Question: My husband and I have lots of different hobbies and goals, but most of them don’t overlap. How much time do we really need together?


"Opposites attract," the old saying goes. While there may be some truth to that, what connects couples and keeps marriages viable for the long haul are common interests, dreams and goals. We all need to focus on what will make our marriage healthy and work hard to remain connected to our spouse.

As I see it, your question reflects two potential areas of concern for your marriage:

  1. You and your husband have different interests and, possibly, goals.
  2. You don’t seem to spend much time together as a couple.

You're not alone

Your situation is not unique. Many of the struggling couples who seek counselling are dealing with similar issues. Often at the core of their relationship problems is a lack of connectedness; they do not spend time together, and they do not share common interests, hobbies and goals. That is a good setup for disaster.

It’s important for you and your husband to find ways to connect with one another. While having some separate goals and interests is natural and healthy, the absence of mutual ones is not.

Educate yourselves

Ask yourself, What are my interests? Then ask your husband about his. Look for ways to combine these interests. For example, does he like sports, while you like entertaining friends? If so, you might consider hosting an Olympic Games party. Preparing for the event as a couple will bring you closer together.

Both of you should also consider your goals for your marriage. It is closeness? To have a family? Friendships? Career success? To be used in ministry? Discuss these dreams, and set realistic goals with time limits. For example: "In five years we want to be out of debt," or "One year from now, we want to go on a missions trip."

Be purposeful

Many couples act as if marriage were like selecting the right plane, then putting it on autopilot. This approach ensures that your marriage will eventually drift from its flight plan and into dangerous turbulence. Keeping your relationship on course requires vigilance and hard work. So take purposeful steps today to connect to your spouse and strengthen your marriage.

Willy Wooten was director of the counselling department at Focus on the Family in the U.S. at the time of publication.

© 2007 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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