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Significant Other climbing with other climbing partners


Original Post
Abs Zen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Hey Ladies - 
Just curious to hear your insights and experiences and also looking for advice. You bond with your climbing partner significantly during climbs and a big level of trust is created after all you are trusting them your life to belay you. Plus when you have accomplished that climb, they are the first person you share your sheer joy and high-five with. If that climbing partner is not your significant other, what are the odds of developing much more than just a climbing relationship? 
Since this seems to be a growing concern on some of us ladies here about our significant others climbing with other climbing partners, I want to understand what are the etiquette on when it is not okay to have a regular climbing partner of the opposite sex? When is it really OFF-LIMITS? I have seen two healthy relationships disintegrate when one of the partners climbed with somebody other than their own. Yes, a healthy marriage disintegrated when one partner stayed home caring for the newborn while her husband climbed with another member of opposite sex. If if it can happen to a healthy marriage, it can happen to anybody. 
I completely trust my fiance but being in a long distance relationship I worry about his regular climbing partner of opposite sex. I dont want him to not have a good climbing partner but the bond grows and when you are belaying for multiple climbs consistently you spend a significant amount of time bonding, sharing stories, etc and not to mention look at the butt of the person you are belaying. My fiance tells me everyday about the stories his climbing partner shares like her 4 newborn kittens, etc or who her room mate is dating, etc. Plus she is 15 years younger to him and I suspect has a crush on him.  I dont want him to not climb with her but I dont want him to climb with her every single time for hours together. 
Any advice? thoughts?

Admin: Please feel free to remove this post if not appropriate. 

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

Everything will be fixed by getting married.

If that doesn't fix it, having kids will definitely fix it.

Abs Zen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0
Mae Rae wrote: Everything will be fixed by getting married.

If that doesn't fix it, having kids will definitely fix it.

Thanks. We are working on having him relocate to California from DC and then plan on our wedding. In the meantime I dont want his "belaytionship" to take a toll on our relationship.  :) 

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

Please don't take my advice.

Abs Zen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0
Mae Rae wrote: Please don't take my advice.

ha ha ha I know you were kidding. :) But I really I want to know how often belaytionships progress to new relationships or break existing ones.  I want my fiance to enjoy his passion but not at the cost of our relationship. 

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110

Just trust him. Talk to him and not us.

Edited to add: If you completely trusted him, you wouldn't have posted this thread... just my $0.02

Chuck Parks · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 2,150

If this helps any, I can offer some perspective from the other side of the fence.

My wife doesn't climb. I go off and climb alone with other women all the time. I've even gone out of state on week-long trips with some other woman. Never been an issue. If it ever was an issue with her, she knows I would amend or cancel plans to suit her needs. Which is probably one of the reasons why it never is an issue.

I've never had an exclusive female partner though. I'm too much of a climbing whore to ever stick with just one partner. Maybe if I only ever climbed with one person, and that person was female, she might feel differently.

I also think the fact that you climb adds to the jealousy. When I go climbing, my wife is glad to have me out of her hair for the day. Then I come back home all exhausted and compliant. If she climbed, then she'd hear about all the cool stuff we did and feel like she was missing out.

Other couples I climb with seem to have very different rules. Some wives will back out of climbing with me if their husband can't go along. Others leave his ass behind without a moment's hesitation.

I guess my point is you two need to communicate and figure out what works for both of you in your relationship. I've been married a long time, and I know lots of other couples who have as well. We all have very different expectations and boundaries in our relationships, hammered out through years of trail and error. The only "right" answer is the one that works for the both of you.

On the bright side, sorting this thing out is great practice for your marriage. That's all a marriage is really in the end -- resolving one conflict after another until one or both of you dies. Mazel tov!

Abs Zen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0
Carla R wrote: Just trust him. Talk to him and not us.

Edited to add: If you completely trusted him, you wouldn't have posted this thread... just my $0.02

Hi Carla -  Thanks for your response. Yes, I trust him with my gut but want to know other people's insights, experience and advice. 

Long distance is difficult to navigate. :( 

michael s... · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 60

If climbing with someone else results in a relationship ending, I doubt the climbing was the issue.

Tomily ma · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 305

Not a lady, but married with kids. Did a long distance thing too pre marriage. 
Absolute Zen wrote:Hey Ladies - 
Yes, a healthy marriage disintegrated when one partner stayed home caring for the newborn while her husband climbed with another member of opposite sex. If if it can happen to a healthy marriage, it can happen to anybody. 
If a guy does this, he is a grade A asshole. She is probably better off without him. If your wife carries your baby, gives birth to it, and then cares for it (was going to include gory details, but didn’t want to get flagged) and you leave her for any reason (let alone another woman) then you should have gotten a vasectomy a long time ago. She sahould even tell her kid, your dad is a loser don’t be like him. 
I sort of trust my fiance but being in a long distance relationship I worry about his regular climbing partner of opposite sex.
You totally contradict yourself here. Fixed. Long distance relationships require lots of trust but so do all relationships.  They are hard whether climbers or otherwise. Hash it out now or forever hold you peace. 
Mikey Wally · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2014 · Points: 4,872

I don't identify as a lady, so sorry I'm replying to your thread.  But I don't think there is any specific etiquette, it's up to the individuals that formed partnerships to define.  What is ok for you might not be ok for someone else.  You should just talk to your fiance.  Maybe let them know how you feel.

Katie K · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

I really want to give you productive advice in a non-snarky way....

Let's see...

Um....how do I do this

You need to talk to your finacee. If you're this concerned, don't ask internet strangers (I noticed this is your only post on MP).

A few points it might serve you well to understand: 

  • It's hard to find climbing mentors/good partners. Pure statistics, it's even harder for female climbers to find other female climbing mentors. Don't assume she has a crush just because she's climbing with a man. That's kind of insulting (though.... it's possible, just like any other person your man knows). If you're worried about why your partner wants to climb with her, TALK TO HIM.
  • I have literally never looked at a partner and thought "ooh nice butt" because that's not at all what I'm focused on when I'm out on the rock (to be fair... skilled hands though? Yes, please). But seriously. Climbing is not an inherently sexy sport. There's a lot of grunting and bad angles. If you're worried that your partner will fall for someone because he saw their butt a lot, YOU NEED TO TALK TO HIM.
  • Climbing does foster a unique (some would say intimate) connection, but in my opinion it's not inherently gendered. I'd foster a guess that there are a decent amount of significant others at home begrudgingly taking care of baby while their male partners climb with male partners. Seriously. Climbing and mountaineering relationships can be intense and hard to understand for some people, regardless of the sexes involved. Consider getting to know her as a person if she's really a major part of his life. Climbers like to eat- invite her over for dinner sometime.
What's the etiquette on when it's not OK to have a climbing partner of the opposite sex? Never. It's always OK if that dynamic fits well within your personal life and climbing pursuits
What's the etiquette on being jealous of the people your significant other spends time with? Because THAT is the real issue here, and only you two (three?) can hash out what that looks like for you. You may or may not be justified in your concern, but it's not climbing's fault.
Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,095
Absolute Zen wrote:Hey Ladies - 
Just curious to hear your insights and experiences and also looking for advice. You bond with your climbing partner significantly during climbs and a big level of trust is created after all you are trusting them your life to belay you. Plus when you have accomplished that climb, they are the first person you share your sheer joy and high-five with. If that climbing partner is not your significant other, what are the odds of developing much more than just a climbing relationship? 
Since this seems to be a growing concern on some of us ladies here about our significant others climbing with other climbing partners, I want to understand what are the etiquette on when it is not okay to have a regular climbing partner of the opposite sex? When is it really OFF-LIMITS? I have seen two healthy relationships disintegrate when one of the partners climbed with somebody other than their own. Yes, a healthy marriage disintegrated when one partner stayed home caring for the newborn while her husband climbed with another member of opposite sex. If if it can happen to a healthy marriage, it can happen to anybody. 
I completely trust my fiance but being in a long distance relationship I worry about his regular climbing partner of opposite sex. I dont want him to not have a good climbing partner but the bond grows and when you are belaying for multiple climbs consistently you spend a significant amount of time bonding, sharing stories, etc and not to mention look at the butt of the person you are belaying. My fiance tells me everyday about the stories his climbing partner shares like her 4 newborn kittens, etc or who her room mate is dating, etc. Plus she is 15 years younger to him and I suspect has a crush on him.  I dont want him to not climb with her but I dont want him to climb with her every single time for hours together. 
Any advice? thoughts?

Admin: Please feel free to remove this post if not appropriate. 

My husband climbed with other people, females included, for a few weeks right after I had each of our kids.  It was no big deal because I trust him.  I did feel some jealousy, but it was limited to the fact that he didn't have to gain a bunch of weight and lose strength in exchange for these delightful babies.  


I don't think any truly HEALTHY relationship could be tanked over opposite sex climbing partners, especially when it's a temporary situation.  
Brother Numsie · · Nepal · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 905

My advice: if you partner up with a member of the opposite sex while married,you also need to double the effort on the spouse as well, not just ride the status quo.

Bill Shubert · · Lexington, MA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 55

I think you're being paranoid. Climbing is climbing and romantic relationships are romantic relationships. If a man was going to cheat with his climbing partner, then he was also going to cheat with a coworker, or a friend, or whatever. Speaking as somebody whose wife doesn't climb, who has had female climbing partners, and who never slept with any of them.

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110
Absolute Zen wrote:

Hi Carla -  Thanks for your response. Yes, I trust him with my gut but want to know other people's insights, experience and advice. 

Long distance is difficult to navigate. :( 

I am in a long-distance relationship currently and my boyfriend doesn't climb, he has zero interest. I mostly climb with men, some single, some not, and some I've actually slept with in the past. We're all adults. I have no interest in being romantic with anyone except for my boyfriend and he knows that. We've communicated about our needs and boundaries and if he wasn't ok with my hobbies or who I climb with, that would be a big red flag.

JUST TALK TO YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. seriously. it's not that hard. if you want a healthy relationship you need to get vulnerable and speak to him.
wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 88

If I am occupied one weekend, I sometimes recommend that my husband climb with one of my female climbing partners.  He has even shared a tent with one or two, on occasion.  I also climb with men regularly.  Never even thought anything of it because we are secure in our marriage.

I am only jealous in the fact that I am not able to climb myself that particular weekend!

On the other hand, if someone DID make me feel uncomfortable, I would bring it up with him directly.  I am married to a pretty good looking man, IMO, and I do catch people checking him out.  I call him my trophy husband.  Who could blame them?

Crag Hag · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

I'm in a long distance relationship.

Well, we are ~2 hours apart so I'm not sure if that classifies as a legitimate long distance relationship or not... but then again we are more limited to seeing each other due to my partner frequently traveling for work... So I'm saying it's legit.  Anyway, we both climb. Of course we would rather climb with each other, but unfortunately that is not always an option. I would much prefer him get outside and find new friends versus not climbing at all because of me. So I'm stoked he is able to find quality, competent, and safe people to climb with regardless of their sexual orientation.  At the end of the day, we both love to climb and love each other - simply because we have a solid foundation of trust, empathy and consideration. We always communicate and are extremely transparent in our relationship (especially being long distance) so there is not a reason to doubt/have an ulterior motive other than enjoy nature, be around good people and have fun.

...Now go get married and have kids.
   

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 768

Over 40 years in with the same guy, over 25 married, now.

You have heaps of good replies, upstream. The sad fact is, a great many relationships fail. A great many don't, though...

Over the decades, we have completely trusted each other's faithfulness. It has to be mutual, and rock solid, non negotiable. It also helps to think of your commitment to being married, not just the person. The one you marry isn't who you'll be living with down the road, and you may go through stretches where you flat out hate each other. If your ring reminds you of your oath to something more than the asshole you're stuck with at that moment, it can help you stick with the big picture, and remember that it's a partnership.

The vast majority of my friends have been men. I've gone on trips with them, camped with them, even shared a cabin....and we have had The Talk. I'm not available. Period. Oddly? This has made the friendships much deeper. Guys have opened up to me in ways that they would never have done otherwise.

My best friend, the one I am closer to than I've ever been with anyone? A climbing partner. I care for this man more than anyone except my child. Why? Because it is a life and death relationship. We saved each other's lives, literally, as it happens.

Your situation, and that for many of us, I think is much like being in the military, or a first responder. It is very intense, and for me, that's a very special sort of intimacy. I love my husband. But we aren't in life and death stuff together.

Best wishes to you both!

And for the record? I think climbing bodies, any age, any gender, any, anything, are very beautiful, and yeah, many are hotter than hell! See, if every one of them has my total respect? That stunningness can be acknowledged. :-)

Best, Helen

Shawn Adrian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2018 · Points: 5
Abs Zen wrote:I completely trust my fiance but being in a long distance relationship I worry about his regular climbing partner of opposite sex. I don't want him to not have a good climbing partner but the bond grows and when you are belaying for multiple climbs consistently you spend a significant amount of time bonding, sharing stories, etc and not to mention look at the butt of the person you are belaying. My fiance tells me everyday about the stories his climbing partner shares like her 4 newborn kittens, etc or who her room mate is dating, etc. Plus she is 15 years younger to him and I suspect has a crush on him.  

Hmmm.  Long distance. Climbing all the time.  Bonding over shared stories. 15 years younger than him.  I think you've answered your question yourself, champ: he's already probably cheating on you.  Hate to break it to you, but "Signs Point to Yes" is definitely coming up on that Magic 8-Ball.


Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Chuck Parks wrote: When I go climbing, my wife is glad to have me out of her hair for the day.

Exactly this. Also, she trusts me, and has that little extra security due to the fact that she can smell me before I even make it up the stairs - that lovely perfume if of sweat, dirt, lichen, sun-screen and bug spray - my hands look like I was in a bare knuckle boxing match, am barely keeping my eyes open, dehydrated and starving makes anything of the sort laughable.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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