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Personal Interests & Expectations

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Exercises

Mutual Satisfaction

If you feel like you're not even on your partner's list of priorities or like your partner might feel cheated by the time and passion you put into other things, try the following suggestions to regain balance in your marriage.

  • Prioritize . Make your partner your #1 priority. If both you and your partner make each other and your marriage your top priority, other interests stand little chance of sneaking in and stealing away large quantities of your time.
  • Set Boundaries . Sometimes one partner has to set a boundary to preserve the marriage. Sit down with your partner and let them know how you have been feeling. In the case of Jeff's softball playing, Nichole might say, "I know you really enjoy playing softball and being with your friends. And (not but) I need time with you too. You are the most important person in my life, and I need to feel like I'm the most important person in your life." Nichole might then say something like, "The amount of time you have been spending playing softball and socializing with your friends is not working for me. What can we do to both feel valued?" Boundaries can be set in a kind, gentle, respectful, yet firm way.
  • Moderate . All wholesome activities are good and worthwhile, but not in excess. Find ways to participate in them in moderation. Always let your partner know that they come first.
  • Allow Independence . It is okay for partners to have interests and hobbies of their own. In fact, one study found that participation in shared activities, or commitment to the same activities, was not essential to marital satisfaction as long as partners supported each others interests. That means it is okay to "do your own thing" occasionally in marriage. It shouldn't harm the relationship as long as you keep it under control.
  • Share Activities . Doing things together is a wonderful way to enjoy common interests and build your relationship at the same time. Your partner may have never even tried your favorite hobby or sport, but if they had the chance they might enjoy it. Invite them along the next time you go. Research shows that although participating in separate recreational interests shouldn't harm your marriage, shared recreational involvement can actually make it better.

Couple Montage

Print and use this document for the following exercise:

  1. Draw an illustration showing activities you and your partner enjoy doing together.
  2. Make a drawing to represent the time of day when you and your partner are happiest together.
  3. Draw a picture illustrating the last time you and your partner felt very close.
  4. Draw a picture illustrating an event that brought you and your partner closer together.
  5. Draw a picture to represent the largest obstacle preventing you and your partner from having more good times together.
  6. Create a saying to help you and your partner promote closeness.

NOTE : For those of you who feel nervous about your drawing skills, you can cut pictures out of magazines to illustrate your point. You may even use your own photos. Or, you may simply want to write the words in the space provided.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 06). Personal Interests & Expectations. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/Family__Consumer____Human_Development/Marriage___Family_Relationships/Personal_Interests___Expectations_7.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License