Is My Spouse Really Not Interested in My Day?
If you often feel ignored by your husband or wife, it might be because you married someone for whom curiosity feels wrong.
Curiosity is one of the 24 character strengths studied in the Values in Action (VIA) study. This means a large panel of psychologists, historians, sociologists, philosophers, and other researchers found it to be valued across most cultures throughout recorded history around the globe.
It's a good thing. We honor explorers. We praise those who invented the things we now cannot live without and the scientists who discovered things we're so glad to know. We may take a while to come around, but we know it is the curious among our artists that keep the arts moving forward.
But curiosity competes with other current American values, like our cherished right to privacy. Many of us hear "keep your nose out of other people's business" throughout our childhoods. It competes with being a team player. Teams stick to what works for the team and don't go "looking for trouble." It also competes with our concern for our children's safety, so we tell them "curiosity killed the cat." Not just an animal with one life like us, but one with nine lives!
So, depending on the balance of messages in your mate's childhood, you may be married to someone with little curiosity, either in general or for other people's business. I am. And that's fine, unless you grew up in a home where interest in what you've been up to or what you're feeling was a way of showing love.
Falling in love seems to make everyone curious about the new person in their lives. But for those who are not very curious or who have been repeatedly chastised for their curiosity, it can fade pretty quickly. You may not miss it until something else makes you fear love is fading. Before you buy your own story about your spouse's feelings, do a quick check for other evidence of general or people-specific curiosity.
If you are married to someone who is not very curious, then not asking about your day, even when you had something big expected today, is not evidence anything's wrong with your marriage or your spouse.
When you have an interesting story you're dying to tell, try an upbeat "ask me about my day" or "ask me how I feel about this" instead of waiting in agony to be asked. Because it's quite likely you are still loved, just by someone who approaches loves a bit differently than you do.
How about you? How curious are you about your spouse's day? Do you wish your husband or wife was more curious about yours?