These last few weeks have been a crazy time for Kaswyn and I. They've also been trying for my family. Fortunately, Craig recently did some thinking about my horse that has led to an epiphany of sorts on his part. I think there are those who can benefit from this line of thinking, so I asked Craig to write it up so I could post it.
Here it is -
Hi. Sheri’s husband here.
I generally don’t poke my nose into this odd and mysterious world of horse people, but Sheri's asked me to write a guest post concerning a recent revelation I've had. An epiphany, actually.
I should start by admitting that I don't much like Sheri's horse. I know that's blasphemous talk, and I certainly don't expect any of you to take my side on this. I know you'll probably say "You don't ride, you can't understand" and, to a degree, you're right. But I have my own hobbies that I'm passionate about, and they require a certain amount of dedication and time commitment, so I think I have a baseline understanding, even though I agree that I'll never share the deep connection Sheri has with her horse.
But, in my own defense, this isn't a knee-jerk "what's that gonna cost?" or "I never see you anymore!" thing (even though that has certainly played a part) but, rather, an attitude that has developed over time.
When we first started dating, Sheri made it clear that she and her horse were a package deal. And if I couldn't deal with her riding, then it wasn't going to work between us. And for the first five years it really wasn't much of an issue. Or, at least, not as big an issue as it would become. I wasn't passionate about riding or Kaswyn, but I didn't object, either. I was pretty neutral. Riding made Sheri happy, so why not? Yeah, it cost money for stabling and feed, but it wasn't causing financial difficulties, really.
But, in the past five years, Kaswyn has become a real money pit. He is constantly lame, and the efforts to diagnose, manage and treat this lameness has run up hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.
This stresses Sheri and makes her miserable. And I don't want my wife to be miserable.
Being a man and approaching things like a man, my thinking is that if you remove the stress-causing element (Kaswyn) then things would be better. This kinda came to a head recently with the whole affair of taking Kaswyn down to OSU, having him develop mysterious blood issues, postponing surgery, Sheri having to fetch him on Thanksgiving Day thereby missing dinner with my family, then having him develop new mysterious issues only to be rushed to another vet for an overnight stay… Sheri was a stressed-out, crying mess for most of a week.
Mulling these events over in my head, I started to form an analogy that would help convey to Sheri just why this series of events angered me so.
I thought: Let’s say Lily (our oldest daughter, who is now only seven) were 16 years old and dating a boy who she just LOVED. But every third date or so she came home in tears. And she was constantly spending excessive amounts of money on him. And even when things were good, she was still stressed and nervous, just waiting for when things turned bad again. If this were the case, there’s no way that Sheri or I would stand for it. We’d tell her that this guy is bad for her, and she should dump him, that there’s plenty of other fish in the sea. And even if she told us, "But I really love him! I need him in my life! I’d be less without him!" we’d stick to our guns.
Now here comes the epiphany part.
As I thought it over I realized that it wasn't a very good analogy. It would be closer to the case if Lily were an adult and married to a man who was suddenly faced with a serious and potentially life-altering issue. Cancer. Parkinson’s. Macular degeneration. Something like that. If THAT were the case, I realized, I wouldn’t tell her to dump the guy. I’d tell her that she’s in a relationship that she committed to a long time ago and that she should stick it out, support him.
Don’t give up hope.
This completely altered my perception of the situation. I mean, I still don’t like to see my wife unhappy, and I don’t like it that such a large percentage of our household income is spent on one animal… but now I think I have a tiny bit more understanding of what’s going on in Sheri’s head. And, for maybe the first time, I think she's doing the right thing.
Also, check out this post at Behind the Bit for a similar blog post about horses and husbands.
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