This is Amy, Ty’s wife. Adventure hasn’t always been something I’ve wanted to have. In fact, sometimes Ty’s adventures scare me. (just keepin’ it real here)
It seems to me it is often the wife who feels hesitant to embark on adventures in life. Women have a lot of responsibilities that tend to pile up on them and make them feel like they’d rather just keep things where they are because adventure feels like one more thing on her plate that she doesn’t have room for.
Her hesitations may be any one of the following…
*She just had a baby.
*It’s too hot.
*It’s too cold.
*She doesn’t want to have to keep the kids corralled in an unfamiliar place or in difficult terrain.
*She doesn’t think you have enough money.
*She doesn’t want to do a bunch of planning.
*She has other obligations.
*She doesn’t want the kids to miss school.
*The adventure is outside her comfort zone.
*She’s just plum worn out.
Honestly, she might not even know what is holding her back from taking that first step toward adventure. She may just feel uneasy, and her first response is to avoid the idea completely. However, while there is such a thing as female intuition, we’re not always right. (Did I just say that?) So, if you are certain her reasons for not going are really excuses made out of fear or hesitation or a feeling of being overwhelmed, then here’s how you can help her feel more adventurous.
Don’t try to convince her that she’s making excuses.
You do that, and she’ll shut down. Adventure over. She feels like her reasons are legitimate, and she feels like you should listen to her. Telling her what she’s saying isn’t legitimate will stop the conversation, and you need her to keep talking it through. (We woman have to talk ourselves into things, you know.)
Let her talk the whole issue out before YOU start talking.
Give her some time to work through why she doesn’t want to go. If you try to offer a rebuttal to everything she says as she says it, she’s going to perceive that as you not listening. Let her talk for a while – it will help her understand her own reasons better, and give you more compassion for her reasons.
Offer help…real help.
Let me tell you a little story…
When I was pregnant with our 9th child, we were planning a vacation to a rugged cabin in the mountains. We were going to be there about a week, and I was feeling a little overwhelmed having just fought through the final stages of morning sickness. Ty decided to “help” me by planning all our meals for out at the cabin plus our snacks for the trip out there.
Sounds lovely, huh? It wasn’t.
The menu he planned had me in the kitchen prepping, baking, and packaging for hours. By the end of it, I was ready to keel over and I never, ever wanted his “help” in menu planning again. My menu plan would have been much simpler, but he thought he was helping me, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him…until we started planning for the next year’s trip.
So, the moral of this story is ASK HER what she needs help with, and then follow through. For me, it’s the little boys. There’s a lot of them, and I need help keeping them busy. I want vacation to be…well, a vacation. Chasing little kids for hours on end in the mountains does not sound relaxing. I also need all the travel details of the trip taken care of. Are there any repairs to be made to the van? Do we need a hotel room? Is it booked? Have the bills been paid? Is the house buttoned up? Is the dog taken care of? My domain is packing and the kids – I do not want to have to worry about anything else. If Ty helps me with these, I’m good.
Start small and prove it to her.
Frankly, you are not going to be able to convince her to be adventurous in some huge way if she’s never even dipped her toe into small adventures. Ask her to start small so you can show her that you are willing to do what it takes to create memories with your family that are fun and exciting without taxing her too much. She needs to know you are going to take care of her. Start in your backyard or a small campground near your home. Start with a day trip or an evening trek. Make it happen, and prove to her this life of adventure can happen and can be enjoyable for everyone.
I also need to add that you might not always be able to take your ENTIRE family on every adventure. There will be seasons when not everyone can go, and everyone needs to respect that decision. There may also be seasons when no one should go, and again, that decision must be respected as well.
Having adventures as a family doesn’t mean everything has to be on a grand scale all the time. Adventure becomes a way of life. Once your wife gets used to this mindset, she will begin to see adventurous opportunities for herself…and then, you might be the reluctant one!
Next up, “I Want to have an Adventure, buy My Husband Does Not”…