make believe. Become a part of it youself.
Thanks for all of the good advice. It is probably the body contact and that sexuality is an important part of the basic foundation of ballroom dance itself that causes my problem of jealousy. The environment is probably not particularly "charged", being USA Dance promoted dance parties. It is even held at a local church after all.
I talked to my wife about it and she really didn't seem to want to see my perspective and suggested my jealousy is just a lack of self confidence. She is correct, but those insecurities are seated in cultural norms that have a basis in reality. All will probably turn out fine, I think I probably just need to get more comfortable with the environment and the people in it.
My thought (as a woman) is to realize people generally bond with those that they enjoy shared experiences. You should go, just as she should attend things you may enjoy, whether it's biking, sports events...it doesn't have to be all-day events. I think this is so important for a relationship. It's not necessarily a jealousy thing, but while she is bonding to others and enjoying their company and she is also removed from the reality of taking care of a family and home for those few hours, just her going is intrinsically motivating.