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My husband is a hardworking, giving, fun-loving man. He has always been an equal earner in our household and has always done his part. Last week however, he injured himself for the second time in the past 6 months. This did not happen on the job but playing paintball. This wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t cost him work and money, but it does. He will be off of the job now for at least a few weeks and we just simply can’t afford it. How do I tell him that his paintball days need to be over?
-Married to Injury
Dear Married to Injury,
You have a loving spouse who has always done his part to pitch in with you to take care of your family. You appreciate his giving spirit in your marriage and love the fun that he brings to your life. Unfortunately, his weekend hobby has also caused you and the family pain.
I definitely get where your husband is coming from. I play flag football and pick-up basketball and have come away bruised and injured more times than not. Thankfully it has not cost me financially as my job only relies on me being able to sit there and talk with people. But when every paycheck relies on your ability to show up and do physical labor it definitely changes the equation.
It sounds like your husband’s heart is in the right place but it may also be time for him to put his priorities in the right place.
It sounds like your husband’s heart is in the right place but it may also be time for him to put his priorities in the right place. Express your concerns about how this injury is affecting your family’s financial standing and that you really need him to leave his paintball days behind.
My guess is that while he may be hesitant to give up this hobby he will be willing to put his family first. It may be helpful to ask him what he enjoyed about paintball. Was it the social connection, competition, or something else? Although nothing may ever be able to give him the same enjoyment as paintball, another hobby that gives him that social connection or competition just might help.
Dear Married to Injury,
Family comes first. Although your husband may be giving up a fun hobby, it’s an easy sacrifice to make when the alternative is an unpaid stack of bills and no food on the table. Because you rely on the double income, I understand that this is a blow to finances.
My advice is to come at the conversation lovingly. Although frustrating, your husband did not purposely get injured and most likely understands the financial implications. Communicate that you love him and need him able bodied to function at his job, so you can function as a family. If you are in desperate need of his paycheck in the next few weeks, he should explore how many vacation, sick or other days he has available during this downtime so you aren’t completely strapped for cash. Encourage him to explore less injury causing pursuits for the sake of preventing future injuries to your wallet and marriage.