In a blog about being two-gether that I wrote few months ago, I said that communication and compromise are necessary to work out problems in any relationship, and especially for an RVing couple. I think that many times problems arise because someone doesn’t understand what their partner needs or wants, and this may be because of a lack of communication.
Is the person who isn’t getting what they need telling their partner what it is? Sometimes I tease Miss Terry and tell her I can read books, magazines, and even internet porn, but I can’t read minds. I can’t do what you want unless you tell me what it is, right?
But what if they do express their needs or concerns and the other person refuses to change or compromise? Then you get unresolved conflicts, and sooner or later something has to change or there may be an unpleasant explosion.
Here are a couple of examples from recent e-mails I have received.
The first was from a woman who said she and her husband have not sold their home yet but it’s on the market and they have been on the road since Memorial Day. She wrote that she wants to love fulltiming, but her husband is spoiling it for her because he (in her words) “won’t spend a nickel.”
She said that even without selling the house they are very comfortable financially, but in the almost five months they have been on the road, they have never spent a night in a campground. Several weeks were spent in driveways of various friends and relatives, and the rest of the time it’s been truck stops, rest areas, and WalMart parking lots. She said she is tired of living on 15 amp electric, or no electric if they are blacktop boondocking, tired of quick Navy showers, and would love to sit outside under their fifth wheel’s awning and enjoy campground life.
Her husband’s position is, why should he have to waste money on a campground when they have a self-contained RV and that “money doesn’t grow on trees.” She said she has told him she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life living like that, but that he is delighted about not spending any more than they have to. He is looking forward to getting out to Arizona to boondock in the desert for months on end and she is dreading it.
In the second scenario, it was the husband who was frustrated. He wrote that they have been fulltiming for two years now, and that a few months ago his wife decided she wanted a dog. Actually, two dogs, and she acquired a pair of small ones.
He said he is okay with the dogs, even though he would prefer not to have to worry about cutting day trips short to get home to take care of them. The problem is that his wife was the one who wanted the dogs, but he is the one who has to walk them and clean up after them.
As he wrote, “She can spend hours walking through a flea market or shopping with no problem, but every time the dogs need walked she is suddenly too tired or her feet hurt, or she’s too busy. I didn’t want the dogs, but I’m the one up at 5 a.m. walking them in the rain or cold or whatever, while she’s still in our nice warm bed. I’m the one slapping mosquitoes while the dogs take their time finding just the perfect spot to do their business and picking up after them/” He said that he has told her he’s not happy with the situation, but her reply is they are his dogs too.
I did not know what kind of advice to give these people. I don’t see the RV lifestyle working out for either couple as things are now. What are your thoughts?
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Thought For The Day – While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. – Stephen Covey