This post is mostly me thinking aloud. I’m exploring a thought, something I’ve noticed in my own marriage and others. Many marriage experts, counselors, therapists, etc. will tell you that people need time to decompress between work and home life. They need time to shift gears, to relax. I myself have said this in the past, have defended it, even experienced it. But, recently I’ve been rethinking that concept.
I’ve realized, over the years, as we addressed issues in our marriage, that I no longer need to decompress between work and home. I’m able to walk in the door and jump right in. But, I’ve also realized that my attitude towards home has shifted dramatically as well.
When our marriage was strained, home was a place of stress. So, I’d come from work, a place of stress, to home another place of stress, different stresses. So, I’d need time to decompress, time to relax so I could tackle another stressor.
But now, home is an oasis from the world. It’s not a stress, it’s relaxing, even when it’s hectic. It’s like slipping into a hot tub, or lying in a hammock. No one ever says “hold on, I need to decompress before getting into that hot tub”, or “wait, I need a break before lying in that hammock”. Why? Because it’s relaxing, it’s where you want to be. Being there relieves stress, not adds to it. You don’t need to bolster your defenses to slip into something relaxing.
My family, especially my wife, has become that relaxing break, that oasis in my life, where I don’t need time to prepare to be with her. I need time with her to prepare for tackling the rest of the world. Sometimes my kids are a bit of a stressor, but that’s easily overshadowed (in a good way) by the presence of my wife.
So, this has lead me to think, is needing time to decompress between work and home a sign of a strained marriage? Is something going on that’s causing you to not regard home as an oasis in your life?
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
18 thoughts on “Is your marriage an oasis?”
I mostly agree with you here. the only caveat I’d add is that sometimes it is necessary to “drop off the baggage” from work before coming home. I’ve found that sometimes I need to flip the switch and turn off my work brain before walking through my door and being husband and father.
Home is a place of course where what’s going on at work, but I don’t need to still be processing it when I walk in, lest I dump it on my unsuspecting wife and kids.
I have found that telling my wife what has gone on at work helps me decompress from work. And my wife sharing her day at home held her decompress from her day as well.
Just the act of verbally sharing helps bring our stress levels down.
Before our youngest started sleeping better, my home was a stressor, but now it is surely becoming an oasis again.
Thank you for this post because although my husband and I have been married for 12 years and even after all this time my husband still needs time to decompress. We are working on making our home the Oasis as you call it. It is not easy I feel like I can’t take his stress away.
I think my situation is unusual. My work office is the “Oasis” for me. I get a lot of positive feedback and encouragement from my supervisor and co-workers. I have a sense of accomplishment there. However, my home life is a source of stress for me…sex starved marriage along with other issues that both of us bring to our marriage. Thankfully, our home life is not a source of constant stress…
I don’t think that’s unusual at all. Actually, I think it happens fairly often. It’s not ideal, but it happens.
What do you do when your wife says she has no intention of participating in making our house a home/oasis? That she has no responsibility of providing, or cooperating in providing a safe loving environment for her husband, that it her husband’s job as provider to provider her and the kids a safe loving environment, and that she is not responsible for that.
Dunk her head in a cold bucket of water to wake her up? That was a joke, don’t do that.
…but if she were my sister… I’d be looking for a bucket…
Anyways. Counseling? Talk to your pastor, or an elder. Actually, ideally a marriage-positive woman she respects and will listen to. That would probably work better.
I would start asking why she feels and thinks that way. Has she ever read Proverbs 31 or any Proverbs for that matter. Titus? Scripture is full of women making the home an oasis. And song of solomon. Don’t start preaching at her first maybe a small date where you could talk and pray and read scripture together. Hope this helps. BTW I’m studying to be a marriage counselor who just happens to be marriage and sex positive.
Are your kids older now? 🙂
That was my question!! Lol. We have three girls: 6, 4, and 20 months, and there is nothing oasis-like until they are all in bed!
I have an 11 month old…still an oasis. Not a quite one 🙂 or even a restful one at times, but still, better than out there in the world.
I guess I don’t know how to overshadow the chaos of our kids, but I am beginning to suspect that may be his issue more than mine. I feel like he has unrealistic expectations for our three girls (6, 4, and 20 months). He acts as if the kids are an inconvenience to him (especially on Saturdays, when they just want to spend time with him) and I think it is making it impossible for him to view our home as an oasis. Try as I might, I am not enough to overshadow his bad attitude, you know?
I have two ROWDY BOYS one with adhd and I homeschool and still there’s no place like home.
I confess the post makes me feel a little insecure, haha. I do think my husband considers me an oasis for the most part, but he still needs time in his man cave before he is ready to connect with me, even sexually. I don’t know how to know whether I am doing something that he has to “psych himself up for” or if it’s his issue or what. It’s hard because then I feel like we only have time to connect either sexually or emotionally but never both, and in this busy season of life we’ve kind of defaulted to just having sex. I’m very happy about our frequency and don’t want that to go down, but I wish we had more time to connect emotionally. He says he enjoys talking with me and we have so much fun together, but he has said before that he just really needs that down time, and so I’ve made it a point to accommodate that. I guess I think it could be a legitimate need, because I have it too, just in a different way. I don’t need that every day, but I take Saturday afternoons just for myself and have “me time” for about four hours every week, and I need those times to recharge, especially away from the kids, but it isn’t the same if that time is spent with my husband. It doesn’t recharge me in the same way. I guess the difference for me is that I choose to spend my down time in prayer and reflection and trying to reconnect with God after the chaos of the week, but he just watches TV. I wish it were different, but he seems to just need that time in his “empty box,” like the Farrells say. How do I know if I am the problem, if he isn’t dealing with his own stuff, or if he just genuinely needs that time?
I think perhaps I was unclear. There’s a different between “needing time alone” and “needing to decompress before dealing with my spouse”. Sounds like it might be both in your case. I’m honestly not sure how to resolve that if he’s not interested in growing that aspect of your relationship. Perhaps it will come in time. If I remember right, your relationship has been growing from where it was a few years ago. Perhaps it’s still coming.
We are definitely still growing, yes, and have come a long ways in a relatively short time, in my opinion. Since I feel like I am primarily the one learning to see things in an entirely new way, perhaps he needs more time to sense the changes and feel secure that they are permanent.
Or maybe I just talk too much. 😉
Speaking of talking too much…? I just read a post about being an enjoyable wife, and while I am not sure I am an oasis to my husband yet, I think I am an enjoyable wife now where I wasn’t always before, and I really do think my husband would agree. Even in the midst of our crazy kids. And I am okay with that for now. ?
My loving husband had very abusive parents without boundaries. I realized early on in our marriage that one of my jobs was to help my husband cope with the impossible situations daily (his oasis). We were a family business at the time. The old folks are now croaked, good for everyone involved. I am still his oasis 27+ years later, however, the need is not so intense.