Being married to ‘Mr. Ideas’
I love my husband dearly and am so grateful for him. He is my best friend and I love getting to live life with him.
But … as I’ve found out during these last 5 years of marriage, we are more different than I thought.
Can you relate with me?
One of the things I really like about him is the fact that he is a dreamer and a visionary. One of the things about him that can scare the crap out of me is the fact that he’s a dreamer and a visionary! (did you follow that?)
Seriously, the man is ‘Mr. Ideas.’ He always has new ideas running through his mind and is often dreaming about things that he would possibly like to pursue. Me? Not so much. I am the details person. I like to help the ideas people put their ideas into motion or help the dreamers get their dreams off the ground. It sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Well, yes … and no. Here’s a typical conversation in our household:
- Shun-Luoi: “Do you have a minute for me to tell you about an idea I had?”
- Me: “Um, sure.”
- Shun-Luoi: “Yada, yada, yada, idea, yada, yada, yada ….”
- Me: “Well, have you thought about this? Or how would that play out? I really don’t think that ______ would work. Yada, yada, yada …”
This conversation would culminate in Shun-Luoi feeling deflated and me being frustrated with how the whole conversation had gone south, although I wasn’t sure why it had. However, what I did realize was that his nonstop ideas overwhelmed me. What I didn’t realize that, though, was that sometimes he wasn’t thinking of actually pursuing the idea; he just wanted to bounce it off of someone else. I didn’t realize that he usually wasn’t at the point where he was looking for a full critique on his idea. And, I didn’t realize that my routine wondering of how this detail or that detail of his idea would work (or telling him why it wouldn’t work) made him no longer want to share his ideas with me. To be honest, this difference between us has resulted in most of the frustration we have experienced in our marriage.
So, what should we do? Just chalk it up to being different and shake our heads at each other in frustration? Well, there have probably have been times we have done that. But the good news is that instead of merely doing the aforementioned, we are truly learning how to come along each other and work together in spite of our differences. He is learning to not share every single idea and/or dream that he thinks about with me, because it overwhelms and freaks me out at times. I have learned to relax when he shares ideas, because I now realize he is not planning to act on them right now or without my input. I am learning to hold my tongue when he shares an idea and to tell him what I think are some strengths of the idea or to ask if he is interested in my critique or in hearing some weaknesses of the idea that I may have noticed.
But more than that, I am learned to celebrate who God created my husband to be. To not be scared of him being the dreamer and ‘ideas guy.’ To not squelch who he truly is, but to try to better understand him (and he tries to do the same). To even encourage him to continue to dream and think up new ideas (gulp!).
And you know what? I am coming to truly be grateful that God wired my husband in this way. If He hadn’t, I would be stuck in the details and ‘small picture’ of life. Instead, I get to have my eyes opened up to possibilities and ideas that I would have never considered. And that is a gift.