View Full Version : Poll: Non-outdoor-type spouses

2006-07-13, 00:44
I know a lot of you are married, even some of you who spend a week or more on the trail every month. How many of you have spouses who don't do the 'outdoors thing' ? If they don't, how do you deal with the issue at home?

This might be prying, but I'm running into the problem myself, and I'm only trying to take one two-night trip a month at this point.

2006-07-13, 01:58
Blackbishop351, I have a bit of advice, some from myself, and some from my wife of 19 years. My wife is walking by as I write this, helping out a bit... When I met my wife, she had not slept in a tent in the woods...not hiked any great distance from the pavement, caught a fish, or most any of your typical "outdoorsy" things.... She could not deny the fact that I have the outdoors "bug" or "fever..." I have had an attitude about these things since we met. Like the saying..."you can take the boy out of the country, but you cant take the country out of the boy..." I know you cannot take the outdoors out of me.

Up front here, I will be bold and rude. If she don't like you having your fun, doing what you like, she can take a walk. Why does she want to be around you? Doesn't she like you the way you are. Must she change you? Tell her to take it or leave it! There's the door! See ya'! Don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out!

Now that I have that out of my system, my wife has pointed out a few of the reasons she has enjoyed my outdoor spirit and desires.

My wife claims that she has an open mind, and was willing to try some of my hobbies with me. Don't knock it till you tried it. She claims that alot of these trips are fun. (Not all...) She knows, that if I am not happy, she is not happy. She know that I am an outdoors guy. She knew it from the start. No going back... My wife also claims that she has many great memories of our trips and outdoor adventures we had together before we had children. Since our kids were born, she likes to build great memories for our kids, out of our trips.

Think how worse things could be. You two could spend every waking moment together, forever... You two could work together, play together, eat together, do everything together. :vroam:

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I would argue that so does distance. Every time I am out enjoying the outdoors by myself, I am thinking of my wife and kids. Each step further into the backcountry makes me truly appreciate what I am hiking away from. Spending time alone, or with other hiking friends can improve your relationship at home, even if you are both not together on these trips. Be sure to share your thoughts with your loved one.

I make a point each time, making sure to thank my wife for helping me to get away. She doesnt end up feeling like I am hiking to simply get away from her, but she knows how important to me it is, to get out under the stars, chase that fish, or shoot that deer. Without these trips, and I would die on the inside.

I will wrap up by emphasizing; involve her (even if only occasionally), invite her to be involved in getting some gear for herself or letting her pick a hike. Emphasize why it is your are going. Talk honestly and openly about why you need this time in the woods... And lastly thank her. Thank her for helping you to get away and to decompress...to reinvigorate yourself. Be sure to tell her how much you appreciate her, how much you missed her, etc... Over do it a bit. :biggrin:

And who knows, she may even be home when you return.

Here are the lyrics to my theme song as written and sung by Brad Paisley, enjoy...

Well I love her
But I love to fish
I spend all day out on this lake
And hell is all I catch
Today she met me at the door
Said I would have to choose
If I hit that fishin' hole today
She'd be packin' all her things
And she'd be gone by noon

Well I'm gonna miss her
When I get home
But right now I'm on this lake shore
And I'm sittin' in the sun
I'm sure it'll hit me
When I walk through that door tonight
That I'm gonna miss her
Oh, lookie there, I've got a bite

Now there's a chance that if I hurry
I could beg her to stay
But that water's right
And the weather's perfect
No tellin' what I might catch today

Well I'm gonna miss her
When I get home
But right now I'm on this lake shore
And I'm sittin' in the sun
I'm sure it'll hit me
When I walk through that door tonight
That I'm gonna miss her
Oh, lookie there, another bite

Yeah, I'm gonna miss her
Oh, lookie there, I've got a bite

2006-07-13, 07:30
My wife gets lost in the backyard and the only time that we went out camping was a disaster. We mutually agreed for her not to have the experience again.

I was, however, lucky enough to marry an Army brat. And being in the Army, thats a plus for sure. Going camping for me is not too different than going to the field. I go and when I come back, I'm back. She doesn't get worried and takes care of the house and kids better than I ever could.

2006-07-13, 08:56
Couldn't leave for a walk alone if I wanted to :biggrin:

2006-07-13, 11:34
I posted this over on WhiteBlaze too... I'm being lazy since it's the same response. LOL.

I'm one of those not so outdoorsy type spouses, thought I'd get that in before SGT Rock could...;) He'd love it if I'd go with him and the boys hiking, but it's really not my thing. I don't mind day hiking, but the whole sleeping outside thing just isn't for me.

I am also one of those wives that knows when to send her husband to the trail to recharge. Especially when he's getting cranky. As a matter of fact he's going on an over-nighter with the boys while he's home on leave from Iraq, I insisted.

Basically what I'd suggest is to just explain to your spouse that it's not that you want to "ditch" them, but that you know that they would not enjoy themselves hiking like you do and you really would like to go. Maybe make some compromise with something they have been wanting to do. If kids are involved, offer to take care of the kids for a weekend so that your spouse can have a weekend to do whatever they want to do alone. This has worked for us. Now he just takes the boys with him and I get my alone time while they are out on the trail. :)

2006-07-13, 11:39
My wife (of 28 years) enjoys an occassional walk on a woods road, a short bike ride, and maybe floating in the canoe now and then, but otherwise couldn't care less about taking a hike. But a while back, while taking a walk around the block and discussing future hikes, she offered "why not hike the Long Trail for your 50th birthday?"

Why not indeed?!

Anyhow, the point I haven't made here is that compatibility does not necessarily equate to common interests, and vice-versa. We have many disparate interests and hobbies that we do not share (but we do support each other in the enjoyment of them), and often take separate vacations. If a spouse does not share an interest, all that matters is that you give each other the freedom to explore alone - neither of us feels compelled to join the other in an activity we'd really rather not be doing. I'll admit, now and then it would be nice to have her along, but I think I really like it better this way, and so does She.

Jim Henderson
2006-07-13, 12:12
Hopefully there are other things in your life together that you can do and spend time together doing.

My wife was never a real outdoorsy girl but gamely went camping with me a few times before we had kids. We always slept in a tent and later bought a travel trailer. I still remember the night we camped in Death Valley where the wind was so cold, the steel cups we used for coffee etc, froze before I could dry them out.

But in reality, camping even with a trailer is not my wife's big thrill in life. However, we have two boys who do somewhat enjoy camping, but usually sissyfied by using the trailer, hot and cold water, forced air heat and AC and of course microwave and power to run the DVD player and laptop. Jeez, to think I used to even think tents were sissy stuff.

Anyway, let your wife have those times when you are out stomping thru the woods as her quiet time at home. She will get a rest and a break from any kids you might have and you won't have to go along with her all the time for XMAS shopping. And you might enjoy your own quiet time in the woods and even get to do things with the kids that would get the child protection services after you. Nothing like a good creepy storey around the campfire and tall tales and even a few dirty jokes thrown in here and there.

Some of my best memories and I hope my kids will be those times spent in the woods in a snow storm without mom. Of course in the comfort of our heated trailer watching endless DVDs and eating popcorn and all the food my doctor won't let me eat and the stuff my wife hates me to eat. Ah, nothing like a big jar of pickled garlic with my two boys and no mom to shriek about fumes.

Don't look at her not camping as a big negative. It can even help when you each get a little quiet time.

Good Luck,

Jim Henderson

2006-07-13, 21:11
My hubby claimed to like the outdoors and camping, but he meant car camping. I think he's still recovering from the shock of discovering what I meant.

It's not really his thing, but he seems to feel the need to protect me and won't let me go on solo hikes other than a five-miler nearby. This can be annoying, as he is a much weaker hiker and I could do SO much more without him - but ultimately, I am utterly spoiled to have someone who cares enough to tag along to make sure I am safe.

I try to get around it by also hiking with a very active group from the local university as often as I can, and it works out well. I'm hoping to do Big Bend with them in fall.

Don't force it. It should not be a problem. If it is, maybe something else is wrong, too.

2006-07-14, 08:54
Hopefully there are other things in your life together that you can do and spend time together doing.

There absolutley are, and should be. There needs to be some degree of common interests/outlooks, and each couple (or family for that matter) can find the right amount for themselves. The point was, you don't need to have 100% shared interests. Actually, that would be pretty boring IMHO. As they say, hike your own hike, together or separately.

2006-07-15, 17:01
Tough spot, blackbishop351. If she won't come along and won't let you go alone, you are stuck. It's time to choose: outdoors or her? If that's a hard choice, then you have to ask if two nights/month is too often for her tastes, how about every other month or so? It's a balancing act (relationships in general).

I am lucky enough to have married a woman that was raised in Alaska. She enjoys the outdoors nearly as much as I do.