Finding Common Ground: Developing Mutual Interests Between You and Your Spouse

cooking togetherMarriage is hard. There is no doubt about it. And, having different interests can make it more challenging. While you and your spouse do not need to do everything together, it’s important to spend some quality time with one another.

Finding this common ground can be difficult, but also insightful. A good way to start is for you both to consider what mutual interests already exist between you two. Do you both enjoy going to movies, watching football, working outside in the garden? No ideas come to mind. Don’t worry, this is not uncommon.

Now, look at each of your interests individually. You like to go shopping. Your spouse enjoys playing computer games. You would rather go for a walk in the park. Your spouse would much prefer watching football on television. How can you combine your interests? Is it possible that you could play a co-op computer game?  Maybe you could try to learn football and watch it with your spouse. Give it a try. Remember though, simply sitting in the same room as your spouse with both of you playing on Facebook, does not equal quality time.

After you both have gone through your lists and have worked on finding common ground, look towards new interests. Is there something you always wanted to try, but never had the courage? What have you always dreamed of doing, but haven’t gotten around to it? Look at these ideas. It’s very likely that some of your interests may be appealing to your spouse.

Also, by developing your interests together, it can be more fulfilling for both people. No one is more knowledgeable. Neither spouse has more experience. You both are on common ground.

Some suggestions for new ideas are:

Exercise: Choose a sport or an activity that you both like and do it together. Motivate each other; support one another and get healthy along the way.

Cook: Yes, something as simple as cooking, can give you the opportunity to connect with one another. Make a new dish. Have him cut up the vegetables. You prepare the beef. The important thing is to work together.

Pursue a hobby: Choose a hobby that you both might be interested in learning more about. Do you both enjoy taking pictures? Do you like to walk in the park, while she enjoys looking at the flowers? Combine these interests and do them together. Learn about photography, study together. Walk in the park, look at flowers, and take pictures.

Get involved in the arts: Find common music that you both enjoy. Go to a concert. See an opera. Go to a museum together. The arts are a great way to connect.

Go shopping: Do you both enjoy antiques? Do you have a collection that you would like to build on? Do you have a home project that you want to get done? Do it together and get shopping.

The key to finding common ground and developing mutual interests is to never give up. Yes, you might find the symphony boring or football too confusing, but you gave it a try. Just keep looking for other ideas. In the long run, you will be happy that you did and maybe even a little surprised.

Joanna R. is a well-known relationship expert, offering advice in all stages – from dating to weddings; from choosing your date to choosing your anniversay party favors, Joanna can help you build the perfect marriage with your spouse.

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