July 13, 2020

Seperately-Together | A Marriage Counseling Post

Experiences of a Marriage Counselor

One of the biggest lessons I learned during my engagement was that I do not have to love everything my significant other loves.  Although we share a love of soccer, working out, and food trucks, there are plenty of things that baffle us when it comes to how the other person could possibly enjoy it.  For me, that activity is golf; I simply do not understand how walking around in the heat occasionally hitting a ball for four hours could be considered pleasurable.  Conversely, my now husband cannot figure out how I can happily sit somewhere for hours reading a book that I’ve already read six times. Neither of us gets it, but that’s okay, because we don’t need to. Marriage involves a great deal of sacrifice and compromise; getting married does not magically make you both love all of the same things.  Sometimes you choose to do what your spouse wants to do in order to make them feel loved.  However, it is both good and healthy to also have separate interests.

For newlyweds, one of the downsides of having separate interests is that you have to sacrifice time together in order to pursue them.  This is why, in counseling married couples & doing pre-marital counseling, I coined the term “separately-together”; it means learning how to do the things you individually love while being together. If you love to knit and your spouse loves to play video games, sit on the couch together and do both of those things. If you love yoga and your spouse loves shooting hoops, find an empty court and take your yoga mat with you. Perhaps, if you are like my husband and myself, go to a golf course and while he plays eighteen holes you ride around next to him in the golf cart reading that book you have already read six times {we do this fairly regularly and it is truly one of my favorite activities to do separately-together}.  However you choose to do it, make it a priority.  Individual interests do not have to disappear just because you got married. If you just get creative, you can figure out a way to keep those individual passions alive without sacrificing time with the person you enjoy spending time with the most.

Blog by Ashley Black

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