Adventures with Spouse - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Long Term Success in Marriage If you've been married 10+ years and consider your marriage a success, post your success story here. Help others by talking about what works for you.

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post #16 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

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We used to do all kinds of stuff. Skiing (the good stuff), backpacking, rock climbing, exploring new remote areas. That was before the kids. After the first one we slowed a little bit but did still get out for all of those things.

The second baby slowed things down a lot more. No more wilderness backpacking. Skiing became a family activity with little kids. A little bit of rock climbing but it was less adventurous.

When the kids were a bit older we stepped up the intensity. Soon enough the kids were getting quite expert, and we were getting slower with age and being out of shape.

When the kids starting hitting high school age things seemed to take too much of a turn towards us parents facilitating all the activities for the kids but not actually participating in activities ourselves. There was no balance, and it was a major area of conflict in the marriage.

Now that we're empty nest I am trying to bring back some adventure. It will be less adrenaline oriented but hopefully still fun and connective.
Good luck with bringing back the adventure! Starting out as you say with less adrenaline related activities should get both of you on track. Don't rule out wilderness adventure yet. We are in our 50s and enjoy it like we did 30 years ago though we are not as mobile as we were then.


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post #17 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 04:40 PM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

The replies have been interesting but My wife and I never did any of the "flying through the air" adventures but we have worked very hard in keeping the marriage exciting.

When the children were young, we went camping almost every weekend in the summer -- even when our most recent newborn was only a couple months old. After many years of grilling burgers and hot dogs over a wood fire (occasionally dropping a few into the coals below the grate) we graduated to trailers and ended up with a new Airstream. It was fun as the children had an opportunity to visit many places and learned how to act in the public environment.

Now in our mature years, my wife and I will just take off on the spur of the moment and go --- someplace --- any place (I still work though). Yes, we bond and do a lot of "pillow talk". Yes, every day is an "Adventure with my Spouse" as we still enjoy and appreciate each other even after almost 53 years. I wish every couple could enjoy such success!
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post #18 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 07:41 PM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

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For the less adventurous - or those who can't remember the last time they ran - planning trips to 'sights' or just random towns can be an adventure.

Drive to them by back roads rather than a direct, major route. It always amazes me how some people have photo albums of themselves on beaches from around the world, yet have no idea of much of what lies within 50 miles of home. Free stuff you can visit for the price of a tank of fuel.

It gets you out the house and keeps the rot from setting in.
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Absolutely!

I (purposely) took a wrong turn the other week and came across a beautiful look-out point. I took a photo and sent it to hubs, 'A postcard from around the corner' ....it's great to have tourist eyes and explore your own area. We ended up going there with the dogs and hubs loved it.

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post #19 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Adventures with Spouse

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Absolutely!

I (purposely) took a wrong turn the other week and came across a beautiful look-out point. I took a photo and sent it to hubs, 'A postcard from around the corner' ....it's great to have tourist eyes and explore your own area. We ended up going there with the dogs and hubs loved it.
Good point. We are traveling for Thanksgiving but we have been letting tradition rule our stops. We always stop at the same places that we have in the past and we love it and the kids love it.

Tradition is bonding as well but we shouldn't do a tradition just because... What is a good mix? I guess if the tradition becomes routine one should vary it up. But if its still very fun the repetition of tradition is warm fuzzy and bonding.

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post #20 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Adventures with Spouse

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The replies have been interesting but My wife and I never did any of the "flying through the air" adventures but we have worked very hard in keeping the marriage exciting.

When the children were young, we went camping almost every weekend in the summer -- even when our most recent newborn was only a couple months old. After many years of grilling burgers and hot dogs over a wood fire (occasionally dropping a few into the coals below the grate) we graduated to trailers and ended up with a new Airstream. It was fun as the children had an opportunity to visit many places and learned how to act in the public environment.

Now in our mature years, my wife and I will just take off on the spur of the moment and go --- someplace --- any place (I still work though). Yes, we bond and do a lot of "pillow talk". Yes, every day is an "Adventure with my Spouse" as we still enjoy and appreciate each other even after almost 53 years. I wish every couple could enjoy such success!
Actually pulling an airstream would be out of my comfort zone. I'm a minimalist camper and go for isolation. Perhaps we should rent a RV and do the camping scene differently. That scene is a lot more social and different than what we normally do. I could get into it.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton
Listen to your spouse!
Fog v. Love
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post #21 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 10:14 AM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

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There is a bonding benefit to doing fun adventurous things with your spouse. Life gets routine. Kids arrive and the focus of activities changes. Life gets busy but less of it is spent with your spouse. For many this is a slow cooker recipe for marital discontent. I think that putting thought into finding something adventurous and challenging with your spouse can help reinforce the bond between you. It is common knowledge at least on TAM that the neural chemicals within the brain help form and reinforce bonds with others. Dopamine is one such chemical that is associated with the infatuation stage of a relationship. As the relationship matures the chemicals that are triggered in the brain are ones more associated with long term bonding like oxytocin.
I like the emphasis on those chemicals... keeping them revived.. on a smaller scale...just keeping our love tanks full with little kindnesses, flirting / banter...a surprise massage, offer a peppermint foot rub, candles lit around a bubble bath together....a dance in a moment....grab some pans & head in the back yard to pick some berries (pies in the oven later ).....watching movies together....and as ifweonly mentioned ...that "pillow talk" every night...

In our early yrs .. we looked for our christmas trees in the woods- they were a little Charlie Brownish.. looked something like this.......oh the memories !!

Sled riding with the kids, building snow men...we went snow tubing once just him & I at a Ski Resort... we taped each other sliding down the hill at the same time....some cool footage there !



Quote:
My idea is that we should use this knowledge to plan activities with our spouses that trigger some of the excitement/infatuation stage chemicals to inject newness into our relationships. Doing adventurous things will achieve this as well as things outside of your comfort zone. Obviously doing high adventure activities like skydiving, whitewater rafting and climbing will bring an instant thrill. The problem is that for many these activities are too much and too expensive.
I can't say we do anything outside of our comfort zone...I just seek NEW places to visit, to experience together.. more of a laid back nature...whether Romantic.. just for us getting away for a night or 2...or Family oriented...we're not the high adventure / adrenaline rushed type.. the biggest rush I care to have is visiting amusement parks & running from Roller coaster to roller coaster ... he won't even go on them with me, so I need the kids for that !

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Tradition is bonding as well but we shouldn't do a tradition just because... What is a good mix? I guess if the tradition becomes routine one should vary it up. But if its still very fun the repetition of tradition is warm fuzzy and bonding.
Something we've done for the past 10 yrs or so..we have large Bonfire parties...I cook up a storm , order 8 or 9 pizzas.. .our teens invite the youth group, all their friends....there's music.. we set up a movie outside for when it gets dark ...this is the screen we made yrs ago.........we roll it up like a scroll when we're finished..

I so enjoy seeing teens scattered all over the yard/ laughter/ the fellowship.... volleyball over there/ basketball/ ultimate frisbee, had a hula hoop contest going on last time.....each time we have newcomers, we flurry around...talks around the fire....this fulfills me somehow, myself & H may be scattered on these nights but as it winds down, we're together with a handful of friends on our porch reminiscing old times.. and it's good..it's something we can offer to them..I so want them to have good memories of their upbringing....(but it does something for us too)...

Another tradition..one of my Husband's...visiting a certain specialty store every year...they decorate like 100 Christmas trees..have a special display for Easter & Christmas..different every year/ beautiful... just something he wants to keep alive, he will remind me the kids will only be this young for a short time, then we visit Daffins candy shop down the road for a treat.

I guess so much of what I am putting on here is family oriented.... this was the life we wanted... .days ago we took them to an Indoor water park, we try to bring an extra friend if we can ...we still have our time alone.. we get off in the adult hot tub!

We often plan day outings ....always a couple family vacations 2 or more nights... we do the Yogi bear Campgrounds...we like cabins in the woods, museums, nature / scenic trails, Fairs, zoos, caves, Movies/ Sight & Sound theaters, Science center in the big city..... bike riding, horse back riding / corn mazes / Haunted hay rides.... Disney every so many years....

Something so simple.. but mention a Smorgasbord... the little one will jump up & down, make squealing noises..dying to go...always a treat.

Quote:
It could be something like karaoke, public speaking or open mike night. It could be a large remodeling project or anything that involves the unknown.
we'd be more the remodeling people.. can't say it's so bonding & enjoyable when it's going on though...(still work)... but we feel satisfaction when its over / the tools are put away... it's something we did together & saved some $$ - always a plus!

Quote:
I want to hear from others on TAM. What you do to keep the slow cooker of relationship death at bay? Do your activities involve adventure and the unknown?
I've always been the one who gets the idea in my head & says.. "hey Honey, I want to go there, lets do THAT"... I research, then plan every detail working around all our schedules... truth is... if I waited on him to plan something.. we'd never leave the house... I don't mind this though... I enjoy getting on TripAdvisor, reading reviews & planning these new adventures.. he always comes with a wonderful attitude, happy to be there... this is all I need..

For a time I was going Gong Ho for just US getting away/ didn't want the kids.. but we've moved back to taking the whole family with us more so .. we realize they will all be gone soon.. then it will just be me & him.. I foresee we'll start taking bus trips or something, try a Boat Cruise once in our lives. Always something new to explore out there.

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post #22 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 04:52 PM
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Adventures with Spouse

5 years ago my wife and I took our two young daughters 5+7yrs old to a free Tae kwon-do class. The kids did ok but never wanted to stay in it. My wife and I really enjoyed it. I was 45yo and she was 39. We ended up staying in it up to 2nd degree brown belt. The kids gymnastics blossomed and we just don't have the time to go back to get our black belts.
After reading some of these posts, I want to try some different things. We do have a trailer we keep at a lake within 60 miles of our house. Maybe an overnight ice fishing trip or snow shoeing?? Living near Lake Superior there is more than a lifetime of natural beauty to see and explore. Maybe an overnight trip with a tent on the mini bikes exploring the back roads around some ghost towns would be fun.
There is always so many things to try, but never enough time to do it.
Maybe once the kids are old enough to look after themselves for a weekend we can give it a try. Until then. We still have the trailer to visit.
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post #23 of 85 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

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I like the emphasis on those chemicals... keeping them revived.. on a smaller scale...just keeping our love tanks full with little kindnesses, flirting / banter...a surprise massage, offer a peppermint foot rub, candles lit around a bubble bath together....a dance in a moment....grab some pans & head in the back yard to pick some berries (pies in the oven later ).....watching movies together....and as ifweonly mentioned ...that "pillow talk" every night...
The love tank view is very similar. All those things you mention are great at filling the love tank. Regularly done they will help keep you and your spouse together. Actually those kind of things can be the adventure adding spice to life. The small scale is as important as well. Change and surprises are an ingredient that can rev the love chemicals just as well. Your candle reference reminds me of an effort I made a few years ago.

One small surprise I did once for our twentieth anniversary of our first date was to light twenty candles, one for each year in our room. It was a good idea but it turned out that the light from twenty candles made the room so bright it wasn't as romantic as expected.

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In our early yrs .. we looked for our christmas trees in the woods- they were a little Charlie Brownish.. looked something like this.......oh the memories !!

Sled riding with the kids, building snow men...we went snow tubing once just him & I at a Ski Resort... we taped each other sliding down the hill at the same time....some cool footage there !

That's the point I'm trying to make. It's about you an your spouse doing something together which in someway is unknown or may be a challenge. Hunting for Christmas trees like that is one such thing. I grew up in Hawaii where the Christmas trees are shipped in. After getting maried and settling in the north east we decided to go to a farm in the country and cut our own. For many this wouldn't be an adventure but for us it was. We did it for several years but after the busyness of kids and other time constraints encroached on our time we discontinued it. We talked about doing it again but never did. Then just today we went to get our trees from the usual place but they were closed. So even though we we had a tight schedule we googled farms and found one in the next county where we could cut our own. It was impromptu and we weren't prepared for the mud and we didn't have the proper saws but we went ahead anyway. It was a super day, we found a good tree and had fun on a really warm day. It wasn't an adrenaline rush but it certainly was a bonding day.

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Originally Posted by SimplyAmorous View Post
I can't say we do anything outside of our comfort zone...I just seek NEW places to visit, to experience together.. more of a laid back nature...whether Romantic.. just for us getting away for a night or 2...or Family oriented...we're not the high adventure / adrenaline rushed type.. the biggest rush I care to have is visiting amusement parks & running from Roller coaster to roller coaster ... he won't even go on them with me, so I need the kids for that !
Amusement parks are exactly an adrenaline fun filled time. Roller coasters, haunted houses and games of skill are all things that have a thrill and excite us. So you do do adventurous stuff with your husband and family. We go to amusement parks regularly and for us they are almost routine. So I guess the other thing is to be mindful for when things become routine and change it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimplyAmorous View Post
Something we've done for the past 10 yrs or so..we have large Bonfire parties...I cook up a storm , order 8 or 9 pizzas.. .our teens invite the youth group, all their friends....there's music.. we set up a movie outside for when it gets dark ...this is the screen we made yrs ago.........we roll it up like a scroll when we're finished..

I so enjoy seeing teens scattered all over the yard/ laughter/ the fellowship.... volleyball over there/ basketball/ ultimate frisbee, had a hula hoop contest going on last time.....each time we have newcomers, we flurry around...talks around the fire....this fulfills me somehow, myself & H may be scattered on these nights but as it winds down, we're together with a handful of friends on our porch reminiscing old times.. and it's good..it's something we can offer to them..I so want them to have good memories of their upbringing....(but it does something for us too)...
This is great! We experience something similar on scout trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimplyAmorous View Post
Another tradition..one of my Husband's...visiting a certain specialty store every year...they decorate like 100 Christmas trees..have a special display for Easter & Christmas..different every year/ beautiful... just something he wants to keep alive, he will remind me the kids will only be this young for a short time, then we visit Daffins candy shop down the road for a treat.

I guess so much of what I am putting on here is family oriented.... this was the life we wanted... .days ago we took them to an Indoor water park, we try to bring an extra friend if we can ...we still have our time alone.. we get off in the adult hot tub!

We often plan day outings ....always a couple family vacations 2 or more nights... we do the Yogi bear Campgrounds...we like cabins in the woods, museums, nature / scenic trails, Fairs, zoos, caves, Movies/ Sight & Sound theaters, Science center in the big city..... bike riding, horse back riding / corn mazes / Haunted hay rides.... Disney every so many years....

Something so simple.. but mention a Smorgasbord... the little one will jump up & down, make squealing noises..dying to go...always a treat.

we'd be more the remodeling people.. can't say it's so bonding & enjoyable when it's going on though...(still work)... but we feel satisfaction when its over / the tools are put away... it's something we did together & saved some $$ - always a plus!

I've always been the one who gets the idea in my head & says.. "hey Honey, I want to go there, lets do THAT"... I research, then plan every detail working around all our schedules... truth is... if I waited on him to plan something.. we'd never leave the house... I don't mind this though... I enjoy getting on TripAdvisor, reading reviews & planning these new adventures.. he always comes with a wonderful attitude, happy to be there... this is all I need..

For a time I was going Gong Ho for just US getting away/ didn't want the kids.. but we've moved back to taking the whole family with us more so .. we realize they will all be gone soon.. then it will just be me & him.. I foresee we'll start taking bus trips or something, try a Boat Cruise once in our lives. Always something new to explore out there.
SA, I can tell from all of the traditions, campfires and family fun that you stoke your marriage enough that trying new things or adventurous things won't add much to the bliss you share with your husband and family. I think you've nailed the secret to a successful marriage naturally. For me it hasn't been as natural. I've had to work at it and I've learned as I've gone on. I'm not like Hambone for whom it isn't work. For me it is something I try hard to master. This thread is about sharing a little of what has worked for me.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton
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post #24 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 11:59 AM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

There is a 10 foot block wall with concertina wire at the edge of my wife's comfort zone. The only adventure I get is probing her defenses.
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post #25 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 05:24 PM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

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For the less adventurous - or those who can't remember the last time they ran - planning trips to 'sights' or just random towns can be an adventure.

Drive to them by back roads rather than a direct, major route. It always amazes me how some people have photo albums of themselves on beaches from around the world, yet have no idea of much of what lies within 50 miles of home. Free stuff you can visit for the price of a tank of fuel.

It gets you out the house and keeps the rot from setting in.
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Love that.

My husband and I try to continue to stay active with hiking and checking out new places. We went mountain biking a few weeks ago and we loved it(my parents watched our son). We're blessed to live in an area that has a lot to offer(beach, mountains, desert all within an hour and a half drive), so we don't have to go far for many different experiences.

A lot of times we don't have a babysitter, so we'll take a number of our adventures with our toddler. We've found a number of really cool neighborhoods to go look at Christmas lights and checked out one this past weekend. We have 2 more planned for the upcoming weekends. I put our son on my back(or my husband takes him) in the carrier and we walk around. It's been really great. We haven't found it to dampen the mood at all and we'll get into "kissing contests" with my son(if I kiss my husband, my son puts out his lips for a kiss, too).

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post #26 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

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Love that.

My husband and I try to continue to stay active with hiking and checking out new places. We went mountain biking a few weeks ago and we loved it(my parents watched our son). We're blessed to live in an area that has a lot to offer(beach, mountains, desert all within an hour and a half drive), so we don't have to go far for many different experiences.
Mountain biking is a great thing to do. I did it for the first time with my son last summer and had a blast.

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A lot of times we don't have a babysitter, so we'll take a number of our adventures with our toddler. We've found a number of really cool neighborhoods to go look at Christmas lights and checked out one this past weekend. We have 2 more planned for the upcoming weekends. I put our son on my back(or my husband takes him) in the carrier and we walk around. It's been really great. We haven't found it to dampen the mood at all and we'll get into "kissing contests" with my son(if I kiss my husband, my son puts out his lips for a kiss, too).

We haven't gone out to look at Christmas lights in ages. We should do that this Christmas. Thanks for the idea!

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton
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post #27 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 11:36 AM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

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We haven't gone out to look at Christmas lights in ages. We should do that this Christmas. Thanks for the idea!
If you ever take a trip with this in mind, want to spend a night or two with this attraction..... this is a place with a fine set up..

Oglebay Park - Wheeling - Reviews of Oglebay Park - TripAdvisor...called the...



....
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post #28 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 12:01 PM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

I've been to Oglebay Park in Wheeling. Great place.
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post #29 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

I just ran across an interesting article on Misogi. It seems to capture what my intent for this thread. Though the article concentrates on physical adversity, I think it works for non-physical adventures as well.

The One-Day-a-Year Fitness Plan: Misogi | Mental Conditioning | OutsideOnline.com

Quote:
But, Fields continues, putting yourself through a difficult, foreign experience can have neurological benefits. “You can exploit the biochemistry of novelty,” he says. “The molecular processes that are engaged during a novel—stressful or traumatic—experience get turned on, and everything gets stamped into long-term memory.” Everything. This is why witnesses remember trivial details. “This effect can be used to advantage in training,” says Fields. Also, he notes, the prefrontal cortex controls the body’s stress, fear, and pain responses. Willing yourself to persist through pain and adversity can strengthen control of those responses. “That,” says Fields, “is what this Japanese method is doing: expanding your limits by strengthening forebrain control.”
I guess what I am recommending is a Marriage Misogi. The key word is novelty. Doing new things that require mental or physical effort with your spouse will help form neural connections with them.

I don't want to not live because of my fear of what could happen. - Laird Hamilton
Listen to your spouse!
Fog v. Love

Last edited by meson; 12-18-2014 at 01:18 PM.
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post #30 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 02:30 PM
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Re: Adventures with Spouse

GF and I are members of an 'Outdoor Adventure Club'. It is a Meetup group. There are so many fun things to do. It's not all outdoor stuff either. There is movie night, trivia night, beach bonfire, over nighters at Refuge cabins, and more. We just had our Outdoor Club Christmas party.
You chose the events that interest you. This past summer, a group hiked and camped the entire length of the Resurrection trail. 36 miles. Most events are far less strenuous. Sometimes a spouse or SO may attend an event that sounds fun to them even though the other can not attend, or is merely not interested in that particular event. It's a fun group, and everyone can find something to enjoy.
Our motto is, "Get Out and Play."
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