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Sharing Love When You Don't Share Interests

When one of you always longs to climb to the top of that rock formation while the other prefers to head to that movie theater with the reclining seats instead, it's easy to make the mistake of going your separate ways.

And it's not such a bad idea, unless it breaks the bond between you. Here are some ideas for keeping that bond strong.

  • Find friends who enjoy what you do but pose no threat to your spouse: other couples, groups, and individuals of the opposite sex from your spouse. Don't allow yourself to feel alone just because your spouse does not share all your interests.

  • Look forward to your excursions. Share your enthusiasm with your spouse. "You would really enjoy it" will push you two apart. "I really enjoy this" will bring you together. So will "Thanks for understanding my excitement and sharing it with me. That's not easy when you don't find it very appetizing."

  • Bring home the great feelings. Don't sneak in and avoid your spouse. Hug, kiss, dance around the kitchen. Be a joy to be around. Before your share the stories behind your great mood, bring your spouse's mood up to match yours.

  • Savor your good times, and include your spouse. Recall the best moments. Share what you saw. If your experience opened your awareness to some new question or answer, share it and few of your thoughts about it. Resist preaching or persuading. Allow your beloved spouse to share your joy without feeling pressured to change.

  • Be specific about what makes your hobby or interest special to you. Make your kind of fun sound interesting. Think of all the TV shows that succeed by providing the details of flipping houses, wrestling alligators, or building choppers by people who will never do any of these things.

  • Be kind in your answers to your spouse's questions. Your answers may lead the way to new activities you two enjoy together.

Every fun activity offers you more positive emotions if your look forward to it and savor the experience after the fact. It's only the actual activity that disinterests or frightens your spouse. Don't miss out on sharing the rest.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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