I don’t like to travel. Being in my own space, with my own things, following my usual routine is both comfortable and comforting. For me, spending a week away from home is equivalent to having a dental appointment seven days in a row.
I enjoy looking at pretty scenery as much as the next person. But I prefer looking at it via my television or computer screen. If it were up to me, I would travel occasionally to visit relatives in Arkansas and Missouri and that would be it.
My husband, on the other hand, lives to travel. He wants to see every beautiful sight on earth—several times. Maps, travel brochures, and adventure magazines are his favorite reading materials. If it were up to him, he would visit home occasionally to see the grandkids, and the rest of the time he would be traveling.
I remind Dan that travel is expensive. Plus, making pre-travel arrangements is a hassle. Someone must be asked to mow the yard, water the plants, and collect the mail.
The person who stays at home incurs no new expenses and needs to make no pre-staying-at-home arrangements. She simply does what she usually does.
Dan reminds me that most people enjoy a break from the ordinary and an opportunity to see the glories of nature on display. The hassle of making pre-travel arrangements is well worth it, he says, and money used for vacationing is well spent.
Since neither of us is keen on the idea of Dan making long trips alone, my husband and I must compromise.
Over the years, we have set up guidelines to follow when we are negotiating compromises. Perhaps you and your spouse will find these rules helpful.
- Agree that the relationship itself is more important than any choice we make about traveling or not traveling. Neither one of us will say, “That’s it! If I don’t get my way, I’m chucking this 44-year marriage!” (No one gets to act like an idiot.)
- Agree that liking or disliking travel is a matter of opinion. Neither person is right or wrong. (There will be no name-calling.)
- Agree that each partner gets some of what he or she wants. (No one gets his or her way 100% of the time.)
- Agree that in this game of give and take, each partner remains pleasant and cooperative both at home and away from home. (There is to be no pouting.)
Of course we developed these rules of behavior only after we realized that acting like an idiot, indulging in name-calling, demanding our own way, and pouting didn’t work for us.
It takes a while to hammer out a good marriage.