It's great to have my cousin Shawn with us today. We've grown up together and he was always way cooler then me because: 1.) he was older, 2.) he listened to "Green Day" and 3.) he could get all the way to the end of Super Mario Brothers without dying.
He's sharing a guest post about he and his wife, Maile. It seems appropriate to end our "marriage week" , (which is sort of what this week turned into by no planning of my own) with this post from a huband's perspective. Enjoy! And thanks Shawn for joining us around my kitchen table, (p.s. I prayed you wouldn't go to hell for listening to G.D.)!
Broke, Broken and Ready to Take a Chance
My wife and I stood in the kitchen in the summer of 2009.
“Well, I guess we both know what we have to do now,” she said.
Considering that I had just told her we were running out of money and that the income from my painting business wasn’t going to pay the bills or get us through the winter, I could only think of a few things that we “both knew we had to do now.”
Try to find me two extra jobs.
Figure out who to borrow more money from.
Throw me out the window.
I waited, holding my breath. But she didn’t put any of those options on the table.
“I guess now is the time to move into your parent’s basement. And you need to try writing full time.”
* * * * *
One of the most tragic things about the life that most of us live is that we have lost our sense of adventure. We’ve fallen for the lie that comfort and stability are worthy goals around which to create a life. And too often we bring those goals into our marriage relationship, putting pressure on each other to conform to whatever model we grew up seeing as safe.
When Maile looked at me and said what she did, a thrill ran through me. Finally I could give it a shot. I felt like something inside of me was waking up, something that had been euthanized a long time ago.
* * * * *
After spending four months in a crowded basement with my wife and four children, we rented a place in the country. I was making a living writing, we had a garden, and God kept providing: work came in steadily…for the first time in a long time we were paying down our debt…and both of our vehicles were given to us.
In the beginning it wasn’t easy. We had become so used to a certain amount of security. Sometimes, when I only had enough work to cover our bills for one more month, panic rose in my chest and I wanted to scream into my pillow. But when I got close to getting a job, Maile persuaded me otherwise.
“Just keep going,” she said. “We’re not done yet.”
In December, two weeks before Christmas, we had $17 in our account. I went to meet with a potential client, wondering why I was dragging my family through all this. Why couldn’t I just get a normal job like so many of my friends? Who did I think I was – what made me so special, that I thought I could live a dream life doing what I loved doing? The night was dark, and by the time I pulled into his driveway I was ready to give up.
He liked my work. He wanted to move forward. He wrote out a check for $1000 on the spot.
* * * * *
My wife had enough confidence in me to give my dream a shot.
She was no longer concerned with keeping up pretenses among her friends, trying to get them to believe we had more money than we actually had.
She was willing for us to try something different, something that looked different, something that from the outside might be misinterpreted as foolish or irresponsible (even though it wasn’t).
What about you? Is it time to set aside your boring life of comfort and predictability and give your spouse the chance to live their dream?