I’ve only been married to my husband for a little less than 30 days but prior to taking our vows we’ve shared a life together for a little over 4 years. In this time, I have fallen in love with every little thing I like and also the things I dislike about him. One thing that has always been blatantly obvious to me is the high energy schedule he liked to keep. In the beginning, this high energy schedule was so much apart of the attraction I had to him. His ambition and ability to manage so much and still be so dedicated to his children, his job, and our relationship truly blew my mind. As our relationship continued and our lives began to merge I realized I would most likely never have the husband who is content to go to work each day and his career be the only purpose of his sole existence in life. What did that mean for me? Well, while his approach to life is tremendously admirable it’s not always easy for the spouse to withstand the demands of extracurricular activities/hobbies on top of the everyday hustle.
My husband’s most time-consuming venture outside of work is coaching little league football and basketball. This was a part of who he was long before my existence and upon initially meeting him he was devoting anywhere from 15-20 hours a week meeting the demands and responsibilities of coaching. I’m not exactly a coach potato myself yet somehow this demanding schedule we both kept worked and we found time to tend to and foster the growth of our relationship. I suppose the key word in that is “we found time” and this is what we’re still doing today. We make it a priority to spend time together despite the many hats worn in a day. My husband loves to remind me “there’s no competition and there is no comparison. I am #1” and I love to remind him “his actions will always speak louder than his words and as long as he shows me I will believe it.” Well, perhaps these little reminders we’ve given one another is just enough to keep us both on our toes and consciously reminded that our relationship is worth preserving. He manages to gain my support more and more with each passing year and it is nothing short of his actions proving to me just how worthy he is of the time he spends away from home. Ironically, the more support I show him on his extracurricular affairs the more time he wants to spend with me (see the positive cycle brewing here)? I no longer have to ask him to scale back or say no to a team event after an already busy week and he no longer commits to anything major without talking to me first. We’re in the habit of loving one another the way we want to be loved, showing support on both sides and practicing a mutual respect for our individuality within this marriage.
It’s not as easy as it seems, it takes a lot of communication and a lot of work to get there. I know some are still trying so…
To the skeptical or those who “don’t know how I do it.” The truth is, some days I don’t know either but we both share that same sentiment and I think of him when he’s getting off work going straight to practice. I know he too is tired, and I recognize this and acknowledge I’m not the only one. So does he. To the skeptical, I challenge you to realize it’s a sacrifice for everyone but ultimately happiness is what’s driving us all. Neither one of us are interested in coexisting in this marriage, our goal is active happiness and that isn’t easily captured unless we both are living the lives we’ve always wanted to live. For me, handling dinner 3 or 4 nights a week, reserving quality time around games, or hosting a sleepover for the team is an easy trade when my reward is a husband who is always smiling, so loving, appreciative and excited about life, OUR life that we live together. To the skeptical, I challenge you to identify the root cause of the problem. It very often has little to do with what’s occupying the time and everything to do with how you feel about the time spent and what you’re getting in return. Talk to your partner if you feel like there are no benefits to your support as there always should be on both sides, communication is key!
The last thought I will leave you with:
The energy “the busy” husband pours into his family is nothing less than pure quantifiable evidence that the pursuit of happiness is a real and tangible piece of life to hold for each and every one of us. We can be part of one another’s journey or enemies of the quest. Choosing to be part of the journey and reaping the benefits of happiness is why it works!