Supporting your husband's pursuit of his passions may help you to find your own.
When I read the New York Times story about Dan Merzel, a John Hopkins graduate who turned down an opportunity to work at a big-time consulting firm in order to follow his passion for umpiring, I was excited by the fact that he decided to choose a path that was unconventional. He elected the long road of baseball umpiring for low pay in order to hopefully get the opportunity to umpire in the major leagues.
The story brought me back to the moment when I sat my wife down and told her, "I can no longer do this job!" We were in the first few years of our marriage, and I was miserable. I had spent 10 years at two different jobs in Corporate America, and I had come to a point in my life where I was tired of chasing the dollar. Not only did I feel like I wasn't where I was supposed to be, but my ability to make a change was affecting my abilty to be a good husband and a father. It took a long talk with myself to realize that I had to follow my passion if I valued my family and marriage.
But how do you do that, especially in a conventional marriage when your job as a husband is to financially take care of your family?
In marriage, sometimes you have to choose the unconventional path to have the marriage that's best for you. If your husband has expressed interest in following his passion, how do you have this discussion?
- Help your husband envision what his life would be like if he followed his passion; As a man, there was nothing more comforting and energizing than that my wife was on board with me doing something that I loved. It was such a relief that I was able to communicate to my wife that I wanted to be a coach. So if your husband has a love for umpiring, teaching or entrepreneurship, show him the possibilities of pursuing this path and not the roadblocks.
- Be supportive; In the book Cracking The Love Code, author Janet O'Neal states that your man must absolutely feel that you are proud of him. Every man needs to be acknowledged for his successes whatever or however humble they may be. By admiring him for the path he is taking, he may now embrace the goals you may have for your life. When I gave up corporate life and chose to work in non-profit management and entrepreneurship. It allowed my wife to finish school and use her gifts to successfully manage the office of a hedge fund company.
- Have no regrets; In marriage and in life you never want to have any regrets. Your life is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy it. That doesn't mean you don't have a plan B, but pursue Plan A as long as possible until the two of you decide that you have done it to the fullest. After following my path, I can say that our marriage is in a great place, and it's all thanks to a suportive wife who helped me envsion my path.