Last month we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary and next month will be our seventh year as a couple. (Don’t worry, this isn’t gonna get mushy.) Naturally, we did some looking back and some reflecting on who we were as individuals and the changes and growth we’ve gone through in the years we’ve been together. It’s been pretty mind blowing. Scott and I make an incredible couple, but we were raised totally different. Scott grew up on a farm, I grew up in a cul-de-sac. Sometimes I wonder if I had not been so young and in love, if I would be the least bit interested in four wheelers today. But then he is persuasive... Despite the differences in our upbringing, we have learned that the greatest differences we have is in the way we communicate. I don’t claim to speak for all women, but I do recognize that communication between the two sexes is vastly different. It is something that I have seen in my own marriage. I have seen it with my father my brothers, and with men I have worked with in the past. It seems that we can have the same idea but because we are speaking in languages that are so different, we waste time arguing in circles before we can come to an agreement. During our time as a couple, we’ve learned a few tricks to avoid talking in circles and thought we would pass them along. Of course the tips below work in more than just one instance, but if spring has you itching to sling some mud and your wife shaking her head, we've got some pointers for discussing an ATV purchase with your wife.
There’s no reason to say, “There’s no reason to be worried.”
The most common complaint that I have heard from women about ATVs tends to be about safety issues. Nine times out of ten, the argument I hear is that a friend of a friend was in a wreck. I know this isn’t looking good for your argument, but hear me out. Just like man’s instinct is to be the hunter gatherer who goes out and provides for his family, a woman’s instinct is to protect the health and safety of her family. The point being, this safety stuff is important to us women! So if you want her to jump on board, or better yet be excited
about the purchase of an ATV, there’s no way around it, you’re going to have to address the safety issues. I think in this instance, where most men trip up, is they respond with a dismissive phrase. For example, "Well you could get hurt walking down the street or driving your car." Or plainly, "There's no reason to be scared." Trust me when I say, neither of these phrases are going to help you out. Here's a good personal example: It doesn't matter what context it's in, every time I hear, "You could get hurt driving a car", I automatically want to buy a new car. Both parties lose. Worst case scenario, by using either of the arguments above, she may hear that her fears or safety concerns are irrelevant. You and I may know that was not your intention, but trust me when I say, stay away from either of the above arguments. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you really want to open her mind up you’re going to have to acknowledge that accidents do happen. Don’t try to avoid the safety concerns. Instead, ask questions about what specifically worries her and let her vent any fears. You can help alleviate some of this by doing some research. There are a myriad of safety accessories available for nearly every ATV on the market. Aside from helmets and protective clothing, think nerf bars and kill switches. And more importantly, safe riding techniques. By avoiding riding at night, drinking and driving, riding on paved roads, and show boating, you’ll establish safe riding habits and decrease the risk of accidents. It’s important to show her that you are committed to safety. Keep in mind, that this will probably not be a one time conversation. When it comes up again, don't forget that just like with everything else, the level of safety is directly related to the vigilance of the operator.
An ATV will give you an excuse to spend time together, not time apart.
Scott and I share a lot of hobbies but like a lot of couples, we have each have our own individual interests. For example, I have no more interest in hunting than Scott does in yoga. But we’re committed to supporting and encouraging each other, even in activities which one of us isn't really into. Unfortunately, the hard truth is that when you consider all of the aspects of daily life, it is hard to find time to spend together as a couple. Between work, kids, keeping a house clean and the fridge stocked, it can be hard to just find time to get out to dinner, let alone hobbies that mean spending time apart. The great thing about riding is that it can be just as fun with one rider as it is with two or ten. You can go out and spend the day hill climbing and riding through challenging terrain, racing on either flat terrain or hair scramble trails, or just have a relaxing day riding through easy but scenic trails. It really is one of the most versatile sports out there. To really get your wife on board with buying an ATV (or two), I recommend you approach it as an activity you can do together. When you're discussing an ATV purchase, talk about this scenario (it’s worked on me more than once!): You pack a cooler full of lunch and some snacks, spend all day riding (and hopefully getting at least a little muddy), then watch the sunset and head back into town for a bite at your favorite restaurant. Trust me, there is nothing sexier than my man carving out a whole day for us. And because that day is spent encouraging each other and helping each other to tackle obstacles, we come home feeling like we have a stronger relationship than ever. It’s the ultimate team building activity. Of course, this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of the thoughts that run through every woman’s mind but I think it will really help you out. I can’t promise she will ever come around to buying an ATV but I bet you at least have her considering it. Just do your research, take your time talking it out, and respect each other’s opinions. If all else fails, a pretty helmet and gloves helps.