I recently had a conversation with one of my friends about supporting our significant others and their hobbies that bring them joy. During our discussion, we talked about other conversations we've had with people regarding our significant other's various hobbies. Her reference was in regard to firearms and competition shooting whereas mine was regarding video games. We both agreed that the question "You let them do that?" stumps us in conversations. It isn't that we "let" them or don't "let" them do something…it's that we support them and their hobbies.
Before my husband, Kyle, and I got more involved in the firearms industry, we played video games on a regular basis. Now, even though we have a lot going on, Kyle manages to play video games more often than I do. Most nights during the week, he'll hop on his computer and play for a couple of hours with a few of his friends. He has invested time and money into his gaming set-up, and occasionally streams (I'll provide his stream information at the end of this article). He built his own PC and gaming desk (he works at a hardwood furniture factory). It never crossed my mind that I "let" him play video games. He simply just plays them...and either I hop on my computer and play with him, or I find something else to do. I don’t wish to control what he does and when. I enjoy these few hours of me-time and find myself doing things that he doesn't particularly enjoy - like gardening/lawn care and writing new articles. He definitely doesn’t participate in sewing or crocheting! We still manage to spend an hour or so together, watching a show before bed. This routine works for us.
Disclaimer: Kyle never puts video games at a higher priority than his family. If we have plans to do something during the week, he won't break those plans to play video games instead. He maintains a healthy balance between life and video games.
My stance on firearms aligns with my stance on video games. When Kyle first became interested in shooting competitions, I remember him asking me how much he should spend on a handgun - this was when I was still hesitant around guns and didn't particularly enjoy shooting them (read my previous blog Face Your Fears). I suggested he spend the extra money and buy the gun he really wanted. This logic holds true for almost every purchase he asks for my input on.
Firearms are considered assets and investments. Kyle is pretty good about asking for my advice on the purchase of a firearm. Most of the time, he has already done plenty of research and deemed the purchase necessary. I rarely say 'no' when it comes to purchasing firearms - he is still waiting for the green light on a Barret 50cal though...maybe someday.
So, if your significant other is paying their bills and contributing to the family, why would you say 'no' to their purchase of a firearm? Firearms never lose value and are considered assets. It's a win-win in my book.
What about "letting" them compete in shooting sports? Isn't it expensive?
Yes, it is expensive. I'm not going to lie about that. Especially when there are two competitive shooters in the household. We all know that guns and ammunition aren't cheap these days. On top of that, there are hotel expenses, gas, food, and the list goes on. We have fun at the range together even though it may be expensive. Money can’t be a reason to “let” or not “let” someone do something since many things in life are expensive. We personally have just chosen firearms and range days over many other expensive hobbies.
Also, you can’t really put a value on firearms training and education. Every time we go to the range, whether for a competition or not, we are always improving our skills and competency with firearms. You can’t expect to be competent with a firearm if you only go to the range once or twice a year. This is especially true when it comes to your concealed carry firearm. That gun needs to be an appendage of your body. And using it should be second nature – written into your muscle memory. You can't only practice and shoot a handgun a couple of times a year and expect to be coherent enough to protect yourself should you ever need to do so. But…Let's not go down this rabbit hole too far. I'll cover more on this topic in a future article.
If you find yourself thinking you're letting your significant other do something or not do something, I hope you find this article enlightening. Speaking from experience, it is never a good feeling when you think someone else is in control of your decisions and the hobbies you can or cannot enjoy. Let your significant other have their hobbies, and hey, maybe you can find a way to enjoy those hobbies with them as I did with Kyle and competitive shooting!
Kyle’s Twitch Profile: https://www.twitch.tv/liven3vil