Wifey Wednesday: Supporting Your Adventure Loving Husband

Supporting Your Adventure Loving Husband

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.

SONY DSCI 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.

kids-campfireThus 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.

backpacking-autumn-leavesJust say yes. Not everyone is married to a dreaming, adventure loving husband. You might be the adventurer in your marriage, or adventurous in areas that your husband is not.

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 TougasRenee 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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Comments

  1. Any tips for dealing with children who aren’t the adventurous type? We spent a month in Arizona and while my husband and I enjoyed hiking the Phoenix summits, our kids were not as enthused.
    Leanne recently posted…Options for the dreaded tax returnMy Profile

    • One thing that always helped when we did trips like that was to leave all the electronics at home so there wasn’t much of a choice. No iPods, computers, DVD players, etc. Then we HAD to do things as a family. I don’t know if that would help–maybe you already do it. But I found that if there were electronics they’d want to stay back in the camper and play on them and miss out on making memories.

  2. Renee,
    I loved reading this! I can relate completely! I actually have done a few posts on supporting your spouse through their dreams. It not only is a huge thing for them, but becomes something really big for your marriage as well. Sometimes God had bigger plans than we have ourselves! Thank you for sharing :)
    Cassie recently posted…Ensuring Quality Time During Long DistanceMy Profile

  3. Renee, what a great post. I think many wives will relate because many husbands do things very differently from us in terms of pursuing dreams and interests outside the home. I like what you’ve said about “questioning from a place of relative comfort and security” I am like that too, I thrive when the foundations have been established first. I can pursue wide interests but first need to have my bases covered. Hubby on the other hand isn’t always like that..he is steady and takes his roles seriously. But as a person doesn’t need to have a comfortable launching place. Which has made for interesting times sometimes :) But we have learned and grown together and alot of what you’ve said here rings true.. Thanks for the great encouragement today.
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…Married? You Should Not Have a Pinterest Board called “eye-candy”My Profile

  4. YES!!!
    In many ways my husband is the one who wants to take risks. In 10 days, we are flying to another country and taking a road trip (rental vehicle, of course) with our four children aged 4 to 13. I would never have thought it was a good idea, but we’re all very excited about it. Even me.

    But he supports my dreams, too. He supports me in my hobbies (mostly fiber and yarn related) and doesn’t seem to mind that there are bits of freshly dyed wool on most of the air vents. :)

    17 years (us too!) has had ups and downs for sure, but overall the ups outnumber the downs.

  5. My husband is something of a visionary adventurer. We did a lot of hiking and exploring when we were dating. He likes having me along to share the journey. It’s not so easy these days, with a 2-year-old and a baby, to get out and do the things we used to do. My first priority is usually to make sure the kids get fed and get their naps, the house is clean, etc. But I think he wants to start doing some hikes again. Thank goodness he’s practical enough to understand our current limitations, but I do want to do some adventurous things together. We’ll have to make that a priority.
    Lindsay Harold recently posted…Should Christians Get Tattoos?My Profile

    • We had some of our most fun camping memories when the kids were really little! It’s hard when they’re babies, but toddlers work fine. And kids love getting outdoors! It’s just that it takes so much GEAR when they’re little…

  6. I needed to hear this today. You are stretching me, Renee. Thank you.
    Kendra Burrows recently posted…Learning to ListenMy Profile

  7. berjiboo says:

    My husband is definitely the outdoor adventure loving type. Because of him I have taken rock climbing lessons, had joined a rock gym, back packed over spring break multiple years and gone back country camping several times. I did (mostly) know what I was getting into and I do usually enjoy it. We have had to lessen the adventure due to 3 small kids, but take what opportunities we can and look forward to them being more capable in a few years. One of the reasons that I enjoy going with my husband is seeing the joy and peace he gets from such activities.

  8. Great article!
    I am that type of husband! (embarking on blogging and speaking on marriage and relationships, wanting to go back to school at 42, etc) I am gratetful to have a wife that is my ‘adventurer-in-arms’, who prays for and encourages me when I get discouraged about my progress…
    On behalf of all adventurous husbands everywhere…Thanks!
    Oliver Marcelle recently posted…30 Day Fast From Mediocrity (yikes!)My Profile

  9. I love this! My husband’s dream has always been to build a house. While I don’t necessarily share his passion I have found ways to support him – like suggesting we live in a bus so we can afford it and blogging about the adventure of it so far.

    It definitely has NOT been easy starting out, but there is an end goal and I think achieving it together will be one of the highlights of our marriage so far.

  10. My husband is definitely an outdoor adventurer. I can totally relate to this post. We’re going on a huge adventure together as we head to Haiti sans kids on April 30th. I went last year but this year we get to go together and can’t wait. I know my husband would love if I could backpack with him. I’m not sure if I could do it with my neck injury – I was never even able to wear the baby backpacks or front packs so I don’t think I could. But we hike and camp and I know he appreciates that.
    Melinda recently posted…1 Simple Life Hack to Memorizing Scripture In Record TimeMy Profile

  11. {Kathy} I was a permed, 1.5 hour getting ready, princess when I met my husband. Now, I can get ready in 15 minutes flat with heels and red lipstick if needed. I learned that if I was going to be a Helgemo, I better get on the bandwagon of getting over my fussy self and getting a move on! That has led us to many, many adventures over the last 22 years. I wouldn’t trade any of them for a husband who doesn’t challenge me!
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted…helping a child through death of a loved oneMy Profile

    • Ha! I can get ready fast, too. :) Always want to take advantage of things when Keith says, “Hey, Sheila, let’s go and….”

  12. I was blessed to marry my best friend and we really enjoy life together. We have many of the same interest and we find compromise when we differ. Love this!
    Jennifer recently posted…The Gift Of SexMy Profile

  13. Thanks for the plug Sheila :) It was a lot of hard work to get it to where it is today!
    sarah @ little bus on the prairie recently posted…One More Thing We’ve LearnedMy Profile

  14. I think this post may have been written about my husband. Seriously.

    Early in our dating relationship, I decided that I was going to show him how “cool” and “tough” I am… even though I’m really really not. That led to a 100 mile motorcycle trip, with me internally screaming “WHAT AM I DOING?!?!” most of the time. It was on that trip that I saw his soul, and fell in love with him.

    We’re best friends, truly and completely. I’ll be there with his crazy ideas every step of the way. Maybe literally, since he wants to hike the Centennial Trial in South Dakota (111 miles- oy vey) in the next year or so…
    Adrie@ALittleWife recently posted…The Riches of His Glorious Inheritance in the Saints {Ephesians 1:18}My Profile

  15. I loved this post! Back in 2006 my husband was between jobs and had a dream to take a trip out west, to travel with all 10 of our kids in a 12 passengar van pulling a pop-up camper and to go from SC to CA and back again . . . . Wow! Was that ever out of my comfort zone!! But, I said YES (even though I was screaming NO inside!)! It was an Adventure and a Memory Making Trip that my kids will never forget. So glad I said Yes to my adventurous husband’s idea!
    Elizabeth Ours recently posted…Marriage Monday: The Trustworthy Wife {Link up}My Profile

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