Sunday, February 03, 2008

Husbands and Writing

Recently a young woman wrote to me wanting some advice. She is dating this guy who is nice and all, but he is not a reader. She's not into a career, but she feels called to be a writer, and she was wondering how this all fits together for an Anabaptist woman considering both writing and marriage.

She had some very wise questions, and the greatest gift she gave me by writing was not to make me feel honored that she'd ask me (that was the second-greatest) but to make me realize once again that I am very blessed to have the husband I have, even though he would never read my stuff if he weren't married to me. (He does like to read--news and sermon-studying and action novels--but not heartwarming little stories.)

One of the first things I appreciated about Paul when we were dating was that I could use big words and he wasn't intimidated. Also, right from the start he saw my writing as a calling, even more than I did at times. While he still wishes I wouldn't push deadlines like I do, he is very patient when everything gets put on hold the last two days of the month. And he does not feel competitive when I succeed in areas where he doesn't.

So I told the young lady that this is the sort of thing she needs to look for, and if her guy shows signs of belittling her interests or being patronizing, those are red flags.

I wish her well.

Quote of the Day:
Jenny: BEN!! Get my horse out of your armpit!
Ben: (playing with Jenny's precious stick horse)It's my crutch!
Me: (Sigh) Only in this house. . .


  1. Right on! The more I read your blog, the more similarities I find between us--and now our husbands. I have also felt blessed to have a husband who does not stand in the way of my writing, even though he is not a reader. He has read only two of my six books.
    An Anabaptist woman CAN be a wife, mother, homemaker, and writer (in that order) but she must have a supportive husband. And she must also be so compelled from within to write that she takes time to do it, for the other responsibilities that come with marriage can easily become thorns that choke out writing time.
    A husband does not need to be a reader to be married to a writer, but he DOES need to be supportive of his wife's callling.

  2. I think it's a wonderful asset to a writer wife if her husband is good at looking after lots of nitty gritty details that can drive writer-types bananas. My husband is like that, and I have many more writing opportunities because of that than I would if he were as impatient with mundane things as I am.