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So, I love my wife very much, but I feel we don't have much in common. I can't think of anything we both mutually enjoy. Sometimes, it seems to me that she has no hobbies at all. I want to see her eyes light up, but I never see this. Long ago, she used to enjoy cooking. She even had a dream to open a little restaurant. However, later, she felt life as a housewife was too meaningless so I helped her find a secretarial job. Then, later, we started a business together. Over time, she stopped cooking and I don't know if she still has any love for this. Anyway, she has been telling me for a long time now that she doesn't want to work in this industry anymore. I don't know. She's definitely not happy. It seems that we will be handing off this life and moving to a different city soon. It seems like a chance to restart everything.

What I want is to see her happy and with passion and love in her eyes. I've suggested various hobbies, but I don't know if any have connected with her.

It seems I've gotten off topic. What I really want is simply to have a better friendship with her. However, I don't even know where to start.
 

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What I want is to see her happy and with passion and love in her eyes.
Some years ago, George Burns was the protagonist in "...Oh, God..." - his Character had a line in which He said "...I give you blessings....happiness is up to you....".

Your wife has, unfortunately, failed to understand that happiness is up to her.....
So have you, apparently.

You can neither make your wife love you, nor happy. Neither can you make her your "friend". "Friend" is a choice made by the one extending the friendship.

Just make your choices according to this wisdom, and you will have done everything you can.
 

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Some years ago, George Burns was the protagonist in "...Oh, God..." - his Character had a line in which He said "...I give you blessings....happiness is up to you....".

Your wife has, unfortunately, failed to understand that happiness is up to her.....
So have you, apparently.

You can neither make your wife love you, nor happy. Neither can you make her your "friend". "Friend" is a choice made by the one extending the friendship.

Just make your choices according to this wisdom, and you will have done everything you can.
Yeah, I get that I can not MAKE her happy. Every person is in control of their own destiny and all. Yeah, I get that. What I am saying is that I want to find some things to help me connect with my wife. If, for example, you said you wanted to connect with a Canadian. Then, maybe I would suggest hockey. So, no, I get that I cannot go into her head and flip some switch to make her happy and such. I'm just saying I want to find some things we could enjoy together.
 

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You do not have to have the same interests/hobbies to have a good marriage. I have nothing in common with my wife, and I'm not saying I have a great marriage (I don't) but it has come up a million and one times with therapists.

Instead of suggesting hobbies for her, have you tried finding new hobbies to do together? Things that neither of you has ever done? Learn archery, go volunteer at a nursing home (okay, maybe not right now), take a pottery class, etc. You may find something that either she likes or you like doing as a couple.

Have you tried including her in your hobbies? She doesn't have to be into them to have fun doing them. The fun for her may be spending time with you, watching you do something you like, learning something from you, etc. Likewise, if/when she does find hobbies that she enjoys you should try doing them with her.

Your wife's happiness is not your responsibility. That is something she has to take care of on her own. Is it possible she has depression? That could explain her loss of interest.
 

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She even had a dream to open a little restaurant.
Do you know what it was about that? As a fantasy,,,

For example, would she have wanted to be out front, or in the kitchen? Choosing the decor? Welcoming people arriving? Nurturing her team of employees? Or doing everything herself? Gazing at a room full of people enjoying the food? Where would she have wanted her restaurant to be? What kind of restaurant did she like to go to? Did she always order the same, or different things?

You need to have relentless curiosity about her inner world.

I can think of nothing more irritating than someone suggesting hobbies for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You do not have to have the same interests/hobbies to have a good marriage. I have nothing in common with my wife, and I'm not saying I have a great marriage (I don't) but it has come up a million and one times with therapists.

Instead of suggesting hobbies for her, have you tried finding new hobbies to do together? Things that neither of you has ever done? Learn archery, go volunteer at a nursing home (okay, maybe not right now), take a pottery class, etc. You may find something that either she likes or you like doing as a couple.

Have you tried including her in your hobbies? She doesn't have to be into them to have fun doing them. The fun for her may be spending time with you, watching you do something you like, learning something from you, etc. Likewise, if/when she does find hobbies that she enjoys you should try doing them with her.

Your wife's happiness is not your responsibility. That is something she has to take care of on her own. Is it possible she has depression? That could explain her loss of interest.
My hobbies are pretty boring. I'm interested in dead languages mostly. It's definitely not a hobby for everyone. But, yeah, I would like to do some hobby with her.

I think she might be depressed. She seems pretty depressed.


Do you know what it was about that? As a fantasy,,,

For example, would she have wanted to be out front, or in the kitchen? Choosing the decor? Welcoming people arriving? Nurturing her team of employees? Or doing everything herself? Gazing at a room full of people enjoying the food? Where would she have wanted her restaurant to be? What kind of restaurant did she like to go to? Did she always order the same, or different things?

You need to have relentless curiosity about her inner world.

I can think of nothing more irritating than someone suggesting hobbies for me.
Well, she used to try to cook different things and she was pretty excited with experimenting in the kitchen. I think she likes to make things that people enjoy. Or maybe it's making things that she enjoys. Yeah, we always talked about moving to a smaller city. The dream was I'd have a little farm and she'd have a little coffee shop that sold interesting food things. But maybe I was projecting my own ideas onto her. I really don't know how much this was ever her dream. When I truly think about it, I really have no idea what she likes.
 

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My W of 26 years and I share no common hobby. I will attended anything my W likes with 100% enthusiasm. It could be shopping, going to a small town for a visit to shops/restaurants. No matter what my W would like me to do with her I'm there. My W attends with me the things I like to do(I own classic cars). When she attends shows with me she is there with 100% enthusiasm. She will make a picnic lunch and be in the moment all day. Classic cars are not her thing. Being with her H is. Shopping small towns I like, but it is not my thing. Being with my W is. We spend the day enjoying each other, the activity become secondary.
 

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It sounds to me like you don't even talk to her...if you did, you would know what she likes, what she wants...why don't you start there?

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It sounds to me like you don't even talk to her...if you did, you would know what she likes, what she wants...why don't you start there?

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
Actually, I talk to her a lot. With most people, I'd have said "talk with". She is a kind of woman of few words. She's a bit like a brick wall. I've tried to probe her, but there's never much given as a response. In some way, she's almost like a machine. I mean, she must have something going on in her head. I just can't get her to share it. And I don't think it is just with me, many people have told me she is hard to read.
 

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I didn't suggest hobbies we could do together, Well we did do willard harley's interest survey. What was effective was just doing something I liked doing. I started going hiking alone. I'd come back and she would ask what I saw. Then she started asking why I didn't bring home any pictures. Then she invited herself along and brought her camera.
We don't have a common hobby, what we have is complementary hobbies. But she found it herself.
Your wife is depressed and isn't finding joy in life.
 

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People do change their interests, but when they don't replace them w/ something else depression is a possibility. You also mentioned it, so I think you should look into it. Some people attach a stigma to depression(foolishly), if you think she does try to approach it as "You don't seem to enjoy these things like you did" or "You don't seem as happy." and be clear you want to help.

If it is that, helping her through it is the best kind of friend.
 

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I would suggest that you start asking her some questions. If she's not up for talking/sharing right now, you may have to go first for a while until she is more comfortable with the idea. You need to be totally open, honest, and vulnerable on these questions. It will show her that she can be as well. You can Google all sorts of "relationship growth" or "relationship building" questions, or you can talk to a marriage counselor who may be able to give you more personalized ones and help your wife open up.

You can sit down together for 45 minutes and go through a series of questions, but I'm guessing that wouldn't work for her right now since she's so closed off. So an alternative is doing it slowly and having fun with it.

Write out a bunch of questions on small pieces of paper and put them in a jar or container. Each day you both take one out and answer it. Have some questions be fun, easy things, and some be bigger questions. Choose a time to pull a question from the jar that works best for allowing discussion. ie) Do it at dinner time or before bed, not while rushing out the door for work.

Figure out what works for you AND your wife. Tell her that it's important to you, and treat it as such.

For the depression, that is something that you should encourage her to talk to someone about. Medication and/or therapy can be a great help. If you can get her to agree to a conversation, that might be enough for her to see that she does need a bit of help. Let her know that you are concerned, initiate making an appointment, and offer to go with her for support.
 

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Actually, I talk to her a lot. With most people, I'd have said "talk with". She is a kind of woman of few words. She's a bit like a brick wall. I've tried to probe her, but there's never much given as a response. In some way, she's almost like a machine. I mean, she must have something going on in her head. I just can't get her to share it. And I don't think it is just with me, many people have told me she is hard to read.
Your past history I would say your W has her wall up. Mine did as well for many years. I was very difficult to live with. Over time and some changes from me did the wall need come down. Our relationship went to a higher level.
 

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Good on you for trying to make her be happy. You're a sweetheart!
Why not come up with little fun things to do, throw them in a hat, and pick one out to do every now and then. Or throw a dart at a map and then just go there.
 

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So, I love my wife very much, but I feel we don't have much in common. I can't think of anything we both mutually enjoy. Sometimes, it seems to me that she has no hobbies at all. I want to see her eyes light up, but I never see this. Long ago, she used to enjoy cooking. She even had a dream to open a little restaurant. However, later, she felt life as a housewife was too meaningless so I helped her find a secretarial job. Then, later, we started a business together. Over time, she stopped cooking and I don't know if she still has any love for this. Anyway, she has been telling me for a long time now that she doesn't want to work in this industry anymore. I don't know. She's definitely not happy. It seems that we will be handing off this life and moving to a different city soon. It seems like a chance to restart everything.

What I want is to see her happy and with passion and love in her eyes. I've suggested various hobbies, but I don't know if any have connected with her.

It seems I've gotten off topic. What I really want is simply to have a better friendship with her. However, I don't even know where to start.
She won't be happy as long as you continue doing things "your way or highway", with angry outburts, and occasionally, being physical wiht her. this is why the sparkle in her eye disappeared.
 

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She won't be happy as long as you continue doing things "your way or highway", with angry outburts, and occasionally, being physical wiht her. this is why the sparkle in her eye disappeared.
This point can't be stressed enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I didn't suggest hobbies we could do together, Well we did do willard harley's interest survey. What was effective was just doing something I liked doing. I started going hiking alone. I'd come back and she would ask what I saw. Then she started asking why I didn't bring home any pictures. Then she invited herself along and brought her camera.
We don't have a common hobby, what we have is complementary hobbies. But she found it herself.
Your wife is depressed and isn't finding joy in life.
I looked for that Willard Harvey interest survey, but could not find anything. It seems he's an author, is it part of his book? But yeah, maybe she would like taking photos of nature and posting it online. That would be great as I like climbing up mountains. I'll try to think of other hobbies we could have that would compliment each other. I like that idea alot. It also prevents it from becoming competitive or whatnot. Yeah, thank you. Great idea.

People do change their interests, but when they don't replace them w/ something else depression is a possibility. You also mentioned it, so I think you should look into it. Some people attach a stigma to depression(foolishly), if you think she does try to approach it as "You don't seem to enjoy these things like you did" or "You don't seem as happy." and be clear you want to help.

If it is that, helping her through it is the best kind of friend.
Okay, I will ask her about these things. If she's depressed, I'd like to help her through in any way I can.


I would suggest that you start asking her some questions. If she's not up for talking/sharing right now, you may have to go first for a while until she is more comfortable with the idea. You need to be totally open, honest, and vulnerable on these questions. It will show her that she can be as well. You can Google all sorts of "relationship growth" or "relationship building" questions, or you can talk to a marriage counselor who may be able to give you more personalized ones and help your wife open up.

You can sit down together for 45 minutes and go through a series of questions, but I'm guessing that wouldn't work for her right now since she's so closed off. So an alternative is doing it slowly and having fun with it.

Write out a bunch of questions on small pieces of paper and put them in a jar or container. Each day you both take one out and answer it. Have some questions be fun, easy things, and some be bigger questions. Choose a time to pull a question from the jar that works best for allowing discussion. ie) Do it at dinner time or before bed, not while rushing out the door for work.

Figure out what works for you AND your wife. Tell her that it's important to you, and treat it as such.

For the depression, that is something that you should encourage her to talk to someone about. Medication and/or therapy can be a great help. If you can get her to agree to a conversation, that might be enough for her to see that she does need a bit of help. Let her know that you are concerned, initiate making an appointment, and offer to go with her for support.
So, I went onto the torrents and found some books about relationship building. Maybe they will offer up some ideas. I sent her a message on her phone and she called me back to talk about it. I simply asked what she liked and told her I felt I would like to know her better than I do now. We talked for almost two hours. It was more about what each of us want from this relationship though and I didn't really find out anything new about her besides her feelings for our family. Also, I found out she wishes we would have had a bigger wedding. At the time, we just did the paperwork and didn't have a ceremony. So, that's something for me to think about effecting.

Your past history I would say your W has her wall up. Mine did as well for many years. I was very difficult to live with. Over time and some changes from me did the wall need come down. Our relationship went to a higher level.
It's probably very much like this. As I was saying above, we spoke on the phone just a bit ago. However, we ended up both angry with each other at the end. Nothing too serious, but we have some differences over what we want in this marriage. It's very frustrating.

Good on you for trying to make her be happy. You're a sweetheart!
Why not come up with little fun things to do, throw them in a hat, and pick one out to do every now and then. Or throw a dart at a map and then just go there.
Your idea is so cool, that sounds really fun. We could both write different things out and then take turns. I like it!

She won't be happy as long as you continue doing things "your way or highway", with angry outburts, and occasionally, being physical wiht her. this is why the sparkle in her eye disappeared.
You know, we just had another argument when I called to ask her what she liked. It was all happy and we were talking, then she said something and I told her that I didn't like that and it went on escalating. Finally, we stop arguing and are talking about good things, but at the very end, the last fifteen seconds, we went back and both talked angrily before hanging up. Then I sent her a kiss goodnight in a message and she sent one back.
 

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I looked for that Willard Harvey interest survey, but could not find anything. It seems he's an author, is it part of his book? But yeah, maybe she would like taking photos of nature and posting it online. That would be great as I like climbing up mountains. I'll try to think of other hobbies we could have that would compliment each other. I like that idea alot. It also prevents it from becoming competitive or whatnot. Yeah, thank you. Great idea. -- snip --
Sorry, to leave you with incomplete information you can find all of his forms at the marriage builders web site. Here is the Survey I was mentioning:
Recreational Enjoyment Survey
 
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