Tag Archives: time

Wait…this is NOT the person I married

scan0010 - Version 2Do you ever wonder what happened to the person you fell in love with and married?  Are there things about your wife that have changed over the years?  It’s natural for people to change.  Think about yourself…what were you interested in when you were 20 years old?  What types of things did you do with your time?  Now look at today…are you still interested in the same things?  Do you still spend your free time the same way?

**disclaimer…unless I specifically mention something about Julia that has changed, any examples I give are NOT about her…just so we’re clear** :-)

I know I’ve changed.  I used to stay up until 4:30 in the morning every night and would sleep as late as I possibly could.  Now, I’m being wild and crazy if I’m up past 10:15 and am excited and ready to get up at 5:00 in the morning!  Also, I used to HATE any form of exercise…running specifically.  Now, I LOVE it!  I got into running several years ago and would go 4 -5 times a week eventually racing in a marathon.  Now I’m totally into Crossfit and do it 5 times a week!  It would be easy to look at me and say that I’m not the same person I was back when I got married…because I’m not!  I’ve changed in so many ways.

It makes sense if you think about it though.  When you’re young, you’re still learning who you are, who you want to be, and what’s important to you.  As you grow up, get a job, and start a family, your priorities change and so do your interests and actions.  I’ve seen this in Julia too.  When we were dating, she was “very interested” in camping, hiking, and outdoor activities.  She hadn’t done it growing up, but I had and she wanted to do it too.  As we grew in our marriage, she decided that she really didn’t like it…at all.  So, even though hiking and camping was a big part of our dating relationship, in the last 5 years, I think we’ve camped together once.

I’m guessing guys reading this may have something they feel that has changed about their wives since they’ve been married.  So, is this kind of a bait and switch?  Do you feel cheated?  Did you fall in love with your wife solely because of her long brown hair, but since then she cut it short and dyed it blonde?  If that’s the case then that’s something you’re going to have to work through.  But HOPEFULLY it was more than one or two specific things that made you fall in love in the first place.  Hopefully a couple things about them changing is nothing compared to the complete package of the person they are.

greek_letter_delta_rectangle_decalHere’s what you need to do…EMBRACE THE CHANGE!  Your wife is growing as a person and finding out who she really is.  I fell in love with Julia because of who she is, not because of her singing voice, her love of reading, her looks, her intelligence, her ultimate frisbee skills, or her love of camping.  I married her because God brought us together and there is NO ONE I would rather spend my life with.  She makes me a better person and is my best friend, and those are things that will NEVER change.  I love her way more now than I did when we first got married, and I’m proud of the woman she has become.

My challenge to you:

If there is something about your wife that you used to like which has changed over time, focus on who she is as a whole.  Don’t lament the long brown hair she used to have, the way she used to love to travel but doesn’t now, the the skinny legs that she used to have, or that she used to like the same movies as you but doesn’t anymore.  Instead, love her for who she is now.  Remember that God has created her to be that way and he has made her to be your wife.

My secondary challenge is this…think about how YOU have changed.  Some ways may be for good, but some may not.  What attracted your wife to you originally?  Was it your humor, personality, looks, confidence, the way you pursued her, the way you paid attention to her.  Some of these (if they’ve changed…like looks) you can’t do much about.  But, some of them could change due to laziness or a lack of focus.  So…think about what may have changed in YOU that she may miss…and see if you can do anything to get it back!

I love football more than my wife

Watching-football-on-TVOk guys, it’s that time of the year again!  Break out the cold drinks, chips, remote control , and the la-z-boy because it’s football season!  My favorite sport to watch all year is NFL football, and I get so excited when September comes around…as I know many of you men do too.  Even though I love it, and even though I cheer for my Falcons, Eagles, and Yellow Jackets, I believe there is a hidden downside that many people don’t recognize, and often don’t choose to care about.

Just like eating warm Krispy Kreme donuts, watching football can be a lot of fun.  However, if you don’t show restraint in how much you consume, you may find yourself dealing with other side effects that you didn’t want.  What I’m talking about is balance in life.  Let’s picture a guy who is WAY into his football watching.  Saturday, college football is on TV all day long.  Sunday, NFL is on all day long.  And of course, he can’t miss the Monday night game.  And oh…this week there is a Thursday game too.  Plus, don’t forget about all the ESPN update shows in the middle that analyze what’s happened and is going to happen.  Realistically, this can very easily add up to 25-30 hours of football watching per week!  So, outside of work, sleeping, commuting, and watching football, how much time is this guy devoting to meaningful conversation or activities with his wife and kids?  Probably not much…because there is not much left.

Now, most of you probably aren’t like this guy.  But, still I would venture a guess that MANY guys reading this will watch 1 maybe 2 games on a Saturday, 1 maybe 2 games on a Sunday, and maybe one more during the week.  That’s easily somewhere between 10 and 20 hours per week.  Again the question is…how much time is left for the family?

Now, don’t think I’m against football because I’m not.  Often I end up watching a LOT just because it’s there, and I love it.  Julia always rejoices though when February comes around and there is no more to watch.  Even if she’s partially joking about celebrating it being over, that means some part of her feels neglected during that time…and I hate that.  I think actions sometimes say something that we would never put into words.  And if I’m being honest, there are some weeks where my actions have spoken loud and clear to Julia telling her that I love football more than her.  And for me…that’s just not acceptable.

So, here’s my plan that I try to go by…  On any given day, I pick out which game I am most interested in and ONLY watch that one.  If she’s going to be gone, maybe I’ll watch more.  Or, if she’s going out that night, maybe I’ll TIVO a game and watch it when she leaves.  And I try to make a point of spending time with her and Eli whenever I can.

My challenge to you:

If you love watching football, think about how much time you spend doing it.  Think about what message it sends to your wife.  And evaluate if you need to change something up.  Remember what is important!  At the end of your life, are you more likely to think back and wish that you spent MORE time watching football?  Or are you more likely to wish you spent more quality time with your wife and kids?

Yes, I would LOVE to watch that reality TV show about dancing with you

couple-watching-tv_725x377-1360355188So, you want to have a closer relationship with your wife huh?  Here’s something that can help.  Find something you can share an interest in.  If you each always pursue what YOU want to do, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to share life together.  Having an activity, sport, TV show, or hobby that you’re both interested in is a GREAT way to spend more time together and connect better.

Couple-ReadingIt’s tough for me to write about this subject because, to be honest, I have a lot of room for improvement in it.  I did read Twilight (ok) and The Host (pretty good), but on the whole I have a hard time choosing to read the types of books she’s interested in reading.  We have a few TV shows that we both enjoy (Amazing Race, Modern Family, Survivor), but on the whole my TV preferences are MUCH different than hers.  Same with movies…I like explosions and adventure.  National Treasure is probably the archetype for my ideal movie…whereas hers is Lars and the Real Girl.

I KNOW that I should suck it up and watch So You Think You Can Dance, or Parenthood, or Celebrity Game Night, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I know that I should read more books that she reads as a way to understand and connect with her more.  I know that I should sit through watching The Tree of Life as a way to understand more about what she loves, but I just haven’t.

tennisfansHow great would it be if I put aside what I wanted to do and decided to pursue an interest in something she was interested in.  Or if we both decided to get into a new hobby together (dancing, painting, etc).

My advice to you:
Try out some of the things your wife is into.  Even if it is not something you’re interested in, try it out as a way to connect with her more.  And talk with her about finding a new activity that you both could get into and try it together.  Even if you don’t fall in love with the new activity, at least you’re experiencing it together…which can be fun.

Sometimes you just need to spend time together

One way people receive love is through quality time.  (See earlier post for thoughts on love languages)  This basically means spending time together that is meaningful.  Talking, sharing an experience, or doing something fun together are all ways to show this.

IMG_1708This is one of Julia’s main love languages so I try to make sure I’m meeting this need as much as I can.  I try to schedule dates out ahead of time a couple times a month.  We try to eat together as a family whenever possible.  We always make sure we have a chance to get away just us for some sort of trip at least once a year.  And no matter how busy we get, it is always a priority to make sure we have some evenings each week with nothing planned…so we can be at home together.

If you need help coming up with some ideas to incorporate this into your life…here are some to get you started…

  • Going on a date
  • Having meals together as a family and talking about your day
  • Talking with your wife after the kids are in bed
  • Going on a family vacation
  • Going on a trip as a couple
  • Going out to eat
  • Reading a book out loud with your wife or family
  • Playing a game or sport together
  • Going shopping for something together

If this is one of the ways your wife receives love, make sure you are working this into your life on a regular basis.