It hit me only recently during an interaction with my wife that us guys are a tad less spontaneous than our partners would prefer much of the time. And this was revealed to me after she gave me a compliment on my spontaneity regarding a cool family activity that I’d suggested—the compliment implied this was ‘a special effort’ on my behalf to have made the suggestion. She was impressed, and I liked that. The truth is I discovered in this that I’m not very often spontaneous.
The fact is most of the time we guys lack the enthusiasm and energy for the things we need to do with family and our partners—not always, as sometimes we do surprise—but we find it hard to maintain that sort of creative, innovative energy regarding the things a family needs to do together. It tends to be extrinsic.
Now, there’ll always be exceptions to this, but as a rule we have far more on our minds than simply family, unfortunately. And, sure, we can be incredibly spontaneous regarding that fishing trip or a day at the football!
Yet, we all know that us guys were spontaneous once-upon-a-time. That was then, this is now, however. Guys are chasers. Once the thrill of the chase is gone and we’ve taken captive our sweethearts there’s less reason for ingenuity to impress. Before we know it we not only lack the drive to do it, but the knack also.
But, spontaneity regarding the family and our spousal relationships is not a difficult thing if we’re mindful about it and we can set some goals regarding it.
Try these things:
ü Pick the right time to be spontaneous i.e. like at the commencement of a holiday—to do something wild is exciting and appropriate; it’s spontaneous.
ü Be inventive around things that prove, through effort, commitment to spending quality time with the family.
ü Take extra time out to spend alone thinking about the family and each relationship. This introspection will drive a desire to want to connect.
ü Acknowledge if it’s difficult that extra focus is needed. Set goals, execute them, and persist, persist, and persist some more.
The idea behind us guys being spontaneous is that we show we want to be with our partner and children and we want to make the most of this moment, right now. It sends a resoundingly powerful message to all the family. This reinforces strength of family identity. And it’s never more powerfully expressed through husband and father.
Let’s also not forget that not all the pressure for spontaneity falls to the guy. As they say, ‘It takes two to tango.’
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.