Compromise for a Happy Marriage

compromise

It is a long-standing principle that one of the secrets to a happy marriage is compromise.

My wife and I never had an issue with mutual consideration because it came sort of naturally to both of us. There is no doubt that if one of us was more difficult over the years it was definitely me.

In the early days, I was a little more wild than I am now. I suppose wisdom does come with maturity. When I was a kid, I had a zillion restrictions on me. My mom was a worry wart, so anything she perceived as dangerous was off limits.

As a result of my restrictions, I often wandered where no child had gone before. I remember building a raft with my friends, which fell apart on its maiden voyage, nearly drowning all of us. My friends and I decided another time to explore several neighboring towns – through the sewer line.

In any event, once I got out of college, I went adventure nuts. When we first married and I gained my initial independence, I hit the wilderness, with little experience. I don’t mean I walked into the woods. I took off for two weeks to canoe the Bloodvein River in Northern Manitoba. Along the way, I fished and caught Northern Pike, Walleye, and Lake Trout.

After struggling with some rapids far beyond my skill level, I took courses in canoe safety and wilderness survival. I got so into it after that, and of course, I wanted to share my experiences with my wife – a city girl. She agreed, but it was love, not logic.

Nevertheless, we started out slowly. We traveled to Northern Maine with an old canvas tent that weighed about 150 lbs., and leaked like a sieve. We camped for twelve days in rain, and when it was over, she told me she loved the outdoors! I knew I married the right woman, but I became obsessed with showing her a much better time.

I actually convinced her to come along on so many of my crazy trips. We paddled our canoe along the Snake River in Idaho and Wyoming. We explored Yellowstone National Park, where I really became obsessed with trout fishing. We hiked to Flaming Gorge in Utah, where we both began what would become a lifetime of hiking and camping.

It all sounds great, and it was. But I have never been satisfied with the status quo. I always looked for more. Most of the more dangerous wilderness stuff I did on my own, but occasionally, I got overly enthusiastic and convinced my spouse to join me on trips that shook her confidence. I always thought she handled herself magnificently, but she doubted her abilities during some of my crazier journeys.

Skipping all the great days in the middle, we arrive at today. My oldest daughter, (a chip off the old block), has become a kayaking fanatic. I never did much kayaking, so I decided to jump right in. Of course, my wife had to be part of the deal, but she is not as enthusiastic. I wanted to head to Alaska or the Northwest Territories, but she prefers Key West. She doesn’t mind fishing, but prefers fish that don’t consider us bait. Silly girl.

As a result, I am changing my focus. I don’t deny that she has tolerated more than most women, and is a very good sport, so I tabled the kayaking idea. Instead, I bought a Jeep, and I am now equipping it for off-road wilderness travel. I think I can convince her to join me.

I’ll post my progress.


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Comments

  1. You are a lucky guy with your wife and your adventures Jumping in first then seeking how-to information about it is about how I do things. I too, was smothered as a child. I first tried Kayaking last year. Loved it. I had but one problem, I didn't know how to get out of the boat with my bum knee. Luckily my grandson was there and pulled me. Mortified, I laid awake all night figuring out how to slip out of the boat gracefully without a lot of screaming. I did: First, pull your rump up and onto the back/ Then swing legs over. No need to bend knees where they don't want to go. Also, very important to get flat bottomed kayak that won't roll over in rough waters--in case you have anything in mind. Funny post.

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  2. Sounds great... Marriage is a compromise and it sounds like she will join you so the two of you can continue the adventure. I love that your daughter is a chip off the old block. :)

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  3. I think you are a very lucky man to have found yourself such a gem of a wife. :) The Jeep does sound like fun so I suspect she'll join you.

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  4. Linda: Good advice. I am planning on a kayak - when I fish alone.

    Jenny: I know she will. We have always done everything together, and had lots of fun along the way.

    ayala: I agree. I am quite fortunate.

    EG: I am fortunate, and she is a gem. I am sure your suspicions are correct.

    Robin: I thought you would be on my side! Are you telling me I'm not an angel?

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  5. You can off-road your way up here any time you want to. I am ALMOST unpacked and ready for company. The guest room is set up. The sheets are on the bed. No, wait, the bed isn't actually made up, but the sheets are lying on it.

    xoxo to you both!!

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  6. Judie: Get settled, and we would love to work our way up to you guys.

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  7. It's moments between the rain and banking your coals till morning out in the wilderness of no plans just come what may, that does keep people connected. Your new adventure sounds perfect. But it's the past adventures - through the sewer system that have me thinking....off road, hmmm! Enjoy your new drifting and post us later! :)

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  8. Karen: My adventures did get considerably more enjoyable once I exited the sewer system.

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  9. This is such a cute post! I love that you weave the story through as you note all the times your wife has compromised for you, and then at the end you bring it back to you compromising for your wife. A good relationship really is give and take and an equality on both sides, and it seems like you and your wife make such good partners. :)

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  10. Phoenix: She tolerates me. And, we are two imperfect people that make perfect partners, all while having a great time in life.

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  11. Oh my gosh! I can see now why you have so much wisdom to offer- by jumping into just about anything!
    Yes, you married the right woman. I, on the other hand, like to say that: I consider it camping when room service is late!

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  12. Jasmine: Thanks for the compliments. I think if I invite you and your husband to white water canoe the Colorado River you should decline. The room service stinks.

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  13. Your wife is such a lovely woman!! Good luck with everything :),
    Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  14. Do you realize how utterly lucky you are? :)

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  15. KB: It will be fun

    Miriam: She is. Thank you.

    Ritva: Yes, I do.

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  16. Loved the tales of youthful adventures! And even the not so youthful ones. I had a few myself, although these days, the allure of inner adventure is more compelling for me than outer. Your wife is a good sport in more than one sense of the word!

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