Most people’s lives are busy, to say the least. Finding time for hobbies, creative pursuits, and the like can be a huge challenge. Between work and kids, house maintenance and making time for one another, it’s tough to even have the energy to pursue your other interests!
While maintaining your responsibilities are important, and as we’ve said before, making an effort to spend time alone with your spouse is of the utmost important to your marriage, fostering personal growth is also quite necessary for long-term happiness. Whether it’s volunteering with the less fortunate, crafting, making music, painting, getting behind a social cause, or growing a garden, passions are important to every individual. Unfortunately, they don’t always get the support they deserve from our spouses.
There are plenty of reasons that this happens, and many of them are perfectly valid. New pursuits can easily infringe on our other responsibilities, and this is a real concern. Passions often cost money, too, which can be another source of disagreement. Most of the time though, neglected responsibilities are not what causes tension for couples in this situation. Instead, it’s feelings of jealousy (he’d rather spend time with his guitar than me), exclusion (she totally ignores me when she’s out working in the garden), and even depression (why don’t I have something important to do?) that cause spouses to be less than supportive of their partners’ interests.
Instead of seeing yourself as an outside observer to your spouse’s interests, though, what about seeing yourself as an active participant? As a married couple, your lives are absolutely linked together. You can be a great source of support and inspiration for your spouse. You may even fall in love with the same things!
Of course, we all need to choose our passions for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take an active interest in our spouses’ favorite things. Knowing some of the terminology, key individuals, or understanding a process can go a long way in bonding with your spouse over their hobbies, passions, and personal goals.
You don’t just have to go along with your spouse’s passions either – use their enthusiasm as inspiration to find your own!
When couples can support each other’s interests, it helps foster a sense of being loved “for who you are,” as well as an environment where new discoveries and newly formed abilities add excitement and happiness to daily life. Personal accomplishments mean more confidence and increased self-worth, both qualities that make us more attractive to our spouses.
While being supportive, we can also act as a voice of reason for our husband or wife, who may delve a little too deeply into a project or want to purchase some equipment that’s outside of the budget. It’s easy to get wrapped up in something your truly enjoy, and sometimes an outside perspective is a welcome reality check. This only works, however, if the general attitude is one of support; if you’ve already been negative about a particular project or hobby, the “reality check” will only be perceived as more negativity.
The bottom line is that we should support our spouses in their endeavors – if it makes them happy and seems constructive, we should do everything we can to help them pursue their goals. We have to be able to grow individually to be able to successfully grow as a couple.
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com
Hi Dana & Amy I really enjoy reading your blogs and feel by reading them it has made me a better wife and made me realize where our relationship needs work. I totally get what you're saying about finding our spouses passion but what happens when I know his passion and interests will have a negative impact on me. Recently, my husband told me he wants to foster teenage children.As our own children have grown up and moved away, he misses the sense of having our family in the home and wishes to have that again by fostering. I love having my children around as well and would dearly love to have them back home with us but have come to terms with them been grown up and look forward to it been just the 2 of us. The thing is, that when the children were growing up, my husband wouldn't work with me as a team. There wasn't any US time and for him, it was all about the children. He would ignore any suggestions I had and infact i felt cut out from the parenting of our children. I often felt like i was only there to do the chores,to do the running around and to pick up the pieces when problems occured. My husband tells me he can't be competely happy again unless there are children or other people living with us in a family environment. Last year he befriended a female co-worker who told him her life story and from there he wanted her to move in with us. He told me he wanted to love her like she was his own daughter and to help her find her way again. I put an end to this when this female asked him to meet her one night as she had some problems she needed to talk to him about. I insisted that I go along and it was agreed that i join them at a later time. I arrived to find her waring a very revealing dress ( she had only ever worn jeans,heavy boots and a shirt buttoned up all the way to her neck before) and as she didn't know I was coming she was very surprised to see me. She constantly flirted with my husband and would fantasize with the idea that he was her man. I know on my spouses part, he only wanted to befriend her and help her out but she was after much more. My spouse was completely ignorant to this fact and it caused a lot of hostility between us especially as he would make excuses for her all the time and I couldn't do anything right when she was around. How can I support his passion when I know it will cause unhappiness for me. I have longed to have time for US again.
Hi , This is so much the deal with a lot of these I'm sorry to say, 'predatory' women. I know our men are adults, but so often guys in good long term marriages, who may have a weak moment in their lives eg death of father/ mother/child etc have their good intentions taken advantage of by women who literally 'want' them. Then when you try to warn your husbands when you see this happening, your made to feel like you are paranoid. I felt that a woman who works with my husband in an Acute Health team, was more than just friend. Especially when she declared her feelings for him once he split the home. How do we help our husbands to be aware of these type of women? How can we get them out of their minds and our lives so we can mend our marriages.?