It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! And today Renee Tougas is joining us to share her story about her adventure loving husband.
I met my husband twenty years ago. We met at a Christian campus organization camping trip. That should have been my first clue.
I always knew my husband liked the outdoors and physical activity. When I met him he biked, hiked, kayaked, rock climbed, and lifted weights. A lot of young men are into those things. They like the physical challenge, the “muscle building”, and the adventure.
It wasn’t Damien’s sense of adventure that attracted me to him or even his muscles though. It was his steady nature. I am a reactive personality type. I am expressive in both my highs, and my lows. My husband is the near opposite of me and I fell in love with his easy going nature.
I was nineteen years old. I had no idea what I was getting into.
I was looking for a steady sort because though I was young I knew what I wanted in life. My dream was to be a wife and a mom. I wanted to stay home with my babies. I wanted home to be my first career and after that, well, I’d figure it out when the time came.
I was looking for a man. Call me old fashioned but I wanted someone who could provide and protect. I was frugal, and still am. I didn’t want much in the way of worldly goods but I wanted a solid, steady family life.
God gave me my husband to make those dreams come true. And to stretch me beyond those dreams in ways I could not have imagined.
As much as my husband was the steady I was seeking, he is also a visionary adventurer; not content to stay put or accept status quo. He questions and he quests. I knew a bit of this when we married, I have those tendencies myself. But I like to do my questioning from a place of relative comfort and security.
God knew what I needed. Someone to stretch me beyond the comfort and security of my carefully constructed world.
I connect with a lot of women through my blog FIMBY. I’m not a marriage expert but after seventeen years together I am happily married and still head-over-heals in-love. I guess that counts for something.
A blog reader, who was about to get married, asked me if I had any words of wisdom to share.
My advice went something like this: “Your life, your marriage, your spouse will probably surprise you in some way. Hold onto each other for dear life and be ready to change and grow.”
My own major growth spurt came a few years into our marriage. The early years of our marriage were very much about establishing home and family. Making a home in the various apartments we rented, making babies and taking care of them, learning how to be a good manager of our finances and my time. We bought a home, started homeschooling and I tended our backyard garden. I was living my dream.
And then my husband wanted to live his dream.
He has many dreams actually. He’s a dreamer. A steady provider yes, but a dreamer too. And there were things he wanted to do besides build a home and family. He wanted some adventure.
Thus began the most significant growth curve of our married life – saying yes to my husband’s dreams. Saying yes to adventure. Saying yes to a lot of personal and marital growth that was at times physically painful and uncomfortable (like the first time backpacking!).
Something funny happened.
This comfort-loving, routine-seeking homemaker became an adventurer herself. I fell in love with the things my husband wanted to do. Hiking, backpacking, cross-country running, and backcountry skiing. I started to welcome more spontaneity into my life, and let loose the grip I had on how things must be.
I learned a few things along the way that may help you support an adventure-loving husband also.
Be his best friend.
My husband wants to be with me. He choose me. He’s rather go hiking, skiing or any other activity with me than anyone else. What a gift.
We choose each other when we made our vows. We choose to throw our lots in together, come you-know-what or high water. And trust me, I’ve experienced some “high water” moments in our adventures. But the fact remains my husband would still rather do these things with emotionally expressive me over anyone else.
We have made a conscious choice not to go separate ways in our hobbies and pursuits, instead investing time in together activities so our we get to spend as much time with each other as possible.
I think what our spouses want from us, regardless of which one leads the adventures, is that we say “yes”. Can we say yes every single time? Probably not. My husband has so many ideas. Too many ideas. We can’t do all the ideas, someone has to help sift through and think through them all. My “down-to-earth” managerial skills come in handy there.
But I need to say yes more than I say no.
Saying yes to our adventurous and visionary husbands communicates “I believe in you”.
It communicates respect. My husband thrives, he is fulfilled and driven to provide for our family, when he feels I respect and believe in him.
This summer I am thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail with my best friend and the three children our love brought into existence. We are embarking on an adventure that was just a dream one time for my questing husband but because I said Yes, is now a reality.
Are you married to a visionary adventurer?
Maybe your husband is an outdoors adventurer. And he would love nothing more than to spend days in the wilderness with you, hiking and camping.
Or maybe your husband is an adventurer of a different sort. An entrepreneur or perhaps involved in ministry, blazing a trail into territory that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for you.
Regardless of which kind of adventurer he is, I bet he wants, more than anything, to have you join him. To be his adventurer-in-arms. To have you say “yes”, just like you did those years ago when he proposed.
If your family loves adventures of the outdoor kind and would love inspiration, ideas, and encouragement for how to make more of that happen in your life, follow our adventure this summer by subscribing to our video series Beyond our Boundaries: A Family Adventure on the Appalachian Trail. Never heard of the Appalachian Trail? You can read all about it and details of our family adventure here.
How do you support your adventure-loving husband? Let me know in the comments!
Renee Tougas is a hiker and homemaker; a mother and wife; a writer and photographer. Fresh and honest, Renee’s blog FIMBY is the story of interest-led learning, creative and adventurous family living.
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