April 17, 2013

{Unconventional} Marriage Secrets Day 4

{Unconventional} Marriage Secret # 7:  Have Your Own 'Things'

      I don't mean 'things' in the literal sense like material objects.  We actually strongly suggest against separating belongings like bank accounts, power tools, and fraternity sweatshirts. By 'things' I mean- activities, hobbies, and interests.
      For some reason, we women dream up these fantasies about marriage in our heads where once we tie the knot, except for work, we are with our husband 99% of the time. I really thought was how it would play out. That was my version of Happily Ever After. We would get married then every waking moment possible would be spent together, right? Nope. I remember being so offended when he would want to go do things without me. I took it so personal. I always thought, "Why on earth would he want to do something without me, his precious wife?" It took me the first 2-3 years in our marriage to learn that him wanting to do something outside of me was not because he didn't love me or want to spend time with me. And honestly, every now and then, I still struggle with it sometimes. My own insecurities and fear made me become that sitcom nagging wife that was trying to muzzle her husband and only let him out every now and then. The tighter I would pull, the more he would try to break away. If you don't let your husband lead and be a man, he can lead and be a man--- his divine calling.
      Over time we both have developed our own interests and hobbies. Now that I think about it, we actually have more NOT in common than we have IN common. Over the 8 years we've been married, his interests/activities have included the following: cycling, reading dead theologians, church activities, and now Crossfit. I have dabbled in just about every type of form of exercise and fitness, Bible study groups, my sewing business, and now my blog.  He likes non-fiction books and I barely have time to read. He likes to sit and listen to concerts and tv and I despise it. It seems like we are both always evolving; creating new little facets of ourselves for our partner to explore and learn about. And because we have these things of our own, neither of us is struggling for 'space' or our own identity. We are extremely different people and have grown to appreciate our differences.  We freely give it, without making the other feel guilty. Actually, right now, he is out at a Mavs game and then tomorrow I have Pink Impact, a big women's conference at church.
     Back when we just had one kid and our life was not quite so crazy, Michael had just gotten really interested in cycling. When I say interested, I mean he spent a total of about 12-14 hours per week on his bicycle. Now, looking back, that was pretty extreme. But at the time, we just had one child who was the easiest baby in the world. I kept busy with the gym and playgroups, and so I really didn't think much of it. I remember a mom in playgroup saying, "You let your husband ride his bike that much?????"My response was, "Yes I do. It makes him happy and healthy at the same time. Who am I to try and keep him from something that does that? It's a stress reliever for his hi-stress job and he is much more pleasant to be around when we has ridden and relieved that stress."
    So are there things that you are criticizing your partner for doing? Things that bring him/her joy? Don't you want your partner to have the desires of their heart, just as God wants for all of us?  Do you think that your mate will be much more pleasant to be around if they have some time or things for themselves? Are there things in your heart that you would like to spend some time exploring?  As long as it lines up with scripture, go for it!! Something new and fun will bring something new and fun to the relationship. And that time away will help you feel refreshed and give you some clarity to the every day mundane tasks.

And I am type for him tonight, since he is out--- get the point? :)