Compromise for a Happy Marriage
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.