My husband had been subtly complaining about how many times I had been “going out” without him during the evenings over the past few months. From Bible study, to book club dinners, to blog meetings, I was having fun with my friends and hobbies.
“You need to get out too,” I said. “Just go!” I said, also half-jokingly.
“Fine!” he replied. Looking at Kevin he said, “Do you want to go do something?”
And Guys Night was born. There was a quick canvas of the neighborhood dads and…four years later, they’re still going out every single Thursday, only sparing major holidays! While family still comes first, it is healthy to support each other in nurturing friendships outside of the family. Here’s why:
He needs friends to support, laugh, and talk about life (other than you).
Just like you need your girlfriends because they can relate to what you are going through differently than your husband does, your husband needs guy friends to do the same. They can provide a different kind of support that will build him up and encourage him.
Just like you need your girlfriends because they can relate to what you are going through differently than your husband does, your husband needs guy friends to do the same.
He needs to break up his work week and have something to look forward to.
Sometimes the week can seem very long, and he needs to know that a time to relax is coming. Getting out with the guys allows him to leave his work and family worries behind just for a little while. He’ll come back feeling lighter and ready to tackle life again.
He doesn’t feel lonely or jealous when you want to do something without him.
He gets to go out, and so do you! Knowing that Guys Night is coming, he will be less likely to balk at your desire to go out with friends too. He won’t feel like you are leaving him with the kids by himself — instead, it’s more like an even trade. You put the kids to bed by yourself tonight, and I’ll be doing it another night.
Women tend to be the social planners of the household. Like my husband, some men might need a little “push” to start planning their own social nights out. Other times, they feel like they need “permission” to go out without you. Try suggesting a day or time that is open on the calendar, i.e., “We don’t have anything going on this Wednesday night. Why don’t you and Kevin go to the driving range? I can handle the kids.”
Sometimes married couples can get stuck in a pattern of being a parent, spouse, and employee. There seems to be no time or energy left over for friendships or hobbies. But over time, a person’s identity begins to suffer. He or she may wonder, Who am I outside of this? What do I love to do with my friends?
This doesn’t mean you stop making it a priority to go out together on dates. It just means that it’s okay to find that balance between time with the family, time together, and time doing things on your own. Helping your husband carve out that time for himself will make you both happier, more well-rounded people.
How can you encourage your husband to cultivate friendships?