“Nothing in common”

My husband won’t change the record. Do you think he wants me to leave?

Don’t give up, says our elder. Find some new interests that both of you can enjoy.

Dear EWC

Recently, my husband and I have hit a rough spot. We have begun to realize that we do not share the same interests or have the same desires. When we first got together, we just enjoyed each other’s company. I would join him in his hobbies, but mine did not seem to matter because he is not a people person. We have been together for almost eight years and married for nearly three. I thought we were getting to know each other better and things were starting to get better, but lately he has been saying “we have nothing in common” more and more. I thought it was just something we could work on, but now I am not sure if that is the case. He tells me he loves me and that he wants us to work, but I am afraid he is trying to get me to make the decision to leave so he doesn’t have to. I don’t know what to do anymore. Should I be worried, or am I overthinking this?

Good-Listener replies

There are different ways to approach this situation. First off — the entire world is a little crazy now with this lockdown and unknown. Fear is high, emotions are high, and people may be getting on each others’ nerves on top of all of it. I would not make any major decisions until things ease a bit and we all know where we’re going from one day to the next.

However, to address the dilemma at hand, as you know all couples have rough spots, and the “nothing in common” situation is, well, common. But often that’s a good thing for some couples, if you can find a way to make it work. I understand that you have gone along with many of his interests but, you say, because he’s more introverted, he is not as enthusiastic to go along with yours. Is there any possibility of finding anything you can do together, even once in a while? It could be an intellectual interest — even as basic as music or movies. Maybe after this mess is over there are ways you could participate in various activities you haven’t even thought of. I am about as uncoordinated as a person can be but in middle age I picked up golf, which I didn’t stay with because I then started horseback riding (at age 40). I developed an interest in spectator sports too. All of this to say that it led me meeting all sorts of people from all sorts of walks of life and changed my world. I know couples that have discovered interests together and it changed things for them too, because I met them on my journeys!

I’m sure you’ve considered counseling, which is always an option (now, perhaps online until things ease up) even for yourself if he won’t oblige.

Don’t give up, not now while things are so up in the air. I don’t know, obviously, but I kind of doubt he’s looking for you to give up on things first. He may be frightened and unsure of what the future holds — as we all are — and may be keeping things inside and dealing with it in ways you may not be accustomed. Again, you’re a better judge, but I’d take a deep breath, and look around at what’s immediately in front. Think of trying to make each day a little better and the good days may add up. I realize that sounds somewhat pedantic, but these are unusual circumstances (to say the least), so they require unusual ways of thinking and handling any crisis or perceived one. I have the feeling you guys need to hold on, and, in the end will be OK. I certainly wish you the best. Good luck!

Letter #: 459531
Category: Marriage

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