One thing I tell Karen all the time is that there is no one in the world I’d rather be with than her. I like her and I enjoy doing things with her. Earlier in our marriage, there were times when we didn’t get along. To be honest, I looked forward to the times I could “get away” from her to pursue my own interests.
Those times are gone. We have a better marriage because of it.
It’s an unhealthy sign for any marriage when a couple doesn’t want to be together. They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but I’ve found that physical separation is rarely a good thing.
Yes, each spouse can have friends with whom to enjoy certain interests. There are proper times for being apart, and let’s face it—jobs and other responsibilities make it impossible to spend every waking hour with your husband or wife.
But if a couple is relating properly, they should be best friends to each other and desire to be together. This is much easier when you and your spouse share interests. However, if you find your interests being very different from each other, you’ll need to learn to compromise.
One suggestion I give every couple as a way to deepen their marriage is this: Make an effort to get involved with the things your spouse enjoys.
I love to play golf. When Karen and I were newlyweds, I was pretty selfish. I spent my time either working or playing golf, and my frequent absences while golfing became a big issue during those early years.
Eventually, thanks to Karen’s fervent prayer and the Holy Spirit’s work in my life, I changed. One result was that I had to cut back a lot on golf so our relationship could heal.
A little later, Karen gave me one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. She decided to learn to love golf. She worked hard at it and we began to play together. We found that it made such a positive impact on our marriage.
Today we have so much fun golfing together. We both enjoy the activity, and we enjoy each other’s company. I am still grateful that she took it upon herself to learn to enjoy something I loved.
It was a sacrifice she made on my behalf, but we’re still reaping its benefits.
I encourage women to make the same sacrifice. Your husband may not be a golfer, but perhaps he enjoys hunting, fishing, bowling, fantasy football, or any number of things. Make an effort to participate in those activities with him.
And guys? You’re not off the hook either. This suggestion goes both ways. Whether it’s an afternoon of shopping with your wife or joining her for a jog or yoga class, there are plenty of opportunities for you to do something she loves.
You and your spouse don’t have to be clones. You may not share all the same interests or like the same things, but it is important to try. Become involved, as much as you can, in the things he or she enjoys. Pursue these activities on date nights, or weekends away, or even as a family.
Shared interests are a powerful way to deepen your friendship and intensify your intimacy. The healthiest couples are the ones who have learned to have fun together. Karen and I are living proof.