Marriage is the coming together of two people in love. Perhaps you and your spouse have some common interests, but you are still two very different people. It makes sense that you would each have your own passions in life. You both had different upbringings, and just feel differently about life, and different things move you. Maybe one of you is into sports, but the other is creative. One is not right or wrong—just different.
Being married requires at times great sacrifice, of giving up your own time and interests in order to allow your spouse to do what they want to do.
How can you make sure to support your spouse in pursuing their passions? Here are 7 ways.
1. Notice what moves them
You can’t support your spouse’s passions if you aren’t sure what they are. If you are lucky, your spouse will tell you what their passions are, and in turn you can more easily support them. Although, even if your spouse tells you their passions, that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically jump into actually doing them. In additions, passions can change depending on your spouse’s stage in life. So it’s important to notice what moves them. When they are doing a particular activity, are they excited? Giddy? Look like they are “home”? If so, then you’ve found their true passions.
2. Embrace their passions
As long as your spouse’s passions aren’t damaging in anyway, the next step is to embrace them. This may be hard if you don’t particularly like their passions, or if you think they should spend more time on other things. Remember why you feel in love with your spouse in the first place. Wasn’t it because of their unique outlook on life? Accept that their passions are a big part of who they are. The more you embrace their passions, the more support they will feel.
3. Be inquisitive
One of the biggest ways to show support for your spouse’s passions is to ask questions. Be interested. Go on this journey with your spouse. As you ask questions, your spouse will be prompted to talk about their passions—which they will love to do. Questions are like fuel. The more they talk about them, the more their interest and excitement will grow. As a result, they will appreciate your interest and support.
4. Encourage using words
When your spouse shares their passions with you, respond using encouraging words. Be positive. Use statements like, “Wow, that sounds amazing!” or “You should do that!” or “You are so good at that!” Your positive encouragement will convey your support, which will help them to really go for their passions. For some, positive words from their spouse is like permission—not that they needed to have your permission, but they respect and honor you and want to hear that you are okay with what they are doing.
5. Encourage using actions
Back up your words with actions. Your spouse knows you and will know the minute you are insincere. How do you encourage by your actions? Your body language will speak volumes. If you say, “That’s great!” but with your head down and eyes glued to your phone, your spouse will not feel support from you. Another way to encourage using actions is to rearrange your schedule so they can pursue their passions. If you have kids, tell your spouse that you’ll stay home alone with them so they can go out to pursue their passion. Or if their passion is on your regular date night, maybe switch things up so they can do both. That action will show them how much you care.
6. Join your spouse
Even if you aren’t into Book Club, hockey, crocheting, kick boxing, card playing, or any passion your spouse may have—why not just try it once? They would probably love to have you by their side to experience it together. Your spouse can explain things to you, and perhaps you will start to see why they love it so much.
7. Follow your own passions
While you are supporting your spouse, allow your spouse to support you, too. Be a couple that fosters the other’s passions. It’ll help you both continue to be open and loving to what the other loves. Who knows? Maybe somehow your passions will cross or complement each other in some way. Is your spouse’s passion golf, but your passion is event planning? Perhaps work together to set up a charity golf tournament. That way you can both support each other at the same time!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.