emember the days when you and your spouse were dating and everything he or she did seemed like magic? The funny fruit drinks mixed in the blender were like love potions; the Rambo films you were suddenly introduced to seemed like works of cinematic art. You were smitten. Everything your Other Half found interesting was exciting because it was shared with love and passion. Through "passion sharing" (a concept not nearly as risqué as it sounds), you can relive some of the excitement of the early days of courtship.
Instead of using the kids' Saturday nap as a time to slip off alone to your favorite book/televised sports game/hobby, invite your spouse along and share with them the thing that gives you pleasure in your "free time." Of course, you'll have to return the favor: Trade those two hours between your children's bedtime and your own when you usually check e-mail and surf the 'Net, for a visit to your Other Half's favorite pasttime. Learning something new has never been so romantic.
Here's how to make Passion Sharing work for you:
1. Don't worry about the quality of your passion. A love of watching British soap operas is a valid activity to introduce to your spouse. All that matters is that you enjoy doing it and that your spouse is willing to try it.
2. Choose a time that is convenient for both of you. If you can't fit the activity in during your children's nap, or after their bedtime, then hire a sitter to take the kids out (if the activity is at home) so the two of you can focus.
3. Don't expect your spouse to adopt your passion. After the "Passion Sharing" date is over, he or she may never want to try that particular activity again. Beth, a mother of twin three-year old boys, spent an afternoon in the garden with her husband, James. "I got down on my knees," she explained, "and weeded side by side with James. When the work was done, I didn't have the urge to garden again, but I did have tremendous respect for James and the way he makes our yard beautiful."
4. Don't teach, preach, or humiliate. Few people enjoy being told what to do, but nearly everyone loves learning something new. It doesn't matter if your spouse doesn't get it, or can't do it right. Simone, a new mother in Baltimore, spent an evening sharing her love for fine wines with Bob, who is a beer devotee. "We had five different bottles of wine on the table and a plate of crackers to clear our palettes," Simone said. "Bob couldn't tell the differences between the wines at the beginning of the night, and he couldn't tell the differences at the end. But we sure had fun as he tried to figure it all out."
5. Keep in mind: Equal time doesn't have to happen right away. If it's too difficult to schedule the swap within days of each other, have one spouse do the sharing one day or evening, and the other gets to choose a date weeks or even months in the future. This way, you both get something to look forward to.
TAKE IT FROM ME:
My husband and I have many different interests and sometimes it's hard to find time for those things that are shared passions. This article reminded me of how important that is and that attitude toward different interests is most important. --By Jessica Blau