Despite popular belief, having separate interests can benefit your relationship in the long run!
Back in September of 1998, my husband Chris and I flew to Maui for our destination wedding. It was a gorgeous and unforgettable stay at the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf-Astoria hotel on the western shores of Maui near Molokini Bay, where we really got our $380 per night money’s worth in love, romance and good times.
One choice I made, however, sticks with me to this day, and has taught me a lesson about not needing to be joined at the hip as a married couple. I saw that the hotel was providing free scuba lessons in the pool around 1 p.m. one afternoon, and I asked my soon-to-be husband if he wanted to come back and take lessons. He refused, and so I chucked the idea as we did other things. Knowing what I know now, nearly 17 years after that blessed time when I was fresh under the new blush of a brand new union, I would’ve gone ahead and taken the free scuba lessons, and returned back east and hit up a scuba diving and snorkeling shop like Dip N’ Dive to take even more lessons and get my diving gear.
1. New Interests Make You Interesting
Scuba diving, here I come! All these years later, I still haven’t taken the plunge into the deep end of a scuba diving pool or open water class, but I believe I will soon. Whether my husband joins me or not, I’ve learned that it’s okay – healthy, even – to have different interests as a married couple, without fear of it spelling the death knell of a marriage.
I learned that sage piece of advice from Dr. Phil’s Relationship Rescue book, and it was sort of a revelation to me years ago when it first dawned on me that it’s okay if you like tennis, for example, and your wife likes golf. I guess I was so accustomed to my mostly unhappily married parents not conducting any of their pleasurable life activities together that my logic swung me over to the other extreme end of the pendulum whereby I thought happy couples engaged in 90% of their fun times together.
2. It Helps You Find The Perfect Balance Of Couple Outings
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that couples should go about living separate lives with separate friends and only come together when it’s time to do something required for the children.
Thankfully, my husband and I still enjoy watching TV, movies and driving around looking at houses together – along with other activities. But I’ve learned not to get dismayed if he’s not ready to join my HIIT boot camp classes yet, and it’s no problem for him if I don’t thrill at the chance to knock back 18 holes with him at the golf course.
I’ve witnessed firsthand how enjoying activities with other people makes us more interesting as well rounded individuals. It reminds me of Brad Pitt’s first attraction to Angelina Jolie, an actress who was flying planes and had adopted her first child prior to meeting Pitt. She wasn’t sitting around waiting for her life to start by the time she met her husband. Therefore, even after we meet and marry the men of our dreams, our lives shouldn’t stop.