…is good for the Gander.
I’m guessing you have some sort of hobby. Whether it takes you away from the computer or not, outside or inside, you probably have one.
“A good hobby can dispel heartache and give zest to life.” – Russell M. Nelson
Knowing you have a hobby, that hobby probably takes time, money and/or thought to do, all of which are precious resources that your spouse agrees with you expending.
Note that I didn’t say approves. As with everything in marriage, decisions are and ought to be a joint activity. That said, you have to determine and agree as a couple what level of hobby involvement you should each have.
I quickly fell in love with mountain biking myself, and we still enjoy it as a couple and as a family activity.
Rugby, I learned to like, and went with my wife to many games all around Texas and neighboring states. Her activity in club rugby took time: practice twice a week, matches on the weekends, and tournaments on a regular basis. It took money: team dues, travel costs (hotel, airfare, gas), equipment (cleats, bag, clothes), etc.
The main reason I supported her in her endeavors was that it made her happy. She enjoyed it so much. Who was I to deny her joy? Yes, I am her husband, yes, I was a bit jealous of the time spent (I’m still working on being less selfish with her time), but to see her eyes light up was worth everything.
Too often I see husbands leaving their wives to go hunting, or fishing or hang out with friends, all weekend, every weekend. There are 2 major problems with this:
- You’re leaving your wife alone all the time and not taking opportunities to strengthen your marriage (if you don’t date your wife, someone else will)
- You’re not giving her the opportunity to participate in her own hobbies and interests (this is true especially if you have children)
You don’t have to have the same hobbies, you don’t even have to be interested in their hobby. All that’s required is that you support them in an endeavor that will make both of you better. Your support won’t go unnoticed, in a loving partnership, gratitude will be bi-directional.
In their 1985 magazine article Encouragement in Marriage: More Than Just Words, Scott and Marcia Stornetta said:
“It is not important that a wife finds her husband’s stamp collecting as dull as dishwater; what matters is that she appreciates his need to enjoy that hobby.”
As a couple you need to determine a frequency of activity that fits your life and individual needs as a partnership. Don’t leave the mother of your children stranded with kids while you go out and party with your friends. Not all things in life are fair, but you are obligated to be fair to your companion. Otherwise, who will take care of you when you’re old?
Here’s the practical advice:
- Be considerate – Don’t hog all the Saturdays for yourself. Go at times when it is easy for both of you. Find a schedule that compliments each others’ activities (e.g. go rock climbing when she’s at rugby practice)
- Be time conscious – be home when you say you’ll be home. Don’t leave you wife worrying about you. When you say you’ll support her in something, make sure you do. Don’t be late dropping her off or picking up at the airport.
- Be supportive – don’t make fun of your wife’s hobby. You may not think much of it at all, but what you should think of, is her feelings. You should want to help her be happy and want her to feel the fulfillment a hobby can bring. You know it yourself, that’s why you have a hobby. Share the love.
- Be safe – you’re married now. You have responsibilities. Don’t be careless with your life. Many activities are inherently dangerous, make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions and safety measures to bring you home without too much damage.
Above all else: Love Your Wife