I was watching the Today Show this morning, and they featured a story about a woman whose shopping obsession almost ruined her marriage. She said that her obsession with shopping took over her life, and she started hiding the massive number of purchases from her husband–even going so far as concealing them in a rental unit. This got me thinking. How can we recognize that our hobbies are ruining our marriage…before it’s too late?
We all have hobbies…exercising, fishing, shopping, dancing, reading, golfing, sewing, scrapbooking, etc.. They are a great way to do something that you love with other people who enjoy doing the same thing. If we aren’t careful and intentional with our priorities, we can spend too much time doing our hobbies to the point that it is detrimental to our marriage. Here are 5 warning signs that your hobbies are ruining your marriage:
- You don’t tell your spouse the WHOLE truth about the amount of time you are spending while doing your hobby. This is a huge red flag. We need to completely transparent and honest with our spouse. Anytime we feel the need to hide something from him/her, we are in dangerous territory. We should always tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or we are essentially telling lies.
2. You’d rather be doing your hobby than spending time with your spouse. This is a telltale sign that things in our life are terribly out of balance. We should never put any possession, experience, or other person ahead of our spouse. He/she deserves our focused attention. If we are so obsessed with our hobby that we start neglecting our spouse because of it, then we need to get help right away, or our marriage will suffer greatly.
For more on this, read “6 Subtle Ways You Cheat on your Spouse,” by clicking here.
3. Your “hobby friends” don’t know your spouse. It’s always dangerous when we keep our spouse out of any part of our life. When we marry, we become ONE. We shouldn’t have any secrets or parts of our life that we keep from our spouse. Hobbies aren’t altogether a bad thing, but they can devastate our marriage when they become something we do in secret.
4. You spend more time engaging in your hobby than you do engaging with your spouse and family. This is the most obvious sign, and yet, it happens all the time. There is nothing more important than spending time with our family. If we’re giving our best attention to our hobby and those involved with it, then we will only have our “leftovers”–a hollow, exhausted attempt at engagement–to give our loved ones. And, we’ll miss out on the greatest blessings in our life.
5. You share more of your thoughts and feelings with your “hobby friends” than you do with your spouse. This one stings the most. So many marriages suffer because one or both spouses go into auto-pilot mode and stop sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings with their spouse. But, we eventually share these thoughts and feelings with someone. And, when we are spending more time engaging in our hobby than we do with our spouse, we are most likely going to share these feelings with those friends. This is unfair to our spouse, and it opens us up to emotional and even physical affairs when we share this with someone of the opposite sex.
Friends, it’s so important that we get our priorities straight when it comes to our hobbies and family. If you said “yes” to any of these 5 signs, it’s not too late to turn things around. Never do your hobby at the expense of your marriage. Spend more time strengthening your marriage than you do on improving your hobby skills. Show your spouse that you will choose him/her over your hobby EVERY TIME.
If you feel like you are addicted to your hobby, please get help. See a licensed Christian counselor who can help you gain freedom from you addiction.