Assume Love (TM): How to have a happier marriage without waiting for your spouse to change (daisy logo)

« When You Stop Loving Your Husband or Wife | Main | Interesting News about Birth Control Pills for Married Women »

What You Give Up When You Marry

One common thread I notice in the stories of those who have initiated divorces is what they gave up while married. They usually return to it with some glee after the divorce.

Many of these things are creative: painting, photography, poetry, pottery. Others are risk-taking: helicopter skiing, small plane flying, bungee jumping, unescorted travel in third world or less safe countries. Some are group or couples hobbies: bird watching, salsa dancing, Steam Punk gatherings, sci-fi gatherings.

Marriage does not require you to give these up. And if doing without them creates any resentment or sense of loss in you, giving them up is harming your marriage.

You may need a Third Alternative to keep them in your life.

A Third Alternative is the answer to almost every disagreement. You want to paint, your spouse objects: uses too much of our together time or can't stand the smell of your paints or we can't afford it. So, instead of debating those claims, you look for a way to remove them from the decision to paint or not.

Free paints? Offer to run a weekly painting session in an assisted living place or a community center if they will provide the materials. This would work to remove the paint smell from the house, too. So would plein air painting.

More time together? Paint while your spouse listens to music in the same room. Paint while he or she runs out to the hardware store or the gym. Paint on your lunch hour at work. Paint each other's bodies.

But paint! Because your spouse cannot predict the real effects on your marriage of not painting or not bungee jumping or not being around other Steam Punk fans. And you cannot be a better spouse without the things that make you float on air. And it's silly to think you have to choose between marriage and the things you love to do.


I'm not married. But this most addressed one of my big fears about it and made me feel quite relieved.

Thank, you, Doret.

Great reminder!

Thanks, Jade!

I am actually very glad that I had the opportunity to give up unescorted travel in less safe places!

I hope it's the unescorted you gave up and not the travel, Rosemary! ;-)

Right! We have traveled to some very interesting places together, and plan to do more. Hubby hadn't traveled much before we met, and he has really enjoyed it, including going to places he probably would not have considered on his own. Having a travel partner is great, and makes us both more confident, especially in iffy situations. But there is nothing wrong with traveling alone, and we have occasionally done that, too, when the other person couldn't go.

What a great marriage, Rosemary!

Post a comment

Your comment will appear only after Patty confirms it's not spam. Thanks for your patience, and bah humbug to those who submit all that junk for making good folks like you wait.

The Author

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

Follow Us

Enjoy Being Married

The Best Marriage Bloggers
2011 Hot Marriage Blog Award - Liufu Yu |
Grow Your Marriage Award 2011 from The Generous Wife
Top Ten Marriage Blogs of 2011
Top Ten Marriage Blogs of 2010


Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
TM Assume Love is trademark of Patricia L. Newbold