Ask a number of relationship experts what they think about couples spending time alone with their hobbies and activities and you are bound to get a variety of answers. Some would likely advocate that couples “do everything” together to strengthen their bond, while others would absolutely endorse time spent apart doing gender specific activities.
Over the years, Debby and I have taken a practical approach to this, and we encourage one another to spend time pursuing and enjoying a hobby or activity that we are passionate about. There are some things we do together, but for the most part, our likes and interests are vastly different, and we encourage each other to enjoy those things. Within reason.
For example, I am an avid fisherman and Debby doesn’t like fishing. If I were to insist that she come with me, she would be bored out of her mind! On the other hand, she has enjoyed stamping (B-O-R-I-N-G), scrapbooking (yawn!), and more recently, quilting (really???).
Which brings me to make this blog entry. Today she is hosting a quilting party at our house. Not a type where she invites friends and family and gives them a tough sell on product. In fact, she’s not selling anything. She’s simply opened up our basement to her quilting friends for a few hours where they can come over and work on their projects.
She has six or seven ladies (even a man!) down there who have laid out their current project and they are spending some quality time together doing what they all love to do…quilt and chat.
OK, so here’s the whole point of this blog. Before you stop reading and wonder what the heck inspired me to write this, here’s the deal. Rather than go outside and work on the lawn, the car, or go fishing, I decided to stay home and be the host.
After I helped her tidy up the room and set up tables and chairs, I was the door greeter. I helped the ladies, many of whom are elderly, carry their sewing machines downstairs, and I have spent the majority of the past hour catering to their every needs. Cookies. Coffee. Water. Additional chairs. Etc.
I’m not tooting my own horn here, I’m simply explaining that by being the host for her quilting party, I am freeing Debby up so that she can enjoy the time herself and get some work done on her own projects. If I wasn’t around, I am quite certain that she would be worried about making sure everything was just right for her guests, that she wouldn’t feel comfortable taking the time to dig in herself.
The point is simple. Rather than always enjoying your own hobbies or activities separately, why not get creative and see how you can support one another and make sure your spouse has opportunities to enjoy his/her hobbies while you are spending time with them in a supportive role.
I am sure that once you think it through, you will come up with some creative ideas of your own! So encourage one anther to enjoy hobbies and activities, and once in a while, find a way to do them together!
Um, for the record, I am not quilting!!!