Daily Archives: July 9, 2012

Fly Fishing, Marriage & the Risk of Asking for Help

Have you ever asked a loved one to help you with something? I should have known better than to ask my husband to show me how to fly fish. I was already reading The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fly Fishing by Michael D. Shook. And I am an idiot—I’m sorry—a completeidiot when it comes to the sport of fly-fishing.

Christy Hayes

Me in my seriously oversized fly fishing outfit (otherwise known as waders)

We were on vacation. On a river. With all the gear. And he was going anyway. I’d already read the first five chapters, through knots and casting. Now all I needed was the feel of the rod in my hand and the sound of the water. Just me and nature and my most loved one. Why you ask? For my work in progress, of course! I couldn’t care less about fishing, mostly because if I actually caught a fish, I’d have to touch it to get it off the hook and I really didn’t want to touch it.

The first time I’d ever asked him for help was back in college when I was taking accounting for non-majors and he (a finance/risk management major) seemed like the perfect person to help. He loved me. We never fought (remember new love?), and he was way smarter than I was about math. It was our first fight.

Obviously, we made it through, but it set the stage for a lifetime of me asking for help and him seriously making me mad and not being able to relinquish control. The scenario plays itself over and over again whenever he and our son try to do something together. My poor baby! He can’t call the man a control freaking idiot and walk away the way I can. Although now that he’s fifteen, it probably won’t be long.

What is it about spouses? Is it just me? Even when I ask him to help with something simple, something I’m sure he won’t take over, we end up at odds and I end up wishing I’d never asked.

At the end of our lesson when he wrestled the rod from my hands for the hundredth time saying, “Watch me. Like this,” I couldn’t take it any more. I didn’t want to watch him. I wanted to do it myself and figure it out on my own. I guess that’s what happens when two headstrong people vie for control of a situation that requires finesse and patience—two things neither of us possess.

So make me feel better, will you? Tell me about a time when you and your significant other struggled to get along and complete a task. And if you know of any fishing guides out there who’d be willing to answer some pretty basic questions, send them my way, would you? 🙂

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