Tag Archives: wife

No excuses.

20 Sep

I’ve been noticing something lately: I hold Travis to the ridiculous, unrealistic standards that I hold myself to.

This isn’t exactly a news flash.

But it is something that I’ve been seeing with new eyes.

I’ve noticed it mainly in regards to the triathlon Travis just did. Over the months leading up to it, I was tempted to (and honestly, sometimes did) nag Travis about training. In my head, you just follow the plan. Not brain science.

I chalked Travis not following the plan up to his being lazy. Or indifferent. Or silently wishing he hadn’t been talked into doing a race.

Surely he doesn’t have a good excuse.

Now, I am reminded that he is working full-time and getting his Master’s. Oh and his job shipped him out to Timbuktu Utah to do God-knows-what (which they’re talking about again, if you can believe that!) for a couple weeks. Then there’s that little thing called a house, the yard I look at through my window, the car I drive to work every day, those things happening at church, and that thing called hockey that always happens after I’m in bed. Oh and bills.

He might be a tad busy.

You see, Travis did get distracted from training. He did allow other things to get in the way. But they were things like fixing our car himself to save us $600. And shooting us two antelope so we won’t starve during the long, cold winter. And refinancing our mortgage to save us money.

I want to say, “There’s no excuse. You didn’t follow the training plan and that’s all there is to it.”

But I really should say, “You were busy. You have a lot going on. It’s totally understandable. And you did a fantastic job anyway!”

Here’s what I actually said: “You should go disqualify yourself from the results.”

Let me explain: Minutes after I crossed the finish line on Saturday, Travis informed me that he “had run the entire run course on the road.” Since the run course was mostly on a sidewalk or trail, I assumed Travis had run the wrong course. How would he know if the course he ran was 3.1 miles? He wouldn’t. Ergo, he should disqualify himself.

What he really meant was that instead of going back up on the trail at the end of the run, he accidentally just stayed on the road until it met up with that trail. It was pretty much the same distance either way. Oh.

Needless to say, Travis’ enthusiasm was completely deflated with my no-nonsense response. Poor guy. Here he is, just completed his first triathlon and I tell him to go disqualify himself. It was a misunderstanding, I swear!!

Anyway, that whole situation has shown me that I hold Travis to unrealistic standards. Like when he gets sick and wants to just lay on the couch. My natural inclination is to say, “Oh quit being a whiny baby. You’re not that sick.”

Or when Travis remarks to me that 3 minutes is pretty good for his first transition and I reply, “Well, a good T1 is actually only 2 minutes.”

Men aren’t the only ones who say stupid things without thinking.

Because I expect too much of Travis, I hardly ever encourage him – I’m too busy fixating on what he hasn’t done or hasn’t done well enough.

In reality, he does a lot of most things right. He deserves more credit than I give him.

So I’m going to try to let go of my expectations, have faith in Travis’ abilities, and look for the things he does right. I think he’d appreciate that.



Our 4-year Anniversary

19 May

Today is our 4-year wedding anniversary. Every year, it seems hard to believe that we’ve been married for as long as we have. Time goes by so fast! And every year, I am once again amazed at God’s grace. He alone is the reason why our marriage is a blessing, why we still are in love with each other, and why we have weathered all the trials and storms of life intact and together.

They say that a good marriage isn’t about marrying the right person; it’s about being the right person. I have seen the truth of that so much over the past year. Just looking back on who I was a year ago, and what tenderness God has amazingly developed in my heart since then, I am struck by what a difference there is. In that year, I have realized how much my actions and words influence Travis. My being angry about something, even when not directed at Travis, makes him angry and is the beginning of a vicious cycle. When I don’t voice my emotions by telling Travis I love him and miss him, he is hurt. If I try to encourage Travis to look to God for hope and meaning but say it in a scolding tone, he gets discouraged.

On the positive side, I have learned to praise and thank Travis for all of the wonderful things he does to serve me. I have learned to appreciate the little things – how he mows our lawn, fixes our cars, cleans out our gutters. I have developed an admiration for his work ethic (instead of being annoyed at helping him with house projects), grown to be thankful for his hunting habits and truck purchase (they’ve come in handy), and been amazed at his thoughtfulness (getting up early with the dogs on a Saturday so that I can sleep in).

God has certainly done a work in my heart and head regarding marriage, and though I definitely still have a LONG way to go, I feel so incredibly blessed by the work God has done in my life. Not only that, but I’m extremely blessed by my wonderful husband. He has watched what feels like hundreds of Bones episodes with me (after House, The Office and Desperate Housewives), supported my expensive triathlon hobby, and allowed me to get two great dogs (both of which he had been determined to not get… but who can resist puppy dog eyes?). Even though he disagreed, he supported my decisions when I wanted to write my book instead of get a job, when I made sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty for my job last year, and when I decided to chop my hair off in January (though he ended up liking my haircut).

I have learned that marriage is about growing with the other person. It’s about learning to readjust your expectations, priorities, and desires to embrace what the other person values. I don’t like house projects and would almost never choose to do them out of my own free will. My husband, on the other hand, loves house projects and seemingly can’t get enough of them. On more than one occasion in the past year, I have actually volunteered my services to him, which he has eagerly taken me up on. Not only am I supporting Travis in his endeavors, I’m also taking a vested interest in the condition and quality of our home and yard. There is a certain satisfaction inherent in hard work.

I have also learned that a loving spouse encourages their counterpart pursue their passions, vision, and interests. So often, I hear about men whose wives “won’t let them” do certain things, or who are uptight and mistrusting about their husbands going out with friends, or buying a certain thing, or doing something without them. That is one thing God has abundantly blessed us with in our marriage — trust. While we don’t give one another the green light for everything without exception (godly accountability is necessary!), our decisions are always based on mutual trust. Our goal in all decisions is to give the benefit of the doubt. It’s easier said than done, and we often jump to judgments before we realize we’ve done so, but that’s what we’re working toward.

Lastly, I have decided that there is no formula for marriage. What works and is good for one couple may not work for another couple. While it is helpful to hear advice and suggestions from older, more experienced couples, you can’t turn those into the exact picture of what your marriage should be like. I think that as long as both people are satisfied and happy with the way things are, there’s no reason to change them, even if they aren’t what other people do (one qualifier: I’m talking about amoral things — immoral things are a different story). For example, Travis and I will often eat dinner in front of the TV. Much of the time we spend together in the evening is spent watching TV. If we’re both satisfied, does that behavior really merit changing? I don’t think so. I will admit, however, that I have asked Travis that we have one night a week where we do something that involves talking instead of watching TV. The biggest hindrance to us doing other things, I think, is that we get into a rut of working and then relaxing. Watching TV takes no effort and is something we can do together. Ergo, our addiction.

I realize that having only 4 years of marriage under my belt still qualifies me as a newlywed in many eyes but the wiser, older married couples only got wiser and older through the passing years, learning lesson by lesson, trial by trial, error by error. We can’t learn how to do the thing called marriage without actually doing it. It’s the ultimate hands-on experience.

Praise God for His grace!