How Being Open to Taking on a New Role Strengthened My Marriage

How Being Open to Taking on a New Role Strengthened My Marriage

Note: This is Part II in Husband’s POV Series: Support Your Spouse for Better Balance Together. If you’d like to read Part I click here.

Swing batter, batter, batter, sah-wing!

Several months back, and in an effort to enrich our lives, my wife put us on the free agent list of the local softball league. As luck would have it we received a call from a couple teams. However due to my work schedule, it was she who found a home, while I was left out.

I’ve been a softball player — rabidly so — for many years. My wife, however, has been a spectator. Before this year she had never played a game, caught a ball, or swung a bat. At least not so far as softball is concerned. With all this in mind we sallied forth into the great unknown, her to learn how to play the game and me to teach her how to play the game. One might venture to guess I might be a little jealous. One would be quite correct. Jealousy aside I quite fancied being spectator to her playing, and even more to being her softball guru.

Leading up to our first practice she seemed quite worried. Not so much about playing — though there was some of that — but about my feelings at being spectator and coach, not a player. Softball is, for me, a way of life. It is the epitome of teamwork, a wholesome game the practices of which can be applied to everyday life in so many ways. She knows this as much as anyone has known anything. My own worries were far different from hers. I was worried about how I would coach and how she would respond to my coaching style. I’m blunt, rarely speaking in gentle phrases when I see mistakes. And there is no other way to coach in my estimation. It’s a big ball that can hurt you. I know from experience. So do it correctly or don’t do it.

All our practices have gone well. “Do this. Don’t do that,” is a common phrase she hears. She also gets to hear words of encouragement when she does things right. There are little nods and smiles of approval, as well. There are also moments of gentle reminders, little quizzes of how to react to various scenarios. She’s getting them down, learning and getting better. Her arm isn’t great and her swing still needs work. But she hustles and learns best she can.

I have to admit that for all the wishing I was playing with her, I am glad I am not. The satisfaction one gets from lacing a ball hard up the middle or making a clutch play is something I know well. It’s amazing to watch her enjoy it as I have — and it only makes our team that much better.

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