Last Friday Jeremy came home late from work. Not horribly late, just a few hours later than normal (7:00 instead of his usual 4:30/5:00). I didn’t pay much attention to it, since I had been busy doing my own things; got home from work around 5:00, took the dog to the dog park, started making dinner and cleaning up the small messes around the house that had accumulated over the week, etc.
As we were sitting down to dinner, Jeremy said that his boss tried to give him marriage advice today. Jeremy had stayed late at work to finish a project, and his boss told him he should go home and spend time with his wife, not stay at work.
Overall, not a bad message, and certainly preferable to having a boss that has no sense of work/life balance. However, his bosses motivation for his comment are what struck me.
He told Jeremy to go home because his wife must be lonely and waiting for him at home. When Jeremy explained that I have a job and I had actually spent only two hours “lonely and waiting”, he was shocked and actually asked Jeremy, “what do you mean she has a job?”. Yes, a military spouse that has a career of her own….CRAZY!
That, however, is not the theme of this post. Jeremy’s boss then said that he had overheard Jeremy saying that he was going dirt biking on Saturday and golfing on Sunday…so Jeremy should be going home early to spend time with me to make up for the fact that he is leaving me alone all weekend.
This is the point of my post.
Jeremy and I have never been one of those “attached at the hip” couples. We are both introverted, so we like to be alone a lot…even away from each other (although I can tolerate Jeremy being present during my “alone” time lol). We also have very different hobbies and interests. That used to really bother me, and I would wonder how we can be a couple and have a long-term marriage if we have nothing in common! Aren’t we doomed to fail?!
I read a blog about this topic earlier in the week after my friend had posted it on FB: If We Weren’t Married, We Wouldn’t Be Friends
I’m not a huge fan of the title, because I do think of Jeremy as my best friend. I love spending time with him when we do things together (they talk about in the article how couples do find joint activities, even if their main hobbies are very different) and he is someone that I trust and can talk to.
What I loved most about the article, was that they highlighted a concept that I believe to be very true. Something that I feel plays a major role in how happy I am in my marriage and how stable it is.
The truth is that you don’t need to like the same things in order to be married (or even to be friends!). What you need in order to have a strong relationship is shared values….Our long-term goals align with each other’s. In those things that are truly important, we don’t clash.
A compatible marriage isn’t about shared hobbies (although that probably makes things much smoother and fun), but about the deeper, more important, aspect of an individual. Core values, long-term goals, etc.
So, no. I don’t care that Jeremy goes golfing and dirt biking on the weekends. I don’t think that our marriage will fail because he is spending too much time on his own hobbies. We may not have the same interests and hobbies, be we are aligned in so many other important ways.
So, while Jeremy’s boss was coming from a good place with his marriage advice…I think we will keep doing it our way 🙂 5 1/2 years of marriage and I would still choose him all over again.