When you're married, it's completely natural (and healthy) to spend a lot of time with your partner; you likely live together, share similar friends, and, you know—you're married! And while sharing hobbies, whether it's something exercise-related, or maybe something artistic or musical, is wonderful, maintaining your own hobbies and interests is actually just as important as spending time with your spouse.
"Independence in a relationship is an essential factor in the couple's success. It's wonderful for a couple to spend a lot of time together; however, having their own interests and hobbies can make for a healthier relationship," explains relationship therapist Jaime Bronstein. "
Meet the Expert
Jaime Bronstein is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, relationship therapist, and the author of MAN*ifesting.
The Benefits of Personal Hobbies in a Marriage
Here, Bronstein shares why maintaining independent hobbies and interests is beneficial for any marriage.
Individual Hobbies Create Space for Excitement
If within your marriage, you spend all your time together and do every activity or hobby as a couple, things can potentially become a little monotonous. Focusing on your own interests regularly can create space for freshness within the partnership. "When a couple shares the same interests and hobbies, the relationship could lack excitement, and the couple might feel bored with the lack of diverse interests within the relationship," explains Bronstein. "At the end of the day, it's nice to catch up with one another and hear about their day. If you are always together doing the same things, there's no room for [that]."
This doesn't mean you can't share your personal interests and hobbies with your partner ever—including them in something you're passionate about is a great way to bond! Bronstein just suggests that from time to time, you each leave yourselves space to explore your own passions as individuals, too.
You'll Appreciate Time Together More
You know that feeling when you haven't seen your partner all day and you can't wait to tell them everything that's been on your mind? This is a huge factor for why it's important to spend some time apart, focusing on yourselves as individuals. "There's a reason why there's the saying, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder,'" says Bronstein. "Time apart from one another is healthy and encouraged. When a couple has time to do their own thing, they will appreciate their time together more than if they were to spend every second together."
It Creates Opportunities to Learn From Eachother
One of the best things about being in a partnership is not only learning about the person you love but learning about why they love the things that they love. You may even learn a new skill or discover a new passion for yourself through your spouse! And on top of that, it creates opportunities for deepening intimacy. "Learning from each other can have a bonding effect on the relationship," notes Bronstein. "It's quite endearing when one person teaches the other; imagine someone teaching their significant other how to golf or play pool. One person stands behind the other, enveloping them; it can help the couple feel closer together."
How to Discover Your Own Hobbies
If you're in a long-term relationship or marriage and you feel like you don't spend enough time focusing on your own hobbies, interests, or passions, Bronstein assures us that there are plenty of ways to get in touch with that side of yourself. "If you feel it's difficult to hone in on what interests you, remind yourself that having a hobby and your own interests will enhance your relationship; that should be your incentive to find something you love doing," she explains.
And don't shy away from getting creative! Bronstein even encourages couples to recall activities they each loved as a child. "You're never too old to do what makes you happy and what makes you feel enlivened. If you loved dancing, start taking dance classes. If you loved to make jewelry, make jewelry. Our hobbies spark creativity and when we are creative, we are happier and our relationships thrive."