Last week I had the opportunity to present at the Wives' Workshop, which was co-hosted by a good friend of mine. I was asked to present about supporting my husband, and I was really grateful for the opportunity it gave me to reflect on principles that have helped our relationship along the road of Sam's education and career.
I decided to share 5 keys to supporting a spouse that I've discovered over the years, and today I'd like to share a small portion of my presentation because this shift in mindset has helped me SO much over the years when Sam has had a lot of demands on his time.
Key #1: Remember--Same Goals, Different Roles
I think the number one lesson I have learned is that I need to not just support my husband in HIS goals—they actually need to become MY goals as well. One day I sat thinking about some of the challenges we faced through grad school and I suddenly realized that I had been thinking about it all wrong. I had been thinking about grad school as my husband’s goal and something I wanted to support him in, which was requiring a lot of sacrifice on my part. Although this had helped me become more selfless, I realized that a slight shift in my mindset would help me become more united with my husband through life’s ups and downs. I began to look at my husband’s schooling as something we were working on together. It was no longer the idea that “My husband has goals and I need to support him in those goals.” It became “WE have goals together and we both make sacrifices necessary to achieve them.” This may seem like a minor thing, but it was huge to me. I no longer felt such an overwhelming sense of loneliness during the long hours he was away. I was no longer frustrated when his work demands were constant and I attended activities alone or just missed out because I didn’t want to go without him. These sacrifices and challenges became stepping stones toward OUR goal. With this mindset, my husband and I grew more united and our relationship was greatly strengthened because we were working TOGETHER to achieve something instead of me struggling to support my husband while he pursued HIS goal.
If you're interested in reading about the other keys I've discovered, feel free to let me know through a comment or the contact form linked above. I'd be glad to e-mail you a copy of my presentation!
Thanks to Amberly for giving me the opportunity to reflect on this subject and become more purposeful about supporting my husband as a result!