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Is it necessary to share a lot of the same interests for a relationship to work?

2590 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  I got this
I have been with my partner for nearly 5 years. For the last 4 years I have suffered with depression and it has been hard and it has put strain on our relationship. My self esteem has dramatically decreased and as time went on I found myself increasingly dependent on my partner.

I relied on him for everything and I relied on him to make me happy. So then when I didn't get happier, I thought it was his fault. Over time I became more and more withdrawn and found talking to people just having general conversations difficult. I could never think of things to say. I was never like this before depression.

I then started worrying about my relationship. I lost myself and lost all ability to function on my own and to be independent. I used to think that if I didn't want to be with my partner all the time then that was a bad thing. I felt that if we couldn't talk non stop then that also meant something was wrong.

My point basically is do you think you have to share a lot of the same interests to have a successful relationship? Most relationships I know have share very few hobbies and they've lasted. Is it important to have alone time to enjoy separate hobbies? And how do you keep a sense of closeness in the relationship despite any differences.

My partner really is the most wonderful man. He has been incredibly supportive throughout my depression and we get on so well. Every felt perfect before my depression so I know depression will have had a major impact on my worries. I think I just fear it not working out because I want it to work so much.
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It's possible to share only a few things and still have a great relationship. I think you need to look for the joy in your life, and in your relationship. This may sound really silly, but at my worst, when I was so low I could barely get out of bed, doing the dishes was a real joy. I appreciated how water erupted on a spoon. It sounds crazy, but it helped me build some joy in my life so that I COULD share. Strangely enough it's often the little things that really matter.

If you aren't talking to a counselor yet, I would suggest you do so. Pharmaceutical help isn't enough. Statistics show that both medication and talk therapies are important for lasting recovery.
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I saw a doctor yesterday and they are going to refer me for counselling. I've been on tablets before but as soon as I come off them I go downhill again. I think I need to work on deeper issues and build my self esteem to beat this.

I think I over think things way too much. I think I rely on my partner to make me happy when really I've got to do that for myself. He can only enhance my existing happiness.

When we're having a meal I panic if we're not talking non stop and think it's because we don't have enough in common. I don't know what to do with myself in those silences for example.
Unless there is a specific life event triggering your depression I would think that you are prone to experience it. I used to use medication just to get through a crisis and felt I needed to go off of it that I didn't want to become dependent on it. Guess what? The depression came back. Now I realize I need medication for life. It is not a weakness it has improved the quality of my life and relationships. If I had diabetes I would continue to take insulin.
I think it is not necessary that you share common interests with your partner. With my experience, the only common interest that my hubby and I have is our love for food. Other than that, we are totally different individuals yet we were able to sustain our marriage (I'm happily married for 8 years). I think what's important is you respect each other's differences and try to compliment each other. It is also healthy that you have some time for your self.
I think that you need to share the same long term goals (do you want children, wish to live in a city / town / rural) but you do not need to share all the same interests infact having some interests that allow you a little "me time" can be good for you both.

As for the depression "talking is the best medicine". Best of luck.
Separate interests bring variety and spice to the relationship. Doing everything together can be stagnating. On the other hand, being too separated leads to disconnect.

I think it works best when there is a healthy balance of shared/separate interests.

The real key to a lasting relationship is not the amount of shared interests, but the ability to effectively work out differences.
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