The moment I considered the possibility of going on a four-month cruise around the world I knew my husband would not be going. If I went, I would be going without him.

The timing was good for me but taking four months off work wouldn’t work for him and being confined to a cruise ship with 1300 strangers for that long just isn’t his thing. Should I not go because it meant being apart for four months; and, if I did go, how would being apart for that long affect our relationship?

Many women of my generation grew up in a culture where the husband led, and the wife followed. He made the money and the decisions. It would be unheard of for a wife to go on a four-month cruise without her husband. It just wasn’t done. She would be told that if she left her husband alone for that long she might not have a husband to come home to; and, it would have been a rare man of that generation who would have “allowed” his wife to go without him.

Sounds archaic I know, and much more like a dictatorship than a relationship, but that’s the way life was back then. Relationships today are much more of an equal partnership, aren’t they? Or, are they? The reaction others have had when they learned I was going on the cruise without Dan was interesting. I got a look that said: “really, you’re actually going to do that,” and Dan got a look that said, “and you’re going to let her?” When people on the cruise learn I’m traveling without my husband their reactions are typically the same combination of you are? and he let you?

What’s the solution when one partner strongly wants to do something the other strongly doesn’t?

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Author's Bio: 

Rita Burgett-Martell is the author of two books: Change Ready! How to Turn Change Resistance into Change Readiness and Defining Moments: Seizing the Power of Second Chances to Create the Life You Want.


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