Hobbies are important. They provide a break from the tedium of work and help us relax and unwind. Whether your hobby is knitting a scarf, reading a book, or creating a Rage face meme for your social media feed, there is no reason why you shouldn’t devote a bit of time to your interests, even if your spouse isn’t interested. Unfortunately, however, there are many instances where a hobby ends up driving two people apart. Let’s examine why that might happen and what you can do to prevent your hobbies from driving a wedge between you and your spouse.
Reasons Why You Need to Maintain Outside Interests
We all know at least one couple who live in each other’s pockets. This is perfectly normal in the early stages of a relationship – otherwise known as the “honeymoon” period. It’s that heady few weeks or months when you feign an interest in your partner’s hobbies and push your own interests to one side because you can’t bear to be without them, even for one hour!
Most relationships progress to the stage where each person begins to pursue their own interests. Outside interests are good. Pursuing hobbies gives us something to talk about. Your spouse might be very sporty and love to compete in cycling time trials, but although you are happy to go for a meander on your bike at the weekend, you don’t have the motivation to train like he does. Conversely, he hates all things creative, so when you start drawing, weaving, or sewing quilts, he slopes off to the other room to fire up the X-Box. This doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. It just means you’re normal.
When Hobbies Cause Problems
We all need time and space from our spouse, even if we love them to bits. However, if your hobbies are so all-consuming that you rarely see your spouse, this is a major red flag. For example, say you are into motor racing and every weekend you attend an event, even when it’s hundreds of miles away. Consequently, you’re rarely at home and your spouse feels like they may as well be single.
To you, it might not be a problem, but to them, it almost certainly is. They have a very large you-shaped hole in their life and, if you are not careful, someone else might fill that space when you’re not looking.
The good news is that you can keep your hobbies without losing your spouse.
Firstly, consider whether you are being selfish. If you’re spending all your disposable income and spare time on a hobby at the expense of your relationship, you’re being selfish. If you’re not willing to compromise and dial it down a bit, you clearly love your hobby more than your spouse. Look at things from your partner’s point of view and start spending less time on your hobby and more time with them. Alternatively, persuade them to get involved!
The best solution is to look for a hobby that is of mutual interest so that you and your spouse can do fun things together. Join a walking club or start growing vegetables. There must be at least one area of common ground that you can explore, so sit down and brainstorm together.