broadsideblog

She's Got A Ticket To Somewhere Exotic, Alone? Kiss Her Goodbye, For Good

In travel, women on December 18, 2009 at 7:51 am
Rafting - Jacaré Pepira River, Brotas, São Pau...

Image via Wikipedia

If your sweetie is heading off on a big trip alone, kiss your relationship goodbye. That’s the theory, anyway, says Outside:

Barbara Banks, a 19-year employee of Wil­derness Travel, said, “We may well have been cited in some divorce cases, though we haven’t been called to the stand.” Peter Grubb, founder of the international rafting company ROW, confessed that, at least once a year, a client divorces a spouse after a raft trip. Robert Whitman, founder of Five Star Counseling Services, in Denver, confirmed my worst fears. In his 20 years as a professional counselor, he said, he’s seen roughly one marriage per month break up soon after a big solo trip.

The problems start early, he said. Two years before the trip, the wife complains that she and her husband don’t really talk or do fun things together anymore. The guy, only half hearing, remains as loutish as usual but goes along with her efforts to spice up the marriage. Frustrated, she gives up six months later. Things return to “normal” until, at the end of a quietly frustrating year, she says she wants to go on a big trip without him. The husband agrees, thinking himself supportive. The wife interprets his encouragement as the final abandonment.

Maybe on the trip she summits a tall peak and gains a loftier perspective on life. From this distance, that little man back in the States—whose range of interests spans everything from his kayak to his Play­Station—starts to seem positively puny. Meanwhile, the brawny mountain guide who got her to the top suddenly seems more responsive, caring, and nurturing than he’ll ever be.

The takeaway, though, at least in Whitman’s example, is that the big trip isn’t the problem; it’s merely the final, too-late alarm bell. Whether she goes to Japan or Djibouti, the relationship is over before she gets on the plane.

“‘I’m gonna take a big trip by myself’—that should hit you like a two-by-four between the eyes,” says Whitman.

I’d agree. If your man doesn’t share your love of adventure, he’s not the guy for you. Two men became clearly lodged in my rear-view mirror after I spent time traveling alone, overseas. It’s not necessarily any other guy tempting you into his arms. It’s the one who didn’t come along and why he chose to stay behind.

Have you been dumped this way? Have you been the one fleeing?

  1. The point of your article is right on, but I resent the sexism in your implication that a stale marriage is apparently by default due to the typical male behavior as “loutish” and in love with his Playstation. I am a guy, and I do know lots of guys like that, and I can’t stand being around them either, but for every “lout” and his Playstation, there is a woman who can’t bear the thought of a vacation where her hair might get mussed, her manicure ruined, or she might get a bit sweaty, or there is no nearby shopping. A female trek guide wearing boots and fleece, who thinks nothing of letting her hair down and getting
    dirt on her can look every bit as appealing as a “brawny” mountain guide.

  2. terrsano, good point and I agree.

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