Jared and Asia were pros at making their marriage work. Some couples—like his brother and sister-in-law—weren’t so lucky to overcome obstacles. Jared saw how to make it work from his own parents who were in the exact same situation when he was a child. His parents had opposing schedules, but they had it a lot worse than Jared and Asia. They didn’t share an off day, and they saw each other every three days for a few hours all the way through Jared’s teenage years. Finally, just before his father died, their schedules coincided. But the thing is, Jared never saw his parents complain or get mad at each other. When they did see each other, Jared saw that they adored each other. He didn’t realize it at the time because he was too young, but he learned a lesson about commitment. When you are committed to someone, you do whatever it takes—even if it doesn’t feel good. Jared learned that love had very little to do with how much time they physically spent together and everything to do with the decision they made to make it work no matter what. Love is often sacrificial, and Jared and Asia understood that quite well. They knew that Asia didn’t need to work; it would certainly help matters if she didn’t. But, they were willing to make the necessary sacrifices for her (both of them, really) to achieve her dream. So, at night, Jared helped Kolby with his homework and spent time with him. He knew how important that was going to be because of his experience with his own father. However, although he enjoyed that time of pouring himself into his son, he didn’t want it to affect Kolby’s relationship with Asia. It would be quite understandable if Kolby developed a preference for Jared over Asia, but he didn’t want that. Eventually it would drive a wedge between them. He made sure to talk about her to make sure she was included in their times together. He also created an environment that made Kolby excited about seeing his mother again. For example, whenever Kolby would play a song perfectly, Jared suggested he play it for her when they saw her again. Or, if Kolby got a good grade, Jared would get him excited to tell Asia about it.
Don’t let Jared fool you though. Of course he would prefer to have his wife around more, and he missed her like crazy all of the time. But that was the price he had to pay for how they chose to live. Some days, Jared did have doubts that they could live with their choices long term and he would worry. Other days, his son made him so proud he didn’t care. It was that look Kolby gave him when they left for work and school in the morning. He would look at him with such admiration, Jared felt like he could accomplish anything.
Despite the doubts and frustrations their lifestyle caused, neither could deny that it actually worked. Everyone was happy, and nothing got neglected. Here is what their routine looked like.
Around 8:00, Jared gave Kaiden a bottle and got him to sleep. Then he would put Kolby and himself in bed.
Asia arrived home around midnight which was when Kaiden would be waking up. She played with him for a little while, and then she would eat dinner, do whatever needed to be done around the house, and practice making drinks. She did this until Kaiden let her know his diaper needed to be changed. That was her cue to wrap up her night because he would go to sleep immediately.
It was hard. She didn’t deny that. But, in the wee hours of the morning when she crawled into bed, it wasn’t cold. The man who was sleeping didn’t roll over and turn his back to her. When she slipped under the covers, the sleeping man’s arm always found its way draped across her torso. His warm body inched over to her, molding itself to the contours of her body like clay. The sleeping man always let out a sigh of contentment and relief that she was finally there. She would smile and drift off to sleep. Three or four hours later, it would be time for the sleeping man to arise and take on the day. But before he left the bed, he would lean over and kiss the sleeping beauty on the cheek. Then he would get up and do it all over again.