We all have hobbies and interests that we’re passionate about; the trick is finding a way to integrate them into our marriages. Some couples do this with ease. Others, however, struggle to find a good middle ground–or even new activities to share.
Today, we’re talking about how to create opportunities for shared activities in your marriage to skyrocket your intimacy and make your relationship happier.
The Value of Shared Hobbies
Sharing activities or hobbies as a couple is incredibly important to the health of your marriage. Enjoying hobbies, recreational activities, and downtime together allows intimacy to flourish in your relationship.
For wives, spending time together in shared activities fulfills their longing for intimacy. It also draws husbands into that sense of intimate connection, creating a mutually beneficial situation for both partners. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, as long as you put the time and energy into spending time together.
When you spend time with your spouse, you’re creating memories and good feelings together that will spill over into other areas of your marriage. No matter what’s going on in your life, you have these times set aside, when you and your spouse will simply be doing an activity you enjoy together. And when the going gets rough, you’ll have those good times to lean on and look forward to.
You’ll also be setting a great example for your children of what a healthy marriage looks like. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to let them see the two of you loving each other well. And when they’re grown, they can emulate that in their marriages.
How to Find Activities to Share
If you two already have many common interests, then agreeing on what to do together should be a cinch. You’ll have a ton of options to choose from! If you both enjoy physical activities like biking or tennis, hit the trail or the court together once a week (or alternate, if you like both!). If the two of you are music buffs or love theatre, choose a show or performance to attend together every month (and in the meantime, kick back and listen to records together for a relaxing date night at home).
It gets a bit tricker to find things to do together when you don’t share many interests, so you’ll really have to put your heads together to figure something out. The good news is that it’s not about what you have in common–it’s how you work with one another to find that common ground, or create something new in the process.
First, make a list of each of your favorite hobbies, and sit down together to talk through each of them to gauge each other’s level of interest in the items on the list. Create a new list for the solutions you land on, and write those down. After that, talk through each item again until you’ve landed on one or two activities that you’d like to participate in together.
Another way to approach this could be to ask each other, “If you could only do one thing in your free time from now on, what would it be?” Then, make the effort to get involved (as much as possible–even just a little) in one another’s top choice.
If you find yourselves coming up short on ideas, we’ve created a free cheat sheet that will help jump-start your search for some activities that both of you feel interested in. You might both find an activity to engage in that you’ve never tried before, and who knows? It may end up becoming your favorite.
Remember to Keep it Fun
If finding shared activities has proven to be a challenge, don’t look at it as being mismatched with your spouse. Instead, view it as an opportunity to experience life on a deeper level with your partner and best friend. Exploring new activities and hobbies together can enrich your life and your marriage, and that in itself is a huge payoff.
Next week, we’ll focus on what to do when hobbies or activities steal your spouse’s time and energy…plus give you some tips on how to get his or her attention back on your relationship.
Do you and your spouse deliberately share activities? How has it deepened your intimacy? Leave us a comment below!
I love this! My wife and I have been married for almost 25 years and we have made this a priority in our marriage. We attended one of your seminars years and years ago here in Denver where you talked about having a date lunch every week. We did that for almost 10 years, until recently when my wife got a new job that all the way across town. I never realized how much I enjoyed that time with her even though we had been doing it for so long it had almost become routine. There have been times when other things step in and absorb an inordinate amount of our time, we have two kids that played competitive hockey, but we are on the verge of being empty nesters and are already looking forward to what that means for us having even more time to spend together. We share many common activities, but what we are looking forward to is finding new fun things to explore and try together. We are trying to figure out a way to have that time together again… The exploration is fun!!
We’re reading to each other! We found an old series of cowboy books that are clean and fun. Lots better than watching TV!
Sharon Ditto – What Cowboy books are they? My children are sTRONG readers. We would love to know which ones those are.
I believe taking turns is also valuable. She didn’t like sports that much, yet she married a coach so I limit my following just one team.
Then I try to alternate for something she prefers.
Not perfect, but we work it out
I clicked on the “Free Cheat Sheet” and got something that looked like a programming page from an old MS Dos computer. Possibly the link to the free cheat sheet is not working? Please check it because I was very interested for sharing with clients.
Link to the free cheat sheet is working fine for me. I haven’t seen any old MS Dos programs lately, but I used to love programming in Dos, one of my hobbies 🙂
We’re reading the Louis L’Amour books out loud. They are very much like Gunsmoke or other cowboy stories from the 70’same and 80’s. Probably best for teenagers and up.
Oops, auto fill got it wrong. 70’S and 80’s.