Monday, August 13, 2012

Lessons in Love and Marriage

Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I am, in more ways than one, a nerd. I love Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, and pretty much any movie, book or TV show that is Medieval Fantasy based. My husband's a nerd in this sense as well - we read many of the same books and share the same love of J.R.R Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (What's with both authors having double R initials? Coincidence? I think not.)


There is one hobby of his, however, that I've always classified as so over the top that I'd never wanted any part of it. Steven - and all of his friends - play a strategy based game called Warhammer, and they love it. In essence, each player builds (and individually paints) entire armies of small models which they then battle against each other in a game with an impressively detailed set of rules. Steven and I had already been dating for quite some time when I found out he played this, and I'm going to be perfectly honest when I tell you that I was...embarrassed? Somewhat.

Over the course of our first year of marriage I came to learn just how invested he and his friends were in this hobby. While I couldn't go as far as to call it an obsession, Steven was passionate about the game and spent a lot of time learning new strategies, discussing tactics with his friends and - of course - playing. To be honest I sort of just avoided the whole thing. I was sometimes asked if I wanted to learn how to play and my answer was always a quick and sure no. It just isn't my thing, I would say. I could tell that Steven was a little hurt that I had absolutely no interest in something he really liked, but I couldn't force what I did and didn't find entertaining, right?


This weekend, I sat crosslegged in our big ugly blue armchair reading travel blogs. "I found some cheap flights," I called to Steven. "Maybe we should go somewhere in October!" A bit more discussion and I was getting the impression that Steven wasn't all that interested in taking another trip. While he likes seeing new places, he just doesn't have the same passion and obsession for travel that I do. When I travel, I like to go, see, do, explore. Steven likes to chill, relax, breathe. I like trips. He likes vacations.  I found myself growing annoyed as I did dishes in the kitchen later that day. It's traveling, it's not pulling teeth. I complained inwardly. And I love it so much - why isn't he more supportive of the things I'm passionate about?


Enter: The Life Lesson, here to punch me in the face.

Steven is supportive of my passions. He's followed me to nine different countries in less than a year. He doesn't complain when I ask him to take photos of my outfits, or when I make him wait to eat his food (both at home and in restaurants) because I want to photograph it for my blog. He never hesitates to agree with me when I tell him I really need a new photo editing software or lens for my camera. There are no words for how supportive he is. I should be walking around each day with a huge smile on my face, tickled pink that I found a guy who works so hard to make me happy. Expecting him to immediately love what I love is selfish and hypocritical when I can't take the time to show the slightest interest in his hobbies. I felt stupid and embarrassed for being so irritated just minutes before.

"Honey?" I called into the other room. We were about to get ready to go on our weekend date. "How about we stay in tonight and you teach me how to play Warhammer?" 

The look of shock on his face was completely priceless.
"Really?" He asked finally. "Where is this coming from?"

I drew a breath and told him I thought about it and I needed to be more supportive of his interests.  He smiled. He looked so happy to hear me say those words. And in turn, I was happy because he was happy.

And do you know what? Warhammer is actually really. freaking. fun, and we're playing again tonight.

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P.S. Congratulations Adrienne Barber for winning the Pretty French Things $50 store credit giveaway! 

17 comments:

Heather said...

I love this post because I can TOTALLY relate. My boyfriend is the same way with Magic the Gathering. When I finally caved and agreed to play, I swear I've never seen him so happy haha.

-Heather
heathermeaghan.blogspot.com/

Lauren said...

This is a great post, Daryl. It 's a great reminder, too. Brian is so supportive of my hobbies, and I should reach out more and show interest in his! Thanks for reminding us to be less selfish!

Lauren
http://laurensweetnothings.blogspot.com/

jackie said...

This is so sweet. I'm glad you realized this and changed your behavior- it always breaks my heart when I realize I'm making my husband feel bad about something he loves, or when I disappoint him. Now go kick ass in Warheads! :)

L!$@ said...

What an awesome realisation :D Sometimes trying new things just because someone you care about likes it has enabled me to find some really cool stuff!

Kristen said...

My husband is a computer nerd. I tried to get his obsession with twitter and talking to people he doesn't know, but I just didn't get it. Then, after blogging for awhile, I thought about how we are the doing the same nerdy thing, just through different outlets.

PS...he waits for me to take pictures of our food too! Gotta love a man that will do that for you!

Liz Brown said...

I love this, but its making me think. Should I ... start learning to golf now? ...

Baylee said...

I have always wanted to learn how to play warhammer. I have never had anyone who would take me under their wing though because they have told me it will take a lot of patience on their part and mine. You're lucky!! I want to learn.
Also, jealous you guys got to go to 9 countries in less then a year! I'm like you, a traveler.. Joe is like your hubs and vacationer. LOL

Jamey Meteer said...

Love this! Same story for me; my husband is a running junkie and I'm obsessed with the arts...Last year I decided to run a couple 5ks and he was ecstatic! Thanks so much for sharing.

Rachel said...

Love this!So funny though,my husband actually professionally paints the war pieces for these games as a little side job!

Kelsie @ My Beautiful Life said...

this is such a sweet story. I really need to be more open to my boyfriends hobbies as well. Trying to get myself interested in baseball and wrestling will be a struggle but he puts up with my blogging, shopping, and obsession with kids so it's probably only fair.

Smallgood said...

I spent a lot of time early in our marriage thinking we had to like the same things. It took me awhile before I realized that we don't have to like the same things and require each other to participate, but our marriage is happiest when we encourage each other to do things we love.

kayleigh maryon said...

This post is a great reminder to us all that are in relationships. I have never been great at compromise and I always seem to forget what a great thing I have with my boyfriend. I am left wanting for nothing with him and he always does and supports anything I want to do and something I forget to return the favour. I have to keep reminding myself to listen and be interested in his passions as well.

Tamaras Blend said...

Haha, boys always have some weird obsessions! But it's really nice that you're supportive, I'm sure it means so much to him.


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Karm said...

I think you both are the cutest and amazing couple.
I have never heard of Warhammer... but really that does sound like something my sons would be into.

Erin Marie said...

Thanks for the wisdom! It's always so encouraging to hear about couples who are living by grace and love and wanting to become closer through the hard stuff (like weird hobbies ;) )

StephanieKelly said...

I actually thought that I had written this in a dream or something because this was so fitting for my boyfriend and I. I love this post for so many reasons. The other night on a 3 hour drive I finally let my boyfriend explain computer programming and the deep web to me and it was actually really interesting! We are so blessed to have awesome guys in our lives. I can only imagine the level of nerd-dome that our home someday will have.

The Braided Bandit said...

I am at work and seriously nearly cried at this! So touching and so true! Thank you

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