When Supporting Your Husband’s Dreams Puts Yours on the Backburner

Husband's Dreams, Pursuing Dreams, Dreams on Hold

If someone tells you being a wife is easy, 1) he or she is a bold-faced liar and 2) run. I married a phenomenal man I am glad to do life with. Full of love, full of expectation and confident that together “we could do it all,” I imagined we’d pursue our dreams with tenacity and ease. Whew, I was naïve. The truth is building a life with your spouse may not look how you envisioned. And when building that life there may be a season (or seasons) when your goals and dreams hit the back burner so your husband can reach for his. This post touches on a few unexpected things I’ve learned when prioritizing my husband’s dreams.

 

Marrying a man means marrying his dreams.

When the two of you said “I do,” your list of dreams got longer (depending who you married, that list might’ve gotten lengthy). Your husband’s heart beats for dreams you may not fully understand. But what you do know is they are important to him. Buy in. Commit. Commit to helping him reach high and for all he feels called to. Encourage him often. It’s not easy, but when he is fulfilled in his pursuits, it benefits your marriage and your household. His win is your win.

 


Buy in. Commit. Commit to helping him reach high and for all he feels called to. Encourage him often.


 

My husband spent the majority of his career in social services. After we had got married, he realized his true passion was coaching volleyball. It was no surprise since he incessantly talked about the sport and the club teams he coached. Did I mention he filled our ENTIRE DVR with games (I kid you not, this year we still had University of Texas volleyball games dating back to 2013)?

 

When he came to me with his desire to change careers, I willfully got on board. My husband’s dream became mine. I encouraged him to go for it, and I signed up for all the sacrifice that followed. To be real with you, I didn’t enjoy giving up my discretionary spending money or pushing back the launch of my business. But in that season, a few of my priorities had to decrease so his dream could be realized. Now fulfilled and living his dream, the husband I have today is exceedingly better than who he was before.

 

 

Pursuing dreams takes effort and a plan.

It takes a communicated and shared plan. So listen. Just because you’re husband and wife doesn’t mean he gets to drag you through every valley and over every mountain whenever he pleases (and vice versa…this goes for you too!). Major decisions and lengthy modifications to daily life require the two of you choosing to do so together.

 

If my husband had told me he was taking a volunteer collegiate coaching position while we were expecting our first child, without my consent, it could’ve been WWIII in the Behnke household. With all my raging pregnancy hormones, some tables might would have been turned over.

 

But we talked through it, saved and prayed before moving forward with his career change. Having a plan made the transition manageable. Yes, his first college coaching position was unpaid. Yes, I was pregnant with our firstborn when we went without his much-needed salary. And yes, by His grace we stayed afloat until he got a paid coaching job eleven months later. In the words of Coldplay, “nobody said it was easy.

 

At times, we sprint with one dream while the other(s) sit in the starting blocks.

That may mean managing a heavier burden of the child-rearing load for a while. It may mean he allocates more time to his dream and less to you and the family for a season. It may mean you launch your business at a later date. I say may because each marriage and each season are different.

 

The way you and your husband run your race may be different than how your friends do it. And this year could look different than years past. For all you know, there could be a time when you two are like Sonya Richards-Ross and Aaron Ross. They are married to one another, insanely talented and at the top of their fields at the same time. And when I say the top of their fields I mean one is an Olympic gold medalist, and the other has won a Super Bowl. It could happen.

 


The way you and your husband run your race may be different than how your friends do it.


 

Dreams don’t have to die when they are on hold.

If you aren’t in a season like the Rosses, keep working on what you can. If your husband’s dreams are currently the priority, they won’t always be. There is a season, a time, for everything. Stretch. Get ready. Plan for your success. There will be a time for when you will run your race. There will be a time for when you will pursue your dream(s) full force. They’ll come off the back burner, and you’ll be able to give ’em all you have. It may be next month. It may be next year. Prepare in the meantime so that you can run well.

 

What dreams are you and your mate currently pursuing? How have you and/or your spouse sacrificed for each other’s dreams? What victories can you celebrate and share with others? Please share in the comments below.

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32 Comments

  1. 1
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      Sarah, thank you. Doing life with wonderful people has to be one of my greatest joys. Thank you for loving and supporting my little family so well. – Ashley

  2. 3

    This is awesome, Ashley. My husband and I have experienced taking turns with the dream chasing. As he completed his degree I gave him my full support. Now I am working on a Ph.D. and he is doing the same. It’s interesting to see how we balance this thing called LIFE (marriage and parenting 2 little boys). 🙂 Our communication and love for each other have been key to our success. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • 4

      Alexis, look at you two running your race! Kudos to you for working on a Ph.D. with those little ones. I know it’s not easy but you are setting a great example for them to follow. What do you want to do with your degree? I’m cheering for you!! – Ashley

  3. 5

    I loved this post. It so resonated!! My husband and I are currently in a season of figuring out what his dreams are and what it looks like for us to pursue dreams together. We’ve both sacrificed in previous years for each other’s dreams. He’s done international medical disaster relief trips and has spoken at or led a handful of spiritual conferences and retreats, which has meant me carrying more with our little family at times or at other times, joining in the actual work of the conferences and retreats. When I wanted to write a book on gospel-centered womanhood, he gave himself to editing it (a sacrifice indeed for any husband to edit a book on womanhood!!). We are currently dreaming forward and wondering what God has next for us each and together.

    • 6

      Katie, thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you can relate! You and your husband are the epitome of what I was writing about. Wow, have you sacrificed for one another. You took turns supporting one another’s pursuits and dreams. As you dream forward and seek God, I can’t help but be confident that you will see fruit. – Ashley

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      Holland, ha! I don’t think anyone is prepared for their season. I know one thing, one way or another you will make it to the other side. You might not be giving yourself enough credit lady. – Ashley

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    This is so important – what a great reminder of self-sacrifice. Sometimes he’ll need to support you and your career as well. It definitely works both ways but what a great testiment to love.

    • 12

      Tiffany, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a give and take. Sacrificing for one another is definitely an expression of love. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts! – Ashley

  7. 13

    Ashley wow thank you for your GREAT words of wisdom, motivation, encouragement, and real-ness! This could not have come at a more perfect time for me and my family! This is currently our season and wow it’s raw at times and there are struggles, but to keep our eyes steadily fixed on God and His plan, His agenda (as He beautifully orchestrates it) we learn through our struggle we need Him 100x more and the battle of trying to rest in His perfect will! Whew!! (no matter if we have a clue what’s about to happen or not lol) He still wins and praise Him for allowing us to go through this season but always has victories awaiting us at the end!!
    Thx for this Ashley!!

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    My partner and I are not religious, however her faith and determination on her goals is what drives me forward for mine. Watching her flourish and reach for her passion has inspired me to do the same and now we move forward together to chase that star!

    Lovely hearing a spiritual side to this as well, something I don’t get to hear often – I admire it!

    Lottie xx

    http://www.lottielamour.co.uk

    • 17

      Lottie, I appreciate you taking the time to share about you and your partner! I’m with you, watching my husband reach for his dreams has inspired me more than he knows. Now he and I are off to the races together.

      And thank you for your kind words. I hope to be as authentic as I can be in this space, so my faith will be mentioned here and there. Best! – Ashley

  10. 18

    Wow Ashley, your article is so relevant and just shows that no matter where we come from, our situations are not unique.I experienced the very same all these years, now is my time!! Although he is a bit grumpy when I sneak into bed in the early hours of the morning after trying to catch up on blogging, he still loves me!!!

    • 19

      Amanda, I’m so excited that it is YOUR season! My husband can be grumpy here and there too. Over here it’s more like, “please work in the office instead of the bedroom. You have too many lights on.” 😀 – Ashley

  11. 20

    So so so love this post. My husband is in the military so we are always moving, changing plans, being insanely flexible in this life. My career-aspirations were becoming increasingly harder to achieve because of constant moving. Then having a baby added just one extra point of chaos! But I am happy to put my career on the back burner to help his. He is the provider for our family and I am so thankful for that!

    • 21

      Chrissa, thank you to you and your husband for serving our country. I’m not sure civilians tell you this enough.

      I had a baby last year and wholeheartedly agree, they definitely up the difficulty on family life! Best to you as you support your husband in this season. – Ashley

  12. 22

    Great post and view of how spouses support each other in marriage. I put my education on the back burner for several years so that my husband could get his first. At the time the kids were too young to understand why we both had to commit so much time college and not with them. So I stopped attempted while he finished his bachelors. Then I started started attending. When I graduated he went back for his masters. Sometimes you just have to take turns.

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    I needed to read this about eleven years ago! My first marriage was a lot of sacrificing all in my part. My military career suffered and my mental health did, too. I divorced and found someone that supported my dreams fully. So now I am retired from the Army and looking to build a business with a wonderful wife backing me!

    • 29

      Antonio, I wish you the absolute best in your endeavors and in your marriage. I’ve heard it said countless times, teamwork makes the dream work :). – Ashley

  16. 30

    Nice post. I am all the way around going through transition, fairy new empty nest, aging mom, and the path I thought my husband and I were taking together has suddenly done a 180 for him to follow his dream, so mine is on hold and his dream has taken us to a location that is rural, middle of nowhere and not someplace I see my self living in. I find myself questioning what God is doing in my life. I do feel like I am giving up myself to follow his dreams. I will keep this in mind. Thanks

    • 31

      Donna,

      Thank you and wow, you are experiencing a lot of change! Adjusting to being an empty nester plus a move is quite the transition. There’s nothing wrong with questioning God with what he is doing. He is one who not only hears but answers in His time. Keeping seeking out the purpose of this new season and know this is a time both you and your husband can grow. I’m wishing you the absolute best and hope to hear soon all the great things to come for you all. Best!

      – Ashley

  17. 32

    Ive been married 6 years come November and have so much to learn. Feel like all I do is cook amd clean up and look after the children. There is so much more to me whuch I can’t purpose because im making sacrifices for my husband. Part of me wants to selfishly run away

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