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Re: [at-l] Hiking the AT and Significant Others Conflict

In a message dated 97-11-22 01:37:47 EST, you write:

 I am hoping to hike the AT next year, GA to ME, and even
 though I told my girlfriend months (years actually but
 only because she sort of pressured me to postpone my plans)
 in advance, she is showing a bit of upsettedness in that I plan
 to be away from her for 6 months. I am thinking of saying "Here
 honey, here is my share of the rent for the next 6 months, please
 let me go. " Is this a fair exchange? Should she accept this 
 offer and let me go? She thinks I plan to leave her. Sorry to ask
 this question, but I don't think I am alone in this situation
 or won't be.  Fred

     I'm not a marriage counselor (and I don't play one on TV), but I think
there is something deeper here.  A woman needs to have a high comfort level
with her relationships.  She must know you love her forever.
     I would recommend that you spoil her.  Tell your wife that you are going
to shower her with love and affection, over the months leading up to the
hike, the likes of which she has never seen.  Then do it!  Make every
possible effort to have her join you periodically during the hike.  One
weekend a month is not too much for her to ask, nor too much for you to do.
 Finally, write her every day.  Carry lots of post cards, pre-stamped, and
write a brief note of your day's experiences.
     These small outpourings of love will build your relationship while you
are gone.  It won't just help her, it will strengthen your lover for her as
well.  That will make you a better husband.
     As for the issue of money, if there is any chance that she will struggle
financially while you are gone -- DON'T GO.  The worst thing you can do is
leave the woman you love alone and struggling to pay the bills.
     I hope all works out well for you and your plans for a through hike.
 You may find, like I, that you must wait until retirement to take on this
adventure.  As for me, in the mean time, I section hike the AT a week or two
each year.  It helps control the Springer fever and allows my wife to learn
that I can go away for a time and return to our loving home.
Wayne Brown
Lakeland, FL

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