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Those we leave behind

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#1
My beloved is, I realise belatedly, stressed and distressed by my planned pilgrimage. I am taking the Camino Frances in April. We have been together some thirty odd years now and have never been apart for as long as the five weeks or so that it will take me to reach Santiago and Finisterre.

I have and will continue to try to assure her that - I am going because of a deep felt need, will return when I am done and that my love for her has not and will not change.

Yet, I have seen many entries on this forum that suggest that for many this journey leads to profound change; that many are drawn back to the way time after time, that the way becomes a way of life. I think this is my beloved's ultimate fear- that she might lose me to the way.

I realise fully that our own relationship is not a topic for this forum but I would appreciate others experiences of any impacts and effects and guidance on how to offer assurances to "those left behind".
 

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A

AJ

Guest
#2
Yes, becoming a Camino junkie is a real risk for some. I have walked a different route every year since 2008 and will walk again this year, and probably next...

But I am always at home between Caminos. Herself knows that I will come home, and that I will go away again for a time. I think she rather likes the space it gives her. One of my neighbours confided in me that she wished that her husband would go away for three months every year!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
#3
Get a Skype account and call her each day...or whenever you have access to a computer. It cost just pennies/minute to call from Spain and nothing if you both have a Skype account. My 84 yr old mother worried that something would happen to us or to my parents while hiking the Camino but our daily chats reassured her that we were OK and that she could contact us, if needed.

We also provided her with a map so she could track us as we progressed westward.
 

+@^^

Active Member
#4
so this is great...
the Way and your relationship are one and the same thing
you cant separate the 2
.
so ask said wife to give you something to take with you
either words
a symbol of some sort
a memory
a question
a promise
a dream
a goal
.
promise each other to look at the moon every night at a fixed time and silently to exchange loving thoughts
.
then despite distance, youre still united
just saying...
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Those on the Forum know I'm for carrying the least amount of weight possible, with one exception...well, maybe two.

I carried several Memorial Cards for my young nephew who was killed in a tragic accident...I placed them at several shrines along the Way.

I carried a small container (very small) containing mustard seeds...that I sprinkled along the Way.

I carried the hopes for a better life free of self destructive tendencies for a friend...that I secured in the Cathedral when I completed the Way.

I carried a SPOT GPS transponder...so my daughter would know where I was...as I walked along the Way.

I carried the love, well wishes and encouragement of many family and friends...that buoyed me up when I had a down day as I made my Way.

So, I never really left anyone I loved or cherished behind. They were always with me every step of the Way.

Buen Camino

Arn
 

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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#6
Our original plan way back was to walk together but in 2009 I wouldn't have managed it so Terry walked the Norte and Primitivo over 5 weeks while I stayed home. The longest we have been apart in over 40 years of married life, but he had my wholehearted support in going. Before he went he found a complete cockle shell on the beach. He took one side with him and left me the other half - a symbol of our 'togetherness' while we were apart. In addition he sent me frequent text messages, a few photos by e-mail and we spoke a couple of times so I could share his experience as far as possible.

Since then we have been able to walk together, so it has added something to our relationship.
Terry didn't expect to go again, and wouldn't if we hadn't gone together. I suspect that the Camino strengthens relationships or else shows up the cracks that are already there. Either way it is so often about communication whether you walk together or one stays at home. Have a great Camino and keep your beloved 'in touch' as you would at home.
Buen Camino for you both
 
#7
A few months before I retired I told my husband of 28 years that I was planning on walking the Santiago de Compostela as a way to start my retirement. I had read about it a few years before and it stirred something deep down in me .... a feeling that never left me and I promised myself I would go on this walk when I had plenty of time to myself. And then I retired .... earlier than expected and earlier than my husband. So when I mentioned my plan to him, he was quite upset and did not like the idea at all that I was going to go off and do this by myself -- he kind of wanted me to wait for him to retire so we could go together. I felt, however, that it was very important for me to go ahead and do it at this junction of my life and I went ahead with the planning. The more information I gathered, the more things I got together, the more interested my husband became and he ended up being my biggest supporter !! I walked the camino Frances in the spring of 2010 (5 weeks) and who was there to greet me at the end, in front of Santiago's cathedral: my biggest supporter-husband !! Last september he took 3 weeks off from work and we walked part of the Via Francigena in Italy, 250 km from Siena to Rome. Our tickets to Spain have been booked already and in the spring of this year I'll be walking the camino once more, this time with my (by then) retired husband !!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#8
Yes I too went to Santiago, to meet Terry when he arrived. Is this an option for you and your other half OP? It certainly helped the time pass better for me as well as making the actual seperation a few days shorter.
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
#9
Gudule said:
Our tickets to Spain have been booked already and in the spring of this year I'll be walking the camino once more, this time with my (by then) retired husband !!
Gudule, that's a wonderful story, hope you are able to let him have his Camino :D ]When do you go, we'll be in Astorga April 1st 0400hrs(the bus gets in then)
good luck
David
 
#11
It is difficult to be left behind when someone you love goes to do the Camino. When it happened to me, neither of us knew what to expect. I stayed behind and worried. And every time we spoke on the phone, I felt that we were in two separate worlds. If you haven't experienced the Camino then it is very difficult to understand what the other person is experiencing. And this lack of understanding may cause problems.

Since then, I walked the Camino twice. Every time on my own and every time with very little contact with the people left behind. The space and quality time for yourself that you get on the Camino are priceless and it is important to enjoy this time.

My advice would be to agree in advance that there may be little contact. That you both will use this time as 'quality time for yourselves'. It doesn't mean loving someone less and I guarantee you: the feeling of missing someone you love is amazing :)

Buen Camino to both of you!

Agnieszka
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#12
I think that sending texts,rather than talking, worked well and the communication was certainly right for us. It also meant that I could keep the blog, and a thread here on the forum, up to date (roughly) without Terry having to look for internet as so many pilgrims seem to do. He didn't communicate with anyone else and had plenty of personal time and space. We would do the same again, others obviously will do what suits them best.
One advantage of the text messages was that on one occasion (on the Primitivo) there was no obvious accomodation. Text said could I see anything on the internet. I found 5 places and sent text back. Happy pilgrim, nice hostel in a place that hardly looked like it had 5 houses at first glance.

I think that the chief concern on this thread is, rightly, for the one left behind. That communication helped me, I might not have managed well without it. Like 'walking with a companion' it is something that does need thinking through beforehand. There is a need to recognise that sometimes you cannot decide a time/day to text because there might not be a phone signal. No panic, just patience needed.
I just kept my phone on, while Terry had his turned off unless communicating, to save battery power.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
#13
I am walking the Camino de Norte in Sept. 2012 with my brother. This is my first Camino trip. My husband of 38 years is not joining us for various reasons, but has told me he is happy I am going to have this experience & is encouraging my choice of adventure. In return I plan to be in touch as much I can be by photos, emails and such to make him feel he is sharing in my trek. I am NOT running away from home. I am going off temporarily to make new memories doing something unique & very meaningful for myself. My brother who has been a world traveler, mostly by boat, will be witness to my adventure & bring me home again.
 
#14
Labtails, what a coincidence, I too have been married 38 years. I decided last May to walk the Camino and am leaving Toronto April 24th with a friend who has walked it 4 times already. When I told my husband I was walking the Camino he was 100% behind me. The only glitch was last week when I had a little twinge in my hip as I have been walking quite a few km. weekly now to get ready. He was worried about me hurting myself on the Camino. ( The hip is fine) I hear him proudly telling his friends about my plans. He has no desire to travel and I have always travelled by myself but have never been away longer than 3 weeks in the past. This time I have planned 7 weeks. I have to say the thought of being away this long has caused me to think about whether I would be homesick or not, but the thought of just living day to day, walking the Camino,the freedom, is what is drawing me. Only the people who have/will walk this can understand the feeling. My friend and I are meeting two other friends( we all go to the same ladies gym) in Burgos. We are starting in Roncesvalles. The other friends are starting in Burgos for the very reason that ,one of the ladies is worried she may not be able to handle being away longer than 5 weeks as she has never been away from home for this length of time. We are call ourselves "sole sisters". lol. It is only an inside joke - well... I guess not now. I am the youngest at 56, then 57, 65 and 67. I am so.... looking forward to this.
 

CaminoGen

CF May-June 2011; Oloron to Fisterra Sept-Oct 2013
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances-SJPP. Santiago (2011); Oloron to Fisterra (Sept 5-Oct 23 2013)
#15
Juliec55 said:
We are call ourselves "sole sisters". lol. It is only an inside joke - well... I guess not now. I am the youngest at 56, then 57, 65 and 67. I am so.... looking forward to this.
Sole sisters, sole mate... I love it. I'm stealing it from you if that's ok!

Have fun on you Camino ladies!
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#16
All, thank you so much for these posts. It is very comforting that we are far from alone in facing this dilemma. And that honesty and effort are the key to this particular doorway. My beloved and I will work our way through this as we have worked our way through many challenges over the years I am sure. Our blessings to you all.

Incidentally if any one knows the "easy" way to get from Santiago to Villafranca del Bierzo by public transport my beloved would be grateful for your wisdom. I am hoping to celebrate my birthday in Bierzo and she is inclined to join me. I have found a bus via La Coruna but maps suggest there is a rail station at Villafranca (Vilena?) though the RENFE web-site denies it.
 
#17
Villafranca is a great place for a birthday-the main square there is one of my favorite places to sit and have a meal-good b n bs just up from the square.
bus from Santiago airport to Lugo from there 4 buses a day to Villafranca ( 1 hour journey)last bus about 5pm or fairly cheap taxi from Lugo.
make sure to drink the local red wine its the best
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#18
Sagalouts, thanks for the bus information. We first encountered the lovely reds of Bierzo at the Anchor & Hope in London and I have a few in the cellar now courtesy of my lovely.

I have finally understood that the ALSA website works well if you know where the bus starts from and where it finishes, rather than searching for "Erewhon" to "Llareggub" which even Google (tm)Maps can't quite cope with.
 
#19
I have my wife's support for my upcoming Camino in '14 -- so that is not the problem for me....

My fear lies in the fact that I will also be leaving a (by then)11 year old daughter. Even with technology a frightening prospect to be away for so long.
 
#20
Over the years, I've taken a number of trips to out-of-the-way places that have caused concern with family members and close friends. I have always found, however, that the burden to constantly 'check in' greatly diminishes the inner tranquility of solo journeys. In an attempt to balance these two opposing forces I generally:
- review my trip planning with the concerned individuals so they have a thorough understanding of the wheres and whens of my trip.
- provide a copy of my travel insurance documents.
- register with the State Department at: https://step.state.gov/step/
In addition, I have considered the purchase of a GPS Spot device.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
#22
The shortcoming of SPOT is that it is only one-way. If an emergency happens at home, you are not always available. This new toy from Delorme gives 2-way communications via satellite. We got one for my step-son who often goes canoeing in Northern Ontario, far from any landline or mobile connection. http://www.inreachcanada.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
(1991) (1995) (1996)
#25
This is an interesting topic...for me it worked in the opposite way...One day I was feeling so sick in the Camino..my back pack had been stolen and found, then I developed tendonitis and huge blisters almost two inches in width and I woke up in the middle of the night in Rabanal del Camino sick, with a stomach virus, that I decide to quit. I got a ride to the next town Villa Franca, to get out of Spain by train. As I walked to the train station I met a german pilgrim who happened to be a doctor who encouraged me not to quit but to take some of his medicine..I did and I felt better...the next day I met a Belgian pilgrim girl who became my wife and we had two children...that encounter had a particular meaning for me because we met in the camino. But that said, that was also the worse nightmare in my life...I just do not regret having children, I love them...but man, if that was a bad experience for me and for her..Our mistake was to belief that just because we had the Camino in common, we had sublime dimension in common..it was true..but the Camino is also coming back home and facing "reality"..a reality that may conflict outside of the pilgrim's life...I met her in my second Camino and we did the entire Camino again 8 months after we met..that , I felt would suffice to discern the relationship, but it didn't...Lord knows I paid my dues....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled VdlP May '14
Wish list: Camino de levante
#26
My wife isn't all that happy that I'm going to be in Spain for three weeks. Somehow she's afraid that I won't come back, either due to heart failure or due to a lovely spanish woman. This issue isn't really solved yet, but I'm doing my best to reassure her that I'll be perfectly well, lots of people travelling even on the VdlP, which I'll cycle.

But my biggest concern is my 3 yo daughter, last time I've been away for a week she wouldn't talk to me on the phone. I'll try to explain to her in advance where I'm going, pointing it out on the globe etc.

Another problem will be de-attaching my head and heart from home, I'll miss my daughter like crazy and will certainly shed more than one tear over the seperation. I'm still looking for a technique to cope with this. I don't think I'll be able to fully enjoy the Way if my heart's aching for home all the time. Why don't I wait with the journey then? Well, long story, in short this has been delayed since 2009, it's time now :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2013)
April/May 2014 (planned and booked).
#28
We have together and apart times. I walk, he cycles and we both motorhome. This time, when I'm away for 5+ weeks he assures me that there will be a bike permanently in the kitchen and various tool boxes and their contents strewn around the house. He'll happily train for his coming trips and do jobs around the house without having to clear up until the day before I return. I miss him (and he me hopefully), but daily texts and wonderful Skype are fabulous ways to share. Homecomings are precious too.
Annie
 
#29
In 2012, I did a three month adventure in New Zealand. My now-fiance was anxious about me going, and wasn't supportive at all - and it made the trip a lot harder. This time, we've grown as a couple, and he's going above and beyond to support my Camino. :) Checking out equipment and researching with me, finding ways to keep in touch, coming up with scenarios so he can help me if something goes wrong, and able to cover rent/expenses while I am away. He cannot travel with me (medical reasons), but he knows I have the will to go on adventures, and has grown very supportive. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#30
After two months in Spain this year, both on pilgrimage (Camino Frances) and serving as an Amigo at the pilgrim office at Santiago, my wife informed me that, in future, I must reduce the total time away. This has me in a quandary. Part of me is so called to camino that I sometimes feel compelled like the early Apostles to abandon all and follow... On the other hand, the responsible part of me accedes to my secular responsibilities.

Oh well... Perhaps I will be able to afford two, shorter trips in 2015. We shall see... The "boss" only said I could not be gone for more than six weeks at a time. She did not say how many times I could be away. Hmmm?
 
#33
Oh well... Perhaps I will be able to afford two, shorter trips in 2015. We shall see... The "boss" only said I could not be gone for more than six weeks at a time. She did not say how many times I could be away. Hmmm?
Tom, I did precisely that a couple of years ago and will be doing the same next year.

In my case, it's my elderly mother who frets when I'm away rather than my husband (he says he's used to it!). A month seems to be OK but she finds six to eight weeks an awfully long time. It's the price we pay for loving and being loved and how fortunate we are to be in that position.

I had thought that St James was finished with me after the first Camino but, like you, I feel the compulsion still. When I look back at the pilgrim who first set out, I am aware of the enormous changes that have taken place within me. It must be very difficult for those left behind to understand the compulsion we feel and to come to grips with the usually subtle changes within their loved one. As the lessons we learnt along the way are fully integrated into our being, we move a bit more towards embracing our true selves and perhaps a little further away from the person we showed to the world before we went on pilgrimage. I'm thankful that my husband has been able to accommodate those changes.

All the best in negotiating a length of absence that is satisfactory to each of you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#35
so this is great...
the Way and your relationship are one and the same thing
you cant separate the 2
.
so ask said wife to give you something to take with you
either words
a symbol of some sort
a memory
a question
a promise
a dream
a goal
.
promise each other to look at the moon every night at a fixed time and silently to exchange loving thoughts
.
then despite distance, youre still united
just saying...
That is a lovely reply -.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Santiago
2014 Ferrol -Santiago
2015 Porto -Santiago
2018 Porto -Valença
#36
My former Spanish/Dutch manager inspired me to walk the first camino last year.
He walked the camino Frances himself from SJPDP earlier in 2011.
His wife showed up several times and acompanied him during some weekends among others in Pamplona ,Burgos and walked the last part from Sarria with him. I agree it is much easier when you live in Madrid to do so but on the other hand for the good mood what costs a pricefighter airline ticket from the UK to Spain.. ? But this is my thought about it A Dutch saying,free translated says. "Where is a will, there is a "Way "!

During my working carreer I used to be away from home for several weeks ,visiting customers abroad, exhibitions etc.so we are used to live seperately for some time. My wife even encouraged me to go to the USA with my good friend Ben to visit the musical jazz highlites in NYC, Nashville and Memphis TN.
On the other hand I was infected by the camino virus as written above and my dear spontaniously asked me to join me. So we both walked the caminho Portuges . In the mean this happened twice we walked to Santiago and we are preparing the third one next year May.
I wish you wisdom in your decission Tincatinker !
Best regards from this side of the British channel.
 
Last edited:

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
May 2018 (Via Francigena?)
#37
....promise each other to look at the moon every night at a fixed time and silently to exchange loving thoughts. then despite distance, you're still united...
My children grew up as expat kids. One time, my young daughter was tearful about leaving. My mother told her that all she had to do was look at the moon at night & know that her grandmother would be looking at the same moon & thinking of her. Some 30 years later, my daughter still thinks of her grandmother when looking at the moon.
Suzanne :)
 
#39
In my case, it's my elderly mother who frets when I'm away rather than my husband (he says he's used to it!). A month seems to be OK but she finds six to eight weeks an awfully long time. It's the price we pay for loving and being loved and how fortunate we are to be in that position.
Just read this again. My mother (90) says that she doesn't worry. Having said that I do about her while away. I telephone every few days, not so frequently that she realises why. I interlace this with calls to my daughter who acts as a spy for me. :) I love them both dearly but miss the Camino (and Spain) when not there. Like all other topics on the forum, we all have our own slant on things. I hope all faced with this dilemma find a resolution. I find that reminding myself that all the good things I have discovered about life are because of the emotional place those who were in it first created and that I owe almost everything to them.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#40
It is three years now since I posted this thread. I remember how grateful I was for the kind and thoughtful responses. The Beloved and I reviewed and considered them together at the time. She did come out to Bierzo to meet me and we had a wonderful weekend together before she returned to the UK and I returned to my Camino.

And since: we have walked the Ingles together, and Santiago, Muxia, Fisterra, Santiago; and I have walked the Salvador and the Primitivo. She sponsored my trip this winter to join the Palencia Camino Clean-up and she tolerates the time I spend on this forum as a contributor and as a moderator. From this it would seem that perhaps some of her fears have been realized. My first Camino was not a one-off, tick-off on the bucket-list. I didn't "get it out of my system". It opened doors to new places, new roads, new adventures, new friends. But I have not been Pilgrim "Now he had not run far from his own door, but his Wife and Children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the Man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying Life! Life! Eternal Life! So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the Plain." I have been merely me, growing a little every day. As mustards seeds will and do whether planted by a local farmer, a defecating crow or a passing pilgrim.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#41
Why mustard seeds? It would seem to me this could alter the agriculture of the camino, and you might consider this aspect.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed.*h He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.*i It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

Although native to most regions in the world, it is believed that the wild mustard was brought to California by Franciscan Father Serra, planting it as a golden pathway to find his way back home to Spain after his explorations here.

So you see, it was a Spanish Friar that brought the mustard seed to the USA. I am but returning the favor
 

bness

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring (2016)
#42
The Parable of the Mustard Seed.*h He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.*i It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

Although native to most regions in the world, it is believed that the wild mustard was brought to California by Franciscan Father Serra, planting it as a golden pathway to find his way back home to Spain after his explorations here.

So you see, it was a Spanish Friar that brought the mustard seed to the USA. I am but returning the favor
thanks for explaining! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
January-February 2016: Burgos to Santiago de Compastella
#46
Interesting and thought provoking topic. I am just at the early stages of deciding to wak the Way at the end of 2015. My partner and my entire lifestyle is me going off to travel and him staying home. We have not been together long but already I have cycle toured two months in Australia, a month in South Korea and motocle toured a month in Indonesia just since we met in June last year. Next month I will go cycle Japan.

What I have learned is that you need to be honest with each other and communicate regularly. You will change with each pilgrimage (be it the Way or something else). You will grow. You will want something different when you come home.

Five years ago a pilgrimage marked the end of my first long term relationship. We held on for two years after I returned home but I was changed. While that ending was sad and painful, the new life I lead is an amazing blessing. My ex partner and I are still on good terms and she is going well.

I have learned that you need to follow where life takes you. We only get one chance to walk this earth.

When you go, communicate regularly with your wife. Call her on Skype. Message her on Viber. Send some photos using Facebook Messenger. This is what I did wrong my first pilgrimage (not the Way). Now with my new partner we message or talk everyday. I also keep a blog so he can follow my journey. He is happy at home, I am happy on the road.

You won't know until you get home. But if you let that fear of change stop you then your relationship will strain. If you change too much, then it is meant to be. If you communicate then there will be nore connection and a shared journey, whatever the outcome.

Sorry for the long post
 

Kerry C

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm walking now, first time, second day
#47
Why mustard seeds? It would seem to me this could alter the agriculture of the camino, and you might consider this aspect.
How would it be changed? Mustard is growing all along the Camino. It's a perfect companion plant for vineyards.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#48
I realize this is an old thread, but being apart was always going to be an issue for my wife and I.

Originally she planned to come with me, but then decided she was not 'drawn' to the Camino as I was.

We are one of those couples that do everything together. We don't socialize much preferring each others company. You get the picture....

I made sure I had a Spanish SIM card with loads of credit. And we spoke at least once a day. Because of time differences, usually as soon as I woke up. (one reason I used private accommodation). And then again in the evening.

I also kept a detailed daily blog for family and friends. That was fun, as I felt I was sharing my Camino with them.

Being apart was not easy for either of us. I struggled with guilt through much of my Camino, as I felt selfish taking this big chunk of time just for me.....

In the middle of my Camino my father in law underwent open heart surgery. ... so that was a difficult time for both of us. Many times I thought I should quit and go home to be with the family. ...

my wife insisted I stay on my camino and complete it for 'us '...

One of my most profound spiritual moments was when I struggled with the decision to stay.....and asked for guidance. And it came...very clearly!

So in my view it is harder for those we leave behind. After all, we have little to worry about. Get up, eat, walk, do our laundry, eat, sleep. While those we leave behind often have to deal with the stuff that enabled us to go on our camino in the first place.....

I expressed the view here before I left, that walking a Camino is a rather selfish undertaking for those in relationships and with responsibilities.

And I still think it is. But everyday I was walking I gave thanks to those I had left behind. For supporting my dream and for 'holding the fort' whilst I was away.

Oh. The communication my wife and I used was 'line'. Similar to Skype but better quality comms in my view.

We could video chat with out using up much phone credit.

My wife even 'walked' with me on video a couple times as I showed her the views...

Sorry. Bit of a long post :(
 
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Camino(s) past & future
November 2015
#49
My beloved is, I realise belatedly, stressed and distressed by my planned pilgrimage. I am taking the Camino Frances in April. We have been together some thirty odd years now and have never been apart for as long as the five weeks or so that it will take me to reach Santiago and Finisterre.

I have and will continue to try to assure her that - I am going because of a deep felt need, will return when I am done and that my love for her has not and will not change.

Yet, I have seen many entries on this forum that suggest that for many this journey leads to profound change; that many are drawn back to the way time after time, that the way becomes a way of life. I think this is my beloved's ultimate fear- that she might lose me to the way.

I realise fully that our own relationship is not a topic for this forum but I would appreciate others experiences of any impacts and effects and guidance on how to offer assurances to "those left behind".
Very thoughtful partner ...This effort should show your love!
 
Camino(s) past & future
November 2015
#50
I realize this is an old thread, but being apart was always going to be an issue for my wife and I.

Originally she planned to come with me, but then decided she was not 'drawn' to the Camino as I was.

We are one of those couples that do everything together. We don't socialize much preferring each others company. You get the picture....

I made sure I had a Spanish SIM card with loads of credit. And we spoke at least once a day. Because of time differences, usually as soon as I woke up. (one reason I used private accommodation). And then again in the evening.

I also kept a detailed daily blog for family and friends. That was fun, as I felt I was sharing my Camino with them.

Being apart was not easy for either of us. I struggled with guilt through much of my Camino, as I felt selfish taking this big chunk of time just for me.....

In the middle of my Camino my father in law underwent open heart surgery. ... so that was a difficult time for both of us. Many times I thought I should quit and go home to be with the family. ...

my wife insisted I stay on my camino and complete it for 'us '...

One of my most profound spiritual moments was when I struggled with the decision to stay.....and asked for guidance. And it came...very clearly!

So in my view it is harder for those we leave behind. After all, we have little to worry about. Get up, eat, walk, do our laundry, eat, sleep. While those we leave behind often have to deal with the stuff that enabled us to go on our camino in the first place.....

I expressed the view here before I left, that walking a Camino is a rather selfish undertaking for those in relationships and with responsibilities.

And I still think it is. But everyday I was walking I gave thanks to those I had left behind. For supporting my dream and for 'holding the fort' whilst I was away.

Oh. The communication my wife and I used was 'line'. Similar to Skype but better quality comms in my view.

We could video chat with out using up much phone credit.

My wife even 'walked' with me on video a couple times as I showed her the views...

Sorry. Bit of a long post :(
Awesome post ... Such love is reassuring!:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to Santiago Sept 2013
Via de la Plata April 2015
#51
My children grew up as expat kids. One time, my young daughter was tearful about leaving. My mother told her that all she had to do was look at the moon at night & know that her grandmother would be looking at the same moon & thinking of her. Some 30 years later, my daughter still thinks of her grandmother when looking at the moon.
Suzanne :)
Imelda May has a song "Looking at the same moon". Nice idea
 

Lynne B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
#52
This is exactly how I feel about my husband going on the Camino without me. I actually have no desire to do this sort of thing but am very upset about him leaving for 5 weeks. He rarely travelled with me and our kids when they were young and always did his own thing and I was happy for him. Now he wants to take off with his friends to Spain. I’m feeling a bit betrayed because this trip was planned with very little discussion. I think he just assumed I would be ok with it. Fearing for the worst.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#53
this trip was planned with very little discussion. I think he just assumed I would be ok with it. Fearing for the worst.
Welcome to the forum, @Lynne B ! It is interesting to get this different point of view. Maybe my experience will help you see things from another perspective...

My husband has no interest in coming to Spain with me, and he has very little interest in my personal experience on the Camino. Therefore, I don't discuss it with him, and basically just inform him of my dates when I decide. There is no point in any further "discussion" since we clearly do not share that same interest and that discussion would not go particularly well. After 36 years, I don't expect that we will suddenly become kindred spirits in all things! We are retired and I am not neglecting any family needs. He might prefer that I stay home, but his reasoning makes no more sense than my reasons for going.

In no way is he fearing for any worst, except that I might come home wanting to go again next year! That will happen and is not so bad after all. I am not going to stay in Spain, or run away with someone I meet!

It is not clear to me what it is that you fear. Is it clear to you?
 

Lynne B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
#54
I suppose I worry about him wanting for more and more or finding someone else with a similar interest. Keep in mind that this trip was not a desire of his until his friends enticed him to go. I also fear the grand transformation everyone seems to go through. I fear we will move in opposite directions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#55
Your concerns are quite natural @Lynne B . And of course all relationships are different......

And your husband is going with a group of friends. I can't imagine doing that. For so many reasons that the multiple Pilgrims probably understand.

As I expressed on this thread 3 years ago, I was uneasy about going and leaving my wife behind.

Some random thoughts..........

  1. Time apart does make the heart grow fonder for many..... I came back with a deeper love and appreciation for my wife.
  2. At times I was very lonely on Camino, and I missed her company and many times when taking a break beside the trail wished she was there to share it.
  3. Even though she was dealing with challenges at home, she wanted me to have this time to myself........for 'us' to an extent.
  4. Yes, I came back changed. Some good, some bad, depending on your perspective. I am far more relaxed, less prone to being upset, and far less materialistic. The downside is that I have lost a bit of interest in my business and that still suffers as a result.
  5. In 2016 my wife came on a 'short' Camino with me of just 120 kms. I made it hers..... manageable distances, comfortable lodging, nice meals along the way, and after a few days she loved it.
  6. This year we walk from St Jean together. Will we make to Santiago? We are both a bit unfit and both have foot issues. But I don't care. We will enjoy each day that we are given on the journey. And if we make it all the way, we will have accomplished something amazing together.
I really look forward to this walk together, it will be very special. But it will be totally unlike my first Camino walking alone. Totally.....

Walking with someone is a very different experience.

Which is better? A hard call. The experience is so different. But I would have to pick alone..... For so many reasons.

Will we walk other Caminos together? Probably not. Pat is not drawn to the experience as I am. Although who knows what the impact of a longer Camino may have on her?

I suspect I will walk others...............alone.

I have described elsewhere the feeling for me that the Camino is my 'Church'. I am not normally a church goer

An 800 km long church. I detox emotionally, connect with the earth, with nature, with myself, I connect with God, I find joy, despair, pain and tears and everything in between. But I arrive in Santiago the better for it........

Lastly. Is walking a lone Camino a selfish act? I think it is.

But is it fair or right to go through ones life purely in the service of others, with no time for oneself? I have no hobbies, no pastimes, never go out except with my wife. We do things together, travel together.

But I do nothing just for me. I just work. For Us.

The Camino..........is for me.

Note. I am not a totally heartless, selfish SOB.
When I am walking alone, Pat goes up to Bangkok to stay with family. Eating out, shopping, visiting old friends...... She has lots of fun don't worry!


But who knows? Maybe after this longer joint Camino, she'll want to keep coming?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#56
I suppose I worry about him wanting for more and more or finding someone else with a similar interest. Keep in mind that this trip was not a desire of his until his friends enticed him to go. I also fear the grand transformation everyone seems to go through. I fear we will move in opposite directions.
No, everyone does not go through a grand transformation! I didn't, although like any interesting experience in life, it has left a mark on me. A good mark, I think.

There is always a reason for the first time, so in his case, it was his friends. That is not devious or strange.

I am happy that my husband is not interested. I prefer the experience on my own. However, I have come to understand better that my life at home is fundamentally very happy, and that stable home is what allows me to enjoy wandering on the Camino every year. I have a home and family and am not looking for another. There is no reason to assume your husband is.

Isn't there something wonderful that you can plan for yourself? Not something to get back at your husband, but something that you truly would enjoy and now is your chance. Go to Paris for cooking school, go to a spa, run a marathon, visit New York for a week, walk Hadrian's wall, paint the living room a different colour, etc. Do something other than sit at home worrying and being resentful.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#57
From my own experience I don't think the camino makes me a "different" person to the one I was before. It may make me more "me", if that is understandable. I suspect it is the same for everyone. It may change some behaviours, but not our essential personalities or characters. @Lynne B I don't think your husband will be any different.

If you have a good relationship with your partner before the camino, then it will remain so.

If the relationship is fractured, then the camino may improve it, or it may reveal the flaws more clearly. You mention that "he always did his own thing", but that you were happy for him. Has something changed? Or did you always have an underlying wish that he be less selfish and more responsive to family needs?

My husband has walked about half my caminos with me - but it was always "my thing", not his. He really does not like walking. In fact, if asked, he would probably say he hates it.

He loves and flies small planes, and I've been up with him a few times, but I'm pretty much terrified the whole time. He also likes sailing and riding motorbikes. Neither of which do much for me. I like churches and art. Which bore him witless.

We are very different people but - he is very supportive when I want to go walking. And, of course, he has an open book to go flying and sailing and motorbike riding.

@Lynne B I agree that five weeks is a long time - it is one of the problems for me, I miss my husband so much when I am away, and I think he misses me. Because I have to travel so far (from Australia) I tend to walk the long caminos, to make the travel costs worthwhile.

The best times are when we meet up again.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#58
I suppose I worry about him wanting for more and more or finding someone else with a similar interest. Keep in mind that this trip was not a desire of his until his friends enticed him to go. I also fear the grand transformation everyone seems to go through. I fear we will move in opposite directions.
Your concerns hit very close to home. This took me a while to write, because I wanted to get it right and it is by nature very delicate and personal stuff. I'm hesitant to share all the circumstances surrounding the camino I undertook in 2016, because not everything is relevant. But for a clear understanding of the story I am forced to mention some things that may not be altogether very nice or comforting. Plus I won't come out smelling like a rose, but so be it. Here goes.

After my father died in 2013 I was affected, as you would expect. I was at that time 45 and the whole experience exposed (amongst other things) a sudden sense of mortality. I felt an irresistible urge to counter this feeling by undertaking a 'grand adventure' to embrace and celebrate life. Enter the camino. It was a perfect match (for more reasons than the gesture towards death), and I grabbed the idea like the proverbial straw. We have a little joke in Holland, where we call this period in a man's life the penopause. But hey, at least I didn't go for a convertible, dyed my hair or had an extramarital affair. But I digress.

My wife was going through her menopause simultaneously, in a big way. Turbulent times they were. But the camino idea had taken a strong hold of me. I started planning and prepping, and thought I was sharing enough of this process with her. But I'm quite the introvert, and thinking very loud doesn't constitute dialogue. Looking back I'm afraid I was egocentric about the whole thing, and very dogged about having it my way.

As a result I didn't really register my wife's reservations and mild objections about this grand adventure of mine. She rightly felt left out and ignored in this, but I choose not to see or hear it consciously. Amazing how you can somehow deceive and compartmentalize yourself like that when you want something real bad. The camino bug had dug in deep, and I was firmly in its grasp. It was an idea that turned into a desire and evolved into a promise. And bless her, my wife decided to go along with it, out of loyalty and love.

That meant I left home early 2016 for a solo walk that would last almost three months. I had planned a little break of about three days in France, where my wife and son and some good friends of ours would 'intercept' me after roughly six weeks of walking, near Limoges. They would spend a holiday week in a nice cottage there, and I could join them for a couple of days. All very accommodating and thoughtful of me, I reckoned.

But the rubber met the road a lot earlier. In the second week of my absence things started to fall apart. For my wife. She spiraled downwards into a fearsome depression. She later described it as revisiting her puberty: no footholds, an unwilling victim of hormones, adrift and descending into a bottomless dark pit. I learned about this in week three, and didn't really know what to do. I decided to keep walking and keep very close tabs through daily phonecalls.

That was by far the hardest decision I ever took. My reasoning in a nutshell: I felt that returning wouldn't change anything. I couldn't talk her out of a depression, she had to work through that herself and my presence would change nothing. I even convinced myself that by returning I would deny her taking charge and getting out of this herself. Remember not coming out smelling like roses? Not my finest hour. But there was some truth to my feelings too. Aborting the walk might ultimately lead to resentment on my part. I had prepared for almost three years, I thought she knew the deal. And I just couldn't give it up yet. I was working on my own issues and making real progress.

So I kept walking. And because of this decision (whether right or wrong) cracks appeared in our relationship. I saw them up close and personal during the very tense holiday week near Limoges. But somehow we managed to break through some issues on both sides that were vital to the whole picture. We talked almost non-stop for three days, and slowly reached common ground. We still had a lot of honest talking, soul-searching, analysing and regaining trust ahead of us, but I had every faith in a good outcome and fortunately it proved contagious.

It's a bit like rebuilding a house. Cracks in the facade, malfunctioning electricity, leaks in the attic: the best course of action is to tear it all down and rebuild. Our foundation proved strong enough. And the thing about rebuilding is that you know the weak spots and annoyances of the old, and you can avoid them in the new. So you end up with a better house, if you do the work and pay attention.

We decided I could walk on, and slow progress was made during the rest of the camino. Everything between us was still very frail and vulnerable but we both fought for it. In a sense my wife had a camino too: at home, and way harder than mine. The process of getting and staying close to one another continued when I got home, and to be honest it still does. I am now very wary of assumptions, routine and inattention. And I need to remember myself that the key to connecting is to keep talking, something that isn't natural or easy for me. But the rewards are worth it. I honestly think we are better off now than we were before I left.

I'm not too sure this story is of any help to you, but I hope it is. What I do know is that fear is a terrible adviser and worry will get you nowhere. Apart from that I just blunder along and try my best to say what I do and do what I say. And I don't get that right all the time, either.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(2018) or (2019)
#61
Your concerns hit very close to home. This took me a while to write, because I wanted to get it right and it is by nature very delicate and personal stuff. I'm hesitant to share all the circumstances surrounding the camino I undertook in 2016, because not everything is relevant. But for a clear understanding of the story I am forced to mention some things that may not be altogether very nice or comforting. Plus I won't come out smelling like a rose, but so be it. Here goes.

After my father died in 2013 I was affected, as you would expect. I was at that time 45 and the whole experience exposed (amongst other things) a sudden sense of mortality. I felt an irresistible urge to counter this feeling by undertaking a 'grand adventure' to embrace and celebrate life. Enter the camino. It was a perfect match (for more reasons than the gesture towards death), and I grabbed the idea like the proverbial straw. We have a little joke in Holland, where we call this period in a man's life the penopause. But hey, at least I didn't go for a convertible, dyed my hair or had an extramarital affair. But I digress.

My wife was going through her menopause simultaneously, in a big way. Turbulent times they were. But the camino idea had taken a strong hold of me. I started planning and prepping, and thought I was sharing enough of this process with her. But I'm quite the introvert, and thinking very loud doesn't constitute dialogue. Looking back I'm afraid I was egocentric about the whole thing, and very dogged about having it my way.

As a result I didn't really register my wife's reservations and mild objections about this grand adventure of mine. She rightly felt left out and ignored in this, but I choose not to see or hear it consciously. Amazing how you can somehow deceive and compartmentalize yourself like that when you want something real bad. The camino bug had dug in deep, and I was firmly in its grasp. It was an idea that turned into a desire and evolved into a promise. And bless her, my wife decided to go along with it, out of loyalty and love.

That meant I left home early 2016 for a solo walk that would last almost three months. I had planned a little break of about three days in France, where my wife and son and some good friends of ours would 'intercept' me after roughly six weeks of walking, near Limoges. They would spend a holiday week in a nice cottage there, and I could join them for a couple of days. All very accommodating and thoughtful of me, I reckoned.

But the rubber met the road a lot earlier. In the second week of my absence things started to fall apart. For my wife. She spiraled downwards into a fearsome depression. She later described it as revisiting her puberty: no footholds, an unwilling victim of hormones, adrift and descending into a bottomless dark pit. I learned about this in week three, and didn't really know what to do. I decided to keep walking and keep very close tabs through daily phonecalls.

That was by far the hardest decision I ever took. My reasoning in a nutshell: I felt that returning wouldn't change anything. I couldn't talk her out of a depression, she had to work through that herself and my presence would change nothing. I even convinced myself that by returning I would deny her taking charge and getting out of this herself. Remember not coming out smelling like roses? Not my finest hour. But there was some truth to my feelings too. Aborting the walk might ultimately lead to resentment on my part. I had prepared for almost three years, I thought she knew the deal. And I just couldn't give it up yet. I was working on my own issues and making real progress.

So I kept walking. And because of this decision (whether right or wrong) cracks appeared in our relationship. I saw them up close and personal during the very tense holiday week near Limoges. But somehow we managed to break through some issues on both sides that were vital to the whole picture. We talked almost non-stop for three days, and slowly reached common ground. We still had a lot of honest talking, soul-searching, analysing and regaining trust ahead of us, but I had every faith in a good outcome and fortunately it proved contagious.

It's a bit like rebuilding a house. Cracks in the facade, malfunctioning electricity, leaks in the attic: the best course of action is to tear it all down and rebuild. Our foundation proved strong enough. And the thing about rebuilding is that you know the weak spots and annoyances of the old, and you can avoid them in the new. So you end up with a better house, if you do the work and pay attention.

We decided I could walk on, and slow progress was made during the rest of the camino. Everything between us was still very frail and vulnerable but we both fought for it. In a sense my wife had a camino too: at home, and way harder than mine. The process of getting and staying close to one another continued when I got home, and to be honest it still does. I am now very wary of assumptions, routine and inattention. And I need to remember myself that the key to connecting is to keep talking, something that isn't natural or easy for me. But the rewards are worth it. I honestly think we are better off now than we were before I left.

I'm not too sure this story is of any help to you, but I hope it is. What I do know is that fear is a terrible adviser and worry will get you nowhere. Apart from that I just blunder along and try my best to say what I do and do what I say. And I don't get that right all the time, either.
Burky, if you've written any books, I'm buying them! You sir have a way with words!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#62
Interesting that this thread got resurrected as I'd recently been considering starting a similar one, but now there is no need.

My story is probably most similar to @Cclearly. I have gone on Camino every year since 2015 and plan to continue as long as I continue good health. I tried coaxing hubby the first time to come along, but he had no interest in this adventure although he enjoyed the movie "The Way". I'd dreamed of going since then and looked forward to my upcoming retirement the next year and I walked the Frances route with my adult son, which was a comfort. Thinking I was "one and done" I was surprised that I had a desire to go again and so was he!

I discovered I enjoy my time away from home and the normal routines, yet am so thankful that I come back to a good life upon my return. I definately have "Camino fever" and love the daydreaming and planning of the next one. In retirement I have more time for this little luxury.

Last year my husband met me (and our two sons) in Santiago and walked for two days between Muxia and Finesterre, staying two nights at each location in hotels. He didn't like the walking, but enjoyed the scenery. At least now he has a taste for what it is like beyond the pictures I always have shown him every time. He never talks about his experience, whereas I love every opportunity to speak about the Camino to anyone who expresses even the slightest interest in hearing about it. We have traveled to great destinations for years, but as he's beginning to get older and still loves being outdoors, he is more content on his bicycle and motorcycle. I still need more new adventures and the Camino provides that for me. I am somewhat sad though, that for the first time in over 40 years together, I have moved into this new direction. I know he doesn't really appreciate that this change has happened to me and he sometimes lovingly teases me about it, but thankfully he lets me continue without a fuss and says he is happy for my newfound pleasure.

I married at age 19 and that first Camino gave me my first taste of "being on my own" independently. It feels good to have those breaks, yet I always look forward to returning home to share a new appreciation for each other...which lasts for at least a week. :) ;)
 

Lynne B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
#64
Your concerns hit very close to home. This took me a while to write, because I wanted to get it right and it is by nature very delicate and personal stuff. I'm hesitant to share all the circumstances surrounding the camino I undertook in 2016, because not everything is relevant. But for a clear understanding of the story I am forced to mention some things that may not be altogether very nice or comforting. Plus I won't come out smelling like a rose, but so be it. Here goes.

After my father died in 2013 I was affected, as you would expect. I was at that time 45 and the whole experience exposed (amongst other things) a sudden sense of mortality. I felt an irresistible urge to counter this feeling by undertaking a 'grand adventure' to embrace and celebrate life. Enter the camino. It was a perfect match (for more reasons than the gesture towards death), and I grabbed the idea like the proverbial straw. We have a little joke in Holland, where we call this period in a man's life the penopause. But hey, at least I didn't go for a convertible, dyed my hair or had an extramarital affair. But I digress.

My wife was going through her menopause simultaneously, in a big way. Turbulent times they were. But the camino idea had taken a strong hold of me. I started planning and prepping, and thought I was sharing enough of this process with her. But I'm quite the introvert, and thinking very loud doesn't constitute dialogue. Looking back I'm afraid I was egocentric about the whole thing, and very dogged about having it my way.

As a result I didn't really register my wife's reservations and mild objections about this grand adventure of mine. She rightly felt left out and ignored in this, but I choose not to see or hear it consciously. Amazing how you can somehow deceive and compartmentalize yourself like that when you want something real bad. The camino bug had dug in deep, and I was firmly in its grasp. It was an idea that turned into a desire and evolved into a promise. And bless her, my wife decided to go along with it, out of loyalty and love.

That meant I left home early 2016 for a solo walk that would last almost three months. I had planned a little break of about three days in France, where my wife and son and some good friends of ours would 'intercept' me after roughly six weeks of walking, near Limoges. They would spend a holiday week in a nice cottage there, and I could join them for a couple of days. All very accommodating and thoughtful of me, I reckoned.

But the rubber met the road a lot earlier. In the second week of my absence things started to fall apart. For my wife. She spiraled downwards into a fearsome depression. She later described it as revisiting her puberty: no footholds, an unwilling victim of hormones, adrift and descending into a bottomless dark pit. I learned about this in week three, and didn't really know what to do. I decided to keep walking and keep very close tabs through daily phonecalls.

That was by far the hardest decision I ever took. My reasoning in a nutshell: I felt that returning wouldn't change anything. I couldn't talk her out of a depression, she had to work through that herself and my presence would change nothing. I even convinced myself that by returning I would deny her taking charge and getting out of this herself. Remember not coming out smelling like roses? Not my finest hour. But there was some truth to my feelings too. Aborting the walk might ultimately lead to resentment on my part. I had prepared for almost three years, I thought she knew the deal. And I just couldn't give it up yet. I was working on my own issues and making real progress.

So I kept walking. And because of this decision (whether right or wrong) cracks appeared in our relationship. I saw them up close and personal during the very tense holiday week near Limoges. But somehow we managed to break through some issues on both sides that were vital to the whole picture. We talked almost non-stop for three days, and slowly reached common ground. We still had a lot of honest talking, soul-searching, analysing and regaining trust ahead of us, but I had every faith in a good outcome and fortunately it proved contagious.

It's a bit like rebuilding a house. Cracks in the facade, malfunctioning electricity, leaks in the attic: the best course of action is to tear it all down and rebuild. Our foundation proved strong enough. And the thing about rebuilding is that you know the weak spots and annoyances of the old, and you can avoid them in the new. So you end up with a better house, if you do the work and pay attention.

We decided I could walk on, and slow progress was made during the rest of the camino. Everything between us was still very frail and vulnerable but we both fought for it. In a sense my wife had a camino too: at home, and way harder than mine. The process of getting and staying close to one another continued when I got home, and to be honest it still does. I am now very wary of assumptions, routine and inattention. And I need to remember myself that the key to connecting is to keep talking, something that isn't natural or easy for me. But the rewards are worth it. I honestly think we are better off now than we were before I left.

I'm not too sure this story is of any help to you, but I hope it is. What I do know is that fear is a terrible adviser and worry will get you nowhere. Apart from that I just blunder along and try my best to say what I do and do what I say. And I don't get that right all the time, either.
Thank you so much for your honesty and openness.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#65
I'm glad this thread was revived. I traveled to Chile last year...alone for 30 days. It was my first solo trip in over 45 years. It was fulfilling, yet lonely. We stayed in touch via FaceTime, even in the remote Andes, whenever I had a wifi or cell signal.
As I read this thread and contemplated yet another solo trip, I began writing and this is what spilled out:
A Camino Poem:
How shall I exact the love within me across the many miles between us?
How can I, in my self induced isolation, express the love which also possesses me?
Across the open fields, vineyards and high mountains.
Across the wide waters to the far shore upon which you surely walk on this twilight morning.
I am divided between the call of the wild and the hearthstone of love which you provide.
My heart aches to hear your voice to feel your touch and warmth against me, and to glory in your smile which lights up my life.
Yet, I walk on.
I share with others time which only you should possess.
I hail others daily whom I know not and speak to you through a screen and over long waves of air so late in the evening; missing the touch of you that makes my soul sing.
I am on such a far shore.
I am walking a lonely path far from where my feet should be planted.
I am far from the one touchstone of my life without which I cannot exist.
A choice I do not clearly understand.
A distance self prescribed.
A time so full, yet empty.
A sharing without touch and a vision while shared, not shared.
I walk on.
Lost, yet found.
Seeking, yet so much already locked within.
I am a pilgrim.

I surely will post this in my blog somewhere along the Camino later this year.
Thanks all!
 

yaying

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somehow someday...
#67
@Tomas Joven
one or the other...
We dont or we want...
A far by distance but kept in thy heart!
Like a needle dropped deep down in the haystack!
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona - Santiago 2014, St. Jean to Estella June 2016, Estella to Santiago April 17, 2018
#71
My beloved is, I realise belatedly, stressed and distressed by my planned pilgrimage. I am taking the Camino Frances in April. We have been together some thirty odd years now and have never been apart for as long as the five weeks or so that it will take me to reach Santiago and Finisterre.

I have and will continue to try to assure her that - I am going because of a deep felt need, will return when I am done and that my love for her has not and will not change.

Yet, I have seen many entries on this forum that suggest that for many this journey leads to profound change; that many are drawn back to the way time after time, that the way becomes a way of life. I think this is my beloved's ultimate fear- that she might lose me to the way.

I realise fully that our own relationship is not a topic for this forum but I would appreciate others experiences of any impacts and effects and guidance on how to offer assurances to "those left behind".
It seems I may in the same 'boat' as you, while my wife has acknowledged my need to go she is not overjoyed with the prospect. Especially since the last time I went we were out of contact for three days because of the lack of internet in Orrison. I have found an app that will allow her to follow me and that has gone a long way towards her acceptance of what I am doing. We will be in touch every day.

I am very grateful that she has been as supportive as she has been. I cannot give you the 'why' of why I am going because it is not clear to me now but I know I must go. I don't know if I will have some sort of revelation or if it will be a six week walk. Either way it will be and I must go.
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona - Santiago 2014, St. Jean to Estella June 2016, Estella to Santiago April 17, 2018
#74
For those of you late to this thread, @Tincatinker wrote the first post many years ago (look at the date) and has been on multiple caminos since. His beloved, I understand, survived and has since been on a few of her own caminos.
Well, I'm thinking some threads are timeless and this one of those.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: September - October 2016
Porto > Santiago - April 2018
#77
I have and will continue to try to assure her that - I am going because of a deep felt need, will return when I am done and that my love for her has not and will not change.

Yet, I have seen many entries on this forum that suggest that for many this journey leads to profound change; that many are drawn back to the way time after time, that the way becomes a way of life. I think this is my beloved's ultimate fear- that she might lose me to the way.

.
I would like to suggest that the 'profound change' will be positive for your relationship with your beloved. The things that we learn and practice regarding true love get continued at home. This is based upon conversations with 'left behind' wives, including my own.
I also encourage you to have her meet you in Santiago, even if that appears impossible.
And as for repeat trips, try to stay present, mindful of the day.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#78
My partner has been planning to walk the camino for 18 months and leaves in a few weeks time.

Originally I supported him as I love him and want him to live a fulfilled life.

However as the time comes closer, I am starting to think it is the most self-indulgent and selfish thing he has ever done in our long marriage. I could not take 2 months off work, and even if I could I would not be able to walk that far. So I will be staying at home, working and taking on additional responsibilities, loneliness and celibacy - for none of the 'adventure' or journey of the camino.

My husband is aware that I am feeling this way and has offered to stay at home, but that would not help as he would end up being resentful which would also affect our relationship.

I am not posting this for an anlysis of my marriage (we are both aware of the motivations for him doing it) - rather I just wanted to point out that even if your partner initially supports the idea, it may not turn out that way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#79
I feel so sorry for you, "Left Behind". Just a few thoughts.
Firstly, in the past it has not been unusual for seafarers or members of the armed forces to have to leave home for many months at a time: marriages - love - can and does last for such long periods of absence.
Secondly, your husband is going away for TWO MONTHS? Why so long? Why not make the camino last by taking it in several stages - and probably enjoying it all the more?
There are many caminos apart from the French one, which take only a week or three to walk.
If he could take just two weeks at a time, you could go with him maybe by car - meeting up each evening for company and sharing time together.
Whatever happens, whatever you both decide, may love be with you both.
Blessings from East Anglia [UK] .....
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#80
My beloved is, I realise belatedly, stressed and distressed by my planned pilgrimage. I am taking the Camino Frances in April. We have been together some thirty odd years now and have never been apart for as long as the five weeks or so that it will take me to reach Santiago and Finisterre.

I have and will continue to try to assure her that - I am going because of a deep felt need, will return when I am done and that my love for her has not and will not change.

Yet, I have seen many entries on this forum that suggest that for many this journey leads to profound change; that many are drawn back to the way time after time, that the way becomes a way of life. I think this is my beloved's ultimate fear- that she might lose me to the way.

I realise fully that our own relationship is not a topic for this forum but I would appreciate others experiences of any impacts and effects and guidance on how to offer assurances to "those left behind".
I hear you pal, I was married for 25 years and 9 years prior to taking the plunge. During my marriage I took work away from home,Canada, and went to Trinidad for 5 years. Why, itchy feet and the need to challenge myself. My wife understood, but didn't necessarily agree to my leaving and we survived, she and I always respected personal space and encouraged each other in all we thought we needed to do. I think the changes people have experienced when walking the Camino are not necessarily bad, but it's like throwing out the garbage accumulated in your life and you come back cleaner. From what I have read, life is put into perspective for some and in my opinion if the marriage is strong, your young lady has nothing to worry about. My wife felt so close to me after going away with girlfriends she made a habit out of it. I enjoyed seeing her excited to travel and hear the stories when she returned. Love grows stronger not weaker in my experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino March and April 2018
#81
My beloved is, I realise belatedly, stressed and distressed by my planned pilgrimage. I am taking the Camino Frances in April. We have been together some thirty odd years now and have never been apart for as long as the five weeks or so that it will take me to reach Santiago and Finisterre.

I have and will continue to try to assure her that - I am going because of a deep felt need, will return when I am done and that my love for her has not and will not change.

Yet, I have seen many entries on this forum that suggest that for many this journey leads to profound change; that many are drawn back to the way time after time, that the way becomes a way of life. I think this is my beloved's ultimate fear- that she might lose me to the way.

I realise fully that our own relationship is not a topic for this forum but I would appreciate others experiences of any impacts and effects and guidance on how to offer assurances to "those left behind".
I leave behind the mortal remains of my husband of forty years. I started on the anniversary of his death 11th March. I carry him inside me, I see him at the turn in the road up ahead, waiting for me. I see him with no pain, or the terrible illness that robbed him of his quality of life. I see and I feel the he, that is him. And each day I find hope and peace and joy. Your loved one will be right there beside you, if that is where she chooses to be, she will not lose you, nor you her, you will find each other.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
#82
My partner has been planning to walk the camino for 18 months and leaves in a few weeks time.

Originally I supported him as I love him and want him to live a fulfilled life.

However as the time comes closer, I am starting to think it is the most self-indulgent and selfish thing he has ever done in our long marriage. I could not take 2 months off work, and even if I could I would not be able to walk that far. So I will be staying at home, working and taking on additional responsibilities, loneliness and celibacy - for none of the 'adventure' or journey of the camino.

My husband is aware that I am feeling this way and has offered to stay at home, but that would not help as he would end up being resentful which would also affect our relationship.

I am not posting this for an anlysis of my marriage (we are both aware of the motivations for him doing it) - rather I just wanted to point out that even if your partner initially supports the idea, it may not turn out that way.
Thank you for your honest, candid and thoughtful post.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#83
So this is what happened....... as the time came close to my partner leaving, I was closer to having a break down than I have ever been in my life (I have never had any serious mental health issues). He had originally decided to do the camino as a way of marking the end of a serious health issue, and he was able to take two months off work. Initially I was just so pleased that he could do it that I supported the idea. However the concept of one of us having two months of work whilst the other continued working hard, and picking up the 'slack', created a complete imbalance in our relationship (which we had not anticipated). Also everyone around us was so excited for him, with little regard for how I was feeling.

He offered not to go but I thought that could create more problems in future. He therefore left with a heavy heart and had a very tough time from SJdPP to Ronscevalle. A pre-existing injury was made worse and he came home for a week to recover - this was great for both of us and we had a terrific time. He then went back having lost a week, so missed out some of the middle part of the camino. However in the meantime I had made the decision to join him and walk from Sarria to Santiago (with the help of medicine for IBS which had made me think I could not walk that far).

We had a brilliant time on the last 117km. I can say that our relationship (which for more than 30 years has always been strong) is stronger than ever and we are now planning to walk Santiago to Finisterre next year.

I would however urge any couples in our situation to think VERY carefully about it. This could have broken our relationship (and nearly did) - if I were to give any advice it would be to consider doing it in shorter distances (eg one week a year) with the non walking partner travelling 'alongside' eg in a support vehicle or by public transport. In that way you can spend the evenings together and share the experience - that part of Spain is beautiful and worth sharing together.

For those of you who feel 'called to the camino' but whose other half doesn't, please be considerate of the other person. The obsession to do the camino seems to make some people quite selfish - please learn from our lesson.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#84
Wow, this thread goes back many years.
My Caminos were walked long after my divorce dust settled, but to be honest no way would I have ever discouraged a spouse or girlfriend from walking the Camino or similar nor would I have wanted her to do the same to me. It's okay to have different interests in a relationship, and be away from each other for a month or so. At least I always felt that way, and walking the Camino is hardly something like seeing a loved one off to war or something. Basically it's a holiday. A different kind of holiday, but one nonetheless.
 

Gigipro

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Coming this month - June 2018. Deciding route.
#85
My beloved is, I realise belatedly, stressed and distressed by my planned pilgrimage. I am taking the Camino Frances in April. We have been together some thirty odd years now and have never been apart for as long as the five weeks or so that it will take me to reach Santiago and Finisterre.

I have and will continue to try to assure her that - I am going because of a deep felt need, will return when I am done and that my love for her has not and will not change.

Yet, I have seen many entries on this forum that suggest that for many this journey leads to profound change; that many are drawn back to the way time after time, that the way becomes a way of life. I think this is my beloved's ultimate fear- that she might lose me to the way.

I realise fully that our own relationship is not a topic for this forum but I would appreciate others experiences of any impacts and effects and guidance on how to offer assurances to "those left behind".
Mine is usually a bit of guilt that I am experiencing something so spetacular without the people I love most beside me. It's only that i want them to experience it too. Can't always be that way, and this is the time of your own pilgrim soul. Hope all your caminos son buenos.
 
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