I've had a couple of stories on my mind lately, two stories about two husbands.
A few weeks ago a friend at work told me about his wife's father. Apparently he is an excellent golfer. He plays in tournaments all the time. When my friend's wife was a teenager, her mother asked her husband to give up golf and spend more time at home. He refused. They got divorced.
My question is this: Is it right for a spouse to give up something that is important so he or she can better fulfill his or her role?
The best answer I can offer for this is in a story about a close friend of mine. We were team roping partners in high school.
My friend continued to rope after his mission. When he was still a young man, married with two sons, he was on the road at rodeos and ropings all over the West and doing quite well.
He called his wife to tell her how great things were going. She was not exactly thrilled.
"You stay out there as long as you think you need to," she said. "This isn't what I got married for. I might be here when you get back. I might not."
To say the least, my friend was stunned. He was just hitting his stride, and would likely qualify for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) that year.
What did he do?
He told his roping partner, "Hey, I have a little situation at home that I need to take care of. You go on. I'm headed for home."
My friend did go home. He worked it out with his wife. He sold his horses, his horse trailer, his truck, everything. He quit roping completely.
What do you think his wife thought of him?
Many years later, my friend is happily married. He is the high priest group leader in his ward. His oldest son has returned from his mission and married in the temple. His second son is on a mission. And he is roping all the time now—never on Sunday—with his wife's total support. And he is winning.
What if every husband and wife talked things through, made allowances for different interests, honored and respected each other? What might be the long term result?