Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are Hobbies Important in Marriage?

My husband and I have been married for 22 years. We've had a great relationship. Our beliefs and opinions on most things are about the same. Our values are the same. When we married I knew he liked to hunt, fish and camp. All activities I wasn't terribly familiar with but didn't mind and thought I'd enjoy doing a little more myself. As his career took off, he had less and less time to enjoy his hobbies. We began moving and transferring around the country, so his knowledge of lands and friends he trusted well enough to do such activities with grew slim. Plus, being a young family, money was always a concern and he simply decided that it was cheaper to not enjoy his hobbies that much. The time he did have off he chose to spend with his family.

For myself, my hobbies were always much more docile. Reading, window shopping at antique stores, playing my piano and involvement at church was more my speed. Occasionally I would hear or read of something that sounded interesting to try, but as with most things, cost money for lessons and/or materials and being a stay-at-home-mother and homemaker, money was always a concern for me also. Having moved around so much, I usually didn't know anyone well enough to ask or feel comfortable watching my son to take classes so it was usually easier and cheaper to let go of any mild interests I may have in something new.

Skip ahead 20 years later and my husband's interests expanded to kayaking with our son. Now, water has never been my friend except to look at from the shoreline and listen to the gentle lapping of the water on the beach or watching the sun set on the horizon. Having never learned to swim well, being IN it never became comfortable for me. He also pursued his lifelong desire to ride motorcycles. I had always liked to ride if a friend invited me, so I thought this is something I would like to try myself. We signed up for motorcycle safety classes. It wasn't something that came natural for me but I kept at it and was getting better. After a malfunction with the class bike I had, they switched out bikes for me. It was a bigger bike and felt much different. I immediately laid it down on my leg and hurt my ankle to the point of being done with the class. I lived on that ankle for a day before going to the hospital and finding out it was broken. My husband finished his course, got his certificate and bought a nice, used bike to enjoy and ride. He would love nothing more for us to go on rides together, but more than 2 yrs later, I still have a fear of getting back on those things!

So we were having a discussion the other day about our soon-to-be emptynest status and retirement following and what kind of hobbies we should enjoy together. Cue the crickets chirping. Crickets still chirping! I had always heard of couples growing apart through the years and not having anything in common, but I had always assumed they didn't get along about most things. I still think we have a great relationship. We just don't seem to enjoy doing the same things. Is this a problem? Should it be? Do I need to risk life and limb to do the things my husband enjoys doing? Or should he become comatose to enjoy the things I like? I'm sure we aren't the first middle-aged couple with this dilemma. I'm not sure where this subject and discussion will go in the future but any advise anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.


  1. I've been asked these questions more than a few times and I've always said, do your own thing, if that is what makes you happy. Even if that hobby takes you away from your family because when you come home, you will be happy. Happy people make for happy couples, happy couples make for happy families and there are always vacations to spend time together and evenings at home, weekends in front of the telly watching football, hockey...

  2. You make a very good point. Thanks for the input!

  3. But, as with everything moderation is key. However, I do not see this as an issue here.