I recently discovered something in my marriage that was missing. Only I didn’t know that I was missing it until I discovered it. Now that I’ve found it, I don’t ever want to let it go. Because someday, after the kids are grown and gone (a long, long time from now), my husband, and our marriage relationship will still be there, and I want it to be a good one.
What is “it?” This amazing mystery thing that I’ve lived for almost nine years without? It’s a hobby that we both enjoy doing together! In particular, building things. Sure, we have always done “things” together. Lots of things. We’ve even worked together. But nothing like this. This was just…different.
Earlier this year, we decided that we needed a kitchen island. Only we didn’t have the money to buy one. And so we set out scouring Craigslist at all hours of the day until we found an old solid wood armoire for $40. From there, we chopped the top off, fixed it up (sanding, filling gaps, etc.), painted it, built a wood top, stained and finished it. And it’s beautiful. I honestly don’t know how I lived without it for so long.
At the end of this project, though, I realized that we had not spent any of our time arguing with each other (which was a real, genuine concern that had passed through my head when we began). We had a give and take with our ideas and with our jobs on the project. We also ended up feeling so proud together of our accomplishment. It wasn’t my project or his. Nor was it all my idea or his. But it was ours. It was something shared, and it was something special.
Shortly after completing this project, my very pregnant nesting instincts told me that I needed a new farmhouse table to replace our bar-height table. Ben thought it was a great idea, too. We spent time searching Pinterest both together and separately (shh…I originally told him it was weird that he liked Pinterest, but now I love that he uses it). We found some simple plans to follow (we are definitely not expert wood-workers), and got to work one night while our kids were having a sleepover with Grammy and Papa. I loved every minute of it, and I felt so close to my husband.
A few days into the project, I finally put a finger on the immense joy and love that I had for my husband while doing these projects together. It was feeding the soul of my marriage relationship. We unintentionally stumbled upon something that we enjoyed doing together. And in that process, we found that we both had great respect and grace for each other. We quickly found a groove as to how we work best together- who does what type of job and when, and how to balance our three crazy children while at the same time completing these projects.
So now, with the table, bench and chairs complete, we have a whole list of furniture we’d like to build together. It’s funny because the type of furniture we are building is not a style that we would have even liked a year ago. But somehow, our tastes have changed, and we have discovered something that really seems to connect us together. I’m sad that we didn’t make this discovery sooner. But I’m happy to have this shared enjoyment now. And maybe it’ll change someday. Who knows? All I know is that now I realize how important it is to share something fun like this together.
Do you have something special that you share with your spouse or significant other? Something that brings joy and life to your relationship? Comment on your shared hobbies or activities below!