But You Could Die!
Over on The Generous Husband last week I wrote about a fellow with a wife and three young children who went on a three-day hike, fell, and spent 72 two hours at the bottom of a canyon with a broken leg wondering if he was going to die there.
One female commenter asked (perhaps predictably?) why anyone would put themselves at such risk. My thought is it’s a guy thing. Getting out in God’s world isn’t a guy thing, and neither are enjoying hiking or wanting solitude. But the whole man against the mountain testing of oneself does tend to be a masculine trait. It’s a form of risk taking, something men do way more than women. (Which is why more men than women have gambling addictions, and why more men can’t put down video games.)
We want to test ourselves, and without some risk, it doesn’t feel like a real test. If your husband feels this way, you can’t stop him. You might stop him from doing certain things, but if he has a deep desire to test himself it will come out somewhere. And all too often it comes out on the road!
My suggestion is for you to embrace his need to test himself. Aside from the fact this will make him feel loved and understood, it gives you the chance to add some sanity to what he does and occasionally veto or suggest a change to something that’s too crazy.
So, for example, if he’s into hiking, make sure you know where he is going. Make sure he has water and food, a way to start a fire, a signal whistle, a small first aid kit and a flashlight. Buying him something cool like a hand-crank flashlight, a pocket fire starter plus, or a LifeStraw shows you care about what he desires to do, and also increases his safety.
For other activities, you might research and learn about safety equipment or classes that would teach him how to be safer. The goal is to allow him do what he wants in a safer way.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I solo hike in a safe way.