Before I got married, I thought weekends would be spent on dates and mini-trips with my husband and other married couples or just spending as much time together as possible.
Boy, was I wrong.
Little did I know my husband was a closet hunting-fanatic and would spend every weekend after we got married either hunting deer or hunting hogs. On the About Me page, I mentioned we had a hunting pack. I’m not exaggerating, we literally have a pack of hunting dogs. Two pitbull catch dogs, blackmouth currs, Catahoulas, and a few Heinz 57s that proved they were gritty enough to hunt with my husband who hunts every chance he gets.
While we were dating, my husband spent whatever free time he had with me. But, unlike with my current job, I worked double shifts on weekends since I was in college full time and worked full time as well. I was a waitress at a local restaurant, and after being there for 3 years, I was the go-to weekend worker. So, we made due with spending my breaks together or seeing each other as much as possible, and dreaming about when we were married and we could spend all of our time together.
We got married November 2nd, right at the beginning of deer season. Literally we came home, and that first weekend my husband was gone hunting. he tried to include me and take me with him, but I’ll let you in on a little secret about him: he’s not a great teacher. I frustrated him by not knowing how to hold a gun properly and wanting to talk in the stand. He got mad when I missed a chance to shoot a buck because I was using his gun. In my defense, I couldn’t use his gun because he had it sighted in differently and he’s half blind and I’m not. (After that, I got my own gun.) Needless to say, I quickly learned if I wanted to hunt, it was best if I went alone.
Deer season ended and I thought “Well, now we can spend time doing something besides hunting!”
Nope, wrong again!
When deer season ended, Hog season opened. For the rest of the year. Me and my husband didn’t go on a date or do anything together from November til July. That’s EIGHT months of spending weekends sitting at home. Alone. With my pug for company.
“Why don’t you go out with your friends?” “Don’t just sit at home, go do something!”
When we got married, I moved almost two hours from my family, my friends, everything I knew. So, it wasn’t just an up and decide to go out kind of thing. So, I spent most of my weekends at home alone. (This became one of those resentful-sore topics I mentioned in my first post.) I became resentful of my husband for leaving me every weekend. I would be mad and blame him for my unhappiness. Guess what happened next. I had a confession:
I AM JEALOUS OF MY HUSBAND’S HOBBY.
I resented hunting for taking my husband away. I thought he was selfish for doing something he loved one day a week, and told him he was a bad husband for “abandoning” his wife on the weekends. In my mind, I had given up everything to move and be married to him. And, in all honesty, I had. But he never told me to stop seeing my friends. He never told me I couldn’t go do something I wanted to do. But, in my strange way of thinking, me staying home and making myself miserable was saving money. I am the “I wont go do this because we can’t afford it, but I’ll resent you for doing something every weekend” person. I’m a terrible person for feeling that way about my husband. After two years of my husband hunting every weekend, I learned something. I treated hunting like a mistress, someone I couldn’t see or touch, but my husband loved it more than me. I felt betrayed and neglected. I felt abandoned. And it took two years to figure out that I was the one in the wrong. Could he have spent one of those weekends with me? Yeah, sure he could have. But who would want to spend time with someone who had resented him from day one? I didn’t realize it until the night of the “Break Down” (see previous post for that whole story) that I learned why he hunted every weekend. That was his release from the stress of the week. When I was nagging him or griping about leaving, he was needing an escape.
My escape is talking. I love to talk. I vent to my husband every day when I get off work. I literally condense my entire day into a 45 minute car ride. I feel better once I have everything out of my brain and on paper/in a blog and apparently onto my husband. I realized I was stressing him out more than anything else. Which leads to my next confession.
MY HUSBAND WAS NOT MY PROBLEM, I AM MY OWN PROBLEM.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we stand in the way of our own happiness. Most young wives will tell you they believe it’s their husband’s one and only job to make them happy. That is not the case. Our husbands are to lead the family. Make decisions for the best interest of his wife and children. Men thrive on approval and encouragement, just like we do. If we are constantly berating them and telling them what they are doing wrong, why would they try and do things right? Think about it, if someone was constantly on you about doing something a certain way, and you never seemed to do it right, would you want to do anything for that person anymore? No, you sure wouldn’t. It’s the same way with marriage. You cannot place all of your hopes and dreams on your husband’s shoulders. If you’re religious, which I am, this bible verse always comes to mind when I think about a husband and wife working together:
2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Although this speaks to believers and non-believers being “yoked” together, it speaks volumes to how a husband and wife should be. We are PARTNERS. Not owner and slave, not dominate and submissive. The wife came from the husband’s rib, not his heel. We are meant to be their support, and encourage them, even when we feel defeated ourselves. The wives are what keeps the family strong and supported. I learned through a very dark and terrible time that the key to my happiness lies within myself: I can choose to be happy. I can choose to be UN-happy. No matter what, it is a conscious choice, and one that I cannot expect my husband to make for me.
Since our last “big” argument, I have learned to enjoy the times I spend with my husband. To be grateful he has a hobby that he loves that doesn’t endanger him. He can pass this hobby onto our children and do this with them. I’ve learned how much a simple thank you means to my husband. Coming home and cooking him dinner without a fuss makes him happy. And that makes me happy. I read somewhere, a small change in a wife’s attitude will lead to a big change in her husband’s.
Guess what? It’s the truth.