J and I will have been married for six years next month. And we are coming off of an exhausting spring of working in our jobs. Lots of working, meaning we haven’t really connected as a couple for a few months. So we finally had some time to chat as the school year is winding down for my teacher husband and we couldn’t think of anything to talk about. So I asked what we had in common that we could do together to reconnect. And…we came up short. Here’s what we like to do together:
- sleeping (we wasted so many nap opportunities before we became parents)
- cooking (the kitchen is one place we are nearly guaranteed to get along in, so we tend to go there when we’re struggling to “be on the same page” with just about anything)
- people watching (ok, really it’s just judging, but we’re trying to be all Christian about it)
Oh, that is real rough, y’all. J and I were struggling to find common interests. So I thought about for another day and came up with two more:
- going on walks (with lil O in the stroller and looking at the landscape and shouting at passing dogs, it gives us time to talk)
- rodeo (no, neither of us had rodeo, or frankly, any ranching experiences as children. We’re just into it. It doesn’t have to make sense.) – and we’re planning to attend a rodeo in July and another in August
But we used to have common interests, right? What did we do on dates pre-marriage and pre-baby? What did we do!?
Then I remembered one time we got a Groupon for a martial arts place to try kickboxing. I got the pink gloves and Jim got black. The first session was an hour long. We get in it, and it is not easy. We are breathing hard, sweating – and it’s only the warm-up. Good Lord, help us. We haven’t even touched the gloves or punched somebody and we’re already dying. Then we start doing some up-down movements and Jim looks at me, practically green in the face. He whispers that he’s sneaking out to the bathroom. I figure, he’ll be gone 10 minutes. HE WAS GONE THE REST OF THE SESSION: 30 MINUTES. OMG. I figured he had to be lying on the bathroom floor, dead from a heart attack. I was seriously freaking out and about ready to run into the men’s room, when he shows back up. I ask if he’s ok. And he very calmly explains that he just lost his entire dinner – and not via vomit. I want to be empathetic, but I just barely hold in my burst of laughter. We try to get out of that place real quick, with staff calling out, “Don’t you want a schedule for when we host classes?” Uh, no. No, we don’t. (LOL – I’m in tears from laughing so hard as I write this.)
Alright…so enough of that. Let the common interest brainstorming commence!
J: Do you want to golf?
K: No. Do you?
K: Then why did you offer it?
J: I’d be willing to suck it up if you were interested.
(insert heartwarming moment here – and laughter)
J: Do you want to take a cooking class?
J: Ok, here’s a list of classes they’re offering this summer at the community college.
K: (looks) Um…I don’t like any of these.
So I realize my husband is offering all these suggestions and I keep shooting them down. Which makes me the issue. How can we find common ground? Well, I could shut up and suck it up. But that’s easier said than done (mostly because I obviously have a bad attitude). So whenever I’m stuck and struggling to change, I search for support. And on this day, I searched for Bible verses about compromise and submission (voluntarily choosing to be led) in marriage. (I love the Internet and Google search.) Here’s what I got for guidance:
- Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
- Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:24
- Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
- Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
- Let each of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33
So here’s to me taking a cooking class that, while the description doesn’t necessarily excite me, will probably turn out to be just fine and give us some quality date time and conversation guidance. But we need some suggestions. So, what things do you and your spouse like to do together? (I’ll try to not be judge-y and actually consider them viable options.)