Three Taverns Church

How We Made Our Marriage Better – Part 2: We got a life (of our own)

7 Comments

My wife and I used to think that we should do just about everything together. I’m sure that many of you seasoned marriage veterans read that and laughed…good! That means part 2 of this series actually works, because part 2 is all about learning to pursue your own interests. We’ve had to learn the hard way that we are not the same person, and that we don’t have identical passions. Some of you are shaking your head and saying, “Duh.”

Let me give you an example. My wife loves to watch Friends, her favorite show of all time. I love the show too, but I’ve always been a reader and some nights I just want to pick up a good book and rest under a blanket. We have argued about this more than once because my wife wanted to watch TV and I wanted to sit down and read (which I can’t do very well with the TV on). We have learned that it’s OK for me to go to the bedroom and read while she watches TV; we used to think this meant we didn’t love each other or something. But apparently it’s OK to be apart while you’re at home together…the universe will not implode.

Let me give you another example: I went snowshoeing today (that was a blast, by the way…but man is it cold at 6,000 feet with the wind blowing) with a group from my church. My wife is not very ‘outdoorsy’ and she probably would have hated the weather conditions; I loved it! But over the past year I realized that I had sacrificed my love of the outdoors because my wife isn’t as “into it” as I am…and I thought that if I loved her I should be with her all the time, so I quit hiking, backpacking, fishing, just about everything. It’s important for you to know that she put no pressure on me whatsoever to quit any of those things. I did that to myself in a misguided attempt to be a ‘good husband’. Don’t be dumb like me. If you like doing something that your spouse or significant other doesn’t enjoy doing, that’s ok. It’s healthy to pursue your own interests, it will make you a happier person…and that will make your significant other happy, too.

While talking this topic over with my snowshoeing group I realized that some of you have the opposite problem: You don’t do anything together as a couple! Apparently some folks get so busy with their  pursuits, hobbies, careers, and kids that they almost never see each other or spend time with each other. If that’s you, I want you to know that now my head is shaking at you. Well, not really, but I don’t understand why you have that particular problem. You didn’t marry your job, your hobbies, or your kids. While I can’t give you advice, I would suggest that you re-prioritize your life so that you and your spouse have some ‘together’ time. You’ve probably heard that suggestion before. In fact, you’ve probably heard it so often that you think it’s just another cliché. It might be, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Spend time with your spouse, alone, and don’t talk about the kids.

Have any of you had to overcome either side of this challenge (too much time together/not enough time together)? What did you do?

Rabid Mongoose

 

7 thoughts on “How We Made Our Marriage Better – Part 2: We got a life (of our own)

  1. I like this statement: Don’t be dumb like me. Nicely writen and I love the personal examples.

  2. Good post R.M. Our problem was not enough time together. Well, really that was “my problem”…for years she practically begged me to invest more and spend more quality time together. “My” problem became “our” problem, and it’s been interesting to negotiate trying to find the proper balance.

    One thing I’ve worked towards is finding ways to have “shared interests.” Blogging is an example. I was actually planning to blog about that (shared interests) today or tomorrow…your post just confirmed that thought for me. 🙂

    We definitely spend more time “together” now than at any other time in our marriage, but I’ve really gone from one extreme to the other, and this post is a good reminder for me to really work towards balance!

    As always, great post! You’ll be glad to know I’m sharing some of your info. from “8 steps to fight porn addiction” with a group of teen boys and men in the week to come. I may email you about some of the info if you don’t mind.

    • Wow, thanks, please share anything you see fit. One of my greatest burdens these days is teen access to pornography ‘support groups’. It’s easy for adults to attend these groups (though many may not), but teenagers have almost no access to those kinds of groups.

      Re: spending time with our spouses, I suspect that a perfect balance may not always be possible, but the fact that you are aware of the situation is a HUGE deal. I was ignorant for a long time…

  3. I finally got around to writing my post about the “flip side” of the equation:

    http://newviewfromhere.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/sharing-is-caring/

    Man, the problem teens have with pornography is unbelievable. The end results are going to be catastrophic as access is so easy and so early. It’s affecting guys and girls at younger and younger ages.

    One of the young men who’s struggling just became a Christian last year. He’s serious about his walk, but this has been a “secret sin” that has been crushing him. His words to me were, “it’s killing me and I’m sick and tired of it.” If this is the battle at 14, imagine what it will be like at 24, 34, 44, etc. for the ones who never seek help.

    Good news is, victory is found in Christ when we get serious about finding victory in our lives!

    • Yeah…watching the next 20-30 years as kids grow up with immediate and constant access to pornography is going to be intereseting, to say the least.

      • I may get inspired by your blog and this point to go ahead and get a degree in counseling, if for no other reason than to make this a specialty…we will see many, many broken men and families in the years to come….scary to think of, with things as difficult as they already are now!

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