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Sharing IS Caring

I took my lovely bride to a book store last week. A big book store, with a coffee shop and lots of books. Several overflowing magazine racks too. With the ipad, iphone, kindle (and my blog), who still buys books and magazines? Anyway, seeing the massive amount of printed material and then coming home to read dozens of blogs and other websites that same night, made me wonder: with so many people “talking” (writing, as it were), who is actually “listening”?!? So with that in mind, I want to “tell” you something. πŸ™‚

What I’m writing about today has little to do with my opening paragraph. You only have to be consistent like that in sophomore English! On this day, I’m writing about something else that’s been on my mind of late: sharing common interests with your significant other. I have recently discovered how critically important “shared interests” are in a relationship. Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way. In my case, I spent years pursuing my own interests and not “sharing” nearly enough interests with my spouse. Oh we shared interests in children, church, and chores. (Ok, not the “chores” so much, but I liked the 3 “ch” words in a row: cha! cha! cha!) But I was so busy with work, hobbies, and MY interests, that I failed to invest in creating OUR hobbies and interests.

It’s easy to find things in common when you’re dating. Like, when my wife and I were dating, we both found yours truly to be quite a handsome guy! We had other things in common. I’m only sharing the first thing that came to mind. πŸ˜‰ But, seriously, a big part of dating is expressing interest in one another and finding things you like to do together. If you don’t do those things, chances are you won’t continue dating for long enough to get married. What about after marriage though? Do most of us continue to spend time together in the same manner we did while dating? For that matter, are we making “time together” a priority? And since I mentioned the plethora of books available to buy, I’ll share a powerful quote with you from one of those books:

“In successful marriages the husbands and wives spend time together alone. If your schedules never allow time for you and your wife to be alone with each other [no children involved!], then you are too busy. You need that time of togetherness to talk, to work things out, to share interests and dreams, to just be together in silence, and to have intimate times that are not rushed.” The Power of a Praying Husband, p. 89.

Another quote I’d like to share was spoken to me by a friend who has just published her first book. I should have looked for her book while sipping my coffee last week! She asked me this question one day, and it motivated me in a big way to get my act TOGETHER: “When you’re older, and you’re sitting down together over dinner or on the front porch, don’t you want to be able to look at each other and say, ‘Remember that time when…’?”

So now it’s your turn to give the world more words to read. I’m listening. I promise! So write away! Just use that little comment box below…

What are your favorite ideas for spending time together? How have you and your SO (sig. other) found interests you can share that create special memories and bonding in your relationship? And if you haven’t made “time together” a priority, perhaps you have some thoughts to share as well.

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41 responses »

  1. My marriage lasted 19 years but only 2 of them were any good. I tried just to have family dinners with him but he wasn’t interested. Even though my youngest was 8 when his dad left, he doesn’t remember him because he was never around. Now that I am dating, I enjoy just being with my boyfriend and vice versa. It doesn’t matter what we do or what we talk about. I hope you have a large male audience. I have no bitterness towards men but they need to hear your message. I admire your courage to put it out there.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for sharing. There’s a real power in just enjoying the chance to “be together” as you mentioned for you and your bf. That simple joy says much about your relationship, and I’m happy for you both.

      I agree that more men need to pay attention to this advice. It took me much too long to see the “error of my ways,” but now, there is honestly nothing I would rather do than spend time with my beautiful bride. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • I’m happy that you learned in time to appreciate your wife. My ex was recently diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. He had not seen his kids in 5 years. He is just now starting to regret his choices. It shouldn’t require that kind of wake-up call. I hope your ministry enjoys great success.

        Reply
  2. great insight to a successful relationship

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  3. My ex wasn’t interested in any kind of intimacy – even just sitting together and talking. Right now there is a special man in my life who agrees to anything I ask – a walk, a drive, just time to sit and talk. It means everything to me that he wants to do these things with ME. I treasure every moment. Thanks for your words today. It is SOOOO important to be friends with the person you love. Your wife is a very blessed lady!

    Reply
    • How fantastic that you now have a relationship with a guy who honors you with his time and attention! Doing so much together must be extremely satisfying for you both!

      Thank you for your comments and kind words…Some days my wife might even agree with you! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  4. My husband is coming home in 5 minutes to eat lunch. I know I need to be available to him for that hour to talk, and I sit and eat with him. We see each other about an hour in the morning before he heads off to work, and then, he calls me 2 times a day and we just talk about what is going on. We eat supper together and in the summer take “walk-abouts” (just like Crocodile Dundee!), but we walk around the yard and look at the house and talk about what we want to/would like to do to the yard/house. (Except we just put the house up for sale). I once found a message on the answering machine and he said, “I don’t know, I guess I just like to talk to you…” Ha! Have I mentioned that he likes to talk?? And here is something funny, he’s practically like a woman when it comes to this! Talk, talk, talk! I enjoy it, but sometimes I have to tell him I need some silence as my ears are hurting and my head is pounding! And yes, those times of sitting and saying, “remember when we…” we get a lot of laughs out of that! We share a lot of creative talents, and our biggest shared interest is learning about God. (we also have seperate interests, though.) One of the best things I can say about my husband and our relationship, is that he allows me to be me–and he even thinks I’m awesome! I can say what I am thinking and he accepts it. I can really be honest with my thoughts and feelings. And believe me, he is honest too–he doesn’t hold back! I’d would also say that he likes me–that might sound strange, but my ex didn’t even like me let alone love me!! (Oh, and my often says he is amazed that I like him–funny.) I see him coming down the street now, I need to get the lunch set out. I’m anxious to talk with him and see how his morning has been.

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  5. whoops, that part in the parenthesees… (Oh, and my husband often says he is….) I left out a word there.

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  6. P.S. the updates of blogs I follow were going to my Spam folder for some reason, so I am just now getting around to the blogs. I think I’ve got it fixed, but wanted to let you know I was not ignoring your posts.

    Reply
  7. I’m a complete newbie in this relationship thingy, but I am glad to read your post since my boyfriend and I have talked a lot about not giving up on having some quality alone time together. So, now I just hope that we can live up to our promise.. πŸ˜‰

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  8. Great points and a must for a successful marriage. The best gift you can give your children in parenting them is a loving, healthy marriage. The bible says to love our husbands and train up our children but too many of us try to love our children and train our husbands. I spent too many years doing so and now with God as the priority in our marriage we are able to take the time for date nights or even time alone at home sitting on the back deck and model to our children what God’s plan for marriage is. It doesn’t take a week long vacation away from the kids, it’s just making sure to take even a short amount of time alone to show each other that they are a priority and they matter. Whatever it is you do together the important thing is that you are finding something that you can do and making the time to do so.

    Reply
    • Awesome points….you have truly nailed it!

      Love all of your comment, but especially this part:

      “The best gift you can give your children in parenting them is a loving, healthy marriage.”

      Reply
  9. My husband and I spend a lot of time together. Not all of it is quality time but some of it is. When we decided to take a year off from work, (I eventually had two but that is another story), many people told us, “That is a sure way to get separated.” We wondered why then and still wonder why. Our experience was that away from the stress of work and “daily” life, we got closer and realised that we didn’t have any problem with each other. We still loved each as we did when we met more than a decade ago. πŸ™‚ So I totally agree with. It is very important to have shared interests as a couple.
    Wish you a wonderful weekend. Cheers!

    Reply
    • What a great story of your year together without interference!…all couples should be blessed with time together like that! πŸ™‚

      When we first married, I was blessed with a pretty hefty “residual check” every month from my previous line of work. It allowed us to not work *too hard* the first 6 months or so (though we both were doing some independent contract type work). And then I took a job….looking back I wish I would have enjoyed that time more or stretched it out longer!

      Reply
  10. Awesome comments today, by the way! I hope more of you will have a chance to share! And this post makes an even 20, which will undoubtedly make my beautiful bride smile! πŸ™‚

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  11. Of all the silly things, we do craft projects we’re planning to try with our children. He’s the one with the art degree, while I failed art . . . twice . . . but since I stay home with the kids, I’m usually the one who’s in charge of the craft projects. This saint of a man I married actually laughs with me as we’re trying tofigure out how to fold squares of construction paper into little boats, use drops of alcohol and a sharpie to give a shirt a tie-dyed effect, or what size glue dots work best with googly eyes. I *highly* recommend this πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • This is an awesome comment…what a great reminder of just “doing life” together and having fun with that…making the most of opportunities together. I’m sure you guys have tons of laughter when you’re working on these projects!…my wife is really great about keeping us smiling—especially when the levity is needed most πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your visit and thoughts!

      Reply
  12. Noel Williams (prhayz) www.prhayz.com

    I like your post very much, unfortunately I do not have anything exciting to write about a significant other.

    Reply
  13. Wow, you got a lot of “likes” on this one! I told you it was my favorite too, during our in-person discussion of the post. But I’ll even up your comments with this:

    My favorite “shared interest” is laughter/silliness. Especially while watching goofy or scary movies. And I don’t even mind being the one we laugh at.

    I really enjoyed sharing interests in laughter, your family, and wild game last night. Well, not so much the latter. But the broccoli bread was delicious. I’m more of a veggie girl, I think.

    Can’t wait to read your next post. You can write a poem using the magpie tales prompt today. And/Or, I’ll be posting a new word prompt this evening. But more of this kind of stuff would be awesome too. You’re so popular and extremely successful in everything you do. Keep up the writing!

    Reply
    • Well I was voted “most likely to succeed”…just never thought it would happen due to a humble blog…time will tell πŸ™‚ But, for real, I’m having a good time with it, and this has become one of my fave “shared interests” with you.

      Thanks for your comments and the fun times together…and you give us great material when it comes to laughing at you πŸ˜‰

      Last night with the fam was definitely a lot of fun…I’m surprised broccoli bread got a mention over yogurt and “manga bocca”…especially since you practically got your next one for free πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Oh yeah! I just meant my favorite dish from the dinner. But the frozen yogurt (and especially the manga boca) was awesome. And yes, 5 hits on the punch card was a nice bonus. LOL. It just goes to show that making someone laugh gets you free stuff.

        Reply
  14. Here are this week’s words, whenever you have time: almond, root, fire, carob, hack, lemon, specter, violet, writhe, disturb

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  15. Retirement: giving up the office in the city and setting up an office in our home. The two of us starting something new together as we each go in different directions. A new exciting adventure yet still continuing so much that we did before that now we are twice as busy. Laughing and loving together with each other, our family and the grand kids. Hoping and planning for the future and being confident that the one who holds us all in his hand is in control.
    Enjoyed reading your post and look forward to reading more.
    Joy

    Reply
  16. “being confident that the one who holds us all in his hand is in control.”

    What a great reminder! And great examples of ways to spend time together…really appreciate the enthusiasm you have for your marriage, fam, and grandkids!

    Thanks for the visit and thoughtful comments!

    Reply
  17. Thanks for the reminder

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  18. Wow…..talk about perfect timing! It is good to read this great post and it is so true. My husband of 25 1/2 years and I were just discussing this same thing. We are struggling now because our time is down to a few texts during the day, an hour or two at night (dinner and preparation for bedtime WITH the kids) and then hardly any alone time on the weekends. He is working so hard away from home, and I am working so hard at home, but we are always WITH the kids when we are together. The “Remember the times we…” are getting fewer and fewer in number. It’s like we remember our dating years and then it’s been a blur of kids, life stresses, and work since then. Sad, I know. We do deeply love each other and are committed our marriage, but I will confess, our relationship has suffered. Just this week, we have had some rather long and serious talks about this subject. We refuse to lose each other to the world’s chaos!

    Great post and so timely for me to read. Thanks for stopping by my blog today too πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Wow…I know you mention this is a good reminder for you and your husband, BUT what a great testimony to your love for each other that after so many years together and so much busy-ness, you are still working to be more connected to each other! I love this comment…it is a great example to so many of us to keep working to make things better no matter how long we’ve been married.

      thanks so much for the visit and the comment! Enjoyed your blog a lot and look forward to reading more soon.

      Reply
  19. My first husband and I did a lot of things together in the beginning. We were married at 18 years old. We had 3 kids together, and through the years grew apart and didn’t share the same interests anymore. So we didn’t do as much together and really enjoy each other like you’re talking about here. He left me suddenly in 1999, and passed away in 2001 just as suddenly, of a brain aneurysm. What a hard time that was. Life is short.

    I met my second husband in 2005 and we got married in 2006. We were such a team…did practically everything together. We hit very hard times, my health declined a great deal, and while we spent a lot of time together because we worked together, we did very little together beyond that…just the two of us. And now we’re separated…his decision, very unexpected on my part, and difficult for me. I think that time together to nurture your relationship…to just cherish the time with each other…is very important. Even if you work together as my husband and I did, working together is much different than fun, or romantic time together. I’m not saying that was why we’re separated, but I honestly do think that it’s a factor. You don’t even have to do anything that costs money…just time that isn’t just sitting in front of the television or something…special, ‘just the two of you’ time, like a date once in awhile.

    This is still fresh for me, but with God’s help I’m healing and carrying on. I liked your blog…and thank you, and thanks for ‘listening’ too!

    Reply
    • Anne,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing so openly. The story of your first marriage is simply heart-breaking. You are right, life is “too short.” Sharing this is so important for anyone who reads your words…we all need those reminders that life is “too short” and we should make the most of the opportunities we have with the ones we love.

      I hope you find peace and healing in your current situation…much wisdom also in your sharing here about working together….working together can be “quality time” but so often isn’t….I saw that with my parents who worked together for over 20 years, but wound up divorcing after more than 30 years of marriage b/c they hadn’t spent quality time together for a large number of those years.

      Again, thanks so much for your honesty…so thankful for your words of wisdom!

      Reply
  20. β€œWhen you’re older, and you’re sitting down together over dinner or on the front porch, don’t you want to be able to look at each other and say, β€˜Remember that time when…’?”

    This line really makes me think about the future, and that is the future that I want. I’m hoping my wife and I stay best friends and die old together. But going back to you concluding question. I think I would like to compete in some more team events with my wife. We did a team duathalon last year together, and I think I should continue that this year. I already told my wife I didn’t want to do it because it was really painful and miserable for me, but I might reconsider that.

    Reply
  21. Married not quite three years, my husband and I had little in common when we met. We still have little in common. We don’t like the same music, I’m ar reader and he isn’t, I’m all artsy and talkative and he is quiet and less serious. I try to take an interest in things he enjoys, and we like some of the same movies, but even after so short a time, I fear that once the kids are grown, we won’t know what to say to one another.

    Reply

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