Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Find something in common with your husband

It was so encouraging for me to read the comments on my introductory post for this series. I love knowing that there are many others out there that are wanting to strengthen their marriages as well.

 Last week I challenged myself and you to come up with one thing every day (through the whole year) about your husband that you are thanking God for. Did you do that? This week was pretty easy and it went well. I hope that was true for you as well.

  This week I thought I would mention something concerning marriages that I have thought about a lot and that is the need to have common interests. What I mean here is that there are ideas/principles that you both feel strongly about (Christianity, politics, etc), or things that you like to do (maybe a sport or game playing, etc) or something that you can work at together (raising children, building a house, etc).

  This of course is something that is important to think about when you are finding a spouse and I am guessing some might say after reading what I wrote above "Hey, it's to late, I am already married and we have nothing in common." Well sorry - I don't think it is ever to late.

  Even if you married somebody that the only reason you got married is because you thought they were super good looking (I hope that isn't the case with any of you!) and now they are overweight and don't look anything like they used or if the person you married changed dramatically (they were a Christian and left the Lord or something like that) you can still work at developing common interests.

  When Ken and I got married we had quite a bit in common but of course differences too. Things have changed in various ways as we have gone along and we have had to work to make sure that we still share a lot of interests. It has been worth working on! It is something we are still working on too.

  In my opinion part of a strong marriage is spending time together and to spend time together it is more fun if you can share something you both enjoy.

  A while back I had the unfortunate opportunity to watch the marriage of some of my friends fall apart. While I was very saddened by it I wasn't terribly surprised as they had very little in common and they didn't seem to try to correct that. Originally they had both been faithful Christians but when he started to struggle and stopped coming to church then that no longer was a glue to hold them together either. He loved physical activity (sports, etc) and she didn't like it. She loved playing games - I never saw him doing that. He was good with money, she wasn't. I think (just my perspective looking on) that if either of them would have tried to enjoy or work at what the other one liked it could have majorly helped their marriage.

   Some of the things that we have done in our marriage on purpose to make sure we can spend time together and keep a strong relationship are:

   Ken got very involved politics so at my mom's encouragement I joined him. I was interested before it just seemed like I was a little to busy with kid's and stuff to go to meetings and conventions but with my mom offering to watch the kids I was able to join him in that and that has given us the opportunity for many "dates" and a lot of time together which would have otherwise just been Ken gone with the rest of us left at home and we would have been on the outside looking in. Now we often get the kids involved as well. That has truly helped our marriage to be stronger.

  Ken decided we should try out down hill skiing as a fun thing for us to do together. We both learned to like it and it has been a fun way to strengthen our marriage. Biking is another way we have enjoyed bringing the whole family together.

  Sure there are still going to be some areas that you don't share - I still don't care to watch sports of TV and Ken doesn't sew or do any crafts but sometimes I will come and sit by him while he watches and do a little knitting or hand sewing while I am there and Ken will come into my craft room and check on and admire whatever I am working on. Even if you don't share the interest you can at least be interested in the others interest in it.

  This is something I want to work on more and I hope you will as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!



Rachel E. said...

Very good points. When my hubby and I got married 17 years ago, we had a lot in common. We still do, but with five kids and another on the way, I think we have learned to like other things. I am still aware of what he likes and he is aware of what I like. We still have a lot to learn though. I do think the problem that keeps us from bonding more is our lack of alone time. We just don't have it. There are no date nights. The only night we get out is our anniversary. That is sad. I hear so much about others who have date night once a month. I am amazed. Finding someone willing to watch 5-6 kids for a few hours is hard. Especially someone who you trust with your kids.

Greg and Donna said...

Great post Abbi!

This comment is to Rachel (the first commenter)....easy "dates" that don't need a babysitter ~ put all the kids to bed on time, then pop popcorn & watch a movie or listen to a book on tape together: play a game just the 2 of you; find a special spot in your yard/home thats "your spot" we have a swing; read a book of the Bible together and discuss it; find a tv show you both enjoy & watch it together every week; scrapbook about your precious children together; learn a skill together; find a time to do something together ~ just the 2 of you ~ can you swap out child watching with another couple so they could go out together too; make the 2 of you the priority.

This is hard to do and easy for me to say. My 7 children are ages 16-29 so I am at the opposite end of parenting than you are. But, dates are important! Especially for the mom since you are home with the children all day! Have fun & be creative!

Abbi said...

Thanks Rachel and Donna for commenting!

Rachel I will try to add a few ideas to what Donna already shared.

We have never been the type of couple that has a date night every week but we have tried to be sure to have special time together.

One thing that is nice for us now is that with now having a 13 year old (and don't you have a child around that age?) we can leave the other children with her for a little while if we need too.

We also have done things like playing games together even when all the children are there in the house with us. It isn't private conversation time but at least it is a time to strengthen our relationship.

We have made sure to but the kids to bed before we do so we can have time together then if we choose and another time that I have found useful is right after my husband gets home from work. He likes to change to different clothes and so when he goes in the bedroom to change (either right after he gets home or after supper) I will sometimes follow him in just so we can have that little time of visiting and I can share the struggles of parenting if I need to.

May God bless you as you work on your marriage!


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