Nov 072010

We’re leaving The Great Outdoors in Titusville, Florida today and are going to the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve, which is actually in Clermont. We owe a big thank you to our friends Peter and Connie Bradish for hosting us on their lot here for the last few days. We really appreciate your hospitality, dear friends.

We’ve had a nice time during our visit, and look forward to coming back here again one of these days. There is so much to see and do in this area that we could keep busy all winter long fishing, kayaking, touring the local attractions, and sampling the fare at the many area restaurants.

Though we sometimes find ourselves spending as much as two months in one place, especially when we visit our family in Arizona, we usually stay no more than a week or two in one location before we move on. Much longer than that, and I get bored and hitch itch sets in.

One complaint I hear frequently from fulltiming women is that their husbands are always in “go mode” and never want to slow down. I’m guilty of that myself all too often.

Sometimes Miss Terry has the need to settle in for a while, so she can do some serious cooking, get a shopping fix in, and just decompress. I think a lot of RVing couples are like us; the husband wants to be on the go all the time, and the wife needs to slow him down so her needs are met, too. It’s important to recognize each others’ needs, and to be willing to compromise so those needs get met. 

Once, while we were teaching at Life on Wheels, a wife told me that they never spent two nights in the same place. She said they drove over 500 miles, nonstop, to visit her sister in Maine. She said they arrived at 6 p.m., parked in the driveway, had dinner with her sister and her family, and at 7 a.m. the next morning they pulled out, because the husband was ready to go someplace else and see something new.

Another husband once bragged to us that they had been on the road for over a year, and had not spent one night in an RV park. It was always truck stops, WalMart parking lots, and roadside rest areas. He was having a ball and bragging about how much money he was saving. One look at his wife and you could see that she was miserable. Her idea of retirement was not seeing the world through a windshield, and living at Camp WalMart. I haven’t heard from either couple in a long time, but I wonder how long those relationships lasted in the fulltime RV lifestyle?

Of course, the flip side of the coin are the wives that “can’t be away from my grandbabies,” and insist that their travels never be too far away from wherever those young ones are. One fellow told us that he has always wanted to see Arizona, but never will, because his wife insists that they return to Illinois every few weeks, even in the winter, so she can see their grandchildren and keep track of what was happening in their adult daughters’ lives.

We have met more than one fulltiming woman who reluctantly gave in to their husbands’ desire to travel, but were damn sure going to make him pay a price for it. Nether the husband or wife was having a good time, and it was obvious in every case that they probably wouldn’t be on the road very long.

I’ve toyed with the idea of having a panel discussion at one of our rallies on Staying Married (And Happy) In An RV. What do you think?   

Thought For The Day – People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  14 Responses to “It Takes Compromise”

  1. Great idea Nick. My husband has 13 days of work left before he retires and we have already begun the discussions of where to go and when and I need to make reservations in warmer climates in the winter. His parents disagree with the lifestyle we have chosen, so he doesn’t want to stray from the east coast because his mother is afraid she will never see him again. I can see where a couple could be very unhappy if they fail to communicate to each other in a way the other person hears them. I for one would love to hear from others how they comprimise and communicate while living the full-time lifestyle. See you in Celina.

  2. Absolutely, Staying Married (And Happy) in an RV would be a wonderful idea. Because this is one of the most important things about RVing: what does the husband want to do, what does the wife want to do. Are they FRIENDS?

    Being friends as well as lovers is very important in not only RVing but in life and having a successful marriage. So many couples find that after the children have left they are married to a virtual stranger.

    Many are going to disagree with the following but I am going to say it any way. When a woman or man has to keep seeing the children and grandbabies all the time, she/he has no relationship with the spouse. She/he can’t let go of the children and let them run their own lives. Most kids want a life of their own and to visit with their parents occasionally. BUT if both parents and kids are wanting the other all the time, they are not independent but have created a co-dependency that is negative for every one involved. This also applies with parents of the couple when one member can’t leave their Mom and Dad. It’s also bad for the opposite when parents totally cut off their kids or parents and never see them again.

    And the man or woman who wanst to do every thing they want to do and not take into account what the other partner (spouse) wants to do is selfish and not in a marriage but a dominant/ passive relationship. That’s not going to work either.

    We have seen both of the above situations. What happens is the couple usually goes off the road, there is either a divorce or one very resentful marriage partner. In the end no one is happy.

    What is life for? To be unhappy? To be dominant? To be selfish?
    Or is life about enjoying each day? Having both the wife and the husband happy?

    A couple we know have very different ideas about where they want to go on their trips. So they do alternate years. He plans one year. She plans another. And with good grace they each try to enjoy they others year. Marriage is about compromise and being friends.

  3. Great thought for this day.

    Your commentary on compromise is right on the money. Compromise is why we still own a sticks-and-bricks residence (actually, concrete block in south Florida), and travel in the Winnebago only 6 months each year.

    Why is it that most times it’s the man with hitch itch, and the lady who wants to nest? Is this built into our genes, or is it a throwback to the times when men went out to hunt game, while the ladies stayed home to nest and raise the babies?

    We hope you are enjoying the cooool weather here in south Florida. We abandoned the town home and stayed at Camp Wal-mart last night, on our way to the Keys for a week. About the middle of the night I gave up and turned on the furnace.

    Travel safe.

  4. We are fulltimer for over 12 years. You have to like your spouse to live this life. We stay a few days or a week or two depending on what we want to see. We have eight grandkids and we keep in touch with web cam, skype, and phone. The older ones text. We send them books and “stuff” pertaining to the area. One was surgar cane, once was cotton from the fields. One grandaughter wrote that we had interesting stories to tell not like other people who made you fall asleep. Also we sent neat gifts not like other grandparents that just send underwear We love this life but it is not for everyone

  5. Well Nick – it’s just the opposite in our RV. I’m (Sandie) the one who always wants to be on the move and Jim is the one who would like to stay longer. So compromise is definitely the name of the game. However, I will say he is a better sport than I am. He doesn’t complain about being on the go near as much as I do when we sit still for too long. But I am getting better as time goes on. I’ve always been a gypsy at heart and he just wants to take his boat out and fish. We’ve been on the move a lot the last three or four months so when we get to AZ we’re going to stay put for at least a month and he’ll fish. Compromise.

    I also agree with Connie about families. I love my family as much as anyone possibly could but I also know they have their lives and we have ours. Technology today keeps us in touch every day. So travel we do.

  6. Nick it will make a great seminar. We have been on the road for over six years now and we would not trade it for anything, well maybe a million dollars, no I do not think so. We both have the itch to move after a couple of weeks. We love are kids and we know that they like to see us at times. I can see a person point of wanting to stay close to their kids. We send our grandson post cards from most places we stay, this gives him a feeling of staying close to us. This winter is going to be a trial for us, we have decided to come off the road for the winter months. It will be interesting when we both get the itch to see what we do. I will admit it will be super hard this holiday season not to go back to California to see our grandson. I am sure we will take short trips at times just to keep the engine in running condition. Texas is a big state and we have not seen much of it. I have always said full time is not for everyone. Mike family thinks we are crazy to give up the American Dream of owning a house and all the toys that go with it. I am sorry we are living the American dream. I agree with Connie, you must be friends as well as lovers to do this life style. We have know couples who have ended their marriage when one wants to travel and the other not. Just like a marriage it is a give and take affair. Mike usually decides where we are going, but we always have a discussion about it. If I am not happy with it I say so and we re-think the plan. Then we usually go where he wants, but this is fine with me. he usually is right and picks a great place.

  7. Connie seems to have hit every point, and we agree with her all the way. Suzy and Jerry are very much like Nick’s description of Nick and Miss Terry. While I can stay in one place for a while, then want to move on, Suzy likes to milk the last drop of goodness from everywhere we stop. But we are best friends and have been for over 50 years. Right now we are both anxious to get on the road, having spent most of the time the past two years holed up in Benson, Arizona, with medical needs.

    Our biggest struggle now is that one of our daughters wants us nearer to her, so she can take care of us in our declining years, and gee, what if something happens to you guys, it’ll take me lots of money and an awkward piece of travel to get to you to help out, and you’ve got the wheels, why don’t you come here and see us more often, I guess family isn’t all that important to you. Declining years? Heck — we’re got lots of easy grades ahead of us, both declining and inclining, we aren’t ready yet to be taken care of. But that daughter is right, we haven’t seen family often enough in our eight years on the road, so guess where we’re going next year? Family visiting, with other sightseeing built around it.

  8. It sounds like a great seminar and with humor built in. We are entering our 11th year, trying to find a place to settle down but haven’t found it yet. Nick & Terry, you are hitting all the places we were last winter. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did. See you in Arizona.

  9. This would be a good topic for a seminar or panel discussion at the Yuma rally. We also have different ideas as to whether to stay or move on. Usually we end up agreeing. Sometimes I compromise & sometimes the wife does. I strongly believe that comunication is the key. Those couples that attempt to go RVing when one or the other doesn’t care to, could have seen the out come if they would have just talked it over better in the beginning. Every one is different. That’s what makes life interesting.

  10. On a similar subject, we set off last summer for a sightseeing tour of the midwest. I was not told (but should have guessed!) that we would spend 120 days IN A ROW geo-caching! I finally picked up on it around halfway through!

    This year, I am setting the agenda…

  11. This excuse of having to be near the children and grand kids isn’t really a good one, now that they can be seen daily on Skype, if wished.
    I think it is mostly that they want to stay around familiar surroundings.
    Going off into the wide blue yonder is scary for a lot of folks.

    I just wish that I could have seen more places while I was Full-timing, but my late DH got sick, so we settled down. Happy Trails to Y’all.

  12. We both retired on the same day and started traveling a week later, so we’ve had to adjust from being gone to jobs all day, each having a car, familiar territory to 24/7 in the same space, one car and new locations. Yes, please do the panel on staying married and happy in an RV. So far we love it, but there might be issues on which we could use advise from experienced hands. We’re looking forward to rallies, starting in Quartzsite and then in Yuma. We have so much to learn from other full timers.

  13. My wife Jeanne and and myself have been fulltiming for over 3 years and on the road for the last 2 1/2. We sometimes have different ideas about what or where we would like to do or stay but we talk it over and decide on something that will be agreeable to both of us. We have the advantage of loving each other and like to do things together. We sometimes go different directions but most of our plans are together. We enjoy traveling and volunteering as we see the USA. We have seen many people that have mentioned wanting to do what we are doing but we know that they would never make it because of anchors they have made for themselves. Our children did not really want us to leave them but they were all in the 30s we felt that they would do well without us, which they did. We do come back to visit them and our grandson once a year for a while. One of our daughters [single] has flow to meet us and stay a week in different parts of the country and has really enjoyed her stays. This was a compromise to her for us leaving and it has worked out well for all.

  14. NICK: With this blog you must be a seer: this topic of comprimise has been an issue for Nancy and me for the last several weeks. Your insight into the subject gave us a point of realization that we are not alone with this struggle. Perhaps we can now breach the subject without fear that there is no way out without hurt. I bow to you with humility. . . as always, oRV

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