Help! We have nothing in common.

oppositesI hear that refrain a lot from unhappy couples. They bemoan their lack of common hobbies and interests. He likes watching sports. She likes reality TV. He enjoys go-cart racing. She prefers basket weaving. He likes to socialize. She likes to stay in.

Most people assume they must have things in common in order to be happy, but you really don’t. You need very little common ground to make a relationship work. All you really need to have in common are two things:

  • You both want your relationship to work.
  • You are both willing to make changes to continually improve your relationship.

That’s it. You don’t need to do every single thing together in order to be happy. You don’t need shared hobbies. You just need a good relationship, one that is based on mutual respect. The “we have nothing in common” complaint is really not a complaint about having things in common. Rather it’s a complaint about the overall state of the relationship, which usually isn’t good. Couples who complain about not having things in common usually have other problems: they are not communicating, they are not having sex, they are not romancing each other, and so on.

Once you fix the other issues, the issue of not having things in common usually evaporates. After all, if it were really an issue, it would be easy to solve. You’d just come up with something you both want to do together-perhaps learn a language, start a fitness regimen, or spice up your sex life-and you’d do it.

I know all of this because my husband and I are complete opposites, and we’re very happily married.

This wasn’t always the case. Just a few years ago, I was as miserable as any wife could possibly be, and I told anyone who would listen that my husband and I had “nothing in common,” as if having nothing in common was a disease that married people could catch.

But it wasn’t. We’re happy now, but the not having much in common hasn’t changed.

For instance, just yesterday he rode his motorcycle to Philadelphia to marshal a bike race. This is something I would never in a million years want to do. You could not pay me to do it. Not even a million dollars. My husband? He’d probably pay someone else for the privilege. For safety, he wore full riding gear that looks a lot like what firemen wear when they go into a burning building. Theoretically such protective gear would keep him from losing every inch of his skin were he to get in an accident, but it also serves as a great insulator. It was 85 degrees yesterday. He basically spent his day hunched over on his crotch rocket, riding in circles while wearing the equivalent of a down jumpsuit.

When he got home and took off his helmet, his hair was all matted together and his face looked like it had been exposed to an Everglades swamp for a few weeks. My parents happened to be visiting. My mother said, “He just rode that thing to and from Philadelphia?”

I said, “There are things I will never understand about my husband. Wanting to ride a motorcycle for 8 hours straight in the heat is one of them. That doesn’t mean I don’t love him.”

And it’s true.

There are many, many things I will never understand about my husband. I still wonder how anyone could want to spend so much time reading about cycling as he does, for instance. I also can’t, for the life of me, figure out exactly what he does with his portable GPS and why whatever it is that he does with it takes up so much of his time. He even tried to help me understand this. One night he asked me to sit next to him while he showed me the GPS readout from one of his bike rides.

“See that’s the route,” he said. “If I press this button here, see what happens!”

What was happening was that a little arrow was following a line around the mapped out route.

“Oh, interesting, “I said. What I really meant was, “Oh, I really don’t find that interesting.” But I didn’t say that because I thought it was incredibly sweet that he was trying to help me understand his hobby. I also like that he’s blessed with a sense of direction. I’m not. Getting lost is a way of life for me. Oh, and he knows how to light a charcoal grill. That’s something I don’t know how to do. In fact, I’m sort of scared of the grill, much as I was scared of Bunsen burners when I was in high school. He doesn’t mind killing bugs either. That’s a good thing because I hate bugs, and I also hate killing them because I hate the squishy stuff that comes out of them. He can also throw a baseball in a fairly straight line, something that my daughter will tell anyone I just can’t do. I’ve accidentally lobbed balls into her head I don’t know how many times.

I appreciate that my husband is not me. I’m very glad that he’s not me. If he were just like me, we’d only be able to eat grilled food at BBQ restaurants, our daughter would have a permanent concussion, our house would be overrun with bugs, and we’d be lost somewhere on the Interstate.

In the end, you really don’t need to adopt each other’s interests, and you really shouldn’t. It’s good to have a strong identity. It’s not good to lose yourself in your partner, only to, years later, realize that you have no idea who you are. If you are opposites who have nothing in common, stop worrying about it. Just focus on what’s most important: continually getting to know one another just a little bit better.

Do you think couples need things in common in order to be happy? Leave a comment.

152 comments… add one

  • Ron March 16, 2012, 6:10 am

    Loved reading your post. I don’t know how different is my situation but I sure want some advice. I am 25 and have a job and she is 21 and about to graduate from college. Its been 3 years to our relationship. I moved to a different city with her to make things work between us. We don’t really connect twith each other intellectually ( I guess I’m the weaker one) however, we do things together like cooking, watching t.v, going out with friends etc… Now, its been almost a year since she has started having doubts about our relationship and is probably wanting out. She says she is not attracted to me, we can’t connect and that she loves me but not in the way a couple should.She feels guilty about it at the same time. She is a very sweet girl and I love her a lotand I wish to spend my life with her. I don’t want to loose her and I can’t let her be unhappy in life aswell. We’ve tried talking but that has not worked either. Is there something that I could do or should I just let her go.

    Reply
    • Esther March 17, 2012, 1:19 am

      Ron, I would let her go because you wouldn’t want someone who married you because they pittied you. You want someone who want’s you for you! You can fake it now but years down the road you’ll both be miserable.

      Reply
    • Phil August 25, 2012, 3:38 pm

      I would hang in there if you feel so strongly about her. Try to win her over again. However I would advise that you remain true to yourself. There is such a thing as an inner voice inside each and everyone of us that we ought to listen to. And if you feel there is a disconnect with your inner voice you should drop it altogether.
      Better be miserable for a few months than for a lifetime. Look inside yourself and you will find the answer.

      Reply
    • JB September 12, 2012, 1:21 pm

      I am going to counseling with my wife. It is important to understand that you both have issues to deal with and in our situation we have our individual sessions one week and then have a couples session. I would recommend that for you too because honestly you will find out that there is more that you can do for her, maybe it will rekindle something in her, or maybe you will both come around to a mutual agreement knowing that you tried everything. Best wishes to you.

      Reply
    • bad girl August 20, 2013, 4:58 pm

      i think you should upgrade yourself with few courses, go back to school, you are still young,you still have time. I have the same problem with my boyfriend, the way i think is different from him, am more educated than him, i cant talk to him about education, work or anything that is out of his IQ and interests because he doesn’t understand me, other things i say to him, i have to give a very long explanation to make him understand me well, i don’t mind doing it but sometimes it makes me think twice, my interests are very different from him, sometimes am very busy, he doesn’t understand me he thinks am ignoring him.

      Reply
  • Sara March 18, 2012, 1:23 pm

    What should I do if I keep trying to find things my husband and I can do together but it’s almost like he refuses to try? He won’t even go to weddings or baptisms with me, and some of the events are for family or his friends. I can’t even tell you the last time he and I hung out with friends together.

    Reply
    • sharon June 21, 2012, 6:59 pm

      Mine MIGHT go, and if he does, he makes the day/night unbearable

      Reply
      • Sheryl August 20, 2012, 11:48 am

        Exactly how I feel !! It’s always like he’s doing me a favor going. Half the time
        It’s an embarrassment to take him bc he looks unhappy. He says he loves me, but this behavior wouldnt come from someone who loves u I think. I’m so confused.

    • Phil August 25, 2012, 3:45 pm

      I would advise you set the record straight. If there is nothing you enjoy doing he wants to do, you should find out why… If he still behaves like a child and won’t explain why.. then tell him that kind of behavior hurts you. If he doesn’t explain or change in any ways then tell him you will go your own way and do it.

      Reply
  • Tom Jordan March 19, 2012, 9:50 am

    I am 63, single and in a year long live in relationship with woman in Costa Rica. She is 46, a wonderful, hardworking (high school teacher) and loving person. So why am I not happy?
    When I read your article I could identify so much with the dilemma of acceptance that you and your husband were experiencing. I love my girlfriend but not only do we not have much in common, she will not accept that we are different people with different interests. I like reading and more cerebral activities. She enjoys watching soccer (an all year long passionate pass time for Latin Americans) on TV and endless crocheting.
    Listen, I don’t get her passions but I don’t really mind them either. That is who she is and that’s fine with me. She does not feel the same way about my passions…”reading is boring and all that intellectual banter you do with your friends is VERY boring.” I responded to this attack on who I am very badly and we both got our feelings hurt.
    Now I have stopped reading, seldom spend any time with friends and while I don’t crochet I watch soccer with her almost every day. My life is VERY boring now but she doesn’t seem able to accept that it is OK for us to have separate interest and to pursue them separately. The more I compromise, the more she seems to want me to do only what she believes is interesting in life.
    I am going mad trying to be someone I am not. I could use some help with a solution because I can’t seem to come up with one that includes the two of us staying together. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Camille July 19, 2012, 10:22 pm

      i suggest just letting her go, because if you cant even be happy with the one your dating, then its not going to get better. Just leave while you still can, at least your not married with kids. No point in being miserable when you dont have to.

      Reply
    • Patty August 29, 2012, 2:18 pm

      Keep doing what you enjoy doing and let her know that life is about learning and improving yourself and not about slacking and watching football or crocheting. You need to set the priorities straight or soon she will take over and force her biased opinions on you.

      Reply
    • Phil September 15, 2012, 4:33 pm

      Just stick with what you like doing and spend a little time with her exploring her interests all the while insisting that you are making an effort to connect with her but that it is not your cup of tea.
      She needs to be clear that you are only doing it because you love her so that she can appreciate the effort. I do this with my wife who is as stubborn as a mule and it works. I show as little interest and try to remain neutral and she gets it.
      Trust me if she gets it anyone can.

      Reply
    • TK January 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

      Tom, I hope you’ve already gotten out by now! I would die if my husband stopped me from reading or discussing new books/ideas. There is a limit to what you can give up when you love someone. I would absolutely go into a horrible depression if I had to watch sports every day!!

      Reply
  • javier March 25, 2012, 12:15 am

    my wife and i have been married 18 years and we have 2 daughters 2gether and she has a son i’ve raised since he was 5. her son has caused us a lot of problems of which i have tried being supportive but she worries obsessively about him and will not sleep and defends his every actions!!! also we’ve tried talking but it is hard to do since she works evenings and i during the day! also we have not had a decent sexual life for the last 6 years( which is roughly the time “her boy” started getting into school and legal trouble!) and she claims she has no desires and is suffering from menopause which i find hard to believe since she is only 40! also she is very selfish in the fact she spends money on herself without realizing we still have mortgage and utility payments(yes the financial thing again)and then has the guts to say don’t worry about paying the credit bills as they can’t do anything!! so as you see i’ve tried the communicating, i’ve tried the romancing to liven up our sex life, AND i’ve tried to be super patient with the boy since after all i have been his father figure since he was 5! plus keeping our finances up to date which i do solely by myself! so what do i do??? is the relationship at this point worthy? i mean i still love her…but there are times when my lack of desire for her is higher than the luv i feel……..

    Reply
    • Tom March 25, 2012, 2:05 pm

      Javier…First of all, I am sorry that you are going through a difficult time in your life. It may not help much but I am sure that you realize that it happens to everyone in every kind of relationship. In other words, you are not alone.
      The following is based on my experience and is only my opinion so please keep that in mind. There are no “one size fits all” answers to the problems that you are facing but I hope what I have to say helps in some way.
      I have done the step parent thing and it can be challenging to say the least. I now believe that without a mutual agreement on how children should be raised you will likely be in constant conflict with the child and your wife. This may even need to be put down in writing because if you are “winging it” and she is too, the likelihood of a successful outcome is not good. Having said that, you and your wife should expect and insist on nothing less than good behavior while the child is under your roof. Whatever it takes, you must draw the line in the sand. If he is legally an adult and not able to behave reasonably, help him pack his bags and wish him the best of luck.
      We men, perhaps wrongly, are often unable to separate love and sex. If our spouse doesn’t want us sexually, it’s because she doesn’t love us. Right? Ummm…maybe…but not always by any means. Can you live in a sexless marriage and be happy? Probably not. I know I couldn’t. So what are you going to do about it. Keep begging for sex in the hopes that she will give in? Not a good long term plan if you ask me and makes you seem very weak in her eyes.
      So, buddy, do something about it or get ready for a lifetime “dry spell.” You both have the right to be happy and if you have made clear your needs and she continues to hold you a sexual hostage (6 years is B.S. !) for whatever reason, it is time to move on. Life is, really, too short.
      Of course, my opinions are based on what you said so keep that in mind. Your wife, very likely, sees things somewhat differently. Write her a letter explaining how you feel and ask her to write you on how she feels…talk may be a little too confrontational and emotional to get much accomplished. Javier, my friend, I wish the best of luck to you and your wife.

      Reply
    • camille July 19, 2012, 11:08 pm

      damn, umm put her on an allowance, if you can, and kick your son out because it sounds like he is over 18 and grown. If you cant do the allowance thing, just get a seperate account and put your bill money in there to make sure she doesnt spend it. Oh and maybe she doesnt want to be lovey with you because she is not happy either, and i know you said you tried but if you only tried once and she wasnt receptive that doesnt mean you should just give up. Kepp trying constantly, and a word of advice from a woman, do the things you used to do when you guys dated, flowers, candy, GIFTS!!! things like that, and i promise once she sees that your really trying to make a REAL effort, she will come around. Once you start wining and dining her and showering with small gifts here and there, she wont feel the need to go shopping. Just give it a try for a while, you will see a difference.

      Reply
      • Phil August 25, 2012, 3:57 pm

        If she doesn’t want to get intimate with you anymore then try to understand why and treat her. If she still blames it on menopause then you can be sure this will never change. And I don’t have to tell you what to do.

  • Sonia Sanchez March 26, 2012, 11:06 am

    Tom,

    I have been where you are and it’s really not easy. I would remind you to keep pursuing your own individual interests, because it’s vital for you to be *you*, and to be happy being you, before you can connect successfully with a partner.

    I think you can recognize how empty you must feel, having given up your personal interests. Your partner probably doesn’t realize this is happening, and in the end if she’s a good person, she won’t stand for you giving up so much of who you are.

    I too am overly accommodating to my partners, often without being conscious of it at the time. In the end I just end up feeling down, detached and even aggressive/resentful to my partner, when it was never really something they asked me to do. Realize that this may also be true for you. If it is, take the time to explore why you may be doing this. Try to get at the root of your own issues. and find that balance. Get back in touch with yourself, with what’s important to you.

    You can do it!

    Reply
  • Sonia at Marriage Counselling Toronto Name April 4, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Great post! It does help when couples have stuff in common however when you don’t that’s also good because you can share your interest with each other.

    Reply
    • Phil September 15, 2012, 4:39 pm

      Yes good post but we can do without your advertising on this matter. Quite frankly I am dubious of the added value bu there again I am only European…

      Reply
  • shiena May 21, 2012, 11:35 pm

    me and my boyfriend are having problems we have no idea how to stay together

    Reply
  • Kim May 23, 2012, 10:17 am

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever read about the “we have nothing in common” issue. My husband anad I have been together since we were 15, and now, 11 years later, we’re both starting to say that. This article really opened my eyes. It’s beautiful, and makes me feel very hopeful and happy. Thank you for sharing :)

    Reply
  • Sally Ann May 28, 2012, 9:23 pm

    My husband is a very kind and good man, however, we have very, very little in common. i’ve learned to accept this fact (over the 7 years we’ve been married). The real painful (exruciating) issue for me is, and has always been, that he doesn’t communicate at all. He doesn’t express his thoughts, feelings, emotions, worries, hopes, regrets, goals, fears, dreams, etc. Nothing. Nada. I feel like I’m living with a kind stranger who I know nothing about. We’ve tried couples therapy which didn’t help. He says he’s a very simple man and doesn’t have and feeling or thoughts (vs. he does have them but he’s not sharing them). Could this be true? He won’t go to individual therapy because he’s old fashioned, so won’t even consider it. I’m sooo confused and in so much pain. He’s a really good person but there is no closeness, intimacy, or connection, etc. Nothing. What to do? We’ve been married 8 years and have a 6 year old.

    Reply
    • camille July 19, 2012, 11:13 pm

      my advice would be to naggggg the heck out of him, just constantly ask him what he is thinking, and feeling, and eventually he will break, yes he might be mad for a min, but he will get over it and tell you. Once he sees your reaction to how he feels, and feels comfortable with your reaction the next time he will do it with not as much nagging. I know this because my husband was the same way, so i had to break him in order for us to communicate. One thing all men have in common, they hate nagging, and if they want you to shut up they will give you whatever your asking for.

      Reply
      • Donald January 3, 2013, 12:18 pm

        I disagree….men do hate nagging, but if they are the reticent type the likelihood of constant barraging making him feel more like sharing something is seriously backwards. Sorry, but I’m not great at sharing things and I know it bugs the hell out of my wife yet I can’t simply overcome this by being assaulted. It definitely drives me further inwards – away from the nagging. However if you persist in a kind and inquiring way, perhaps start further from the deeper issues…like in the shallow end, it might be more productive.

    • JB September 12, 2012, 1:30 pm

      He sounds like a very stubborn man. His actions are only going to lead to you realizing that you are better off without him. If you already tried counseling ask him to see a doctor about depression. I am similarly stubborn and have bad communication with my wife. I found out my depression was **partly** caused by a hypothyroid. I have been on the meds for a while and I honestly feel the difference. The “poor me” attitude is gone and that snowball effect when I have depressive thoughts really is gone. Anyway, if he is not willing to work on your marriage then maybe you need to do something drastic like my wife did. Leave him. If he really does love you he will want to go back to counseling and work things out.

      Reply
    • Phil September 15, 2012, 4:48 pm

      I am with Camille on this one. I would personally provoke my partner for a reaction so that we can set the record straight. There is no way anyone is so taintless they don’t disclose any information about themselves. I am very secretive myself but when pushed I would open up to save the relationship. So my advice would be to nag him and push him in a corner so that he finally reacts in any way he can to your demands.

      Reply
  • mike July 11, 2012, 10:05 am

    I think there is one thing that you must have in common to make it work and that is your values. Of course that is one thing all married couples should already have if you came to be married in the first place. Everything else can be compromised if you are willing.

    Reply
    • Delilah January 9, 2013, 10:07 pm

      Wow, your reply was so simple. And Perfect. This is the answer I was looking for. I already knew this but did not realize that I knew it already. Even the whole post in this blog did not reveal the real answer to the question: Can couples with nothing in common make it? Bravo!

      Reply
  • Amy July 24, 2012, 5:18 pm

    My husband and I have nothing in common, Oh one thing our marriage license, and we live in the same house. He lives in the basement and I have the upstairs. Married 45 plus years and we have done nothing together. We did have sex once, but that will never happen again. For me it has been lonely, depressing and disappointing. For him I don’t know, but I would guess he doesn’t care. I’ve been alone since we were married, and it will continue to be that way. I don’t like men any more even though my shrink is trying to convince me other wise. She says all men are not like your husband. But I just don’t trust that statement in my mind all men are bas$$$%s.

    Reply
    • Phil September 15, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Well I understand after 45 years with someone like your husband you don’t believe in men anymore but seriously just like your shrink told you not all men are the same. I would add to that I believe you have low self esteem which is one of the reason you are staying in an unsatisfying relationship. How can you bear to be with someone you have been married to for 45 years and have no intimate relationship?
      I would advise you start taking time for yourself and just let him be a jerk. Going out to do things that please you will eventually bring new prospects and relationships. Good luck!

      Reply
  • VGOMEZ August 1, 2012, 7:01 pm

    Hi, I have been married for almost 12yrs and have three children. My husband and I argue constantly there are many issues in our relationship. One issue is that he says I am boring and I am not fun we both are very different. My husband likes to drink and party and I like to stay home and watch a movie. Another issue is that he likes to go out around once or twice a month with his friends, but will not get home til 4am. This weekend he has a basketball tournament and did not invite the children and I to go and support him, instead he invited his off and on father and aunt to go and watch him. When I asked him why I was not invited he his answer was that he wanted to have a good time with his father and he did not want me to intefere with that and also because he wanted to hang out with his boys. Can you please give me advice?

    Reply
  • Linda August 17, 2012, 7:50 am

    Sally anne, in same boat, have 6 year old. He has NOTHING to say. i ask, and he says i over think things and there is NOTHING in his head.
    Did i marry someone STUPID ?

    Reply
    • Mark August 29, 2012, 2:44 pm

      He is just fooling you… he knows very well women have a tendency to make molehills out of nothing and is playing you at your game.
      Tell him off.

      Reply
  • Elisa August 27, 2012, 10:41 pm

    Reading this opened my eyes… because I keep thinking that the fact we have nothing in common is our issue, which I still do believe CAUSES issues, but it’s not our main issue. I just feel that we’ve grown apart over the years and there are so many times when everything he does drives me crazy. I hate that he won’t eat certain foods (or any really) so our meal times are always stressful and usually lead to an argument. None I our hobbies are the same, and even though we’re both willing to do things for each other, we’re not truly enjoying ourselves… But I hide it better than he does. He’s constantly plastered to his phone, working, or sleeping. I just don’t feel like he’s present. And when I try to voice my issues, I get accused of trying to start a fight, when really all I’m doing is trying to talk – which is actually like me talking to a brick wall, because apparently he has no opinion on anything. So then I end up feeling like an idiot and get mad that he won’t respond… which is what leads to me being accused of starting a fight. He’s a good dad in the sense that he’s around and he works hard to support his family. Other than that? He more than falls short on he dad end. Like I said – he’s not present. He spends no time with our child and the time we all spend together just leads to him being annoyed and constantly nagging on our child. He used to be fun and laugh and he just doesn’t do that anymore. I try, but the stress of being a full- time mom, housekeeper, bill payer, chauffeur, cook, etc. is enough on its own without adding the constant nagging on him to spend time with his kid. I shouldn’t have to TELL YOU to spend time with your kid. We’ve been try for a long time to have more children, unsuccessfully and a part of me is almost glad. One less kid he can ignore. And that thought makes me sad. I always thought he’d be an excellent father, but wow – the joke’s on me!

    Another issue with “having nothing in common” is that it just never seems like we’re on the same page with what we want in life. I want a bigger house with land so our family can enjoy more things. He couldn’t care less and would never move if it weren’t for me doing al the work to make it happen. And the promise he made when we bought this small house was that we’d only be here 5 years. It’s been almost twice as long and I can barely get him to do the dishes let alone any repairs that would get us to a good selling place. It’s very frustrating to think that we want so many different things.

    I obviously living him and can’t imagine my life without him in it, but it’s getting lonely. Especially when it feels like everything about our family lies on my shoulders alone. After a decade of living here, he still is clueless as to where things go, how to do things properly, how tongue our child a bath, etc. He acts dumb but he’s not. And instead of trying to learn, he just uses the “I don’t know” as an excuse to get out of doing things. it’s beyond annoying.

    We never have “date nights”. I can list our dates on one hand and it’s been almost 15 years. And he’s a huge denier and joker. When I voice my issues, he either denies what I’m saying or makes a joke of it. It’s impossible for him to be serious and honest, which makes communication next to impossible. I’m just at a loss as to what to do anymore.

    So is not having stuff in common a huge issue with us? Yes. Maybe not hobbies, but just who we are in general and how we see and process things. I’ve grown up but I don’t think he has.

    Reply
    • Samantha October 4, 2012, 10:10 pm

      Elisa,
      Can I just tell you how glad I am that I ran across your post. My husband and I are actually newlyweds. We were married in June of this year but have been dating for 6 years. I was in a very mentally abusive relationship before I got with my now husband. He was everything I could have dreamed of and came and swept me off of my feet. He was instantly obsessed with me (in a sweet way) and I was paralyzed by his charm and willingness to do absolutely everything for me. We have had our way ups and way downs but have always stayed together and tried to make the experiences lessons learned. But here we are, 6 years later and married and I feel everything your saying is the EXACT same thing I’m struggling with. A few exceptions… If I asked my husband to get me ice cream at 2am, he would do it in a heartbeat. I know he loves me from the bottom of his heart, as I love him just as much, but the lack of communication and passion are draining me. I can honestly I have no idea what my husbands passions are, his fears, his plans…. Nadda. Oh and believe me I’ve asked! He is the same as ur guy, always on his phone or at work, etc. I am 26 and have never felt more lonely. He used to be such a personable, like able guy (he is still such a great person though) but its like he’s the walking dead now. We’ve gained some weight since the wedding and I’m constantly begging him to workout with me… Yoga, running, something, and he will do it but I have to initiate it and I always feel like I’m “making” or “forcing” him to go. We don’t like any of the same foods and while I have a passion for trying to eat healthy, he will not even give any effort. We have sat and talked about all of this 36382865 times and he swears he will start to try harder and do better and then we always go back to the “norm”. I feel like we were together during so many crucial years of us growing up that the same kids we were when we met 7 years ago and fell in love are now two completely different adults who don’t even understand each other anymore. It’s scary because I love him with every ounce of my heart but I’ve never felt so distant from him in our entire relationship. I hope things start to get better for you.

      Reply
  • Phil August 29, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Hmm… Saying that you have nothing in common seems a bit far fetched. You mentioned you guys have grown apart over the years which seems to indicate you had things in common before. If you did then surely the issue is about reconnecting and not separating or taking other harsh measures. Personally I would just tell him out loud what you are expressing here and listen to what he has to say. If nothing comes out of it be more aggressive letting him know it is not ok to not to the dishes or act dumb, he is an adult and needs to act like one or else…

    Reply
  • Bubbles September 19, 2012, 11:45 pm

    I have just fallen madly, crazily in love with a guy who is not only much younger than me, but we have nothing in common! I love and respect him. He’s a beautiful human being, and it took a full year of his pursuing me with me saying, no, we’ve got nothing in common, before I even went out with him.
    Now I am beside myself, both with love and, well, fear….. come to think of it, we do have one thing in common – an interest in music, but who doesn’t like music, frankly (he wants to teach me guitar) and our values – we are both sort of philanthropic, charitable types with high ideals.
    Thank you very much for your article. It has given me hope

    Reply
    • Mary September 26, 2012, 3:53 pm

      So what are your expectations in this relationship? Are you expecting he will be the one and only? So he is beautiful and has an interest teaching you guitar and you feel it is too good to be true. Why don’t you just go with the flow instead of rationalizing your relationship? He may be quite insecure himself about dating an older woman.. Who knows? One thing is for sure he is after you… So why not enjoy the moment and see what comes out of it… ? Beautiful things hopefully. If not, good memories of your time together.

      Reply
    • Krissy November 13, 2012, 5:56 pm

      I agree that you should just go with the flow and enjoy the process of allowing the relationship to unfold. Personally, I believe that little things, like an appreciation for music, actually are quite important down the road. And sharing the same philanthropic values is definitely also definitely a good, promising foundation for a relationship or at the very least, a great lasting friendship.

      Reply
  • Lonely Cameron September 22, 2012, 8:20 pm

    I did enjoy reading your post. I am definitely going to be looking at my marriage a different way. Me and my husband are exactly like you describe your marriage. “Complete Opposites” I am very outgoing, my husband is an introvert. I enjoy comedy shows/movies, my husband would rather die than watch a second of any of it. He is obsessed with video games, I find them immature and boring. Movies? only if its scifi. Music? forget it. Vacations/getaways? Nope, he can’t handle it. Hobbies? Nothing in common.
    Love has kept us together this far (5years) But that is fading slowly. We only get 1 full day a week together. And we dont’ even spend it with each other. I usually hang out in one room, and he hangs out in another. I’m craving attention from him. I have tried to like things he likes. He doesn’t want me to “pretend” to be into it. I actually rather annoy him when asking questions about his hobbies. I gave up a long time ago. We have tried the whole date night thing. The only thing we can agree on is going out to eat. But we usually end up eating in silence. I often cry myself to sleep when I really just start thinking about it.
    Our sex life use to be wonderful…. not that it’s bad, we just use to have a lot more of it. I love sex with my husband. But I sometimes feel used for it. That is our common ground, Sex. He may feel the same as I do. I wouldn’t know. We don’t communicate. I know I should be happy that he still wants me sexually. But after we have amazing sex, we roll over and go on with our seperate lives.
    So my question to you is: How do you make it work with your husband? How to you stay happy when everything around you and involved makes you miserable? I was convienced people stay married because they just take the other person’s crap. Love isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. If I didn’t love my husband, I wouldn’t be wasting my time.

    Reply
    • M December 31, 2012, 9:55 pm

      Are we married to the same husband?!?! Wow I could have written most of your post!!!

      Reply
      • j June 26, 2014, 5:50 pm

        WOW! Me too, same guy I’m married too….

  • Linda September 26, 2012, 4:44 pm

    Elisa,

    This is my husband, I have also wanted to move for years to get a bigger garden and pool for the kids, he couldnt care less . If i suggest that he take the 6 year old for a bike ride .He say ” why dont you do it , i’ve worked all week” . It really hurts me .
    He is always in a bad mood and accuses me of starting fights when i just want to get to the bottom of things.

    Reply
    • Mary November 12, 2012, 4:07 pm

      Seems you have some communication issues… If you cannot defuse them on your own then you may want to start counselling.

      Reply
  • Holly October 1, 2012, 12:03 am

    Thanks so much for this.

    Reply
  • Martha October 14, 2012, 10:47 pm

    I have been married for 2years. Like most couples we also have different interests. He loves his alcohol while i love my dvds. My husband has 4 kids from his 1st marriage but they stay with the ex-wife. Last year in December we had a major fight in which he assaulted me when he was drunk and spat on my face, bit my cheek and gave a major blow to my forehead, resulting in black eyes the next 2 weeks after the swelling of my forehead had descended. One month ago, on a beautiful evening after i had cooked dinner, I was still in the kitchen when we had a disagreement about our budget (since I seem to be the only one buying our house stuffs, but he earns more than i do). My complain was, I had requested the day before, if he could buy our blanket to which he replied that he had not budgeted for that. The very next morning, his married daughter (who has a working husband)calls him to buy milk for her baby and he sprang like a small kid to accomodate his married daughter’s request. When i brought this up in our argument, he was realy outraged, hit me and spat on my face again. I felt worthless with the way he treated me. He said it’s better for him to spit on my face then actually assaulting and hurting it. I have never shared to anyone of this “spitting on the face”, as my husband is very caring and kind to my relatives and workmates. Everyone speaks highly of him. We both work but i do almost all of the house chores. when he’s at home he’s either sleeping or drinking or else he attends to complaints from tenants of his firm. Please advise on this issue or some words of encouragement.

    Reply
    • Chelsie October 14, 2012, 11:11 pm

      All I have to say is…

      Does it really take 3rd times the charm for you to see that he’s bad for you?

      If he likes his beer that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that but for him to assault you? That’s not worth it, HE’S NOT WORTH IT. The definition of a man may have changed from back in day but there’s a fine line between right and wrong, drunk or not, what he does to you, assaulting you AND he makes you feel worthless by spitting on you? Who in there right mind, with common decency DOES THAT? There are better fish in the sea deary. He needs anger management and if alcohol makes him more sensitive then he needs more than just management. He needs self help in general…

      Reply
      • Phil October 18, 2012, 6:13 pm

        Chelsie – The definition of a man has not changed from back in the days. What has changed is the perception of man. That aside it is not right for any human being to assault another one for no reason. I am a man and have a few drinks once in a while but it would never cross my mind to spit on my wife whatever she said to me.
        If your man does that then you may want to start counseling. This is definiely not acceptable behavior.

    • Amy August 19, 2013, 10:53 am

      Martha- you are of much greater worth than to be threatened, hit and spat at…. that is domestic violence/abuse. It often gets worse, and can even be lethal. Please seek some counseling either with a local domestic abuse agency or therapist. He’s got many of the classic signs… of being a nice caring and kind person to “outsiders” but then getting outraged and assaulting you.

      Reply
  • Martha November 13, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Dear Chelsie and Phil,
    Thank you soo much for responding. I am not sure if some other women are experiencing this “Spitting on the face”. You are indeed true to say that i must find a better man. I am taking it easy (which i know most will not agree with and just advise me to LEAVE!!!) at the moment concentrating on my wifely duties, succumbing to having a family life, interior decor (I find this therapeutic) and finding peace within myself. The incident keeps reeling in my mind and sometimes i imagine myself as the third party and looking at myself being spat on by my husband. I cannot imagine a woman being de-graded like that by her partner when they share a common feeling for each other, but yet you feel betrayed by all that has happened. I really appreciated your comments and I felt good reading them because I haven’t spoken to anyone about this. When you learn something negative of a person, your perspective of him changes. I have a close knit family background and since we don’t have children (yet), we spend most of our leisure time visiting extended families and those less fortunate ones. My husband is in a management position in his firm and a prominent figure in his family, and he is well liked in my family because of all his good deeds. But my perception of this man that I loved began to change and sometimes when I’m alone at home, it usually creeps up on me. Is it right to be thinking about it, as its in my past? Should I leave? I didn’t talk to him for one whole day the last time he spat on me and finally on the second day after he questioned my silence I told him how small and de-graded I felt after he spat on me. I asked, “Why did you spit on my face?”..and he answered, that “I would rather spit on your face than to slap and injure you”. I know that if you’re reading this, you’d probably be shouting at me to leave! At this moment our relationship is, I would say we’re happy, even though we face some uphill. But he hasn’t done the spitting again. Thanks so much Chelsie and Paul for responding.

    Reply
    • Chelsie November 13, 2012, 7:26 pm

      “I would rather spit on you than to slap you and injure you.” is the MOST pathetic and stupid excuse I’ve ever heard. My initial thought was, “Yeah, because you can wipe off spit. Hitting leads to questions he don’t want,” but I refrain.

      I’m not questioning your husband’s manhood, I think like I did in my previous comment. I’m questioning his morality, ethics, principles and and maybe how smart he is in terms of common sense and common decency to another human being. You’re not only a woman but a human being too, just like him. I like to look at people as they are not more important then me, but I am not more important than them- the same applies to you and your relationship with your husband. Physical, verbal and emotional abuse, including spitting makes the abuser seem more dominant in the relationship but, they’re not. But I’m trying to be humane about this, especially because I do not know him.

      In the present, your past makes up the moment you live in. Why you are where you are and how you got there. Your past and how you live in the present makes up who you want to be in your future and what you idealize for yourself. It is not a bad thing to dwell on the past unless you let it consume you. It helps one reflect on themselves.

      I don’t know if you could find peace within yourself when your world surrounding you isn’t so good. If your husband has only spat on you once, but his all around attitude, in terms of treating you well and respecting you, your body and mind, than I, if I was his wife, would give him another chance. We are all human and we make mistakes. Once, I was driving with my boyfriend in the car with me a couple years ago. He was joking with me by cutting me off in the middle of my sentences as I was trying to talk to him and I got so mad and irritated with him I slapped his leg. The kind of slap where if you were to slap someone across the face really hard and angrily. He asked me why I did that and I didn’t know what to say, I was shocked myself because I told myself I would never hit someone like that out of anger but I did. It only shows that I am human and I made a mistake and I never repeated that mistake again, and hopefully never will. There’s a saying that says, “Fool me once, shame one you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” We all know that saying. In your case, he did it once, shame on him- he’s human too. If it is repeated and you stay because of wifely obligations or because your family likes him, then shame on you. Your family loves you more than they love him. I’m just reinterpreting the saying for your situation so I hope I didn’t offend you when I said that. In all, if he doesn’t repeat what he did, and as I said, treats your mind and body with respect as well as your relationship with him, he loves you as much as he says he does, and he wants a family with you which initially says I want you to be my one and only than I’d stay but don’t be fooled twice. I hope all goes well.

      Chelsie

      Reply
  • Phil November 15, 2012, 6:21 pm

    Hi Martha, good to read from you.
    I am glad to hear your relationship has been getting better. However I seem to read between the lines that it surely is not all what you expected it to be. I am by no means making any judgment on your way of being as we are all different human beings and have our own ways to cope with things. However I am of the opinion that someone who is spitting on you, whoever he is, and is not apologizing cannot feel they are on an equal footing with you. I am not sure what triggered this behavior but it seems your husband feels superior to you. It might be due to his management position. I would not be able to tell being an outsider. However there is one thing I know and it is that relationships only work because we believe we are on an equal footing with our partner. Whatever that means in reality… but we have to feel their equal.
    From what I read, I am under the impression your husband is abusing his power position taking advantage of you. You should not feel intimidated by his managerial position or his prominent position in the family. Only you can see his true face. Whatever others tell you about him does not reflect reality. I would remind him that you took a vow for better and for worse but that you never expected that worse would come to this level. NO human being should ever be spat on. It shows a total lack of respect. You may be able to forgive him in time but this event should never be forgotten. It is a behavior that is a reflection of his personality. There may be extremely good sides to counteract but it does not change the fact that he feels superior to you and has no problems spitting on you.
    I hope you manage to find the right ground for an equal discussion as I believe it is the only way you will be able to get through this situation.

    Reply
    • Martha November 15, 2012, 10:18 pm

      Dear Chelsie and Phil,
      I cried reading your valuable inputs since i could not trust sharing the incident with anyone close to me and this is the first time someone has given advise meaning that they care. I really am grateful for that. I am assessing my situation and I hope and pray it does not happen again. As I said earlier that I am content right now but who knows what tomorrow holds. I swallow a lot of silent pain in the way he boastfully talks and thinks his work is more important than mine, but it is released in our intimacy. I know that this is not the kind of guy any girl would want and looking at the long term since he is some years older than me, he only has a few years to retire. Sometimes I am contemplating on the kinds of revenge i would take after he has retired since i would still be working when he retires. I really do love him and I know he loves me too. He does me everything a woman would want from a man. It’s just some of the small bits like the spitting that drains some of my feelings for him. Thank you to both of you for helping me out and God Bless your families.

      Reply
  • Sonia at EssentialPractice November 26, 2012, 5:57 pm

    Awesome post! Opposite do attract!

    Reply
  • Jonet Eldridge December 5, 2012, 6:45 pm

    My fiance and i met when we were younger and always adored each other but never made it official. I moved away got married and had kids. Almost 20 years later we reunited, i was divorced and he was just getting out of a 9 year relationship to be with me. We never got a chance to date before hand and now i feel like we are so different and have nothing in common but the fact we love each other so much and just want to make the other person happy. But i hate feeling like he never wants to do anything with me but everyone else and he says we just dont have anything in common to do things together with. We have a 10 mnt old daughter together so i figure doing stuff with the kids should be something we have in common but he always leaves it up to me to make plans and then he backs out the day of. I dont know what else to do, any advice???

    Reply
  • M December 31, 2012, 10:26 pm

    This really made me think. My husband and I have been married almost 6 years and are planning a vow renewal on our 6th anniversary coming up, and we have a 2 year old little girl. We were college friends first until we started dating and I came out to him about the physical and emotional abuse I endured from my mom and step-dad. 6 months after we met, we got married. He loved me but would have gotten married later. But because of my abusive family situation and me being only 19 at the time, I couldn’t apply for any college loans without my mom’s tax information so I wasn’t able to go to school, so my husband married me so I could be independent of them. We never really had much in common to begin with, but before we got married, he seemed much nicer to me. He isn’t abusive or anything, but we literally have zero in common; he loves video games, I do not. He likes gory gruesome tv shows and movies or movies that have sick senses of humor or fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings and stuff like that, and I watch ghost stories, especially when they’re the “True ghost story” shows, or I’ll watch historical drama or historical romance movies and I’ll read historical books (i’m a history buff, he thinks it’s totally boring). I love to write my own stories and do historical research for the fun of it, and he doesn’t understand and even goes as far as telling me that I’m only using history to hide or something, and yet he plays video games all day. ALL DAY. We don’t even have the same political viewpoints. I’m much more conservative than he is and he’s more along the lines of libertarian and depending on some issues he even leans more toward the liberal side, so we butt heads all the time when it comes to politics. I also like to be more social and go to church events and things like that, and he would rather stay indoors and play video games by himself. I like arts and crafts and enjoy decorating and while I don’t like over-the-top clutter, I do like “organized” clutter, and he’s the engineering type, very technical. I’ve tried to like what he likes, which mostly involves video games, but I’m not happy playing video games. Sometimes I’ll play with him, but he doesn’t want me to all the time because he knows I don’t like them. And I’d play more with him, but I feel so dumb playing with him because I can’t keep up with him very well and I feel like I’m just going to frustrate him even more whenever I’m playing with him. I’ve told him how I felt about it and he said he didn’t have any problems with that, but when we are playing together it’s like I’m always doing something wrong. Anyway I’m much happier writing my own stories or reading a history book. I’d even be happy going on a walk with him or something, but he won’t do that. We don’t even want the same things for our child; I had a bad public school experience so I don’t want her going to public school, I want to home school, but he would prefer that she goes to public school. And even a personality test said that we were polar opposites; he didn’t take the test because he thought it was stupid, but I knew at once that he was considered “the red” personality and I’m a “blue” personality, and it said that a red-blue marital combination was likely always going to have arguments because it’s hard for them to see eye to eye, and I see evidence of this happening in our marriage. I know that he loves me, and I love him to death, despite our extreme differences; he’s a wonderful father to our daughter and I never have to worry about him hurting her in some way like I was hurt, and also he’s good to my cats, even though he isn’t much of a cat person and didn’t want pets, and as often as we fight and he doesn’t support a lot of my habits, he still works to keep a roof over our heads and when we aren’t arguing, he can be very sweet and very helpful. But I really need some help in my marriage. I can’t seem to connect with him without irritating him in some way. Like right now; he’s asleep in bed at 7:30 PM on New Year’s Eve (he worked all day) and I don’t know if he’s coming back or not, and part of why he’s in bed is because we had a giant political argument that ended with him calling me ignorant and then an hour later, going to bed without saying much to me. So it’s like, ‘awesome. Now I get to spend New Year’s Eve alone.’ I think part of it is I don’t know how to approach him. This goes beyond not having things in common; we don’t understand each other even personality-wise. We get to the point where we even annoy each other because of our habits, but I leave him alone about his. He pesters me about mine, which is irritating to me. Anyway, that said, I feel bad talking about my husband on this page, but I need some help in my marriage. We have the first requirement down in that we both want our marriage to work. It’s the “making changes” part that neither one of us seems to want to do. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t want to divorce him, and I don’t think he wants to divorce me, but we’re two people who live under one roof and cannot, no matter what, agree on hardly anything. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Oh, and marriage counseling won’t work. I’ve suggested it to him before, and he won’t go to marriage counseling.

    Reply
  • Heather January 17, 2013, 3:03 pm

    My husband and I have been married for 17 years, and have two great kids. We married very young and never really had anything in common. Now our kids are older I am truly afraid that when they are gone we won’t have anything to say to each other. From my point of view he is a good dad, and I’m glad I have him. But we can spend all day doing our own thing and at the end of the day we don’t even ask about each other, I truely don’t know if it is worth saving. He has a nasty habit of putting me down, and when he is put on the spot for doing something wrong he turns it around. I love him, but I’m not in love anymore. I don’t know how to approach him and tell him I want to seperate. No one in my family has ever been divorced, and all of my friends are the wives of his friends, so I don’t know who to turn to for help. Is there a proper way of doing this? Help, my head and heart are tired of hurting.

    Reply
    • Candace February 22, 2013, 8:13 pm

      I think it is okay to go your separate ways. Once you make your mind up it feels like a huge weight has lifted and you are free – the world will be yours again.

      Reply
    • Phil March 11, 2013, 3:18 pm

      Well that no one has been divorced in your family should not deter you to separate if you believe it will make you happy.
      It seems from your post that is what you truly want so that is probably what you should do. Have you tried counseling ? It may not help to patch you guys up but it surely will draw his attention that there is a problem in your marriage. From then on, you should be able to simply let him know that your differences are irreconciliable and ask for separation.

      Reply
  • Tessa January 22, 2013, 12:12 pm

    This article has helped me a lot. I’m in a relationship and it’s been 9 months. Yes I know it’s not long but it is for me. I’m young and this is my first serious relationship but I’m totally smitten by him. But lately we haven’t been able to agree much on any topic and we’ve both been so sensitive, moody and negative to each others comments and ideas. We have nothing in common and I didn’t let that get in the way but with our recent fights that occur everyday i was starting to have my doubts. But reading this article and having almost nearly and hour of talking with him over the phone, we’ve realised that our relationship will work just fine as long as we love each other. Thank you for making me realise that.

    Reply
  • Reema February 15, 2013, 12:15 am

    So as you all know yesterday was Valintines day. I husband was upset with me from the night before becasue of what else sex. In the morning i spent him a meassage wishing him a Happy valentines day. When he got home he did want to eat dinner. Later on he went out, when I asked where he was going he told me not your business. he came home around 11 with flowers in his hand, he put them on the table and then turns to me and says name one thing we have in common! I really dont know what to do anymore. It like no matter what I do he will never appericate it. All he does is complain.

    Reply
    • Phil March 11, 2013, 3:23 pm

      Then you guys need to talk and address the real issues. They will not go away by magic so sit down with him and ask him what he meant about you guys having nothing in common. Complaining is not necessarily a bad thing. I would be more worried if he said nothing and just ignored you.

      Reply
  • Candace February 22, 2013, 8:08 pm

    Thanks for you blog post but I have to say your story here is extremely superficial. There are many couples out there who are struggling with real issues, not just that the husband likes to ride a motorcycle in the heat and the wife doesn’t. In fact, guys who take risks and ride motorcycles are sexy… including getting mussed up in the heat. You really have no idea what it’s like to suffer in a marriage. Having no things in common means not being able to have a conversation that enjoyable, not being able to connect on any level other than agreeing how to raise your kids, it means you feel like you have a roommate vs a spouse or even a friend that you live with. Your example is cute but it doesn’t pertain to the struggles of marriage whatsoever.

    Reply
    • VeeEss March 27, 2013, 1:00 pm

      I just posted my own rant haha and what caught my attention was the word roomate. that is exactly the way i feel towards my husband.

      “Right now we’re just two people living under one roof more like roommmies than a husband and wife.”

      Reply
  • Shelby March 3, 2013, 10:52 pm

    My husband and I will be married 2 years this coming June. We are dual military and just hot back together in September. He was in California and I was in illinois raising our daughter. I feel like we’ve just now started our life together and I’m already doubting my love for him. I feel terrible saying it out loud but that’s how I feel. We’ve had a great any conversations dealing with our relationship but I’ve never said that to him. He’s a wonderful father and I know he loves me but I feel like it’s not enough. He never wants to do anything I want to do. We’ve not been out by ourselves in over a year and I’ve pointed that out to him. All I want is a little romance between us; a date night every now and then away from our daughter. But he won’t do it. He says it’s because we’re in two places, I’m way ahead in that I’ve had plenty of time to get to know our child because I had her alone for 9 months and he’s behind because he’s just now getting to be a father. I understand where he’s coming from but I can’t just sit around waiting for him to catch up and be is era Le. I need us time and he needs them time. What do I do?! I feel like a slave in my own house.

    Reply
  • Phil March 11, 2013, 4:04 pm

    Shelby – First you should not feel sorry for saying out loud what you feel. I am of the opinion that it is a healthy manner of dealing with things. Keeping things to yourself and hoping they will magically change is not. Getting to the point now, you don’t have to tell him that you doubt your love for him but you should probably tell him that your love is not as strong as it used to and tell him what is important to you. The arrival of a child should never be underestimated as it changes the balance of things and it is very easy to get fully absorbed into it and forget the relationship with our partner. That kind of happened to me so I can totally relate. I would advise to just be patient for a little while and communicate how you feel and try to organize some surprise outing for the two of you where you could try to rekindle your relationship.

    Reply
  • VeeEss March 27, 2013, 12:48 pm

    i have been married may 2012 and still feel like i am a married single. Single because I cant feel the connection between us and i usually call this state as “having nothing in common”. Our relationship is very complicated it involves two very different people with very different childhoods and family backgrounds. I am a woman raised by a single mother who I felt abandoned me when she finally got married. That was the time I met my future husband. I was in a rebellion against my mother. I had many friends but I dont let this side of my life get to them. And this man was the only friend i can turn to. He was there and we were both ‘infatuated’ with each other. The first stages of our relationship was filled with romance. But right now, it all just died out. I kept on telling him to at least court me back the way he used to when we were just starting out. I also have no connections to my friends now because he doesnt like them. He has never introduced me to his friends. We have no common friends. We dont have a support system that we can turn to when we are having problems. We have no common interests from the simplest of things like music to the big issues like family backgrounds and values in life. When we are together around people he would not introduce me unlike before he was so proud. It is as if he likes to get away from me. When we are together i can just look at him i really have nothing to say now. I was the one who was always talking and telling stories. I have run out of things to say. no more stories about my life with my friends bec he is not interested. I was thinking maybe if we only had more things in common then i would still have things to say to him. Right now we’re just two people living under one roof more like roommmies than a husband and wife.

    Reply
  • NATTY March 29, 2013, 3:24 pm

    I have been thinking and discussing this issue lately. I have just finished dating a guy with whom a couple of things we didn’t have in common REALLY irked me. I love that he is so different to me, Its awesome to learn new stuff from him and see someone else be interested in something I can’t be. But the issue that annoyed me, was food and eating. he is a fussy eater and listed all the foods he hates (including soup?). This made me irked because I like cooking for people and once I made him stew and he hated the fact that it was ‘soup’. I just don’t like the aspect of having to make severe amendments to what I cook because his taste buds haven’t matured. I like the idea of sharing food and yes some thing he won’t like, but it seemed that he’s just adverse to healthy food in general. All I felt was ‘how can I show him that healthy food can be delicious’ and this would become a mission for me. This either shows that I am not ready for a relationship with such difference or I just have such a strong value with food that I really need to screen any future prospects to make sure they are not ‘I only eat steak and chips’. I don’t want a heffa lump of a husband in years time after he won’t eat vegetables and our children wonder why he gets to eat this food and they don’t.

    Reply
    • Paul April 21, 2013, 2:54 pm

      Wow.. seriously? How important can food be in a relationship? It’s not like he’s forcing you to eat his way. You seem to be very judgmental. Why would you expect his tastes would mature? Can someone not like what they like? Who cares about refinement in food and what makes you think your food is refined?

      Reply
      • NATTY October 25, 2013, 5:29 am

        Yes really, I am definitely being judgemental. I am judging that this guy only likes boring (meat and potatoes no veggies, no fruit) and mostly unhealthy food. I believe that people with these limited food interests were not educated properly when they were children and left to their own devices. I am quite understanding of lots of differences and I invite difference I am a constant learner who is always inquisitive, but this seems to a sticking point for me. I am now dating someone who enjoys cooking with me together. He admits that he used to eat mainly junk and started eating healthy before I met him. Now he’s choosing salads and I am feeling motivated by him to eat healthier loool. My food is more refined then his. HE eats Mcdonalds, i never eat mcdonalds, Ill eat fish or a home cooked meal or anything with veggies thats not hard to work out is it? And yes, someone can like what they like but it didnt brush well with me. I wouldn’t want to force him to eat my way and I couldnt accept his way so thats why I broke it off (we also broke up because he doesnt believe in marriage, a much bigger deal break btw).

  • Megan A April 6, 2013, 11:37 am

    I feel like not having much in common with your husband is actually a big problem. Yes, couples might try to work things out when they really want to even without same interests – but let’s be realistic – how many of them will be successful? Probably not many…

    I got married when I was 21 years old. I am almost 27 now and I believe I have grown up a lot and know more about what I want from life. Things seemed to be fine at first in my relationship but with time I realized that we don’t have much in common. We have different interests, different hobbies, different goals and values in life. I can honestly say that I don’t even know what my husbands want from life. I want to always change and improve things and he just does nothing and acts like he is fine where is is in life. He never opens up about his feelings unless we are in a bad fight and he just brings up how much I am a problem in our relationship.

    We can’t communicate well at all. Whenever I try to discuss some problems – he usually has no opinion or no solution for anything. When I come up with solutions he will just ignore them and say that I always just want things to be my way – yet he will not think of something productive we could do to fix the problem. This really annoys me and it hurts as I feel that we have had same problems for 5 years now that have never been resolved but we argue about them every time we have a fight.

    He will absolutely not go to counseling. Even though I tried to convince him several times.
    He brings me flowers a lot and he tells me sweet things and how much he loves me all the time. It is hard to believe his words though when I don’t see actions… like trying to communicate, like trying to resolve problems, like talking about our future… like doing something to make our lives financially more stable (I work full time and go to school full time to hopefully open some doors in the future while he is not even thinking about how to financially make our situation better).

    When we argue he always threatens me with a divorce and says that if I am so unhappy then I should just leave him. I really am not scared of this threat. One day he will be surprised if I simply pack my bags and walk out of the door…

    I don’t know what to do anymore about our relationship. I don’t really believe that there is hope in any of this as we just can’t seem to connect and to work our problems out.

    Reply
    • MikeNJ June 6, 2013, 8:04 am

      Hi Megan. You know, that’s kind of interesting the way you say you grew up and know what you want from life more so now than before. Just me being in my marriage for 1 year and with this girl for 4 years I’ve learned a lot more about life, marriage, and just what I want out of someone that I will be spending the rest of my life with. It sucks that I had to get married to learn that. I guess that’s just part of getting older and learning as you go.
      I’m stuck in a somewhat similar situation in that we have zero interests at this point and were in this marriage. When we first started out I thought we were on the same page in almost everything including the future. Now I feel like, she’s holding me back and just preventing me from living my life to it’s fullest and just gearing me in the direction of whatever she wants out of life to make only her happy. I don’t know how long can take this for…

      Reply
  • Derek Walter May 15, 2013, 3:46 am

    All thanks to you,
    This is a nice point of being romantic

    Reply
  • MikeNJ June 6, 2013, 7:57 am

    Good day to you all,
    I’ve been married for a year and 2 months now and so much has come out that I guess never stood out before. When I first met my wife, she seemed to show a lot of interest into all my hobbies and interests and although she never showed me too many hobbies or interests she had, I think I was OK with the majority of everything she was into. It was never something that felt like it could evolve into such misery at this point.
    Basically here we are and now she can’t stand any of my interests, she even tries to drive me away from them. Let’s get to them. I enjoy watching boxing, playing video games(not in an addictive or hourly hourly basis, just casual), working out at the gym, listening to all types of music, sport cars, and eating quite healthy whenever I can. When I first met her, she showed interests in everything. I thought this was wonderful, especially at the idea that I could teach her or explain to her a little bit about them that she had no clue and at least enlighten her.
    Cutting to today, she has zero interest in learning any of them, rather complains whenever I mention any of them, and tries to counter what’s so good or fun about each and every one of them. It drives me crazy. I’ve made every attempt to show interest and enjoy the few things she’s showed me. Then when it comes to my things she either ignores them, walks away, or just complains all day about them.
    I don’t know what to do! I’m still young (27), and feel like I can’t live the rest of my life like this. At the same time, I don’t believe in married couples breaking up as I know people can work through problems but this feels so great to the point that I can’t imagine every issue being resolved or even the majority. On occasion she’ll pretend to care about something that I’m interested in, only to show her true colors about the way she feels later on.
    She doesn’t have enough of her own interests to keep things interesting on her end and seems to want to limit my interests and just drag me down all the time. One of her biggest things is rock music. I ENJOY rock music, in fact I had tons of discs in my car prior to even meeting her to show that I enjoyed it. After meeting her, rock music had to become the only type of music to listen to. I understood her passion but growing up with all kinds of music, there was and is no way I can just stop listening to everything else I enjoy and this conflicts big time with her. If me going to many rock concerts and removing all my non-rock discs from my car doesn’t show me trying to get involved with her, I don’t know what does.
    What can I do about this? There is probably a lot more I can mention but i think we all have our own problems here to listen to too much of someone else, lol.

    Reply
  • Tam June 8, 2013, 9:27 pm

    I am going through this exact situation. My husband has no ambition at all, and he loves motorcycles, and I love horses. I ride his motorcycle with him but he won’t ride my horse. That is okay, but I am an outdoors person, and I am extremely ambitious! I am creating a better life for us both, and he shows no interest in anything I do. He on the other hand, has no ambition at all. He doesn’t read, and all he wants to do is watch tv. He doesn’t like to learn new things, and I love learning. He is smart, yet his job is blue collar, and he doesn’t use his brain at all. He would sleep his whole day off if I let him. I just have a hard time grasping why anyone would want to watch tv and sleep all the time.

    Reply
    • Phil July 27, 2013, 2:51 pm

      Because he is depressed. You may not see it but that would explain his behaviour.

      Reply
  • Ian June 16, 2013, 3:48 am

    I have been married 28 years years and am business partner with my wife. Up until our two sons left home for university our life was so hectic. Our two sons have always been very sporty ( as was I ), however, my wife never came to school sports and never participated in anything sporty herself. We missed out on a whole social scene as this was a great way to meet other parents. Despite this we did have fairly regular outings and invitations to dinners and parties. My wife never seemed to make an effort to really make a friend and never reciprocated in inviting people to our home. If I did, we would always have the ritualistic row and 24 hours of grief before the event. When it happened, she always seemed to enjoy herself!
    Now that our sons have left the family home the social life has dried up, my wife has no interests or hobbies and any thoughts of me reviving my hobbies are met with criticism. Her only interest is the business. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day. She goes to bed with her i-pad and I wake up next to her with her i-pad.
    Sex has petered out, and yes, I have tried romantic getaways but she blames tiredness and the fact she has put on weight. I know she has low set esteem but doesn’t have the drive to make any changes.
    Sometimes we do seem to connect and we feel like a loving committed couple with things to talk about, but mostly, I feel we are both trapped with nothing left to offer each other at a time when we do have more time on our hands, theoretically.
    As I write this, she is in our office at home. Sunday morning, sun shining………….help.
    Does anyone have the perfect marriage? Is Marriage an outdated institution needing a reality check?

    Reply
    • MikeNJ June 20, 2013, 3:29 pm

      I feel you on the one where you say she doesn’t make enough effort to make friends. It’s also always have to be an appointment when it comes to having people over. For me, people can show up at practically any time or at least give me a couple hours notice. For her, she requires like minimal 48 hour notice.
      She also doesn’t have enough friends of her own to invite anyone over or go over anyone else’s place. This sucks because she generally just wants to always be around me at all times practically smothering me to death.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth July 9, 2013, 2:25 am

        I hear you on the socializing. I miss my open door policy with friends and family, he needs it to be scheduled, his meltdown is often afterwards though instead of before. He doesn’t seem to even try to get to know people, there’s always something wrong with them. The only people he seems to want around are his family and me. Smothering and boring. What’s life if you’re not really living it?

      • NATTY October 25, 2013, 5:56 am

        You guys all seem to be having the same problem. It surely is important to keep outside interests in marriage. Both partners need these interests. Recently I have started a new relationship and our lives are moulding into one already. We have a shared interest in music we go to gigs together and listen to music together and buy music together, but he’s into sports and he DJ’s, I’m into arts, psychology and singing in a choir. It helps that I am an outgoing person, go getter who is always interested in any activity as long as its social. That is the key to my satisfaction. He is sociable but less so than me. We have started to have that mild conflict where at the moment all I want is be around him all the time and him too. But I know what im like and I know that its the honeymoon phase. I’ll mot definitely want him around me in the future but I’ll definitely want to be able to go out and do my own thing. I have been slightly worried that he could become more dependent on me being than I with him.
        Its difficult in LTR’s because people do change. My ex changed after a few years because he wanted to stay in all the time and I wanted to go out and about. I have thought about it and I think that keeping one strong interest separate from your partner is good. Having one shared interest is good. Any others are free to picked up, done together, separate or whatever….
        When I hear about people dismissing and trying to change their partners interest it saddens me, my earlier post about my ex and his food interest does sound shallow but it was a big deal to me so I didn’t continue with him. Not enough people sit down early on and think ‘does this interest bother me because it shows a lack of shared value?’ or ‘Am i trying to change my partner?’ plus ‘Am I trying to compensate for my lack of interests in life by dwindling theirs?’. Sometimes we find ourselves acting selfish even when we know its wrong. Make the boundaries regarding this early on and stick to them, discuss these boundaries often and adjust accordingly.

  • Karen June 26, 2013, 5:39 pm

    While I can read, understand, and appreciate your viewpoint, I think that having something in common is really important in an emotionally fulfilling marriage, though you CAN be married without common interests, it just is a lonely place to be. I’ve been married for 21 years and my husband and I don’t have anything in common at all. From spriritually, to physically…nothing. We have gone to counseling and are learning to tolerate each other, but it’s difficult. He’s into car shows, watching tv, eating, and working on his cars. I’m into physical fitness, the outdoors, and adventures. The things we used to have shared interests in are no longer interests of his (or mine, in some cases). But I realize that he and I have an unusual story, because we came together on a rocky foundation right from the start. I’m not going to give up, but I highly recommend that you try to find some things that you can appreciate together…something that can bring you together. It’s also equally important to allow your spouse to explore and develop interests of their own. Hope that makes some sense.

    Reply
  • Yana July 1, 2013, 11:44 am

    Hi , my boyfriend and I have been together for 5 yrs and I desperately want out of the relationship the problem is we have 2 daughters and he won’t leave because of them but I’m miserable. I work 2 jobs and he stays home with the girls but we never do anything as a couple. No movies, no dinner , never out with friends. Our children don’t have a bedtime and they are often wide awake , not bathed just hanging out when I’m getting home at 1130p or later on most nights. Its frustrating and when I try to communicate how I feel he gets really upset and won’t speak to me. He is never romantic or never loving. And sex is like his duty , its been a year since I have actually feltsatisfied with the sex. I don’t know what to do because my childrn need him

    Reply
    • msddqa July 5, 2013, 1:51 am

      Hi yana, it would be good maybe to sit down with your partner and try to raise your concerns in a conversation, avoiding a confrontation or argument. Tell him that you need his help to make some ares of the relationship better, tell him its puttuing a strain on how you are together, but that you want to make things right. When approaching the subject try to make statements rather than accusations like “it would be really helpful to me if the girls were bathed and ready for bed when I come home, then we could spend some time together” rather than “you never have the girls ready for bed when I get home”. Structure your requests the first way and it will give your partner a constructive action to follow to make life better for you both. Chances are he’s feeling some sort of pressure too, men just dont vocalise it like women do. This may seem difficult at first and maybe even uncomfortable if your not used to communicating like that, but give it a try, it might just work for you.
      As for the sex, perhaps adapt this approach to let him know that you like it when youre close/ intimate together, it may be that he has a stressful time during the day that he doesnt tell you about, sex is not usually the direct problem but suffers when other things are going on. Talk to your partner kindly and with understanding avoiding all accusatory statements and hopefully you’ll begin to resolve the problem.

      Reply
  • Elizabeth July 9, 2013, 2:11 am

    If I don’t get this out I may go crazy, the situation may drive me there anyhow. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years, we had known each other for a year and a half before we started dating, but somehow it was still a really rocky start. We both come from families with some serious issues; he saw his mom getting beat up a lot by his dad before they divorced when he was young; I was emotionally and physically abused at home and that ended with me leaving when I was 13 and spending 5 years on the street. This has left us with issues we should probably work on, but we don’t. Perhaps that is one of the only things we have in common is messed up childhoods.
    A few months back I told him I was seeing a councillor, it was offered free through my school, but he told me that I didn’t need it. I think he was embarrassed of me, but he wasn’t on the street for years watching friends and family die and become addicted. I have pretty apparent post tramatic stress symptoms; depressive periods where I cry all the time and sleep a lot, manic periods where I hardly sleep at all and get a ton of things done, and overachievement in some areas to compensate for area I feel lacking. I had to start carpooling to school, I’m really struggling financially so carpool took precedence over councilling. His lack of support didn’t help.
    He is very close with his family and encourages me to be the same; I cannot expect the same support. Sure my family has a lot more issues than his, but some support would nice. Part of my resolve to keep going includes trying to find peace with my family as messed up as they are. My mom and I have worked through a lot of our issues and have become close. She brought us our a lot of stuff she didn’t need anymore, and she had purchased a couple things my boyfriend had talked about getting. When she got to our house with the stuff he had immediate attitude and told her he was not helping to unload the stuff then. When she asked what a couple signs that were leaning against the house where about he said “I don’t know people come here and leave junk”. When she said “why?” he said, well I could ask you the same thing. That was the beginning of a very hard weekend with my mom. He made her feel bad and she was just trying to help us out. He gave her a lame apology after I spoke with him then took it back later when she asked him to look her in the eye if he was truly sorry. She isn’t talking to me now, this is a huge setback in our relationship.
    I feel like his world is swallowing me up and he’s working hard to mess up anything that makes me me. He likes to play video games, a board game and to talk about world politics. I like to be outside, I enjoy carpentry projects, gardening, hiking, riding my motorcycle (when I could afford insurance), animals, hard work that keeps me in shape. He told me tonight that since I don’t care about any of those three things he shouldn’t have to care about anything I care about. I do try to care, or at least pretend interest, but he can’t be bothered to do the same for me.
    We don’t have any kids yet, I’ve always said we need to be financially stable to bring kids into the picture. Money trouble was one of the worst sources of frustrations for my parents growing up and I can’t subject a kid to that. I also want to be sure he has some of the same values I do before children.
    I’m starting to wonder about those values, he’s one of those people who always knows way more than anyone else, he treats everyone as an idiot and has to fail at many things to figure out stuff modern convention already knows. He includes me as part of the reason for his failures but never his successes.
    He has moments where he’s very sweet and I know he’s a smart guy if only he would get over this know it all thing. He is a hard worker when working for other people, at home not as much in the yard, but I’m a really lousy house keeper and without him the place would be a mess.
    Neither of us are good at opening up emotionally, and I don’t know how to get there.
    I hope I get some sort of reply to this if anyone can wade through this short novel I’ve just typed, I have no one to talk to and need some sound advice, comforting words, anything. Thanks

    Reply
  • Kevin July 10, 2013, 11:37 am

    Well, I like this girl a lot, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like me back, I also know someone else who likes her a lot too. She knows that I like her, she knows that he likes her too, but every single time I try to talk to her, I get all nervous and I just.. Can’t do it. She is very smart and intelligent, and she is also quiet. She doesn’t talk THAT much, but she still kind of does. And I guess you could say she’s a little shy, But now i don’t know what to do, I don’t have the nerve to talk to her, I don’t even have to nerve to text to her, i don’t know what to do. I really do like her a lot.
    Please help me,
    Thanks
    -Kevin

    Reply
  • Steph July 29, 2013, 7:46 pm

    Just hoping for some advice. My Fiance and I have been together a few years, and we have two young kids. We don’t have anything in common. we disagree on basically everything. We seem to never really spend time together outside of the kids, cause we can’t find things that we both like to do. But we have a strong relationship, we get a long and love each other.. We just seem to argue about not spending enough time together, or him not wanting to do things I want to do..etc. He’s completely against being around people, going out for supper, or movies, or camping, which is all the things I love! I feel like i’m not sure if he can make me happy.. help?

    Reply
  • wayne August 16, 2013, 5:36 am

    hi. i am trying to find ‘common ground’ with my girlfriend. We are together 3 years. we dont really have a lot in common. i like golf, going for a beer with mates and watching sport. i do spend time with her and her family and i do enjoy that. the thing is now she is pregnant. we used to go for beers together but now we dont do that anymore. she doent follow sport, doesnt have any hobbies, doesnt have interest in politics, world affairs. This means that i dont really have a whole lot to talk to her about! Does that make sense? maybe this will change when we have a baby as we will then have a ‘common ground’ for sure! :)
    I would consider myself to have a good sense of humour, i like laughing and i like making jokes. she doesnt ever seem to want to make me laugh or make any effort too.
    I am going to stick with this relationship for many reasons. i do love her. i love many qualities about her, she has a good heart, beautiful, generous, and most of all her love of family and kids. this is something i share. I never had a close family and love her close family and i would like our new family to be the same. Is there anything you can suggest we do to improve those areas that annoy me a bit and leave me a bit ‘bored’? Any advice on this or the relationship would be appreciated. Thanks, Wayne.

    Reply
  • emma August 16, 2013, 6:53 pm

    A new woman has come into our lives a super outgoing chick who loves, loves, loves music and my husband obviously wants to befriend her and I don’t. I can’t stand uber-extroverted people, they’re exhausting and I want to spend limited time with this one. I like music too, but I’m introverted and I don’t need to be out seeing everything on a weekly basis like she does and he likes to. We are incompatible in our social styles and even though we are committed to a solid marriage, I always worry that he’s affair prone in an instance like this. What do you think?

    Reply
  • shri December 22, 2013, 8:11 pm

    I think my wife and I have very little in common. Strange because I have known her forever. I met her when i was 19 and she was 17, we dated for 3 years and then I migrated to the US for my studies. We kept in touch and I remained very sincere and committed, just the way I am. I do not like to let people down and I dont go back on my committments. I was 24 when I married her and helped her move to the US. Today I am 41, she is 39 and since the last 5 years we have been drifting apart. We have 1 son who is 9 years old, who probably is the biggest reason I endure everything i have to deal with. Today the situation is that I want to do a lot, I want to travel, attend parties, be social and be great at work and want a larger family. I am the planner and futurist as well so I am the lead on investing for the future and expanding our wealth base and making sure our family is financially secure, which I had done very well so far. She on the other hand could care less. Its almost like I want to do it all, essentially work hard and play hard. She on the other hand does not want do a thing. Travel never interests her. Going out is boring. She does not want more kids and she has resigned herself to working a lower paying job with no growth. What I see and hear and live everyday does not reasonate with her at all. She is very domesticated and would prefer to stay at home or meet with a handful of her friends from work. The fact is this who she is. I have told her to develop a zest for life but its almost like it does not matter what I tell her, she wont change. I have begged for her to think of us having more kids, its almost like she could care less. On the plus side she is a very nice person, very caring and is terrific mom. But I also feel I like I live with a roommate versus a wife, who has a completely different life, differing priorities and interests. Its hard. Part of me feels like I should tone everything down by a few miles and start figuring out how I can become more domesticated like her!

    Reply
  • Amy January 12, 2014, 11:54 pm

    Common is only just another word that people use.
    We’ve been married for 46 years and the only things we have in common is our property. insurance, benefits , SS. and retirement. There is nothing else .
    He hasn’t wanted anything to do with me since first married! He hated sex, intimacy, togetherness and all communication. He just walked out to his garage and set up an apartment for himself, and I have the house. That all happened 46 years ago and we haven’t been together since except to see the tax folks. Then its hi and he grunts something back.

    Reply
  • Confused January 20, 2014, 1:57 am

    Me and my hubby have been married for the past 5 years now. We are a happy couple. But then again, just as tons of other people are discussing here, we do not have anything in common. I enjoy visiting friends and relatives, I love to shop, I love to have long conversations just about anything and everything, I am a romantic at heart, who still loves reading M&B. being a stay at home mum; i love going out on weekends and needless to say he doesn’t enjoy doing any of the above things. If he is asked, he’d just rather stay at home (on weekends), and watch sports or something. The only common thing between us, which really works out between us is, I simply love to cook and loves to try out different cuisines.
    Other than that we are perfect couple, we do love and respect each other to no extent. But of late I can’t help but get a feeling that we lead a pretty boring life. We are always together at home,taking care of the household chores and our child, but we are never together., you what i mean??

    Reply
  • JasSin May 3, 2014, 6:27 pm

    Hi All:

    I am shocked and relieved to see how many people have the same problem … What saddens me a bit is it seems there isn’t much of a solution to this problem, at least not the magic answer I was hoping for. I’m Hispanic, but I was born in a North American country and my background is purely European. So I look and sound Caucasian. My husband is British. I used to have tons of friends when I met my husband, but they were all Hispanic and, if they spoke English, it wasn’t very good English. So, he started going with me … and to make a long story short, he doesn’t any more and I don’t have one friend left. We had way to many arguments every time I would go when he didn’t want to. So, we moved really far from the city and I don’t drive… this caused longer periods of time that I don’t see my family & as of late it seems he has a problem with me going to see them too. I know it’s my fault as I have allowed this to happen trying to accommodate him and not make him feel sad, mad or lonely, because I know his family is miles away in another country. Unfortunately, a week ago, it was the last straw and I blew up. It came down to him kicking me out since he said I would be happy alone and closer to my family. I know he wants to work it out, and so do I… But I can’t see how this will happen since he doesn’t realize that marriage is supposed to be about compromise and sacrifice for the other person, especially if you’re aware that they have done that for you. I would love to hear what people have to say. Cheers!

    Reply
  • Sue June 12, 2014, 9:52 pm

    So many stories. So many that sound like ours. We’ve been married 13 years, have two kids. We met in college, and I used to think we had a lot in common. But in the past few years, most of our friends from college have finally drifted on to different cities or are busy with their own kids, like we are. I finally realized that my husband is always happy when we’re with other people. When it’s just the two of us, well, he makes the same face at brussel sprouts. He agrees to do things with me and the kids, but is usually grouchy, snaps at us, and generally acts like a surly teenager. He isn’t happy, but when I ask what he would like to do, I get no answers from him. In the last year, we went for maybe 3 “dates” with just the two of us. At our last one earlier this year, he pulled out his phone and started playing games while we were waiting in the restaurant–and not because I was doing it too (my phone wasn’t even operational at all that day). That felt lovely. After we ate, we still had over an hour before picking up the kids. He grumped so we went home and he played more games on his phone until time to get them. This was after I spent 3 months convincing him that we could take the kids to a kids night out so we could go out. I had to tell him that the kids were requesting the evening, because when I just asked if he would like to go out with me, he would never agree.

    I know this is in some way my fault. My fault because I’ve seen signs of this since the beginning. We had fun in a bowling league one year before we got married, but barely after the wedding he joined a team with some work friends where there was no room for me (but gee, I was welcome to come watch them…). I’ve tried to get him to join me for new activities that we could learn together, and his answer is always no. He doesn’t ask me to do anything with him. So I’ve been entertaining myself by learning fun new things alone. That always makes me feel guilty because he stays with the kids, and it’s lonely doing something so fun with no one to share it with.

    It’s not that he spends a lot of time with his own friends. In fact, he mostly stays home and plays computer games or games on his phone. We went on a vacation earlier this year and ended up in a big fight because I kept trying to come up with something to do, but he didn’t like any options. Didn’t want to relax on the beach, didn’t want to do sight seeing, didn’t want to drive to another town, didn’t want to shop, didn’t want to go find a park or hike. But when I asked what he wanted, he just got mad and insisted that he was there trying to participate in the family. His idea of “participating in the family” is to wait for me to dictate what he’s supposed to do, and then for him to follow along and be unhappy the whole time and make me miserable.

    He tells me he loves me a lot. Usually he’s obnoxious about it, stopping me when I’m busy (I don’t need a hug while I’m sticking my finger in my eye with a contact lens…). But those words are never connected to me being me. They are connected to things like brushing my teeth. Or walking past him in the kitchen. But when I try to make a joke or act silly to make him smile, he snaps at me. I think he thinks he’s showing me unconditional love, but really he’s showing me that he loves the idea of me and not the actual me.

    We have other recurring fights too. He will never sit and talk about money or plan anything together. He expects me to dictate what we’re going to do and for him to either veto my plan or to make sure I know that he doesn’t agree even when he goes along with it. So I never feel like we are working together on things. I ask, constantly, for his help, his input, his ideas. I offer up lots of suggestions hoping to spark a conversation or to catch his interest. But he usually brushes that all off then comes in after the fact and is a jerk. For that vacation, he would never help set a budget, not help with choosing a location. Then barely two months before we were going, he realized that I’d planned for us to drive and insisted that we make plane reservations. Then insisted that he had some big plan for how to find the best rates. But he never did. Three weeks later I had to just make them and ended up with the big credit card charge and finance charges (we don’t have a joint card, so it was mine). Meanwhile, he, who insisted on the flights, is sitting on cash to pay off the credit card but never quite gets around to putting it where I can use it. He gets annoyed when I look at the budget and insist that he has to contribute more to the joint finances (which he seems to think are mine and not ours, even though they pay for our house, our groceries, our kids).

    Clearly, I’m not in a good place. I want to stay committed to him. I want to provide a healthy house for our children. But I don’t think that constantly arguing in front of them is doing that. Nor is simply going our own way while basically pretending to stay together (the only times we don’t fight is if we don’t talk and take turns hanging with the kids). I have been totally unsuccessful at telling him how I feel. And I’m afraid that if I push it any further he will agree (reluctantly and with great annoyance) to start “trying” to do what I ask. In other words, I can’t make him like me. But if I start a fight by trying to explain the problem, then he will spend even more time making me to tell him what to do to make me happy. When all I really want is for him to laugh with me and want to play with me and like me for who I am. I can’t dictate how to do that.

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