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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:02 PM
Original message
Would you pass up something you love for someone you love?
OK, here's my dilemma. When I was younger I did a lot of mountain climbing with my sister. Nothing too insane mind you, mostly class 1-4 stuff (you can walk up a class 1 with your hands in your pockets, and a class 4 just means that you need a rope, but still nothing vertical). We both quit doing it about 10 years ago when she got married and started having kids. Despite the interruption, neither of us gave up our love for mountain climbing, and there were certain mountains that we always said we'd climb "one of these days"...Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lyell, Mt. Whitney, Mt. Hood.

Last weekend my sister came over to my house, and she announced to me that she was going to climb Shasta in 2008, and that I needed to get my butt into shape again so she'd have someone to climb with. I was elated. I pulled our old climbing equipment down from the rafters, we started talking about the acclimatization and practice climbs that we should start on next spring, and basically got 100% gung-ho on the idea. Then my wife found out.

My wife has never been a huge outdoors person, and has never climbed a mountain in her life. She immediately put her foot down and insisted that climbing mountains was "too dangerous" for a married parent. When I pointed out that our practice runs would be on tame class 1 and 2 mountains, and that we're both experienced climbers, she switched to a general "I just don't want you to do it". When I pressed her to find out why (thinking that I could allay her concerns) she shot back with an "If you love me, you won't ever ask me about this again."

WTF?

So here's the question. Would you give up doing something you really love doing, simply because the person you love doesn't want you to do it anymore? I never intended that my break from climbing would be permanent, and I've mentioned countless times over the years that I planned on climbing again someday. I was caught off guard by her reaction and am really torn on how to proceed with this. I love her very much, and she'll be pissed to no end if I press the issue. On the other hand, climbing is one of the great loves of my life and is something that I've done since I was a teenager. Heck, I was planning on introducing my 13 year old daughter to the sport in a couple more years.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, I would give up someting I love for someone I love, BUT...
I feel like if that person loved me back, they would never ask me to.

This is NOT to say your wife doesn't love you! Maybe she just doesn't understand that mountain climbing really isn't all that dangerous (I've climbed a few myself, so I know that, as long as you're prepared, cautious and fit, climbing is a perfectly safe sport).
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. I think the danger argument was just an excuse.
She's been involved with enough climbing conversations over the years to understand that the sport is really only dangerous if you're stupid about it. Keep yourself roped up, know your routes, make sure the weather is cooperating, and wear your safety equipment, and the odds are better that you'll die in a wreck driving TO the mountain than on it.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Well, if you're sure that was an excuse...
then I think the real problem is that you need to find out the REAL reason she doesn't want you to go and address that.

Sorry I'm not more help! :(
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. If it were a reasonable thing to ask and asked in a respectful way
I don't think ultamatums count. Manipulation is not an act of love.

If your wife has a habit of making demands like this, you should probably look into counseling together. If this is really out of charachter, tell her you'll discuss it when she chooses to be reasonable and to respect your own autonomy.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. It's beyond out of character
In over ten years of marriage, she has never before laid down an ultimatum like this. Not ONCE. We've also had conversations about me climbing again in the past, and she's never voiced any objection to it. When I pointed THAT out, she just replied "Well, I didn't think you'd actually do it!"

The truly odd thing is that we were even dating when I used to climb, and that she never once had a problem with it then.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. It sounds to me as though she is afraid you will get hurt.
Which is reasonable, especially since you are older than you were when you first did this along with the fact that you have a family.

I think you could convince her that it is safe by involving her in your training.
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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. Dunno, but I wouldn't let
someone I love get away with forbidding me to even start a discussion about it.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. True.
I'm going to bring it up anyway. The surest way to get me to argue a point is to tell me to shut up about it :)
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
5. I would give up something for someone, but there would need
to be a good reason - unspecified ultimatums don't cut it. I think there need to be accomodations in both directions in a relationship and I'd guess (although I know nothing about you or your wife) that there is something here beyond the safety issue. Could your wife feel that you are doing too many activities that don't include her; does she feel like she's giving up more in the relationship than you are? Could she be jealous of your relationship with your sister? Did you unknowingly plan this climbing trip for the day her birthday or a major anniversary?

If I was in your shoes, however, I think I would go on the climbing trip unless your wife communicated a legitimate reason why you shouldn't. Like she said - just don't ask again!
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. Interesting. I hadn't thought about that.
First, the dates aren't set yet, so I know that I didn't step on anything there. But I hadn't considered the possibility that she might just be upset because it's something I'd be doing without her. We both already have hobbies that don't involve each other, so I didn't think anything of it. As far as jealousy of my sister goes, I really doubt that's an issue. My sister and I are extremely close, but she and my wife have always had a great relationship as well. I don't think there's anything there for her to be jealous of.

Involving her would be a problem though...she's scared of heights :)
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Maybe if you got her involved in the safety angle.
She doesn't have to climb to be able to check your equipment for excessive wear, to check the weather reports, climbing conditions, etc.

Worth broaching, at any rate.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. A similar situation
I love hiking and peak bagging here in the Northeast (we have smaller mountains, class 1-3) but my wife is also not an 'outdoors' person. I've tried to bring her along a couple of times and it usually turns sour in one way or another.

So it's just something we both agree that I do without her. I take my son often and he shares, to some extent, my enthusiasm for it.

So what's my point? Well I guess that my wife and I came to an understanding about this (and there are a couple others) activity that we just don't share. But for me to give it up would only make me very unhappy and not very pleasant to be around. And I don't mean I'd just be pouting about not having fun. When I say I Love my hikes I mean it is very important to me, something that is part of who I am. So giving it up would eventually take a toll on me and our relationship would be affected - certainly not for the better.

And I think it's important for my son to see that I have a passion, something I love and care about for myself.

Would I give something like that up? No because it would make no sense, it would be like changing who I am.

I do keep it in mine for schedules and don't go as much as I would otherwise but certainly I haven't given it up.

So it depends I guess on just how you feel about climbing. You haven't done it in years so maybe it's something you could continue to stay away from. But I too essentially 'gave up' hiking for several years a long time ago (just didn't get out like I would've liked and just my activity lapse). But almost by chance I got out again several years ago (climbed Mt Washington) and realized I needed to continue again. That might happen here and given your past history with climbing I wouldn't be surprised.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. I think that's her take on it.
If you'd asked me a month ago whether I knew any peak baggers or mountain climbers, I'd have told you that I was one. It doesn't matter that I hadn't done it in years, I still considered myself to be a climber who is simply on "hiatus". I always planned on getting back into it, and never seriously considered selling my equipment and giving it up. It's simply part of my personality...I enjoy climbing mountains.

My wife's opinion is that since I haven't done it in 10 years, I don't need to do it again. It's part of my past, and it should stay there. That thought, to me, is incredibly depressing.
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Exactly
I haven't kayaked, sailed, or hiked (mutiday expeditions, I mean) in many years, but I am still an enthusiast in each activity by virtue of all the time I have before spent on such activities and my love of them. For that matter, I haven't SCUBA dived since coming back to the US but I am a diver through and through, and (all modesty aside) a very, very good one. Heck, I haven't trained martial arts with an instructor since moving to Vegas (incompatible kung fu school schedules, unfortunately, in terms of my work hours these days) but, as during other enforced breaks from formal training, I am no less a martial artist and martial arts is something through which I define and explore myself.

You don't have to be doing it to be a doer of it.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. Well, if it were just us two guys talking
I'd be telling you that you need to get back out there and be active again. ;)

She's worried about the risks, fair enough, but you still got to be you. I wouldn't just blow her off or create an 'ultimatum face off'. You do need to somehow demonstrate you're capabile of dealing with the risks in a reasonable manner and that even though there may be some risk you can't plan or prepare for you're still an individual and still need to be able to do this sort of thing. I've had those moments with my wife being concerned with my safety (with the human sized mountains we have here the concern is usually about getting caught in weather) and I explained to her how I would deal with such cases and that was that. This is not Sagarmatha it sounds like what you want to do is perfectly reasonable.


You said you would be doing some prep and that you explained that to her. Maybe there needs to be a more more effort in the communication (on both your parts and maybe your sister can help).

I hope you get your chance to get back out there.
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Phillycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. This is more a communication issue than anything.
As in, she won't communicate with you about it! That points to a larger problem than the climbing. She needs to be able to talk things through with you.

Counseling?
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. you should totally do the following:
hire a hooker to come over to your house. when your wife freaks out, say that it's Shasta or a threesome with the hooker.

that'll totally work, right?
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. ROFL!
Several other people have suggested counseling in this thread, but I'm not sure that it's needed. I guarantee that bringing a hooker home would land us in counseling permanently!
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
9. I might, but I'm not sure you should in this case.
She has a point about how dangerous it could possibly be. But it's not suicide. It's no more dangerous than riding a motorcycle.

I think your sister needs to be in on the conversation. This isn't just about you climbing a big rock. At least in part, it's about your relationship with your sister. Your sister has her reasons for wanting to do this, and she trusts you. That needs to be part of the discussion.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
36. My sister
My sister is afraid that we're getting older, and that if we don't get to it now we never will. Her babies are also all old enough now that they don't need two parents constantly, so she can actually get away for a few days.

My sister and I have both climbed with other people, but we always climb best together. We both started as teenagers, and just know each other so well that we work as a perfect team on the mountain. In most situations, she knows what I'm going to do before I say a word, and the same is true for me. Having a reliable climbing partner, one that you can trust with your life, is incredibly important when emergency situations DO arise. That's why she wants me to go.

There is, of course, also the issue that we HAVE drifted slightly apart over the years as we've started our own families. My sister was one of my best friends for a while there, and I'm looking forward to tightening that relationship up again.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. I hope you can tighten that relationship.
I'd kill to be close to either of my siblings but it's never going to happen.

I really hope you can work something out with your wife.
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. I think this may be one of the last
opportunities to do this and you shouldn't miss out. Your wife applying her own fears to your situation is irrational. I hope you can get her to realize that.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
10. how is her relationship with your sister?
this sounds a bit like jealousy to me
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
12. No I wouldn't give it up
and I wouldn't dream of asking a partner to give up something that was as vital to him as MC evidently is to you and your sister. :hug:

In fact, I think it's lovely you and your sister have an activity that you enjoy together, even if you haven't indulged in it for a while.

Go for it. I agree w/ the others that you will have to discover the deeper reasons for her strong (initial) negative response before you can address her concerns. You've got time to convince your wife that this is something you are comfortable with and capable of doing.
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. well a couple thoughts
she isn't playing fair at all about the "if you love me" thing. I wouldn't want to start down that road. It needs to be talked out.

also she needs to be educated about climbing. It's not like you are gonna climb everest or something. What about taking her to a climbing wall and asking her to give it a shot and see all the safety equipment? She might get hooked on it herself.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
33. She is very scared of heights.
We have a rock climbing center nearby and I've been there with her and my kids before (my kids climb better than monkeys). I've done it, my kids have done it, but she freaks out at about 15 feet. She's up for almost everything, but her limitations are heights and seasickness.

Everest. Hmm...hadn't considered that. I think I'd prefer to bag Denali first :)
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. wow. that totally explains her reaction though
It didn't make sense to me at first.... I mean she's applying her experience of her phobia to that activity, maybe... I don't know about where you live but when I lived in areas where there was alot of climbing the drive to get to the rock was more dangerous than the actual climbing. I am not a climber but most of my friends when I lived there were. I never really thought of it as a dangerous activity if you are just doing it recreationally like you would with a child.
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
20. Absolutely, and I have (fiscal security and sanity included), but in this
kind of situation I would most definitely not. No way. I'd talk to her, rationally (of course, an ultimatum kind of rules that out), but when it comes to something that is essentially an activity related to who I am, an activity through which -- to one extent or another -- I may even define myself....no freakin' way.

My wife and I had a few major difficulties while we were together but she knew how important certain 'dangerous' activities were to me (and, ultimately, to my career) and, as chronic a controller and emasculator as she could be, the one part of my life that she never issued an ultimatum or edict against was my involvement in higher-risk activity (and, no, not because I had a large life insurance policy, though she sometimes joked about taking one out on me). She knew those things were important to me and I have to credit her for respecting that.

I have -- and will again -- given up a lot for love, but some things are not only not in the running for that but are non-negotiable...you may not climb all the time, or climb the most severe routes, but climbing is still very much a part of you and to ask (demand, actually) you to give it up is to demand that you deny part of yourself, and you're no good to yourself or to anyone else if you begin turning your back on parts of your self.

I learned early in life the truth of this, through the example of my uncle as related by my mother: he was (still is) a brilliant engineer and in the '60s received an offer from Boeing to come to the US to work on what became the 747 program...it would have ramped his life and career into overdrive, but his (now ex-) wife, who was in truth a real weirdo, not only was against the idea but bullied him into submission and relegated him to working for decades far below his capabilities for a local power board (when he divorced her he finally moved overseas and secured a far more challenging and rewarding job). He should never have let her stand in his way...sure, he was not the only one involved, but it's not like she exactly gave any thought to his needs with her selfish and irrational insistence that he remain a local yokel. My brother and his first wife had a similar story, wherein she wanted him to do nothing more than stay home and watch TV -- a desire she won because she was a very dominant and controlling personality (and she hated him going anywhere without her or doing anything with anyone else, including me or my parents...she was inordinately possessive) -- and since the dissolution of their marriage my brother's blossomed and become a high-profile player in two major and disparate fields of endeavour. Compromise is necessary in a relationship, but sometimes compromise is harmful not only to the compromiser but ultimately (and, if you think about it, almost inevitably) detrimental to both participants in the relationship: the tough part is that it can be really hard, sometimes, to know where that line is.

I don't mean to criticize your wife, but that ultimatum is the key. It's unacceptable. It rules out discussion (the most obvious on your part being that crossing the street or pulling out into traffic is also far too dangerous for a married parent to be doing, and that activities that insurance companies consider 'higher risk' are not necessarily actually dangerous for someone who knows what they're doing and who respects, in this case, the mountain and its weather) and is not even remotely the kind of thing that suggests an equitable partnership. She knew you maintained an interest in climbing, even though you weren't actively engaged in it these past ten years, and can hardly feign surprise even if she never seriously thought you'd go back to it. The point being that she long knew of your interest in climbing and that she is only now forbidding it, now that it's looking like a tangible reality, is not right. In my opinion, pretty much anything that starts with "if you love me" is a very bad sign.

Do it, please. Shasta, and your sister await. And your sister's undoubtedly as much or more a part of why you're considering doing this as is the mountain (my brother missed assisting me with a dive expedition to the center of marine biodiversity, home of the best diving on the planet, because his b-word of a wife threw a tizzy, and I've never forgotten it).
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #20
34. Thanks! n/t
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BarenakedLady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
21. I don't think it's a good idea
You may end up resenting her for it later.
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
23. Within reason, yes. But this doesn't sound
reasonable to me. She just doesn't want you to? And besides isn't your sister a part of your life too and also a person you love? If you were totally inexperienced and wanted to climbe Mt Everest then I could see that. I don't know...I just hate when someone tries to make a person change or give something up for them. It seems manipulative and controlling. Have you made her give up anything?
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. Not a thing.
Most married people actually marvel at us, because we really do lead lives that are very independent of each other. If I want to go spend 5 days solo packing the Emigrant Wilderness, she doesn't blink an eye at it. On the same token, if she wants to take off with her friends to Vegas for a few days, I just wish her luck at the casinos. We trust each other implicitly, and our relationship has always lacked the kind of clingly possessiveness that many marriages seem to have. We don't try to control each other at all.

The only other time she's ever asked me NOT to do something was about five years ago when a buddy wanted me to go skydiving with him. She didn't forbid me, she just let me know she wasn't comfortable with the idea and was a bit scared that I was going to kill myself. I passed on that invitation for her sake (skydiving has never really been an interest of mine anyway). Her reaction to the whole mountain climing issue is all the wierder when you look at our history.
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wildhorses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
25. oh fuck me...this would be NOT good....
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 04:47 PM by wildhorses
around here it is called throwing a rotten old tomato...as in throwing an ultimatum :banghead:


I HATE TO BE TOLD I CAN'T DO SOMETHING... :grr:


i will leave quietly now, sorry but, you asked and hey i'm in a race for the most posts :P

:yoiks:





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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
26. I think the best gift my husband ever gave me
was to grieve with me when my health made me give up camping. He didn't go with me, city born and bred he just didn't ever get along with backpacks and bear cages. So I'd go alone. Sometimes as much as 5 times a year but always at least twice. I can't do it any more and I know he prefers having me home all the time, but he also appreciates that losing those weekends and weeks was like a death in the close family for me.

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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. My fiance races cars at a local track.
When he is not racing he spends a lot of time working on his car (during the season). Do I like it? No! Can't stand racing. But he doesn't like shopping or going to theaters or other stuff I enjoy doing. It's all about give and take and leaving eachother some space. You can't have everything in common. Nor is it right to have to like something to let the other person do it.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Yeah, my husband likes grits and okra.
I even cook them for him without barfing in them.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
31. I have before. But then again, I am an idiot
Tread carefully. :hi:
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
32. You should not sacrifice your identity for a relationship.
The person you love should accept you for who you are, not for who they want you to be. If you are a mountain climber, they should accept that as part of you.

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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
39. Yes in a broad sense. No to your particular situation.
Her demand is unreasonable, and pulling out the whole "If you love me..." load of crap is just plain manipulative. If *she* loved *you* she'd let you do something you've enjoyed your whole life, so that's a ridiculous argument.

I could understand that she might worry about your safety. I could understand if the activity you loved was crazy expensive and your budget was tight. I could understand if the activity you loved would cause you to be away from home for an extraordinary amount of time, leaving her with the kids and all the household responsibilities. But it sounds like you know what you're doing, you already have the equipment, and it wouldn't put undue strain on your schedule (everybody deserves some time to themselves once in awhile). So the fact that she simply refuses to discuss what makes her so against the idea is a real problem.

I'm sorry Xithras, I hope you get it worked out and I hope you are able to make your climb without a lot of stress or guilt hanging over your head.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
40. My grandmother used to get upset with my grandfather for the
risks he took while out in his boat, but what she said about it was, "At least he'll die happy."

(He died of illness at the age of 77.)
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