It’s my guy’s birthday today and I am so looking forward to celebrating him. Our twins’ birthdays precede his by three days, and he often takes a backseat to their hoopla, but in recent years I’ve been more intentional to carve out a celebration just for him. Cause he’s my main squeeze, and he’s half to blame for this crazy life we are loving together!
A couple weeks ago, a few girlfriends and I were talking about our husbands’ pursuits of some long-held dreams. They spanned a broad range from moving closer to family, to living overseas, to going back to school, to changing careers, to minimizing “stuff,” to starting a new business, to buying a camper, to carving out time for more travel experiences while our children are young. As we talked, two realizations struck me: 1) These dreams are so important to our guys, almost integral to who they are, and 2) The fulfillment of the dream isn’t always as important as the dream itself.
Graham has dreams that are separate from his goals. His goals can be set, measured, and achieved in increments. His dreams, on the other hand, can be as broad and big as he wants them to be. They don’t require a Monday meeting or a monthly de-brief. We revisit goals often; we may only talk about dreams a few times a year. But I love it when we do.
Last fall, Graham came close to accepting a job offer in LA. It had been an incredible interview process, and it was a dream job. We went out to dinner to celebrate the offer, and had one of the most meaningful conversations we’ve had in years about aspirations and new beginnings, life goals and timing. As he spoke, there was a light in his eyes I hadn’t seen before. I loved dreaming with my husband that night.
A few weeks later Graham decided to decline the offer. The timing wasn’t right for our family and there was too much uncertainty in the long-term vision of the company. But the gift of being able to dream, to imagine a life different than the one we have, was an adventure in itself.
There are so many of you ladies who do this well. You stand alongside your partner, support his dreams, and encourage his pursuits. You are careful not to check the dream back into reality too quickly. You recognize it for what it is: an aspiration that may or may not take flight. You hold these precious dreams in your hands during the waiting periods, often for years. Some you let go of together. Others you watch soar. Many of you even sacrifice your own dreams and goals for a time.
My advice to you today is be open to the dreams of your husband. Don’t be too quick to object. Plan a date night and make his dreams the main topic. Talk about them in broad terms, then more specifically. Remember what they are and inquire about them from time to time. Make room for them in your marriage. Hold them close in the interim time. And share your dreams with the same spirit that was shared with you. Dream forward. Together.
///What dreams are you and your spouse currently pursuing? How have you sacrificed for each other’s dreams? What victories can you celebrate and share with others?