The Stifling Marriage
You want to travel overseas. You're married to someone who will not fly.
You want to go back to school. Your spouse says, "We need you here." Here might be the kitchen, the office, the store, or even the bank account.
You want to spend Saturdays hiking. You married someone whose idea of a hike is getting the mail from the mailbox.
Marriage is not meant to be stifling. It is meant to provide a sturdy platform from which you can do more and be more than on your own.
Did you just mutter, "Tell that to the stick-in-the-mud I married"? Your husband, wife, or life partner does not make these decisions for you. You make them. You decide to stay on this side of the ocean, to turn down an education, to sit on the sofa instead of hiking.
You might make the choice to keep the peace or to be more supportive than your mate. Then again, you might make the same choice because there is an upside to going along with what your spouse prefers. Hiking, traveling, and education require us to come up with a lot of cash, to prepare our bodies and minds in advance, and to work hard to reap their benefits. All would be much easier if someone else kicked in part of the expense and cheered us on.
Unfortunately, marriage can feel quite stifling while living someone else's idea of a good life.
If you are ready to make the choice to do something important to you, please know that it is OK. Your spouse may experience great discomfort when you do, but this should not stop you. What it should do is drive you to Find Third Alternatives that eliminate the unpleasantness for your mate.
If you go hiking, the unpleasantness is not what you're doing while you're out of the house. It's the loss of your company or the wonderful things you do for your spouse. Find out exactly what your mate sees as the cost. The find a mutually satisfactory alternative way to replace what you will be taking away.
If you go back to school, it is likely your spouse disagrees because of the financial implications or the possibility of the two of you growing apart. Work together on a Third Alternative way to fund your schooling without denying your mate's dreams. Or find a better way to continue growing together than holding back on your own learning. They exist.
Whatever you do, please do not stifle yourself. It's bad for your relationship and your mental health.