Q: My husband and I were married this past March. We had a great few months and especially enjoyed doing things together during the weekend. Then came August – and with it English Premier League season. I knew my husband was a fan, but now that we’re married I’d prefer to be spending Saturdays doing things together that we’re both interested in rather than waiting around while he’s watching his favourite football team on TV. Is this situation something I should be worried about?
A: Couples often get married thinking the secret to marital bliss is having the exact same interests. It doesn’t take long for them to discover that we’re rarely just like our spouse. The good news is we don’t have to be. Successful marriages aren’t the result of perfect chemistry. They’re built – in part – by learning how to bring our separateness together.
A couple, Matt and Grace, are a good example of this. They like to hike together nearly every weekend. Well, actually, he likes to hike. Grace doesn’t really care for it, but she loves to capture the sunrise from the hilltop. So on Saturday mornings, they drive all the way to Broga Hill, and they hike together. Upon reaching the top, he takes a breather while she gets out her camera and enjoys taking snapshots of the scenery. After hiking, they will go for a meal together. They laugh. They talk. They enrich their marriage. But their deeper connection doesn’t come about by forcing each one’s individual interests onto one another. It comes from bringing their “separateness” together.
Differences can strengthen a couple’s bond rather than weakening it. But, it takes patience and a willingness to embrace your spouse’s unique view of life. If you both will do that, you’ll discover a deeper intimacy with one another than you ever thought possible.
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