Accompanying wife on ‘her’ vacation gives husband leverage

I once worked for a guy who told me that business is all about leverage. Either you have it or you don’t.

It would have been a great lesson had I not been asking for a raise at the time. Turns out my boss had leverage. I did not.

Marriage is a lot like business. In marriage either you have leverage or you don’t. In my marriage, my wife has leverage and I don’t.

Until now.

After many, many, many years of marriage, I am proud to say that I finally have leverage.

It’s life-changing, is what it is.

The reason I now have leverage in our relationship is because my wife decided that we should visit the Miraval Resort located in the desert somewhere north of Tucson, Arizona.

The Miraval Resort is one of those places where people go to get away from the pressures of day-to-day life. It’s one of those places where people go to rediscover themselves and to recharge their batteries.

As you might expect, the Miraval Resort is popular with women. This might be an exaggeration, but during our stay I would say that the ratio of women to men was about 50-1.

If someone accidentally played a song from the “Mama Mia” soundtrack on their cellphone, I’m pretty sure chaos would ensue.

There were a lot of women at the Miraval Resort, is what I’m saying.

When you visit Miraval, you have the option of taking part in a whole host of activities, so naturally, my wife signed us up for as many as she could.

One of the activities my wife signed us up for was zip-lining across the desert. When my wife told me that we would be 45 feet up in the air, I reminded her that I was uneasy with heights and said that I didn’t want to zip-line across the desert.

Mike and Lee Pound seconds after stepped off a zipline platform. Lee's arms are hanging free and Mike is holding on for dear life.
Lee and I have just stepped off the zipline platform. Note that Lee has her arms hanging free while I am holding on for dear life.

“Fine,” my wife said, “I’ll go by myself.”

But she said it in a tone that meant, “I can’t believe you are going to make me zip-line across the desert by myself. I guess you have given up on any chance of getting any leverage in this marriage.”

It was, as always, a heck of a tone.

The second activity my wife signed us up for was something called “A Swing and a Prayer.” Here’s what happens during “A Swing and a Prayer”: You get hoisted 35 feet into the air, and when the instructor tells you to, you let go of a rope, which sends you swinging through air like a human pinata.

Mike Pound wearing a blue helmut strapped into a harness suspended 35 feet above the Arizona desert waiting to be told to let go of a rope and plunge to his death
Against my will, I am hanging 35 feet above the desert waiting to die.

It’s not as fun as it sounds.

I told my wife that I didn’t want to do that, either, and she said — using the same tone she used earlier — that she would go by herself.

So, at about 8:30 this past Saturday morning I was hanging in the air some 35 feet above the desert wondering how in the world I got there. Then, when the instructor told me to drop the rope, I said — using my best Chevy Chase voice — “THIS IS CRAZY, THIS IS CRAZY, THIS IS CRAZY,” and let go.

I’m not sure, but I think at some point I may have sobbed.

A couple of hours later I was climbing up a pole to get to a large platform located 45 feet in the air. Then, a few minutes later, my wife and I stepped off the platform and zoomed across the desert.

I’m not sure, but I think at some point I  may have wet myself.

Mike and Lee Pound posing in their zipline helmets after they're both back on the ground.
The two of us back on the ground. Lee’s expression says “Let’s do this again” mine says, “Thank God I’ve lived to have another beer”.

But now, for the first time, I have leverage in our marriage, which is nice.

I just wish I knew what to do with it.