Monday, August 04, 2008

Marriage Monday---The Couple Who Plays Together

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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This month, the topic for Marriage Monday is Recreation.

The early days of our courtship and marriage would find one of asking one question each Saturday morning, "North, south, east or west?" The question was simply determining which direction were we going to go. Were we going north into Canada, south to the Palouse, East to Lake Coeur d'Alene, or West toward the Cascades. Those days of getting in the car, seeing what the road would reveal, getting out to hike or picnic or just sit and enjoy nature, were crucial in our development as a couple. We learned how the other saw the world. We took pictures of the same things that looked entirely different due to our perspective--something that still makes us laugh. Lots of time in the car meant lots of time to talk, and get to know each other even better. A drive was non-threatening and relaxing (well except for a fateful trip to Silver Mountain ID, but that is a story best left untold).

One thing I quickly learned about German as we became friends was that cars were important to him. He loves cars. Admiring them and driving them. So our early recreation revolved around cars. If we weren't on a drive somewhere, we were probably at a car show somewhere. Usually a car show meant showing our car--with all the loving care that goes into that--but sometimes it was just going to see other people's cars. Now here is a little secret, I really couldn't care less about what we drive or how it looks. If it gets me from point A to point B, I'm happy. Spending hours at a car show in and of itself would not be appealing. BUT, spending hours with German at a car show was always appealing. I love watching him enjoy himself. I love watching him beam when someone comments on his car. I love watching him deep in conversation with another car enthusiast about all the details of their respected "babies." For me, the joy of the weekend was that I got to see him in his element, totally relaxed from the pressures of work. And you want to know something really funny, now that we are in Europe and our show cars are in storage in the US, I actually miss car meetings, car rallies and car shows. I learned to love what he loved. (And he does occasionally take me to an antique show or quilt show and share my loves.)

In the early days as we were learning about each other and likes/dislikes we really did have divergent tastes. Compromise became a key thing. (Someday I'll share the symphony vs NASCAR story.) But driving and seeing the country was always a common ground. Travel still remains our favorite recreation as a family. Whether it is getting on an airplane to explore Europe or just driving up the road an hour to explore the Dales, we find ourselves the most relaxed and the most able to share our lives in that setting.

We have found that when we are most stressed, with work or as a family, it is a clear indicator that we are needing to have some fun together. That's when we schedule a day for a drive. Just finding time to unwind together leads to a more content marriage and family. And that is reward in and of itself.

Please join Chrysalis today as others share how recreation has made a difference in their marriage.


Jessie said...

My favorite part of your post is how you take the time to schedule in a drive when stress or work seems to wear on you. That is wonderful. I have a friend with 5 children. One of their childrenwas born with a birth defect that had caused numerous operations, etc. This couple always takes a "date" night alone every single week. It is how they cope with the stress the rest of the week.

e-Mom said...

We love to take long road trips too! You're right, they're relaxing and provide lots of time for talk.

It's so neat that we can learn from our husband's interests, and take make them our own, isn't it? I've always wanted to have an antique car, but my man is not an auto-loving kind of guy. Enjoy yours!

Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, MiPa. Hugs.

Lynn said...


Wow, I loved your post.... I love watching him enjoy himself.... Awesome.... I wish more women could/would know this truth. What a delight to read about your life. thank you.

Robyn A. said...

I think my oldest child is going to be like your husband. He loves cars!! I hope he finds a woman that appreciates them like you do, just because you love your man!!

Tammy said...

My husband and I took so many drives in our early years!
I think it's so nice that you support your husband in his interest of cars just because you love him!

Great post! :)


Michelle Pendergrass said...

Symphony vs. Nascar. Love it. Let me know when you write that one!!! :)