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Guilt

Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#1
Do any of you feel guilt when leaving your family/partner/dog - fill in anything that is appropriate to you...- when leaving for yet another Camino?
I do.
The first time, it was not such a problem. I wanted to do it, I had waited until I could do it ... four children brought up and ‘out of the nest’... A lovely husband who understood (well, sort of, after a lot of explaining - he only really understood once he’d walked it himself! ).

The problem is... I just want to carry on!
There are so many caminos to walk and I just do not know how much time I have left, none of us do.

So I want to walk them, now! Well, within reason ;-) And ‘reasonable’ distances, like 4 or 5 weeks, NOT 6 months as I have done once....(although.... ;))

I’d love to hear what you think....

Ps: Before you say ‘walk together, sorted!’.... It is not really practical to walk with my husband for long periods of time. A) he prefers short caminos and not in Summer and B) it is difficult to both leave at the same time...

Oh and although we do get on very well in ‘normal’ life, we both agree we are not ideal walking partners.
We have compromised though and have/will be doing ‘short’ caminos together...

Waiting for your thoughts and wisdom on the subject :cool:
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#3
No wisdom from me @domigee, just my story. :)
My husband was happy for me to walk my first camino in 2015 after I retired as one of my adult sons was able to accompany me. The following year hubby was quite surprised when I wanted to go again and a little reluctant to give in to this whim. He now accepts that I get pleasure from planning and walking the Caminos so I have his blessing.

He did meet me in Santiago a year ago and walked the short distance from Muxia to Finesterre, spending a night in Lires inbetween. I could tell he was not really enjoying the walking (or the day of rain) and he did not get the camino "bug" as I'd hoped. Everyone is different and he prefers biking and motorcycling as his outdoor activities.

All that to say, I do sometimes feel a little guilty, a little indulgent, and a little spoiled...but not overly so. We have noticed that "absence can make the heart grow fonder" and we always look forward to being reunited when I return home. I like to be gone 4-6 weeks when walking, no more, no less.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#4
In short, yes. Especially as my spouse is now disabled. But this space is vital to my mental health.

My father, age 89 and still going strong (he drives himself to the gym every morning) has a memo for us all:
1. We do not know how many years we have left.
2. We do not know how many good years we have left.
3. We do not know how many good years our spouse has left.

So don't waste them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#5
I have the same issue. My wife has no interest in walking a Camino. Besides interest, there are medical issues that make it unlikely for her. For me, it is just something I have to do. She begrudgingly agrees to me walking. Last time our daughter was in tenth grade. Now she’s away at her first year of college, so I hope that makes it easier for me to be gone.
 

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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#7
@domigee YES!
And I haven’t even left yet. I’ve noted it as one of the things to ponder while I’m walking one day. Along with gratitude * unmet expectations * life direction * suffering * quests * love * community and individuals.... I doubt I’ll have time for “the state of the universe”
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#8
Taking a ...
Selfish
Nature-Nurture
Loner-but not lonely
Wanderlusty
Not married
Ect..POV

in the end i think we..wait some... are bound by what ends we use to meet the needs.
We are perfectly imperfect critters with all our-somethings.

Extremely private in my public life..a remnant of a tormentingly shy childhood
Its my way to find solace on the road
20 plus years here in the states roads burned the child away.

I burn the candle at both ends and when the wax grows thin i must seek the solace of the road to be able to restore whats given away.

You can only give away so much of yourself before the balance tips.

Its not heroic to give all yourself away
Because in the final cut your left bereft and burned.

To give? You must have.
Sometimes they have to understand that this is part of what makes you...you.

Obligations..filial,fiscal and such are life.

dont forget to pay yourself from the,toils,tolls and strife of life

What use is a life not lived?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2016
#10
Yeah.. a little, it feels selfish to go and do what I want...but it’s fulfilling your dreams and if you don’t overthink it and try, how will you ever know if you don’t .. I’ve contemplated not going, not through fear but selfishness but I know The final words of dying patients, ‘I wish I had.....’. A regret I don’t want to have. Im able now, what if I’m not this time next year....As a parent I’ve sacrificed numerous and many big & small -mainly without a single regret, but this Walking My Way... is mine and I get to do it because no one willl suffer or go without if I do. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#11
In short, yes. Especially as my spouse is now disabled. But this space is vital to my mental health.

My father, age 89 and still going strong (he drives himself to the gym every morning) has a memo for us all:
1. We do not know how many years we have left.
2. We do not know how many good years we have left.
3. We do not know how many good years our spouse has left.

So don't waste them.
Guilt wonderfully illuminates all we leave behind to go forward on camino and to the wonders to which we will return.

Vaya con Dios and without guilt as much as possible.
 
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Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#12
It's not so much the guilt that bothers me, it is my inability to explain and share the camino experience with my wife. I have the same 'problem' with music. I can get moved and even teary-eyed by listening to some of my favourite music, and I know precisely why. But when I try to explain it ("and right here, the violinist pauses a fraction too long, so you feel a kind of surge when the cellos kick in"), she doesn't hear the same as I do. Or maybe she does, but she doesn't feel it the way I do.
We've talked a lot about this, and we fortunately reached a place where she recognises that I get something important out of walking a camino and I recognise that she doesn't. So now it is about sharing things that we both 'get' and planning a little wiggle room for each of us to do our own things. Because frankly, I don't enjoy or get some of the things she finds important either. And thankfully, we both feel guilt-free about it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#13
My wife did from Sarria to SDC back in 2015, she found it very hard and didn't like the Albergues. We did another walk together (Hadrian's wall) but since then she says long walks are now out of the question for her. I find it sad that we can't experience another short camino together, I guess that's meant to happen.
Whether next year will be my last long one or not I don't know, maybe I'll have to settle for the shorter ones.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#14
There are times when I am preparing to go away that I begin to have feelings of guilt which is a non productive emotion IMO. So then, I do a little cognitive therapy. I ask myself what the quality of time with loved ones is when I am home.?How will they be when I am not there. How would I be if I could not go? Etc...this self talk is usually enough....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#16
Taking a ...
Selfish
Nature-Nurture
Loner-but not lonely
Wanderlusty
Not married
Ect..POV

in the end i think we..wait some... are bound by what ends we use to meet the needs.
We are perfectly imperfect critters with all our-somethings.

Extremely private in my public life..a remnant of a tormentingly shy childhood
Its my way to find solace on the road
20 plus years here in the states roads burned the child away.

I burn the candle at both ends and when the wax grows thin i must seek the solace of the road to be able to restore whats given away.

You can only give away so much of yourself before the balance tips.

Its not heroic to give all yourself away
Because in the final cut your left bereft and burned.

To give? You must have.
Sometimes they have to understand that this is part of what makes you...you.

Obligations..filial,fiscal and such are life.

dont forget to pay yourself from the,toils,tolls and strife of life

What use is a life not lived?
Beautifully and aptly put.
 

walkingstu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino SJPP to SDC 2007 Frances
Camino Aragon Pau Fr. to Pamplona 2010
Camino Burgos to SDC 2012
Camino Porto to SDC 2015
Camino VDLP Seville to SDC March 2016
#17
Why not incorporate his short Camino, into your long Camino? Then both could have something to look forward to.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada - Santiago (2013)
Porto to Santiago (2015)
Lugo to Finisterre (2017)
#18
Camino number four is approaching for next year,. My wife doesnt do long distance walking now for health reasons, but allows me to walk the Camino with my friends. I mentioned in an earlier post that a friend who is a Priest said once, 'Always say a prayer for those who allowed you to walk the Camino'
He is right,the wives, husbands, partners who let their nearest and dearest leave them, to walk the Camino, are the unsung Heroes. They are very Special people.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#19
Camino number four is approaching for next year,. My wife doesnt do long distance walking now for health reasons, but allows me to walk the Camino with my friends. I mentioned in an earlier post that a friend who is a Priest said once, 'Always say a prayer for those who allowed you to walk the Camino'
He is right,the wives, husbands, partners who let their nearest and dearest leave them, to walk the Camino, are the unsung Heroes. They are very Special people.
For this reason, I had my compostela made out yesterday in recognition of my mother. I wish I could have added my son, but I’m still hoping he may join his dad and me to do the Portugues some day. So.... keeping his name off it is its own prayer... I suppose.
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#20
I like this thread. Thank you to the OP! Nice to know your not the only one with this dilemma. The hubs, aka Raymond the Reluctant, "allows" (and I hate that word) me to go on my own long treks. We have walked shorter walks but they are so different and just not as satisfying as a long solo trek. For me.

I finally found a description that seems to resonate with those who won't/can't/don't want to walk longer and or solo. I remind them that if I was going away on a regular church retreat, no one would bat an eyelash. This is for me, a retreat. I just need it to be more solitary and more physical than anything I've ever encounter at a retreat house. At least to date ;)

And a resounding yes to the question of how many years, good years do any of us have. I don't want to end up with regrets of things not done. With my fathers passing this past November it really hits home. He had no (or very few) regrets about things he'd done or experienced. He travelled before my mother died and even more after. Those memories made the last few years, when his vision and health declined, so much better. He had such a wealth of memories and joys to draw on. I'd like to be like that.

SO hears to all our journeying and hears to finding ways to make our families understand that we need this!! Buen Camino a todo!
 
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martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#22
I did not feel (much) guilt during my first camino.
My family supported my camino.

The next time... I think the time will come when I will walk again... well, I hear the camino calling me even now... only a few days after my first camino.
I hope I will get the support of my family the next time as well.
Otherwise I will probably feel much more guilt...
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#26
If we have people who love us, then it’s a pretty joyful choice to either stay or go.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”.

If I felt real guilt - because I knew that those left behind would suffer - then I would not go. But I don’t think a bit of inconvenience is the same as suffering.

My loved ones get a nicer person when I return. And my husband loves the 3 course meals (“primero plata, segundo plata, postre”) that he gets for the first couple of weeks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Mozarabe, Via de la Plata, Sanabres (2016)
#29
I'm in the "my Wife isn't the slightest bit interested in hiking" camp. I'm mid-60's, she's early 70's, we're not fully retired yet, and own a business we both enjoy that has lots of flexability that I can leave without things falling apart too much. She does take on more responsibilities at home and at our business while I'm hiking. I do my best to make things as easy on her as possible. I begin planning & training well in advance as to when I'm departing and when I'll be returning, so it's not a surprise when it's "Camino time". I usually have her support & blessing because she knows all the benefits I get, and she indirectly, for these forays into another world. Here's the compromise that's works for us, my hikes are every other year, and I'm gone no more than about six-weeks, (which covers the distance of most trails). With some good self-care, and luck, at this rate I figure I've got about 5-6 hikes left. So, I'll pick & choose those on my Bucket List(so many great hikes, & so little time).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
#30
Do any of you feel guilt when leaving your family/partner/dog - fill in anything that is appropriate to you...- when leaving for yet another Camino?
I do.
The first time, it was not such a problem. I wanted to do it, I had waited until I could do it ... four children brought up and ‘out of the nest’... A lovely husband who understood (well, sort of, after a lot of explaining - he only really understood once he’d walked it himself! ).

The problem is... I just want to carry on!
There are so many caminos to walk and I just do not know how much time I have left, none of us do.

So I want to walk them, now! Well, within reason ;-) And ‘reasonable’ distances, like 4 or 5 weeks, NOT 6 months as I have done once....(although.... ;))

I’d love to hear what you think....

Ps: Before you say ‘walk together, sorted!’.... It is not really practical to walk with my husband for long periods of time. A) he prefers short caminos and not in Summer and B) it is difficult to both leave at the same time...

Oh and although we do get on very well in ‘normal’ life, we both agree we are not ideal walking partners.
We have compromised though and have/will be doing ‘short’ caminos together...

Waiting for your thoughts and wisdom on the subject :cool:
You have a delightful dilemma. To have these concerns suggests you have the time, great health and the finances to walk for many weeks.
Flip a coin.
Ted
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#31
Guilt is an interesting thing Domigee - but marriage, relationships ... surely it is the spaces in between that enrich them? (unless the other one is a cat and there is absolutely no forgiveness there ;))

In The Prophet one of the subjects Kahlil Gibhran wrote of was marriage - and he talks about the spaces - and if he is right then I think that you can drop the guilt ...

"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow. "


Buen Camino!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#32
:( You remind me of the guy who put out an ad for a ‘good woman with a boat.’ Then he added, “Send picture of boat.”
The complete ad:

"Wanted: Good woman.
Must be able to keep house, cook, dig worms and clean fish.
Must have boat and motor.
Send picture of boat and motor".
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#33
The complete ad:

"Wanted: Good woman.
Must be able to keep house, cook, dig worms and clean fish.
Must have boat and motor.
Send picture of boat and motor".
I believe in a nutshell this is the definition of chauvinist...lol. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#35
Camino(s) past & future
None
#37
Do any of you feel guilt when leaving your family/partner/dog - fill in anything that is appropriate to you...- when leaving for yet another Camino?
I do.
The first time, it was not such a problem. I wanted to do it, I had waited until I could do it ... four children brought up and ‘out of the nest’... A lovely husband who understood (well, sort of, after a lot of explaining - he only really understood once he’d walked it himself! ).

The problem is... I just want to carry on!
There are so many caminos to walk and I just do not know how much time I have left, none of us do.

So I want to walk them, now! Well, within reason ;-) And ‘reasonable’ distances, like 4 or 5 weeks, NOT 6 months as I have done once....(although.... ;))

I’d love to hear what you think....

Ps: Before you say ‘walk together, sorted!’.... It is not really practical to walk with my husband for long periods of time. A) he prefers short caminos and not in Summer and B) it is difficult to both leave at the same time...

Oh and although we do get on very well in ‘normal’ life, we both agree we are not ideal walking partners.
We have compromised though and have/will be doing ‘short’ caminos together...

Waiting for your thoughts and wisdom on the subject :cool:
Not only when I am walking the Camino, but when training before I leave. Both times I am solo for long (and longer) times without my wife. She is not a walker.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk the French Way (2019 or 2020)
#39
well....

I'm still in the saving up for my first Camino stage so I'm not sure I am qualified to answer this but here goes.

I'm lucky enough to be married to a husband who hasn't said (when I told him about wanting to walk the Camino ) you can't do that because of x,y or z but has said ok. Even though it would leave him totally on his own at work as well as home as we work together in our business.

Am I a little concerned as to how it will pan out - yes of course I am but then I know that if he had any concerns he'd talk them through with me.

Even if he could walk the whole Camino with me then I don't think the experience would be the same ...but like you OP, whilst we walk together we're not natural walking partners.

So, OP, I'd say talk to your OP and if he's happy then go without any traces of guilt
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk the French Way (2019 or 2020)
#42
Well, @Welshwalker, it all sounds good for now...but what about if/when you may be compelled to go a 2nd time? It's certainly happened to many of us on this forum :)...odds are you may be in the same boat down the road! ;)
Ah but it comes down to compromise - and isn't that what marriage/partnership is supposed to be about?

I can well imagine if I wanted to take, for example, 6 weeks out every year to walk a Camino then hubby would be well within his rights (based on what my response would be lol) to kick off but if it was every other year or so, then I would hope it would respect the fact I needed to do this.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#44
Oh such wonderful answers, thank you all for your responses! Much appreciated.
I could relate to every comment... well except maybe the ones about ‘send pic of boat’ but that had me laughing my head off! :D;)
I’m pondering and I’ll try to respond better tomorrow (it is late here).
Thank you :)
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
#45
Do any of you feel guilt when leaving your family/partner/dog - fill in anything that is appropriate to you...- when leaving for yet another Camino?
I do.
The first time, it was not such a problem. I wanted to do it, I had waited until I could do it ... four children brought up and ‘out of the nest’... A lovely husband who understood (well, sort of, after a lot of explaining - he only really understood once he’d walked it himself! ).

The problem is... I just want to carry on!
There are so many caminos to walk and I just do not know how much time I have left, none of us do.

So I want to walk them, now! Well, within reason ;-) And ‘reasonable’ distances, like 4 or 5 weeks, NOT 6 months as I have done once....(although.... ;))

I’d love to hear what you think....

Ps: Before you say ‘walk together, sorted!’.... It is not really practical to walk with my husband for long periods of time. A) he prefers short caminos and not in Summer and B) it is difficult to both leave at the same time...

Oh and although we do get on very well in ‘normal’ life, we both agree we are not ideal walking partners.
We have compromised though and have/will be doing ‘short’ caminos together...

Waiting for your thoughts and wisdom on the subject :cool:
What you said...almost word for word with appropriate gender modification
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2018
#46
I get it and I agree!
Here's what I wrote in my blog:
"Leaving home for the Camino de Santiago in Spain is harder than I ever imagined.
Taking forty days away from my companion of 50 years is a selfish act.
On one hand to not go would be to deny one of my hereditary and innermost needs: travel to unique and distant places.
On the other hand, to go seems a betrayal of the allegiance to and love for my soul mate.
It's a dilemma that is vexing me deeply.
Yet, it is in my soul to explore and be curious about far off places.
Not to just dream of them, but to experience and explore them.
It is not enough for this hapless, old man to dream.
I must do.
Yet, I discover with each journey, the beginning is the end.
My soulmate homecoming is the most rewarding of all places."
 

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