You’re not interested in your spouse’s hobbies…what do you do?

It’s Friday and that means my friend Shawn Snyder, from The Odd Couple Blog, and I are teaming up on our weekly marriage blog.  Shawn will share her thoughts (in green) on the topic through the eyes of a woman/wife, and I’ll share mine (in blue) through the eyes of a man/husband.  This week’s topic is Should Spouses Have Separate Hobbies.  Enjoy!

In marriage 2 become 1

What do you do when your spouse has hobbies and interests that you do not care for?  What happens when he/she has no interest in the things you like to do?  Is that okay in a marriage, or should you do something about it?

The Ultimate Merger

When two people come together in marriage you are literally bringing two different worlds together, and attempting to co-exist in a way that both people are better off.  No easy task.  The husband has a unique personality, background, and interest.  And so does the wife.  

However, you are to become one. So what do you do when your wife doesn’t want anything to do with something you are vary passionate about and enjoy spending time doing?  Wives, what happens when your husband runs the other way when you want to do your favorite things.  Are you okay with that?  Should you be okay with it?  How should you handle it?

First, I don’t think this is uncommon.  As said before, marriage brings two completely different people together to function as one.  So be encouraged if you are constantly going in opposite directions in relation to you favorite interests.  You are not alone.  There are a few things you should do when you face this.

Marriage Works - Encore Valentine's Sale

Show respect

The worst thing you can do, and belittle, mock or show distaste for their hobby.  If your spouse loves it and you don’t, at a minimum respect it.  That means if it is watching sports, then show respect by not interrupting or trying to distract from his/her time.  If it is working out, then arrange things so they can work out.  Encourage their efforts even if you are allergic to the gym.

Learn more

Why does your spouse have an interest in this?  Find out.  If your spouse likes to spend time doing something, when you learn more about it you have the opportunity to learn more about your spouse. What makes this so intriguing to them, and might I become interested in it as well?  You just might, and this may lead to you both enjoying the same hobby.  However, if he/she wants this hobby to be their “personal” hobby then you have to respect that.

Find common interests

Even if you show respect and learn more, you still may be worlds apart when it comes to certain hobbies and things you like to do.  That is still okay.  At this point you should begin to find or develop common interests and hobbies.  I suggested in last week’s marriage series post that you find something that both of you have no experience, and learn it/do it together.  I’ve witnessed this developing of common interest in my parent’s marriage of 48 years.

So yes, you should do something about having different hobbies than your spouse.  Ultimately whatever you do should lead to your relationship growing in respect, understanding, and becoming closer.

Question:  What different hobbies do you and your spouse have?  How have you handled that in the past, and how will you handle it now?  Please share it the comment section below.

Shawn’s turn:

Individual Time

If you have read many of my blogs or followed me at all you know that I think married people should do many things together. There are times that you can grow as a couple and enjoy experiences as one. However, I do think that we are individuals and there are times that we need be with friends or family doing things that we enjoy without expecting our spouse to be right there.

Separate but Together

My hubby and I do enjoy doing some things that the other one is not into. So, we have times that we do separate activities that we enjoy and then we can come back together and share what we did and the fun we had sharing the joy of being out and experiencing different things. I love going to our city’s botanic garden and seeing the different gardens. My hubby enjoys tearing down an engine and rebuilding it. Neither one of us really has a burning desire to accompany the other during these events but we wouldn’t want to ask each other to give them up either.

Recharge and Create

Doing things separately also gives the individual time to recharge. We need to keep our own creative tanks full so that we can be a better spouse to our mates. Whatever your hobby or creative release is participating in it keeps us happy and healthy so we are in a position to feel better about ourselves and desire to make others in our lives feel the same.

Best of Both Worlds

The only concern that I have about writing about having separate hobbies is when one partner or the other turns the experience of time apart into always being away. If you always golf during the only time your spouse is home or you work out at the gym every night while your spouse sits at home then that is unhealthy for your marriage. Be mindful of including time for just you and the hobby you enjoy and also have some good bonding time for your partner and you will have found the best of both worlds.

Please share if you found a way for both you and your spouse to enjoy separate hobbies but still come together at the end of the day?   SPACE -

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • AnaBanana

    how much time should be allotted to do these hobbies per week? Separately? My husband enjoys online gaming and I cannot wrap my mind around him spending equal hours of a p/t job doing this hobby. We are having quite a bit of arguments re: the subject, and cannot find a common ground.

    • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      Hi Ana, great question. How much time per week is really relative to each marriage.

      To best answer that question, it’d be helpful to have more info through asking more questions. Of course, too much of anything can be a bad thing. A short-answer/solution would be to find a way to discuss it and try to agree upon some boundaries. Perhaps over date nights or other times you spend together, but not necessarily in the moment.

      • AnaBanana

        My outlet is working out, I like to do it 6 days a week. At least an hour sometimes more, sometimes less. I tried to offer the same and he said that doesn’t work because the kind of game he plays doesn’t work like that. I work M-F, he works T-S, so he gets Mondays off, to be at home alone, to play and he still wants more time outside of Mondays. There have been nights he came to bed at 12, 2 or almost 3am because he was on his computer; when he had started at like 9pm. He thinks I am being unfair, and I am feeling like I am 2nd. He says I’m not, but I feel like his actions tell me different. He said he needs this time to be happy…currently neither is with the bickering re: the issue.

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  • sal

    I am struggling with this as my husband of 17 years, only real interest is to watch tv or eat out, have sex, go the movies etc (sedentary). which has lead to us both being obese and unhealthy and obviously not a good example for our 2 children (17 and 10 years old). In 2010 I decided to cut way back on outside activities to stop fighting and spend time doing mostly what he wanted inside the house (watching tv and eating, having sex) and I gained about 40 pounds and was depressed. In 2012 my Dad got sick, died while I watched and snapped me into the present moment and since then, I decided to take better care of myself and quit wasting time and have gradually been making adjustments towards a healthy lifestyle and long for a life where our entire family is active and we can comfortably take vacations and live an active full life travel, do things outdoors together like yardwork, hike, etc. I really don’t think he wants that and I am ready to file for divorce. He is adamant that even though he is over 150 pounds overweight that he is healthy and that he would lose weight if he had better reason to, or that he can when he wants to, etc… He has spent lots of money on quick solutions/gym memberships, etc that don’t work. We have never had common too many common interests and when I spend time away from home being active (boating, travelling, spending time out with friends or with the kids), it is a problem because he feels like I am not focused on our relationship. I could go on and on.. I was in counseling for years, he refuses to go. I quit going because it was mostly about how I could communicate with him to not argue and how to defuse situations and run the household without conflict. Any feedback you could give me to get him more interested in living a life instead watching others live one on TV would be great. I love him, but I also love myself and my kids and know we deserve a better life.

    • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      I am sorry to hear that. I can’t adequately address all of what you mentioned in your comment, but I will offer this. Be encouraged and be consistent. As I said, there is so much more to go into, but won’t be able to do it here.

      We (my wife and I) are considering doing some private coaching and counseling services for our readers who express concerns like this, and a blog post, blog post comment, or something like that may not be enough. Would that be something that interests you?

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  • Heath Wiggins

    Just browsing revelant posts and happened upon this one. Seemed interesting. The two became one — but not each other. I like that one Shawn. Finding something we both don’t know how to do and doing it together. I like that one too JB. I might revisit that one. My wife and I took swing dance lesson back in the day. That was fun. But after being married 15yrs, we are looking for something new and creative to do together. We’ve done all the standard ones that most married couples have done. And I’m looking for that brand-newness! That, “Oh no yall didn’t! Oh yes we did”-style activities that we can do together. Yesterday we were talking about what we are going to do for vacation this year/and for our anniversary in Oct. We go nothing – because we’ve pretty much done it all. We even talked about doing a Best Of revisit to our favorite destinations. We need som new ideas. That’s my challenge for you two – Mr. & Ms. family blog people-lol. Whatcha got for me? And bring the funk! (looking for input from both Shawn and JB)
    Thanks

    • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

      Hey Heath! Thanks for sharing. We may be able to learn a thing or two from you and your wife. I’d love to hear more. Your question/challenge is a good one. I’m adding this to my post ideas. Hopefully I will have something new for ya! :)

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  • http://www.kellyjyoungblood.com/ Kelly J Youngblood

    I think women probably fall into the trap of only doing what their husband is interested in more than the other way around. I think it is essential to have separate interests/hobbies as a way to maintain one’s own identity. Even though “two become one”, they do not become *each other*. I know that if I was not as independent as I am and didn’t have my own interests, I’d be a little lost, especially because due to the nature of my husband’s job, he works long hours.

    • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

      Thanks for sharing Kelly. When couples respect the other’s interest, whether they share the same or not, then the the hobbies can be enjoyable and stress free. That is what many look to get from their hobbies…fun and an outlet.