It is important to engage with your spouse. Acknowledging what he’s going through and empathizing is important, being sure not to belittle him at all. It is important to encourage him to continue to share what he’s going through and not just dump your frustrations onto him.
Listen to what he says, even if you think it is not interesting at all. It is interesting to him, so it is important to make it interesting to you. Don’t look down on and talk negatively about the things he is interested in and talks about, even if it isn’t interesting to you. This is something I’m learning. There are just some things that are not interesting to me at all, but are things that Michael enjoys keeping up on.
Since he’s a paint contractor, he keeps informed of the weather. He doesn’t care for the local evening news weather forecasts because, as he puts it, “They are fear mongers.” He searches out reliable people on youtube and weather apps for his weather information. Since I’m inside the house most of the time, I’m not concerned about the weather generally. But I make myself interested in it because he’s interested in it. Much like, he likes to see the Zentangles I create, even though he doesn’t like to draw them himself.
Michael and I didn’t do much when we were dating. We hung out together, watch television together, and did church activities together. That’s pretty much what our marriage has looked like. We enjoy hanging out together. But we share bits of things we find interesting with each other.
There was a point that Michael was very interested in his ancestry and finding out information about where they were from. I, on the other hand, have know my ancestry and took the scripture to heart that said not to spend time on endless genealogies. I am ashamed to admit that I looked down on his interest, since I didn’t completely understand it. In hindsight, I should have engaged with him over his interest. Lesson learned.
I hope you learn from my mistakes and make yourself interested in the things that interest him. Of course that doesn’t mean you have to become a fanatic over his interests and make them your own, just pay attention when he talks about it, ask questions about it, and by no means allow yourself to think about other things while he’s talking to you about it. Stay engaged. At least, that’s what I’m learning to do.
Until next time, God bless,