Dr. Kim’s new book “14 Keys to Lasting Love: How to Have the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” comes out on January 8, 2019. This book will change your marriage, and it will most certainly change you. Over the next few weeks, Dr. Kim will highlight some of the principles from the book in his weekly “Insights.”
Name three common interests that you have with your spouse. Was that question easy for you to answer? Or are you still thinking? Before marriage, most couples, Nancy and I included, could fill a page with all the things that they have in common. You hear them say things like, “We are so much alike” or “We like all the same things.” Somewhere between the infatuation stage of dating and today, many couples lose that sense of commonality. Why? Here is my take.
First, when we are falling in love, most of us would do anything to get the other person to return our love. I don’t mean that we would purposely mislead someone but we just seem to have it in us to like whatever they like. It’s not about what we are doing as much as who we are doing it with. For example, before marriage you have no problem going to a sporting event every weekend with him. After a few years of marriage, that may be something that has become less of a priority. You are okay if your spouse goes with a friend instead of you or you let your spouse know that you wish they would compromise on the number of games you attend together. It becomes more about what you are doing than who you are doing it with. Another example would be that before marriage you were excited to go shopping with her anytime she wanted to go but now you are hoping she will hit the mall without you.
The second reason that I think we lose that sense of commonality is that we just let life get in the way. In dating, spending time together was at the top of both of our priority lists. Today other things climb up the list. For most of us those things are not bad things, they just get in the way of time together. It can be work, kids’ activities, volunteer work, church activities, or many other things. We find ourselves going in different directions way too often and sometimes when we are together we look at each other and think something like, “What are we supposed to do when we are alone together?”
We need common interests. They help connect us. They give opportunities to have fun together and share in the joys of life. They help us value our marriage at a high level. If you had trouble thinking of three common interests at the top of this blog, it’s time to do something about that. How do you do that? Talk. Share ideas with each other of things you could do together and then try them out. Join your spouse in something that they are already doing that you can do with them. Be intentional. Carve out time for each other today just like you did when you were pursuing each other. The time and effort you invest will pay off big as you continue to build your own awesome marriage.