and it’s not what you think.
I hear wives complain about how their husbands spend so much time and money on hobbies. They whine about what husbands buy that clutters up their homes. Then when the husband creates a man cave to store his stuff they complain that he is always out in the garage. Sometimes they gripe about what husbands spent on the hobby. They say that husbands have charged up credit cards on things that are frivolous.
For example, my husband is all into Warhammer 40K. It is a massive tabletop gaming hobby. It involves plastic models, paint and copious amounts of time. To head off any of his wife’s discomfort, he took me to his local game store. He pointed down a retail aisle and said, “Go look at the armies. See if you like any of those.” I was half paying attention because the shiny dice had caught my eye. (Totally different addiction, um… I mean story.) I turned to my right and walked down the closest row of things. There were boxes shrinkwrapped in plastic with photos of fantastical creatures on the front. All sorts of beasts and mythical beings. Other boxes had images of beautifully crafted sculptures, buildings, planets, airships, steampunk inventions, and still others with objects of the natural world. Many had colors in combinations I have never seen. I was wonderstruck. I found a fascinating set that looked like trees with faces that reminded me of Ents from Lord of the Rings, but different. I called my husband over to show him the wonderous things I had discovered and proclaimed, “I like these.”
For those of you who know the world of gaming, you know that game systems differ across manufacturers and even within the same companies. I had picked out a completely different game from WH 40k. Yes, I chose the Age of Sigmar, Slyvaneth.
My husband put his head in his hands and sighed.
Long story short, we now have a room full of plastic.
My husband made a point to include me in his hobby. Not all husbands do that, I know. He took me to see what it was he enjoyed and did his best to explain to me why. Was it because he wanted me to like the same things as he did? No. He wanted me to be included in his leisure life. What he understood was that what wives are really complaining about when they get upset about a husband’s hobby is that the husband is spending time with a hobby instead of spending time with them.
There are a few things that wives can do if husbands are not proactive about things.
Find a part of his hobby that you like.
Find a complimenting thing to do while he is participating in his hobby. If he likes to work on cars, offer to hand him tools. If he likes to garden or do yard work, sit in the sun with a book close by and just be close to him. Ask him if he needs a hand. Husbands like to be listened to as well. Let him talk and just listen. He might just be more apt to listen to you later when you need him to be there for you.
Join in with his hobby.
If he likes to play golf, learn to play golf. If he likes to watch football, put on one of his team’s shirts and cheer them on. If he likes to cook, offer to be his sioux chef. Whatever it is, find something you like about it that you can do.
Find your own hobby.
If you are completely against doing anything that is even remotely involved with his hobby, find your own hobby to occupy your time while he is busy. This is not the best solution, but it will distract you from complaining. Remember to make time for him as well. Don’t flip the situation by not giving him attention because you have newfound fun of your own.
A healthy marriage is s mixture of time together and time apart. A thoughtful husband will include his wife in his hobby or make time for her. If a spouse is not enjoying time with the other, there is way more wrong in your marriage than just a difference of hobbies.