As I sit here wanting to share my thoughts, I cannot help but to laugh at my background noises. It is game night for my husband, and he is doing his usual shouting as he slays something or cheers with his guys through his headset. My husband he has always been a gamer. He is a consistent gamer in that he sticks to a handful of computer games and commits to one game for a few years. When we got married, it was World of Warcraft. Each night, we would do our usual nighttime routine: after dinner and spending some time on the couch together, 11:00pm would roll around and that was when we would change up our activity. Nick would hop on the computer and meet up with his friends, while I would get control of the remote and put on whatever I wanted. It was a nice set up for two years. Once our first child came along, this set up was no longer ideal. I remember yelling at my husband for leaving me with the baby while he got to play games. It was our first real argument after the baby was born, but I was very hormonal so you cannot blame me for being a little overdramatic.
After two weeks of him playing sporadically alongside having a newborn in the home and a hormonal wife that needed extra T.L.C, we came up with a plan. He communicated with me that games are his hobby and a way to relieve stress. I communicated with him that I needed a more consistent schedule to plan around for when he wanted to play. This conversation, and many more following, landed us where we are today. My husband schedules a day once a week with his friends to play consistently and uninterrupted. If the kids wake up or need something, I am in charge. I gladly do this because I see how much it blesses my husband and how he genuinely enjoys it. I want him to be happy and relaxed, just like I want to be. His hobby is one I am grateful for because it does not demand much of me to support, and something I need not worry about. I know other men who have hobbies that keep their wives up all night with anxiety, or end up damaging the family through obsession or high costs. Now I am not saying that gaming can never lead to that, because it can and has in many lives. But with balance, communication, and understanding within the marriage, a hobby can be what it is supposed to be: an activity to enjoy during your leisure time without fear or frustration.
My husband brings me joy and I bring him joy, but sometimes we just need something for ourselves. I know that when he gets his own time, he comes back to me as a better husband and father. I believe, and hope, he can say the same for me when I take time out of our day to exercise, read God’s word, or work on halfmessy. I still do not understand how yelling at a screen, exerting your mind, and clicking the mouse non-stop brings him joy, but to each his own. I still cheer him on because I want him to know that I will support what he likes. He even asked me to go to a tournament championship that was visiting our city, and his friends from out of state even flew in to join. Of course, being the loving and curious wife that I am, I got a babysitter and we went. I was definitely out of my element, but I had so much fun. I learned about the game, got to know his friends more, and enjoyed every smile I saw on his face that night.
God’s word says to honor your husband. I will always try to honor him in any situation, but I am especially happy to honor him in his hobby. A hobby that can bring up the family and not down is one that a spouse should always support and invest in. I may not be a gamer or understand it, but I can be a cheerleader for it. As I hear my husband shouting words that I do not understand to his online teammates, it reminds me that I need to make sure I choose a show I want to watch before he gets back and changes the channel. So from my halfmessy life to yours…support a healthy hobby for a healthy marriage.