Two Passions

by MW Cook

I just finished watching No Impact Man. You should, too.

The hero decides to go for a year without leaving any sort of ecological impact on the world. No pollution, no cars, no non-local food, no TV, no buying anything new, no electricity and on the list goes. The neatest thing is that he takes his wife and daughter along with him on this crazy project. He’s passionate. I get that.

His wife didn’t really get it. I mean, she was supportive, but she didn’t own the project. She was just along for the ride. So when she had to say goodbye to coffee and shopping and reality TV, it hit her hard. The first half of the film was very tense.

And then there was, for me, a revelation. She had a passion that her husband was not sharing: she wanted another child.

Now, I don’t know much about marriage. I’m no expert and I have nothing to offer you in way of credentials. But I have some interesting opinions on marriage and, since I have a blog, I get to pour them on you.

Question: Why was Michelle frustrated for about half of the No Impact project?
Matt’s Answer: Because it was not possible for her to own her husband’s passion while he refused to own hers.

It wasn’t the coffee. It wasn’t the TV. It was the ownership of passions. How do I know? Because after the husband smartened up and owned her passion, she turned into a different person.

Ruth has some passions that are her passions. Without her, they would not be a part of my life, I think. But since they are hers I choose to own them. They aren’t mine, really, and Ruth does not expect them to be mine. But I own them. That is, I completely support, push and work toward making her passions realities. And she does the same for me.

You’ll never be able to will yourself into being passionate about what your spouse is passionate about. And You should never expect that from your spouse, I think. But if you own what is hers, she will own what is yours. And that makes things good.

It’s made my marriage good.

And how good it is!