On my commute home, I will sometimes listen to talk radio. I recently came across a show in which a husband was calling in to discuss problems he was having in his marriage.
He and his wife had been married for over 10 years, and he was clearly frustrated. His main issue was that he and his wife had nothing in common. The only possible thing was that they liked a TV show or two; however, they would rarely talk about them. They’d watch in silence.
As he continued to share his story, it became obvious that he and his wife had grown apart. The marriage was devoid of intimacy and sex. What had started as differing interests had sprouted like a weed into dissatisfaction.
Eventually that grew into disconnection and bitterness. This husband had even reached a place where he thought the remedy was leaving his wife to find a woman with whom he had more in common. Fortunately, it didn’t need to get to that point.
If you are feeling as though you and your wife have nothing in common, here are some encouraging thoughts to help your marriage:
1. Realize it’s OK. You do not have to have the same interests to have a good and thriving marriage. Marriage is about selflessly loving, supporting and caring for one another. Putting the other person’s interests before your own. When each partner does that well, the health of the marriage follows. You don’t need to love the things they love, but you do need to love them.
2. Appreciate your differences. Don’t love them in spite of your differences. Love them because of them. There are great advantages and strengths that come with being different. You are with someone who looks at the world from a different angle. Look at the differences as assets because it will help both of you have more of a 360-degree perspective.
3. Respect their interests. You don’t necessarily have to do the same things, but respect what they like and encourage them to do it. When they are doing something they like, it lets them relieve stress and brings enjoyment. Be willing to talk about it. If you ask them to tell you about it, that’s even better. Focus on what it does to them and the joy it brings.
4. Explore new things. There are a million possibilities. Try new experiences and hobbies together. Make sure it is something that neither of you has done before. There will be plenty to talk about and you might just find something that both of you enjoy doing together. Embrace it as an adventure or laugh together about it being a challenge.
BJ Foster is the content manager for All Pro Dad and a married father of two. For the original article, visit allprodad.com.