Do we ever really change?
Some change happens as we grow up and mature.
But, is it possible to change? Why do we want our spouses to change when we knew what we were getting when we got married?
When Hubs and I were first dating, he was very into soccer. Being a former Soccer God in school, he was coaching three different soccer teams, as well as doing private lessons, playing on an under-30 team, going to games with other coaches, and of course, watching the World Cup(yes, the World Cup being on is what brought this thought to my head).
I remember as a newlywed, getting frustrated with him and yelling at him, “You’re always busy with soccer!”
He looked at me and said, “I’m no different now than before we got married.”
And he was right. He had had to travel across the state, sometimes being gone on weekends, and have his weeknights be full of soccer. It wasn’t any different. But, it felt different because we were living together after we got married and I noticed his absence more.
But, it really wasn’t fair of me to expect him to stop with all the soccer just because we got married. It wasn’t something that we had talked about.
He did try to continue even after our first baby was born, which really got me going.
And made me see other things that bothered me about him. It wasn’t just soccer. It was going out with the other coaches after games and drinking what I thought was way too much: something that took away from our time as a family, was wasting the money that we had- which was limited since I wasn’t working any more, and was even potentially dangerous since he would drive home.
And so, we fought about that. I mean huge, epic shouting-match types of fights.
That’s when everything he didn’t like about me came out, too: I was a terrible housekeeper, I wasn’t ever going to play any sports with him, and I wasn’t a social butterfly.
It was my turn to say “I’m no different now than before we got married.”
We were at a stand-off: one that if we hadn’t made the decision to make our marriage work, could have been the end of our marriage.
Luckily, we believe that love is a decision and chose to make things work. To remember the things that had made us fall in love in the first place, instead of focusing on what we didn’t like.
And we did change: we became more considerate of each other’s wants and expectations.
Hubs isn’t coaching now. He only goes to a few soccer games a year and only stays out late with the coaches for one of those. He still plays, but in a once-a-week no-stress over-30 league. While he does still drink, it’s not excessive and it’s usually at home, after the boys go to bed, while he and I watch tv together. I don’t worry that he’s going to drink and drive now.
Have I changed? Well, I’ll never be out there playing on his soccer team. But, I can go to his games for support and to spend time with him. I’ve learned to be more social, meeting more people and being more outgoing. I still get quiet and prefer to be a homebody sometimes, but I can be a social butterfly when the need arises.
I’m still a horrible housekeeper. But, Hubs has realized that he is, too, so he knows the state of our house is not entirely my fault.
If you look at the two of us, now almost 9 years after we met, we are different. We have changed.
We’ve changed and grown together. But, it doesn’t happen overnight and not completely.
And so, when I was a Soccer Widow on Saturday because Hubs was off having some big pre-game party with his friends, then watching the game, and then continuing the party to analyze every play in the game, and then needed to be driven home, I wasn’t upset.
Because I knew that he then would be okay that I didn’t feel like cleaning the house and having company come over on Sunday and playing the welcoming hostess- that I wanted to go spend time off by myself.
It’s a part of who we are. We might not always like every choice that the other makes, every habit or quirk. But, we still love each other and don’t need each other to change.