What are Some Misconceptions about what Married Couples Should have in Common?
We are socialized to imagine that it is important to share common interests with our spouse. And many couples enjoy bonding through playing a sport together or sharing a variety of hobbies. But there are plenty of couples whose interests diverge. As long as a couple prioritizes spending time together on a regular basis, it is reasonable to pursue completely different interests. In fact, the ability to passionately pursue independent interests reflects a strong sense of an individual self on the part of both members of the relationship. And a strong sense of self is conducive to a healthy level of intimacy. Interestingly, couples with different interests may surprise themselves to discover and develop a shared interest (like hiking or bird watching) later in life.
We are also socialized to suspect that it is important to share similar religious, racial and cultural backgrounds with our life partners. For couples sharing the same religion, race and culture, certain aspects of raising children will feel more familiar and may involve fewer compromises or negotiations. And these couples are less likely to face resistance or pressure from their respective sets of parents regarding their lifestyle and parenting decisions. However, the process of exposing children to different views, perspectives and traditions can be quite beautiful, and both parents often learn and grow through the process of navigating religious, racial and cultural differences.