"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Friday, October 20, 2017

Togetherness {day 20}

One of my favorite books about marriage (that I didn’t read until last year) is A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. I don’t want to ruin my favorite part for those of you who haven’t read it yet, but there was another part that has stuck with me. (If you do read it, be warned that it starts off slow. But power through and it’ll be worth it!)

Sheldon and his wife talked about what they thought was the problem of failed love. They thought the answer was “creeping separateness” - doing things on your own, having your own interests. Instead of doing everything together, you gradually end up doing more things on your own. While adultery or boredom or something else might happen, Sheldon and his wife came to the conclusion that it was first caused by “the creeping separateness: the failure behind the failure” (page 37).

Gosh, I can totally see that. It's so easy to get caught up in our own hobbies, where one spouse is reading a book and and the other is watching random videos, or one spouse is exercising while the other is crafting it up. All of that is fine, as long as you’re doing things together too. But I know how easy it is to let a day or two go by and realize we haven't done much with our spouse. Complicated work schedules and needy children can make couple time seem nearly impossible sometimes.

When Logan and I were dating early on in our relationship, I thought it was so strange how much he liked watching NASCAR races. I mean, all they do is drive around in circles. What’s the fun in that? I would watch the races with him (out of a sense of obligation) but not really enjoy it.

But that was several years ago. Although he doesn’t watch every single race anymore, there was a time where I actually liked watching NASCAR with him. Turns out it’s a lot more than guys just driving around. Logan had his favorite driver, and I picked a favorite too, so it was fun having “my driver” beat his. (I liked Carl Edwards and Logan has always been a big fan of Dale Earnhardt, Jr….in case you were curious.)

My sport growing up was soccer. Logan actually played for a couple years in elementary school, but other than, he didn’t really care about soccer - until we started dating. I played for our high school, and I still remember Logan coming to the games, sometimes with a big sign cheering me on. He also has grown to love watching professional soccer games on television, and even surprised me with tickets to see the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team when they played in New Orleans a couple years ago.

So yes, we very much still have our own hobbies - I love to read and write and he definitely does not, and he lifts weights and works out while I definitely do not. After the kids are in bed, I’m perfectly content staying inside reading a book while he works out. And he’s perfectly content watching TV while I blog.

But we both love watching football together every week (and playing Fantasy Football, holler!), and we both like to run. Because we like hanging out together, we’ve also grown to love each other’s hobbies too.

It does take some awareness to notice that “creeping separateness,” but perhaps that’s the perfect time to take more interest in one of your spouse’s hobbies or to even start a new one together.
We ran a couple of 5Ks together earlier this year! Logan is great at cheering me on when I want to stop. 😊

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