What does one do if one is stuck with a partner who does not share the same passion and excitement about travelling as you do? Well, you are not alone. There are many couples out there who are struggling with this situation. It may not be a marriage-breaking one, but it surely ends up as one that breeds resentment.
Take the case of Mina and Rajat. While travelling for Rajat was a passion, Mina was least interested in anything and everything that came with travelling. They would often travel together, but were never on the same page. “For Mina, traveling meant sleeping in the hotel, watching TV and ordering room service all day along. She was just not interested in sightseeing or trying out the local cuisine. She even saw nothing interesting in the monuments or other tourist spots in the countries we travelled to. It was so depressing. I felt miserable and stuck,” says Rajat.
Experts say that such differences in tastes can often lead to resentment and drive a wedge between partners. Over a period of time, it can even lead to unbridgeable differences.
This is what happened with Rajat and Mina. After some time, he stopped asking her to come along and started planning trips either with his friends or by himself. While Mina initially welcomed the fact that she was not dragged along, gradually it led to distance quietly creeping up between them.
Counsellors say that no matter how much a partner dislikes doing something that the other partner loves, in a marriage there is a need to work out a compromise which serves both partners well. If not, it’s a sure shot for each going their separate ways.
Take the case of Rashi and Mihik. When they got married, Rashi loved to travel and see and explore new places every now and then. But Mihik was never enthused about any of her travel plans. “Even when we did go, he would always be sulking and complaining about everything. I really didn’t know what to do. I mean, I did not want to go alone because I wanted him to be with me at all those beautiful romantic places. But he is always so dull and irritable that I stopped planning trips. But I started resenting it very badly,” she says.
Experts say that often when resentment sets in due to different interests, it starts reflecting in the behaviour towards one another. Partners start snapping at each other for no reason, they argue about trivial issues and even look for things to blame the partner for. According to experts, it’s all “displaced anger”. Counsellors suggest that in such cases it’s important to find out why the partner hates travelling. A frank and open chat with the partner often helps both the partners gain clarity about the situation.
This is what happened with Rashi and Mihik. When she spoke to him one day, she found that since he grew up in a tight-fisted family, he was never comfortable spending more money than necessary. “Our trips were stressful for him because he saw it as all the money going down the drain. I was disappointed at the reason, but at least I now understood his problem. So, I told him that the next two trips would be funded by me and he would have to do nothing but accompany me. We did that and since he did not have to worry about money, he had a great time. We did that again and he started enjoying himself. And soon he was game for it and with a little planning regarding finances, we both were having a good time,” she adds.
Therapists say that marriage is a lot of work and if the couples want to seriously make things work, then they must try and find a middle path where both partners learn to factor in the needs and concerns of the other as well. A trip with a reluctant, sulking and complaining partner does not a great travel make.
So if you are really keen on taking trips with a not-so-willing partner, strike a deal, give and take a little and work out a compromise where both partners feel there’s something in the trip for both of them. Giving up on travel plans is never the answer; the key is to reach a consensus and find the right balance between your partner’s resistance and your desire to travel.