One of the most common marriage problems that couples report to me in Houston marriage counseling is that they think that they are (or “feel”) disconnected. Sometimes one partner might start branching out and doing new and unexpected things, like attending classes, taking up new hobbies, or embarking on a new career, and the other partner may be side-swiped by this change, feeling lonely, abandoned, and jealous.

But just because your partner is pursing new interests that you may not understand or enjoy doesn’t mean that you can’t stay connected. Great spouses and couples are partnerships where they aren’t always joined at the hip, and support and celebrate their partner’s separate interests, shared or not. In Houston relationship counseling, my recommendation tends to be a mix of the partners communicating their thoughts and feelings to their spouse more openly and a suggestion that the person experiencing anxiety or frustration at his or her spouse’s newfound interests seeks out things that interest them. Even if these interests don’t align with those of their partner, I’ve found that when both people have lives and experiences outside of the marriage and family, they end up feeling better about their relationship and have new things to share with their partner.

Additionally, you can try to join your partner in these new interests. Even if it turns out that you don’t enjoy them the same way your spouse does, you may have a newfound appreciation for these activities that are taking your spouse away from you on occasion and be better able to talk and show interest in your partner’s life.

Houston Relationship Counseling: Don’t Grow Apart, Grow Together

Some people who come to Houston relationship counseling because they are experiencing marriage problems take this a step further by actively seeking out new things that they can do together as a couple. These shared experiences can be very effective ways for you to reconnect when passion begins to wane, and can make any interests one partner has outside of the relationship feel like less of a threat to the other partner.