Dear Crabby, How can I enjoy that which I hate?

Dear Crabby,

My husband loves to go to fishing shows on the weekends and I absolutely hate them!  I don’t want him to think I don’t like being with him, but I just find nothing appealing about fish!  How am I supposed to deal with this?

Sincerely, Wanda B. True

Dear Ms. True,

Are you wondering if I have ever done something that I dislike just to be with my wife? Or if my wife has ever done something she disliked just to be with me?  Well, either way the answer is “yes!”  I think that is a main staple of marriage most of the time.  It’s all about the give and take. I can remember when we were newly married and we went to Mackinac Island for the weekend. The rental shop talked us into renting one tandem bike instead of two individual bikes.  Now I know why people refer to those things as “Divorce Starters” or “Widow-makers.”  If we even managed to remain married after spending the day on one of those things, there was a good chance she might try to knock me off later!  I figured, riding a bike is easy, how hard could it be to have two of us ride the same one?  Man, was I wrong!  The balance was all off, the steering was difficult, and I felt like I was the only one pedalling most of the time.  After we returned the contraption, we went off to have some dinner.  As we finally unwound and relaxed, I asked her why it seemed so difficult to ride that thing together.  She said, “Because neither of us had full control; we both needed to rely on the other.” If that wasn’t a perfect summation of the last fifty years together, I don’t know what is! So, needless to say, we never rented a tandem bike again, but we did learn to rely on each other and give up that control quite a bit.  So in answer to your question, how do you handle doing things you don’t want to do?  You do it because of the one you are with. Ask any of the guys who are in the garden section of Home Depot with their wife on Sunday afternoon. Or ask any of the wives who are at Bass Pro Shop on Saturday with their husbands. It’s not that you have to like the activity, it’s that you enjoy being with your spouse. Now, that time needs to be balanced. Maybe you don’t need to go to every fishing show – maybe that’s an activity that you could recommend he do with a couple buddies. He, in turn, should be accompanying you to some Meryl Streep movie or something of the sort every once in a while – make him give a little too!  You know, I have actually seen some of those tandem bikes riding around town, and both partners are pedalling along and things seem pretty good. But I know that both of them had to learn to give a little, and the latter result appears to be a smooth ride.  Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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