Strong marriages require sacrifice in some way or another by both partners. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since I wasn’t sure what I or my husband have sacrificed over the years. But after careful reflection and some journaling and prayer, I realized both my husband and I have sacrificed a great deal for each other to achieve our dreams.
|Our first week in Seattle. My brave face.|
Since our dreams started out to be so individual and different, it hasn’t always been easy to work things out between how to best support each other. My husband has always had the dream of living in the big city and working for a company that had a lot of upward mobility. For us, that meant moving to Seattle so he could work for Amazon. It was hard for me to leave our two acres of land, potential horse property, and log cabin behind in Utah and go live in overpriced, undersized tiny house in Seattle with no land and lots of people. My husband was never fully into the horse property idea and honestly, didn’t have time to be a horse guy, since his commute in Utah took three hours a day, round trip.
We have since scrutinized our choices we made leading up to purchasing the horse property and realized our decision making was too biased toward ‘my dream’ and not ‘our dream.’ With some honest and hard conversations, we realized we had to compromise and make changes.
After moving to Seattle, we had to reassess our choices again. I had The Hardest Time acclimating to the Pacific Northwest’s rain and climate, as well as the claustrophobic feeling of too many people and not enough open spaces.
I’m just not a city girl. And my husband just isn’t a country guy. So how do we compromise and meet in the middle?
We decided to put a time frame on our Seattle time. We made a plan to stay there for five to seven years, then move back to our home state of Utah. Once returning to Utah, we would look for a house on a decent plot of land, but keep things sane with the commute and not invest in horse property.
We’ve since done both of those things and are feeling more ‘settled’ than ever before. I’m happy with our manageable home and yard, and he is happy with his manageable commute and job with a great company in Salt Lake City. In other words, things have worked out.
Sometimes I look at other couples and compare how my husband and I are doing in regards to ‘working together toward a common goal.’ An example of this is whenever I watch Fixer Upper on Amazon and see Chip and Joanna Gains and how well they work together towards their common dreams. I sometimes find myself wishing my husband and I were more like Chip and Joanna. In reality, this is silly since we have different talents and purposes in life than the television couple. But even though I know this, I find myself comparing. I’ve had to consciously make an effort to quit comparing and just let myself be inspired by their example versus letting what they are doing take away from being inspired. It is so fun to see what they accomplish together and how well they support each other.
The biggest thing I’m working on personally in my marriage right now is to support my husband in his career and life goals. It is important to communicate regularly about these things since we are in the busy phase of life chauffeuring our teenage children to endless activities and feeling like ‘two ships passing in the night. . .’ The weekly date is crucial for our marriage satisfaction. So is nightly prayer together. Without these two things, we feel very disconnected, and more like business partners.