Friday, April 11, 2008

If you can't beat 'em, Join 'em

I have a new hobby. Not because it was something I was ever interested in trying. But I found myself in a position of wanting to spend more time with my husband.

As a family with small children and a limited budget for babysitting we were looking for something we could do together at home. We tried movies, but found that there wasn't much interaction. It just didn't cut it.

So I offered to try online gaming with him.

I must explain that my husband works in the computer industry, he knows computers and he has done much online gaming in his life. I have done none. In fact, because it was something that took a lot of his time and was not time spent together he had recently completely given it up. I was touched and knew how hard that was for him. So when I tentatively offered to try the gaming it was more as a peace offering - mumbled under my breath hoping that he wouldn't really take me seriously. But he did, and here we are.

Surprisingly I have enjoyed it. I don't know that I would continue if it were just me, but it's much more fun than I had anticipated it would be. Plus, I'm spending time with my husband.

When we were first married we were given a book on marriage. If I could remember the name of the book I'd tell you, but I don't. There are only a few things I remember from it, but one of them was that a husband needs a wife that will play with him. Anything from board games to hang gliding, bug collecting to mountain climbing. Just something that is fun to do together.

I got that advice over a decade ago and promptly decided that it didn't apply to us. Now, I am learning that, really it does. It applied then and it applies now. I wish I could go back and have a talk with my 20 year old self. But, I probably wouldn't have listened. I could be a bit that way then, um, occasionally now, um, okay I'm stubborn - still.

As I've watched my husband build friendships I've noticed that he does stuff with his friends. They play. Sometimes it's sports, sometimes it's other (read: computer) games, even going for a violent war action guys movie. Guys build relationships by sharing experiences.

I've learned after 12 years of marriage that my husband doesn't want to sit on the couch and chat about how cute my new shoes are (dang it). Yes, I'm a slow learner. But, I am learning.

Along with doing something together we are also building up our communication. This one actually came as a surprise to me. As we tried to beat the bad guys we were talking about what the best strategy was, where we were heading and what direction we wanted to go that evening.

I may not get to talk about how my husband feels, or what he thinks of my new shoes, but I am getting him to talk and we are building our marriage one bad guy at a time.

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