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Real talk time: "It's nice to think that every married couple should look like a couple out of a sitcom, but that's just not reality," says psychologist Lauren Napolitano. In fact, not only are most couples not picture or TV-perfect, but they often find unusual ways to make their relationships work. Here are three ways couples "work" in relationships that others might find odd.
They have different hobbies.
Sure, some couples do everything together — but there's also a danger in getting too close to your husband. "Perhaps one person hunts on the weekends while the other attends a yoga retreat," describes Napolitano. Different hobbies and interests keep a marriage interesting, and give you two things to talk about. "It's about finding a way to enhance a sense of individuality as well as brining new ideas and energy to the relationship," Napolitano says.
They have different social appetites.
A social butterfly can be happily wed to an introvert. If the quieter member of the couple lets the other spread his or her wings, they both get their needs met, rather than forcing one another into uncomfortable situations just to be with each other. "Very few couples can spend 24 hours per day with one another," Napolitano says.
Dads stay at home with the children.
"The wife can be the breadwinner," says Napolitano, and that dynamic — which goes against social norms — can work for couples in which the woman's career goals are uber-important and the husband is able, willing, and not resentful of staying at home.
"The key to these unconventional habits is that both partners need to feel comfortable with the arrangement," Napolitano says. "If the man is out at bars every night and the woman is home cleaning the floors, he might want to say that it's an unconventional habit that works for both of them — but the wife may or may not be happy. It requires consistent communication and mutual agreement."