“Where is Abran?” If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me this question, I’d be a millionaire, and, well, I’m not.
Somewhere along the way, it became customary to carry your husband on your arm. A friend once told me, “Make him come with you. I make my husband; it’s not a choice.” I responded with, “I’d rather not. He is a grown man, and sometimes, I have more fun without having him there.”
Hear me out. Forcing him to attend an outing that he doesn’t want to go to will make the trip miserable for both of us. I have a tendency to be on the go all of the time. Event after event after event. If not, my anxiety acts up. My husband, on the other hand, needs to stick to a schedule. This may be why he is a computer programmer analyst and I am an entrepreneur.
So, let’s get this straight. If Margo isn’t busy, Margo isn’t thriving. If Abran doesn’t have time to reset, Abran is agitated. The old adage says: happy spouse, happy house, correct? Why not figure out ways to compromise and keep that going? Our oldest daughter is also someone who needs to reset. She needs a day to rest in between the craziness that my son and I are. This is where we have to balance before burnout. There are times when I ONLY take the two little ones to a birthday party, an extended family outing, hiking, walking, or play dates. Scarlett, my oldest, is able to hang back with dad, and it keeps them both happy.
I always invite my husband and our oldest daughter; however, they don’t always come. He repeatedly asks the age-old question, “How long do we have to stay?” I inevitably roll my eyes EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Then I respond with the same answer: “I don’t know, and I am not going to estimate because I’m not going to be held to that time.”
Instead of dwelling on this and arguing, we have come up with a solution.
Abe suggested that we show up to activities in separate cars if it is something that he chooses to go to, but I may choose to stay at. For example, my sister just got married last month. I, along with our two older children, stood in the wedding; therefore, we had to arrive early for photos. My husband brought the baby to the wedding in his car. He left early with our daughters. I kept Ezra with me because he is a dancing machine and didn’t want to stop. Abran was able to get the two other kids to bed and still have enough rest for work in the morning. I was able to catch up with family and dance the night away. Win-win.
While others may look at us and think there is something wrong with the picture, let me assure you that this is what works for us. It prevents many arguments and allows us to each live our lives the way we want to. There are some rules, however. We must attend holiday gatherings, weddings, funerals, graduations, work parties, and other major milestones together. These are our non-negotiables. Some of the things that we love to do together are hike, travel, and run. We are sure to schedule those activities as often as we can.
Next time you feel anxious about attending an event that your husband doesn’t want to go to, talk it out with him. Ask him if it’s okay to go alone. Sometimes it is daunting to take the children out without him, but with practice, it gets easier. Ask for help from people around you. It is healthy to do things separately, and it feels great to compromise.
Originally published July 2019.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.