Rob had been dissatisfied with his job for years. Finally, he made the decision to return to college so he would qualify for the kind of job he wanted to be doing for the rest of his life. His wife, Brenda, fully supported him in this decision. Everything about the new commitment started off great! Rob quit his full-time job so he could attend classes. He found two part-time jobs that he could juggle with his college schedule. Brenda continued working at her job. Their two kids continued to be kids!
However, soon Rob was exhausted going from classes to work, back to classes, off again to work. He was rarely home, but when he was, he needed to be studying. He didn’t have time or energy anymore for meaningful conversations with Brenda. He lost touch with his kids. Rob no longer felt like a husband and family man. He felt guilty no matter where he was or what he was doing because it seemed there just wasn’t enough of him to go around.
Brenda started feeling resentful. She hated being neglected and frequently entertained thoughts that she could do better with someone else.
One day while Rob was in class, several of the family men and women vented their guilt and frustrations. They knew their families were being neglected, but nobody knew what to do about it. Apparently the professor had heard all of this before, and he offered a simple solution. He advised Rob and the others to start Family Nights with their families. He cautioned them to make this time sacred and to absolutely never, ever let anything else interfere with it.
At first Rob resisted, “Yeah, great, and that just gives me yet another thing to do!” However, he and Brenda, and the kids went ahead establishing weekly Family Nights every Friday. Every member of the family knew they were not allowed to let anything else interfere. Rob told his bosses the situation and said he was not available to work Friday nights. He ignored any books and studying on Friday nights.
How Family Nights Worked For Rob’s Entire Family
What a change! When every member of the family knew they had the security of Family Nights, the pressure was eased on everyone. Friday is always not far away! When Rob was dashing out the door to go to class or work, he always reminded himself that Friday night would soon be here and he could stay home with the family. Brenda found that she could tolerate Rob’s absence Saturday through Thursday, because she knew he was committed to being with the family when Friday came. Even the kids were OK with Dad not being there to help with homework or read a bedtime story because they were snugly assured that he would be there for them Friday evening.
Yes, this is a true story! I knew Rob and Brenda from college. Today they are still married and happily so. The days of juggling classes and working two jobs are finally over for Rob and he has the good job he always wanted. This family continues to observe Family Nights. The children, now teenagers, still eagerly look forward to Friday evenings even though they now have dad’s time and attention most other evenings as well.
And this is an example of how Family Nights can save a marriage. What a simple solution to what appeared to be an impossible situation. Don’t we all love happy endings!