We have finished all the work on our old house, and have the RV ready. By the time you read this, we should have pulled out of our back yard to start a two-week tour of northern Washington. Then on Sept 20th, we head out for real, not to return to Washington for ten months.
For most of the time we have been working on this, I’ve had friends ask me if Lori is okay with it.
I’m all about adventure, and I’ve been known to leap first (getting better on that one). I have a stupid amount of energy, and I figure I can do almost anything I put my mind to. Given all this, it would be easy for me to drag my wife along, clueless I’m dragging her. I’ve gotten better and better about checking with her and knowing when she is hitting her limits. For her part, she has learned to speak up when she needs something. In reality there’s not much danger of me dragging her, but I get why those who know us would be concerned about it. I don’t find people’s concern about this invasive; I see it as loving and supportive.
I tell my friends I am a friend of their marriage first. I will never put my friendship with someone ahead of their marriage. If I think a friend is not being a good husband, I will address it with him. If I have serious concerns, I will get in his face, and if that fails, I will bring others with me to confront him more strongly. I don’t see any other option because I care so much about marriages. So, when my friends do the same, I’m impressed they care enough to speak up.
So two things:
- My wonderful wife is all for this. She’s not as gung-ho as I am, but that’s the case for virtually all of our lives. She is excited about travelling, seeing people, and sharing what we know about marriage with couples and groups. Getting ready has been a lot of work and there has been plenty of stress, but we’ve gotten through it well and I am deeply impressed with all she has done and how well she has handled it.
- I encourage you to put your friends’ marriages ahead of your friendship. Say marriage positive things around your friends. Ask how you can pray for their marriages. If you have concerns, don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. If you think a friend is doing something detrimental to their marriage, speak up.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I wish I’d had friends of my marriage when I was a newlywed!