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silka


Sep 7, 2006, 7:38 AM
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my partner isn't a climber
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I'm getting into the climbing scene more than in the past and my fiance doesn't climb. I'm moving to the area and it's sounding like everyone in the area that climbs are males. Does is become a problem being a female climber and not having a partner that climbs. Just wondering if anyone has any experiece with this....


trebork2
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Sep 7, 2006, 7:47 AM
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Re: my partner isn't a climber [In reply to]
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Have you introduced him to climbing or taken him out to try it at all???


Partner bad_lil_kitty


Sep 7, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Dump him now, it'll save the both of you from future arguments....esp when you find that male partner and you share more then just a belay.....

blk


zenelky


Sep 7, 2006, 10:18 AM
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Since this is just a male dominated society, you have to realize that a vast majority of them also have partner's that don't climb. If a man can climb w/o his wife, then I'm sure it's possible for a woman to climb w/o her husband (or whatever you're S.O. is to you).

IMO I don't really see it as that possible if you are truly and utterly in love with the sport. This is mostly from my experience that non-climbers don't understand wanting to spend every second outside regardless of weather or company. My ex-S.O.'s were also jealous of my closest male friends (all climbing partners) which created a lot of tension in the relationship. Another problem that I have found in the situation where I was dating a non-climber, was that the jealousy was not always unwarranted. Although I was not interested in my male climbing partners sexually, the deep friendships that were sometimes created (hey, you put your life in their hands every time you climb, you drink with them every night around the campfire, and they are the ones pushing you to do your best and talking you through some of the scariest climbs of your life) did become a threat to my relationship. It can sometimes be easier than expected to turn a climbing partner into a life partner...even when you're with someone whom you think you are going to spend the rest of your life with.

Have you tried introducing him to climbing? I'd take him to the gym a few times and see what he thinks. Good luck and I hope you find the support that you need to stay active in climbing (we need all the women we can get!)


lena_chita
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Sep 7, 2006, 1:16 PM
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Re: my partner isn't a climber [In reply to]
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I would second the "introduce him to climbing and hope for the best" idea. And if you have tried it already and he didn't like it... my condolences.

Yes, of course it is possible for you to climb if he doesn't want to climb at all. You are a free woman and you can do as you choose to. And it even may work out O.K. for a while. And hopefully you can make an argument that he is not jealous of any guy you work with, so there is no reason for him to jealous of any guy you climb with either...

But despite living in our 'enlightened times", anybody who suggests that a situation of "guy climbs, wife doesn't" is identical to situation "wify climbs, guy doesn't" is being delusional...

And if you discover that climbing becomes an all-consuming passion, if you find yourself wanting to go climbing every weekend... then well, it becomes a problem.

He may be all game to just go camping with you and hang out while you climb, but IMO no guy can tolerate this as a long-term solution: yeah ,right, hang out getting bored out of your mind while there are these other guys who are obviously good at this climbing hting, and your wife is obviously thinking so, and she is busy talking to them about some misterious "beta" and spouting things like jugs, underclings, gastons, and they all seem to have a great time while you feel like the 5th leg on the dog.. yeah, right.. it goes really well with most guys!

And he may well be game to stay home or go to the bar with his buddies while you go climbing, but then you won't be spending any time togeter-- a bad idea for a couple!

And if you try to do some sort of in-between thing, you will be forever chosing between going climbing or staying with your husband and doing things that hopefully you two both like to do... But one way or the other, it will become a climbing vs. husband choice. And I'm not even talking about having the kids down the road-- then it would become virtually impossible for you to climb if your husband does not share your passion.

Bottom line -- what is it that is holding you two together now, and is it going to be something that keeps holding you together years down the road? I may be jaded, but I've seen time and time again that couples where one partner has an all-consuming passion, and the other one does not share it (or has a different one) do not stay together. There are always exeptions to the rule. Maybe you will be one.


Partner bad_lil_kitty


Sep 7, 2006, 1:19 PM
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Re: my partner isn't a climber [In reply to]
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In short - if he's not interested, regardless of introducing him to climbing, don't push - why does it matter if you have an acitivity or hobby that he isn't involved in?

I'm missing something here, clearly.

blk


lhwang


Sep 7, 2006, 9:16 PM
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Re: my partner isn't a climber [In reply to]
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In reply to:
But despite living in our 'enlightened times", anybody who suggests that a situation of "guy climbs, wife doesn't" is identical to situation "wify climbs, guy doesn't" is being delusional...

Lena_chita... was wondering why you say this?

To all the ladies out there whose SOs climb, do you climb with your SO and nobody else? Does it cause tension in the relationship when you climb with someone else? Because even though my boyfriend loves climbing as much as I do, there are still times when our schedules don't match up and we climb with other people. Case in point: when I had 3 weeks off and went to Smith Rock with one of my best friends (who also happens to be my ex-boyfriend).

I think it's not so much a question of dating a non-climber as it is a question of insecurity and jealousy, of dependence vs. independence. I think it's healthy for two people in a relationship to spend time apart from each other (and granted, I'm probably more comfortable with time apart than most...I deliberately chose a 2-year position in a different city, and I tend to spend as much time working overseas as possible). When it comes down to it though, I wouldn't give up something I loved or dreamed of doing for a guy, and I guess in my case I am lucky enough to have found someone who would never ask me to, even if he doesn't share all of my passions.

Oops, I guess blk sums up my rambling with "why does it matter if you have an acitivity or hobby that he isn't involved in?"


harmonydoc


Sep 7, 2006, 10:47 PM
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Been married 7 years, obsessed with climbing for 1 year. Husband doesn't climb, his obsession is hockey (both roller and ice). Hasn't been a problem - I go off once or twice a month on a climbing weekend (have had partners of both genders), he plays 9 games of hockey in a day, we have stories to tell eachother on Sunday night!


lena_chita
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Sep 8, 2006, 6:47 AM
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lhwang-- I'm simply reflecting on what I've seen around me in real life. I am not saying that it is good that things are such, but it seems that IN GENERAL girls are more tolerant of their husbands going to climb (mostly with other guys) while they stay home, or go camping with the hubby and just hang out "looking pretty" while he climbs... And guys are a lot less tolerant of a situation like this. It doesn't work for a guy to just "hang out looking pretty" while other guys are dripping testosterone in front of their wives... As I said, there are always exceptions...


My husband climbs and loves it as much as I do. We always go on trips together-- but with a few other people. And of course he isn't my only climbing partner. In fact we hardly ever climb together in a gym-- I have my climbing night, and he has his, b/c we have to think about the kids' schedules. I often climb with other guys (that my husband also knows and climbs with b/c we are all part of the same crowd) and my husband sometimes climbs with other girls (though he is more likely to climb with other guys b/c well, there are more guy climbers). This is a perfectly agreeable situation for both of us. LOL, the only thing that isn't agreeable about it is the fact that we both wish we could climb more-- but we can't right now b/c we have two young children to take care of.

However, back 8 years ago or so, before we started climbing together, I was very much into Ballroom dancing (competing and stuff) -- and my husband was not, even though he learned to dance socially well enough. At the same time, he was very much into karate. It worked O.K. for couple years. He was not exactly happy about me dancing with other guys (he knew them well, they were common friends, etc)-- but he tolerated it well enough and really never had any reason for being jealous.
It worked O.K. that he went to his karate practice while I went to my dance team practice. And if I had to travel to a competition or go out dancing more than he went to do his thing-- it wasn't a problem b/c well, he could always just stay home andrelax and he enjoyed that.

Then we had our first child and things started to unrevel... to the point where I gave up dancing b/c it was just too much stress dealing with DH's resentment that he had to stay home and take care of the baby while I went out to have fun. It didn't help at all that I pointed out that he had HIS turn to go out and have fun. It just didn't work. For a while we each were zealously guarding our equal right to go out alone and have fun doing whatever we wanted to do, but it was actually pulling us apart...

Things are different now b/c while we do go climbing separately at least once during each week, we share the same passion. So when I come home, I can share with DH the fact that I finally climbed such and such route cleanly, or got such and such bouldering problem, or whatever. So even when we go alone, it still brings us together... Don't know if it makes sense at all :)


tivvis


Sep 8, 2006, 1:13 PM
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I agree with lhwang. I think she said it the best. Lena_chita I think your advice is very misconstrued. I think if you have a good healthy relationship there is no reason why you can't keep climbing. Every couple needs some time apart. I think as long as you aren't such an avid climber that you don't spend ever waking minute on the rock and you have set a side time for your man it should be fine. Lena_chita I don't think it was because you started climbing instead of dancing that made things better in your relationship. I think your relationship was just messed up. If your husband was supportive of you, you would still be dancing. What makes it any better that you guys both don't climb together, but you both climb? Why would it matter if you spent that time dancing instead? You said you both get to talk about it when you got home. What you couldn't talk about how your night went at dancing and him about his night of climbing? You also said"He was not exactly happy about me dancing with other guys (he knew them well, they were common friends, etc)-- but he tolerated it well enough and really never had any reason for being jealous. " that sound like insecurity to me. What is the difference if you have male friends you hang out with or male dance/climbing partners?

So many of you on this page acted like if you don't find a man that climbs your relationship will be domed. That is so not true. Not everything in your life is going to match your partners. Climbing might just be one of those things. And just because he doesn't climb who's to say he can't go camping and hike or fish or whatever while you are climbing????

Silka: Take your man climbing one day. Try to take him with a group for other people who don't climb , so he won't feel like the new guy that sucks when everyone else is climbing above him. It's just easier to have other people on your level when you are first learning. People are more open to ideas. If he likes it great... if he doesn't no big deal. You might want to introduce him to your climbing friends if he chooses not to climb. Just so he knows them when you talk about them. Invite him along on the things he can do like camping. But in the end you CAN have a GOOD relationship with a non-climber.


lena_chita
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Sep 8, 2006, 2:19 PM
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Nice (albeit wrong) analysis of my relatioship with my DH, tivvis. I'm going to analize you and say that you are probably partnered with someone who doesn't climb, your relatioship is still "young" (less than 5 years), you do not have children, and you are relatively young yourself :wink: Let's see how many of those points I've scored wrong.

And you tell me, HAVE you ever seen a non-climber guy hang out by the crag all day watching his wife climb? I am pretty sure that it is a very rare sight.-- b/c I have never seen it.

But the other way? Plenty! If you ever got to the New, esp. an area like Summersville, you'll see them pretty much any weekend. It usually involves a group of guys and a couple of girls in bikinis that arrive by boat and the girls spend their time sun-tanning, reading, chatting, giggling and taking pictures of their climbing guys... Or a girl in snow-white shorts and stylish hiking boots with blow-dried hair lounging on top of her boyfriends backpack while he climbs...

This is what made me say that "wife climbs/guy doesn't" is not symmetrical to "guy climbs/wife doesn't" situation.


clee03m


Sep 8, 2006, 10:25 PM
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While I think it is possible to have a perfectly good relationship with a partner who does not climb, it really is nice to be with one that does. I really wanted my husband to start climbing because I plan to climb when I retire. Lately, he has shown an interest in climbing, and I am thrilled.

I don't know that expectations are all that different between partners of different gender. My husband told me once that he doesn't care who I climb or camp with, because at the end, he knows he is the one I home to. And I have read plenty of threads of men complaining that their girlfriends/wives have problems with either climbing too much or climbing with women.

If you really want your partner to climb, don't give up so fast. Mine took 3 1/2 years to show interest, and I know this lady who said her husband didn't start showing interest until he was in his 50's. And if yours never show interest in climbing, I know you can still have a great relationship. I have for the last 3 1/2 years.


boadman


Sep 11, 2006, 11:02 AM
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I think as long as both partners are passionate about something, whether it be knitting or rockclimbing, it will work out.


Partner bad_lil_kitty


Sep 11, 2006, 11:17 AM
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I was joking.

It is ok if he's not interested and/or isn't a climber.

Make climbing yours. You will meet some really great people out there and have adventures that are your very own and that's not a bad thing.

Good luck!

blk

edited cause obviously I made a grammatical error.


zenelky


Sep 11, 2006, 1:11 PM
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I'm glad that this turned out to be such a bickering match for a topic that could be a potential beginning or end of a relationship. :( Silka, if you do truly love your man and your man loves you too then don't let this topic get you down. I'm sure that if you've been together for this long, there is something else that is holding you together that taking a weekend a month off to go climbing, won't change. I personally go climbing almost every weekend, and work in a climbing gym...so my S.O.'s must be much more tolerant of my passion than most weekend warriors.

I think that the idea of taking him out on a group climbing trip is a good idea. I think an even better idea would be to see if you can find some other 'couples' to go climbing with so that he can see that both men AND women climb and you won't necessarily always be surrounded by a bunch of sausages :roll: (which would make me really uneasy too if I knew my man was going to be alone and surrounded by a bunch of models every weekend REGARDLESS of how much I trusted him). The group dynamics may also be much more low key than if you take him climbing with a group of hard-core climbers. You never know, maybe you can get one of your male friends to bring HIS girlfriend who refuses to climb (since she won't be the only one there who doesn't know how to climb for a change).

Give it a shot, good luck, and don't stress about the little things.

~Mic


irish_ice


Sep 11, 2006, 4:28 PM
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Dang, I haven't talked on here in a loooonnng time, but I had to chime in (my deepest apologies). Everyone's different and what works for some the exact opposite works for others. Personally, I date a non climber and I was worried that it might be a problem in the beginning, but we get along swimmingly. He doesn't know 99% of the guys I climb with and he doesn't care. He trusts me and my judgement in who I hang out with. He has his passions, I have mine, themost important passion we could have in common (and here comes the Halmark Card) is each other. He's proud that I'm a bad ass rock climber (and frankly, I'd be delighted if he never got involved in the sport because then he'd know how bad I really am, haha) and I'm proud of him. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, if it doesn't bother you that he doesn't climb, then don't worry about it. Talk to him and see how he feels about it. If he says it doesn't bother him, then trust that he is being honest with you. Afterall, that's what relationships are supposed to be based on right? :wink: If he says it bothers him, find out why, inform him that you still want to be with him, but that you won't stop climbing and see if a compromise can be reached. If not, then maybe he's not the guy for you. In the end, I find that things always seem to work out for the best. Even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.


tivvis


Sep 13, 2006, 7:40 AM
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lena_chita almost completely wrong. I've been with my man for 5 years and he is a climber, but in the past I was in a relationship for 6 years and we was not a climber (and no, climbing had nothing to do with us breaking up). I am almost 30, so I am not that young. Yes, your right I have no kids yet.

You are correct I haven't seen any guy's just "hanging" at the craig, but like I said why do they just have to "hang" at the craig all day when they could do their own thing in the same area on trips. Example: Hike, Fish or Bike. I know a lot of guys that do this.

I have been to New & Summersville and not all people at this places ONLY climb. Heck, I've been there myself to canoe, swim, and fish. So why would a non-climber have to just sit and look pretty watching his GF climb all day when he could do these things? And Summersville is a great place that a man could fish while his girl climbs and not be far apart. See my point yet??? How long do you think those "snow-white shorts and stylish hiking boots with blow dried hair" girls are going to be happy just sitting watching their man climb? one year, maybe two (if that)! Girls only do that kind of stuff in the beginning of relationships. While a man or girl (if the enjoy nature) won't get bored if they can do other things while their GF climbs.

Just wondering, but how old are you?


lena_chita
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Sep 13, 2006, 11:20 AM
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LOL, I probably should stop, but my argumentative nature prevails.

Tivvis, I am 33yo, have been married for 12.5 years, have been with my husband since college (17 years and counting). We have two kids, almost 8yo and 3.5 yo.

tivvis, if you read my first post again, you'll see that i said that there is no reason a girl couldn't climb if her husband is not climbing. But you probably missed it b/c you took an issue with my statement that "girl climbs/guy doesn't" is not symmetrical to "guy climbs/girl doesn't" Yet you agree that you've seen non-climber girls hanging out at the crag, and haven't seen non-climber guys hanging out at the crag. Yes, Girls probably only do it in the beginning, but the point is, they DO do it, and the guys don't-- hence my original assertion of the situation not being symmetrical.

Other people have come in to say that if you take one weekend a month to go climbing, it shouldn't be a problem at all. Well, I agree with that, too. If you don't have kids, taking one weekend a month to go somewhere away from your husband is not a problem at all. But is this what we are talking about here? CLIMBING ONE WEEKEND A MONTH? Excuse me, then, I must have misunderstood. Climbers I know seem to be people who want to spend every free moment climbing. I must know wrong people.

Let's take a hypothetical 3 couples, married, no kids:

Girl1 and Guy1 are both climbing. They spend most of their free time doing it, and they go together a lot, sometimes just the two of them, sometimes in larger group of climbers. Not 100% of the time-- sometimes Girl1 has a deadline at work and works all weekend, or goes to a friends' bridal shower, while Guy1 goes climbing with his buddies. And sometimes Guy1 has other plans-- fraternity re-union, busness trip, bachelor's party, whatever-- then Girl1 goes climbing alone. But overall, they probably spend 80% or more of their free time climbing, and about 80% of it together, so they get to do what they love and get a lot of together time, too.

Girl2 climbs, but Guy2 doesn't. Right off the bat, Girl 2 can only climb about half as much as Girl 1, b/c you know, sure, time alone is important, but she needs to spend some time with her husband, too. So she spends about 40% of her free time climbing, about 40% of it with her husband, and the remaining 20% go for those unavoidable things like work deadlines, bridal showers, and sorority re-unions. Still, it's a workable situation, Guy2 is cool with it. If there are any doubt, he probably keeps it to himself b/c well ,you know, it is 21st century and he is not some backwards jerk who can't trust his wife to "behave" in his absence, and besides, he isn't exactly bored when she goes away on her trips, he has his own thing to do.

Guy3 climbs, but Girl3 doesn't, bummer! Again, Guy3 doesn't get to climb as much as Guy 1, but that's O.K. he is a really nice guy, he loves his Girl3, so he loves spending time with her as much as he loves climbing. But guess what-- he can climb a bit more than Girl2 can, b/c sometimes Girl 3 comes along with him when he goes on climbing trip, while Girl2's husband never does that. Girl3 doesn't go along all the time, mind you, she is her own person with her own interests, and she is perfectly happy to go kayaking with her college friends while Guy3 climbs. Still, there is that little overlap, maybe 10-20% of the time, so Guy3 gets to spend 50% of his free time climbing, 50% of it with his wife, and the 20% for other things that come up (numbers don't add up to 100% b/c there is that overlap when he is spending time with his wife AND is on a climbing trip)

Do you see the slight assymetry in Girl2/Guy2 situation, compared to Guy3/Girl3?

Still, it is owrking O.k... But things are about to get complicated! On the exact same day-- what a co-incidence!-- Girls1, 2 and 3 discover that they are pregnant. Planned and very much wanted, of course!

Girl 1 is probably going to continue climbing for a while. There is no reason why she shouldn't. And if she feels tired and weepy and wakes up in the middle of the night in her tent with a weird feeling in her belly and starts wondering if it's the proverbial quickening, or a beginning of a cramp, and wants a reassurance-- well her husband is right there to offer that hug that she wants so much.

Girl2 is determined to continue climbing ,too. There is no reson why she shouldn't. But there are these little things... She used to be able to get out of work Friday night, get in the car ,and drive for 5 hours to the climbing place. Now she can't seem to keep her eyes open (darn hormones!) and unlike Girl1 whose husband will always step in and offer to drive while she naps, Girl 2 has to rely on her partners to drive-- which doesn't always work... in the past, she car-pooled some of the time ,and drove by herself some of the time ,and now she can't summon energy to do that. And if she does go climbing, and just like Girl 1, gets that weepy feeling in the middle of the night, she will be alone in the tent with no hugs coming. Never happened to her before-- she is a self-sufficient grown-up woman. But those hormones affect her in ways she never imagined. Still, she does get some climbing done-- it is just reduced even more compared to Girl1.

Guy 3...Well, he is excited about his future child, sure. But it doesn't affect his climbing schedule much. I mean, he's not a jerk-- he'll cancel a trip if his wife has her morning sickness really badly, and of course he is not planning on any trips near the due dates, but otherwise? he climbs on.

The difference between Girl2 and Guy 3 becomes more pronounced...

And then-- ta-da-- the baby comes!

Girl1 and Guy1 eagerly welcome the new member of the family. No talk about climbing for a few weeks. Of course Guy 1 isn't a jerk who would leave his wife with a 2 week old baby and go climbing! But in a couple of months, Girl1 is feeling pretty well. And baby is settled into a nice schedule. So they think-- what the heck, the weather is nice, let's try it. And go climbing. Together-- with their baby. ANd a few friends. And it works! Baby naps in a snugli while they hike. Guy1 looks after him while Girl1 climbs, and vice versa. (a 3rd member of the climbing party belays). When the baby gets hungry-- Moms breasts are right there, nurse and keep going. So they settle into a new family way. They had to modify their climbing some-- sure. No multipitch climbing for a while, unless grandparents volunteer to baby-sit, but that will have to wait until the baby is a bit older. And they aren't going as much as they used to before the baby was born, and probably climb indoors more b/c it is easier to go alone for an evening of climbing than to leave your partner for the weekend... but still they both get a decent amount of climbing done outside, too, and once the baby is a toddler they sometimes alternate going alone, while the other one stay home, and sometimes get to go together without the kids, courtessy of family.

Girl 2 and Guy 2 love their new baby too. Couple months pass in a haze, no thoughts of climbing. then Girl 2 starts getting a bit of a longing feeling. But what can she do? She can't very well leave the 2 months old baby with her husband for a weekend of leisure. Well, she could, but she feels SOOO guilty about it, she can't contemplate doing it. She is good mother ,after all, and besides, ouch, what is she going to do-- pump breasmilk every few hours at the crag? (She is a kind of mother that believes in nursing, by the way...) And taking the baby with her? Driving alone with the baby for several hours? Ugh! One time is enough to make her realize that it won't work as a regular thing b/c she is so exhausted afterwards that her climbing is worthless. Besides, even if she does take the baby with her, who's going to watch after him while she climbs? Her climbing partners are not baby-sitters, thank you very much. Her husband agrees to come along once. But it is not going to be a regular thing... So she tells herself-- later, once the baby is older, I can go back to climbing outside. Weekend trips can wait. I'll just go to the gym in the evening for a while.

Guy 3 is one proud papa, too. He is not going to go climbing and leave his wife with a newborn baby either. The first couple months he is maybe climbing once a week at the gym-- maybe not climbing at all the first few weeks. But after 3 months or so, he approaches his wife: Honey, is it O.k. if I go on a trip this weekend? She says O.K. Reluctantly, but she can't very well forbid her husband any sort of recreation, can she? Besides ,he is not a jerk. He will make it up to her. He'll baby-sit a couple of evenings a week while she goes to her yoga class or goes out for coffee with girlfriends. Of course, one thing she isn't doing is going away for the weekend-- for the same reasons as Girl2 isn't doing it. But Guy 3? Sure, he had to moderate his climbing, too, just like Guy 1 and Girl 1. But a few trips a year is not a problem, is it?

Now the world of Guy 3 and Girl 2 is very different. It is not just some assymetry, it isa BIG difference.


O.K>, the babyhood is over. No more nursing, diapers, sleepless nights. The kids are a little older now.

GIrl 1 and Guy 1 are almost back to their pre-child climbing. Not quite, maybe 50% of their free time now, of course-- there are all the additional kid activities that take time, too. But they have been taking their baby climbing wiht them for so long that it all goes very smoothly now. The kid may even be showing interest in climbing.

Girl2 is back into climbing, too. Sort of. Before, she could take 40% of her time to go climbing, and Guy 2 didn't mind it at all b/c he always had fun stuff to do while she was gone. Now-- different story! When she is gone and he stays home, he is not getting a relaxing time to himself. He is being run ragged by the kids. So if Girl 2 took a weekend to go climbing, he demands a weekend to himself, too, or an equivalent amount of time in the evening. O.K., Girl 2 has to agree, it is only fair. But what happens is that they both start feeling like single parents-- either she is gone, or he is, leaving the other one with children. So they decide to have some weekends for her, some for him, some for family -- so instead of climbing for 40% of her free time, before kids, Girl2 gets maybe 10 % of her time. She is pretty sad about it.

Guy3 is almost back to his regular climbing by now. Some of the time he takes wife and kids with him. Just like before, they hang out, the kids get to try climbing, wife likes it more now, actually b/c if she were to stay back home, it would be more tiresome than if she came along with Guy3.


And so on....


lhwang


Sep 13, 2006, 4:13 PM
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Holy guacamole. All I can say is that if I were with Guy 2, he'd find himself getting divorce papers pretty quickly.

Lena_chita, I find it sad (not a comment on you personally, but a comment on society because I do believe it can happen and it makes me sad that it still does) that that's been your experience. I can't say it's what I've observed, whether that's in climbing or other areas of life. I'm a resident doctor and throughout my studies have had female classmates whose husbands willingly quit their jobs to stay home with the kids. One girl I know even timed her pregnancy so that she would deliver over the Christmas break. She graduated on time without missing a single day, and her husband quit his job to take care of the baby. I don't know if she breastfed or not, but I know plenty of women who go back to work and use a pump.

Most of the women I know are strong and independent, and would not put up with a partner who didn't support them. Not surprising then that they ended up with a supportive partner.

As an example, Ines Papert stopped doing expeditions after the birth of her son and switched her focus to sport climbing. She says that she actually got stronger than ever before during that time. Now that her son's older, she does a few 1 to 2 week trips and brings him along to comps. And even placed first at Ouray in 2005, just five years after the birth of her son.

As far as I know, Alison Hargreaves' husband was not a climber. She climbed Everest without supplemental oxygen. Her sons were 4 and 6 when she died on K2.

More examples abound, I'm sure...


stymingersfink


Sep 13, 2006, 5:17 PM
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In short - if he's not interested, regardless of introducing him to climbing, don't push - why does it matter if you have an acitivity or hobby that he isn't involved in?

I'm missing something here, clearly.

blk

climbing for some is more than an activity...



its a way of life!


so... do you climb, or are you a climber? If you are a climber the question becomes: In the long run which one are you willing to give up... you, him, or climbing?


harmonydoc


Sep 13, 2006, 5:30 PM
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I consider myself one of those "strong and independent" women lhwang mentions: a physician working in biotech, I tend also to be passionate about my free time activities, #1 of which at the moment is climbing (#2 is singing barbershop in a competitive chorus). I spend 6-9 hours a week at the climbing gym and get outside average 1-2 weekends a month (not more because of conflicts with my work or sinigng activities). I am 37 years old, married 7 years, no kids. My husband is understanding - I even took off climbing over labor day weekend without him even though it was his birthday ... I don't get that many days off work and really wanted to go. We've scheduled a different weekend away together to celebrate his birthday.

All of this said, I do sometimes feel like I should be making an effort to schedule more time together, and I do wonder what will happen to our lives if/when we finally get around to having kids.

I agree with lena_chita that, IN GENERAL, women are more likely to make personal sacrifices to maintain the cohesiveness of the family unit, perhaps as a result of societal conditioning. This is not to say all women follow this mold, but I agree that this pressure, whatever it's origin, is real.

Anyone who wants a successful long term relationship must learn about compromise and communication. Ideally compromises will be made by both partners, and solutions will be worked out that don't leave one partner simmering in resentful silence. This balance is highly individual each couple has to work it out for themselves. There are obviously examples of successful women climbers with families and non climbing partners, each who has worked out her own solution. Would these women have somehow had a "easier" time if their life partners were also climbers? Maybe, maybe not.

Priorities change, people evolve with maturity. Life is about making choices, deciding what is really the most important to you and what areas are open to compromise. Once you decide what it is you value most, then any sacrifices you make to support those values are sacrifices you have chosen voluntarily, not something externally imposed for which you feel resentful and sad.

This kind of self-knowledge is not something I claim to have achieved, it is something that I (and I think most people) struggle with at several points in their lives. Life is not black-and-white, but as long as you approach it with the attitude that YOU are ultimately in charge of the choices you make, then you are more likely to be at peace with your situation.


stymingersfink


Sep 13, 2006, 6:29 PM
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^^thanks doc... you summed up my situation much better than I would have.


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The universe tends to unfold exactly as it should.
...and in my experienece it does, as much as I love it or hate it sometimes.



if you are afraid, look within your heart to discover why. What opportunity to learn has presented itself, and do you wish to learn its lessons?


lena_chita
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Sep 14, 2006, 7:34 AM
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lhwang -- I am a molecular biologist (PhD). I defended my dissertation 3 months after my first child was born -- I had to be back at work 2 weeks after he was born in order to meet the graduation deadlines, and the person who was taking care for DS was my husband. (and yes, I breastfed both kids full-time while working full-time). We both work full-time and for the first 3 years of my sons' life DH and I worked in shifts to minimize the amount of time DS spend it daycare, and we both made equal sacrifices -- we both decided to forgo conferences/busness travel in the first year of DS's life, etc. and in general have shared the housework, etc. equally.

yes, I do know some female doctors and lawyers who are the primary "breadwinners" for the family while the husbands work part-time or stay home with the kids. But in that case, all of above-mentioned females are even MORE reluctant to take time away from the family for a leisure activity, b/c they already are spending so much time away from the family, they feel that they should be spending most of their free time WITH the family.

Your example of a woman working while husband stays home with small kids is not the same as the woman choosing to go away for the weekend of LEISURE activity and leaving the husband with a newborn. The first example is one of necessity. The couple decided that for whatever reason (her salary is higher, she works in a competitive field where taking time off equals falling off the wagon, while he can afford to take time off and still come back relatively easily b/c he is in a different profession, etc.) it will work better to for him to stay home and take care of the children.

But like harmonydoc says, IN GENERAL women do make more sacrifices for the family/kids. Maybe things will change in the future. I sure hope some of the things change. We are talking here and now though...

How many man take at least one trip away from the family during the first year of the child's life? If families around me are anything like general population ('I'm taking a group of 100 families or so) that number is around 60-70%. How many women do that? I know THREE cases of busness- or family-emergency-related travel, and only ONE case of leisure travel in the same group, where a woman took time to go on an overnight trip alone, without husband or children in the first year of her children's life.

Pretty dramatic difference, isn't it? No one is holding gun to their heads and saying 'you can't go'. They choose not to... B/c primal biological reasons like attachment? Because of societal conditioning? Probably both.

When all is said and done, I know child-less women who climb while their husband doesn't. I know women with grown-up (high-school/college) kids who climb while the husband doesn't. Not very many of either kind. One each, I believe? I am yet to meet a woman of small children who climbs while her husband doesn't. I am sure there are some of them out there somewhere, in very small numbers.


comet


Sep 14, 2006, 8:55 AM
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Holy guacamole. All I can say is that if I were with Guy 2, he'd find himself getting divorce papers pretty quickly.

Agreed. And while we're at it, guy 3 doesn't sound like much of a catch either.

I'm just not willing to settle for either of those situations--not because of the activities issue, because of the attitudes present in the guys in these descriptions. Maybe that's why I'm single.

I do believe there are guys out there who won't act like this, though, regardless of whether they share my activity interests 100%.


lhwang


Sep 14, 2006, 4:44 PM
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Lena_chita, I'm not sure if you think I'm trying to argue you with you. Because I'm not. I don't think I ever disagreed with your assertion that in general, women probably make more sacrifices to maintain family cohesiveness.

To flip things around though, perhaps this is because until recently, there wasn't a lot of support for men who wanted to break the mold. Paternity leave still isn't that common, and I don't think it's necessarily because men don't want to take time off to be with the kids.

My personal experiences though, and the women I've met in my life, serve as an inspiration to me that even if I decide to have kids, I won't have to give up my career/personal interests while my husband does his thing as usual.

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