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I love to travel internationally. It is my greatest passion. I speak 4 languages. I've visited 85 countries. I am thrilled and impassioned by the prospect of traveling to a new part of the world. Nothing makes me feel alive like travel. It is a huge part of who I am.

My wife and I got married 6 years ago. I talked at length about my interest in travel from the very first day we met. While we were dating we talked about all the amazing trips we would do together. (Or, at least, I thought we talked about it. In retrospect, I likely talked all about the amazing trips we'd do while she smiled and nodded.)

Shortly after getting married I discovered that my wife hates to travel. She hates the discomfort of being in airplanes, rental cars, etc. She hates being away from home. She has almost zero interest in foreign cultures. She was raised in a family that is very responsible and very caring, but they also exhibit some amount of racism and xenophobia. They believe that it is prohibitively dangerous to visit Mexico or Africa; regardless of what the statistics might say. She believes the same.

Eleven years ago I began investing in real estate with the objective of one day being able to quit my job to travel abroad with my family for four or five months every year. The real estate investments did well, and at the age of 38 I now am in a position to provide an exceptionally comfortable life for my wife while also being able to leave my job and travel. This has been a lifelong dream of mine. I've worked hard for it. I will quit my job in July and we will spend three months in Europe together, then maybe a month in Japan later this year. My wife is dreading it.

Travel is the greatest source of contention in our marriage. My wife hates it. She speaks overwhelmingly negatively about it. I can hardly raise the issue of travel without it turning into a fight. I can't share my dreams with my wife. I have to bottle them up. There is a lot of silence in our marriage. We do have some good times together, but I constantly want to talk about my dream of travel, and she wants nothing to do with it. Silence is a preferable alternative to fighting.

Admittedly, asking my wife to spend five months a year away from home to support my interest is a lot, but I take great care of her. I've contributed $100,000 or so towards her interests, she'll never have to have a job, and I feel she could be more positive about this. I also feel strongly that we not spend months apart each year as a family. Thoughts?
 

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It sounds like you married someone with whom you are fundamentally incompatible on at least one major point. As you say, when dating you talked a lot about travel and she mostly smiled and nodded. People who love to do something generally find a way to do it, with or without a partner. So anyone who says they love to do something but never do it, probably don't actually love to do that thing. You missed the fact that her never having travelled extensively before meeting you and having no real apparent interest in other cultures, were glaring red flags.

Just to clarify, have you two actually traveled together and she hates it? Or does she simply hate the idea of travel but has never actually tried it? Would she be more amenable to traveling nationally, rather than internationally, as a sort of starting point?
 

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It sounds like you married someone with whom you are fundamentally incompatible on at least one major point. As you say, when dating you talked a lot about travel and she mostly smiled and nodded. People who love to do something generally find a way to do it, with or without a partner. So anyone who says they love to do something but never do it, probably don't actually love to do that thing. You missed the fact that her never having travelled extensively before meeting you and having no real apparent interest in other cultures, were glaring red flags.

Just to clarify, have you two actually traveled together and she hates it? Or does she simply hate the idea of travel but has never actually tried it? Would she be more amenable to traveling nationally, rather than internationally, as a sort of starting point?
During our 6 years of marriage we have been on about 10 international trips together and many short trips in the United States as well. I put a lot of effort into trying to make the trips as comfortable and easy as possible for her, and to find things she might be interested in, but it's a battle. Traveling with her is hell. She constantly complains about everything she hates about it. It's so difficult to enjoy it with her.

I recognize that I missed the fact that she didn't love travel when we were dating, but she did present herself as someone who was excited to travel with me. She also had been on a two-week trip to England with her university. I didn't suspect that she was uninterested, and I certainly didn't suspect that she hated it. Regardless, the decision to marry her has already been made.

Specifically, I am looking for the best way to manage this situation. We married each other and we will stay married. We have a young daughter and for her benefit and ours, we will make our marriage as good as it can be. I am looking for a solution to help make things easier. I appreciate the input.
 

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She was raised in a family that is very responsible and very caring, but they also exhibit some amount of racism and xenophobia. They believe that it is prohibitively dangerous to visit Mexico or Africa, for example; regardless of what the statistics might say. She believes the same.
Neither of those things are racist or xenophobic at all, so unless there’s way more there - just don’t.

Admittedly, asking my wife to spend five months a year away from home to support my interest is a lot, but I take great care of her. I've contributed $100,000 or so towards her interests, she'll never have to have a job, and I feel she could be more positive about this.
I love to travel as well, but 5 months a year away from home is a lot for most people, let alone someone who doesn’t like travel.

I totally get your dream, but it sounds incompatible with your wife. You need to determine if there is some middle ground that would be acceptable to both of you - without whining and negativity.
Maybe it’s only 3 months a year and you create 3 itineraries that you like, and she gets to pick the one you do.
If not, you need to decide if you’re willing to forego your dreams for her. I wouldn’t recommend it.
 

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Specifically, I am looking for the best way to manage this situation. We married each other and we will stay married. We have a young daughter and for her benefit and ours, we will make our marriage as good as it can be. I am looking for a solution to help make things easier. I appreciate the input.
I completely understand you. I'm nomadic, so travel is my lifestyle.

If it were me, I'd sit her down and have an honest, frank conversation with her.

Consider telling her that you'd love to travel with her, doing things that you'd both enjoy, but if she'd truly rather not go, then you'll simply go on your own.

You can't force her to like traveling, but you can go without her.

Maybe if she gets left a few times, (meaning you follow through), then perhaps she'll change her mind. If she doesn't, then at least you can enjoy your trips without the complaints.
 

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That damn hindsight sure is 20/20. It was always YOU talking about travel, never her.

Anyways, as Dude has said, do NOT give up your dreams for her or any woman for that matter. Plus, you've been married 6 yrs, what state/province are you in? You want to be careful because the last thing you want to do is be forced to support her for the rest of her life. It's great she doesn't have to work but that will not be in your favor in court. God forbid precious woman has to work and support herself.
 

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Neither of those things are racist or xenophobic at all, so unless there’s way more there - just don’t.
What about laughing about how black people look like monkeys? What about saying that interracial marriages should never happen? What about mocking the way Chinese people speak? Are those things racist enough for you?
 

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What about laughing about how black people look like monkeys? What about saying that interracial marriages should never happen? What about mocking the way Chinese people speak? Are those things racist enough for you?
Hence the caveat “ unless there’s way more there” than what was originally cited as examples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hence the caveat “ unless there’s way more there” than what was originally cited as examples.
I realize that what I presented as a concern (Mexico/Africa is too dangerous for travel) could be easily misinterpreted as an example of racism. I did not intend for it to be an example. I should have worded the post differently.

I did not want to share the info about my in-laws' racism in the original post, hence, I left it out.
 

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You two are incompatible. Where you a step-up in the social and economical ladder for her? if yes, you got the answer as to why she used to just nod and smile at all your comments about your dreams. regardless, in the long run as time goes by, most likely she will resent you to an unsustainable point for the relationship.
Why don't you ask her if she wants out? see what she says.
 

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I’ll be blunt, sounds like she got with you for the money.

She definitely did not follow you into your world or has any desire to participate in your passions.
For being multilingual and well traveled and financially successful , you seem a little naive and gullible where she is concerned.

For me, the thought of being hauled around the globe to 3rd world and developing nations for months out of the year sounds like hell on earth to me and I am not racist or xenophobic,, it just sounds like a pain in the arse.

So that brings me back to why did she even want to get with you in the first place???

A guy with $$$ that makes it so she doesn’t have to work but is gone off globetrotting all the time????

Yyeeeeaaahhhh, I’d be wondering just what it is she’s doing back home while you’re gone.
 

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During our 6 years of marriage we have been on about 10 international trips together and many short trips in the United States as well. I put a lot of effort into trying to make the trips as comfortable and easy as possible for her, and to find things she might be interested in, but it's a battle. Traveling with her is hell. She constantly complains about everything she hates about it. It's so difficult to enjoy it with her.

I recognize that I missed the fact that she didn't love travel when we were dating, but she did present herself as someone who was excited to travel with me. She also had been on a two-week trip to England with her university. I didn't suspect that she was uninterested, and I certainly didn't suspect that she hated it. Regardless, the decision to marry her has already been made.

Specifically, I am looking for the best way to manage this situation. We married each other and we will stay married. We have a young daughter and for her benefit and ours, we will make our marriage as good as it can be. I am looking for a solution to help make things easier. I appreciate the input.
I traveled once with a friend who complained about a lot of stuff, and that was the first and last trip that I went on with her. The fact that your wife is such a negative person when you guys have traveled together would be it for me. If it's hard for you to enjoy the trip that you worked hard to pay for when you go with her, I would just stop traveling with her. How old is your daughter? Perhaps she'd be a happier and more enjoyable travel companion?

Unfortunately, I feel like this is an example of the old bait-and-switch. When your relationship started, she did a lot of smiling and nodding when you spoke of travel plans for the two of you. She probably liked you, wanted to build a life with you, and didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize that. So, she lied and pretended to have an interest. Then, when you got married, she did the ole switcheroo. Happened to me too, but with different issues, and it really, really sucks. A lot of people out there think that this is THE way to behave, when it's not; it's so much better to just be up-front and honest.

I wish you the best of luck! Oh, I had another thought: could you go with a friend instead of your wife or daughter?
 

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What about laughing about how black people look like monkeys? What about saying that interracial marriages should never happen? What about mocking the way Chinese people speak? Are those things racist enough for you?
Wow. That makes me so sad. Sad for the people she's mocking, and sad for your wife that she's so small-minded.
 

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A lot of women like the idea of traveling or being with a certain kind of guy. But they haven't ever put any serious thought or actions behind it.
 

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What about laughing about how black people look like monkeys? What about saying that interracial marriages should never happen? What about mocking the way Chinese people speak?
I assume you are referring to your wife's family when you posted ^^this^^. Does your wife share similar outlooks on people of color?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I assume you are referring to your wife's family when you posted ^^this^^. Does your wife share similar outlooks on people of color?
My wife has said nothing that I can remember regarding interracial marriages (that was her mom), but the other actions were specific to my wife. Racism is a nuclear topic in our marriage. If it comes up, it's an instant, massive fight. I've very forcefully raised my concerns with her regarding these actions, and she has stopped the behavior but will not acknowledge that it is racist.

Perhaps the larger concern I should have is regarding her racism rather than her lack of interest in travel. It's easy just to not talk about racism, though. It's impossible not to talk about travel when we are doing it constantly.
 

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My wife has said nothing that I can remember regarding interracial marriages (that was her mom), but the other actions were specific to my wife.
Given your response, it sounds like your wife's opinion of black people is they resemble monkeys. She also mocks the way Chinese speak.

Sorry, dude, but your problem with your wife stems from something far more serious than her lack of enthusiasm for travel.
 

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What about laughing about how black people look like monkeys? What about saying that interracial marriages should never happen? What about mocking the way Chinese people speak? Are those things racist enough for you?
HOLY ****.

Well, I couldn't remain in a relationship with someone like that.
 

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I realize that what I presented as a concern (Mexico/Africa is too dangerous for travel) could be easily misinterpreted as an example of racism. I did not intend for it to be an example. I should have worded the post differently.

I did not want to share the info about my in-laws' racism in the original post, hence, I left it out.
So your in laws said those things not your wife?

Ok so you like travel. Can you agree to go on normal trips for say 2 or 3 weeks at a time? Why does it have to be for nearly half a year? Not many people would want to actually leave their home, family and friends for that long. To actually spend half their life abroad.
A couple we are friends with like travelling, they go abroad about 3-4 times a year but not usually for more than 2 or 3 weeks. It works well for them as they have other things in their life at home as well. Could you maybe get more involved with things where you live as well? That way you will have more things to think about than travel all the time.
 

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I loosened up a lot with travel when I started flying only business or first class and staying mainly at Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, or the local equivalent. Hiring cars online to take me from the airport to whatever town I am going to and picking me up on the way back.

I also generally hate travel and my wife likes it. She would maybe only travel 4 weeks a year so I’d just get her travel buddies to go with her and I didn’t care if she paid for them or whatever she needed to do.

When she wants to go to countries I’m not cool with I make sure she goes on something like Viking and goes with a buddy so that nothing bad happens.
 
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