Are You Sharing Life With Your Wife?

I recently noticed that a number of my marriage answers on Quora say something to the effect of “Marriage is about sharing your life with someone you love.”

More and more I think that is a critical part of marriage. Or at least a critical part of a marriage that is and will continue to be healthy and happy.

Are You Sharing Life With Your Wife?

The thing about sharing life with our wife is it means she has to be a major part of our life. I’m not saying you have to be joined at the hip and never apart, but if you spend significant time apart that limits sharing life with each other. Given most of us spend a lot of our waking hours at work, what we do with the rest of our time becomes even more critical.

How you spend your “free time” is a marriage issue. If you don’t work at spending a good deal of time with your wife you will likely not spend nearly enough time together. That causes a slow erosion of your relationship. You won’t see it at first, and by the time it becomes clear it may have progressed to the point it’s very difficult to change it. (BTW, one of the first signs of this can be her losing interest in sex. Most women don’t feel sexual desire for a man unless they are sharing life with him.)

What you do together doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy doing it together. That will vary widely from couple to couple and will morph as you move through various stages of life. This goes way beyond “quality time”, it’s about having many shared experiences. 

Bottom Line: If spending time with your wife isn’t a high priority, then your marriage isn’t a high priority.

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5 Comments on “Are You Sharing Life With Your Wife?

  1. Having been on both sides of this issue, I can tell you that if anything, you probably under estimate the importance of sharing life together.

    My wife and I actually celebrated our individualness for a long time. Looking back, it was without a doubt the loneliest time of our marriage for both of us. We did some things together, but not nearly enough. In most measurable ways, we weren’t married at all, but hey, we had a piece of paper that said we were.

    Part of the problem was that I had been a soldier for 20 years and we were accustomed to the demands and sacrifices that entailed. It was just the way things were. The real problem with living separate lives when you have to, is that it becomes all too easy to keep doing so when it is no longer a necessity.

    Where we are now is totally different. I am home every day, and we spend most of our time together. We have fewer of the “Wow” moments that come from traveling the world and seeing so much, but a lot more of the side by side time, scratching weeds out of a flower bed or recently, just sitting and playing dominoes.

    The truth is, a little bit of both is probably a good thing. We have our separate interests, and even some separate friends, but we also have those we share, and that is truly where life is found.

    • @Man without a map “The real problem with living separate lives when you have to, is that it becomes all too easy to keep doing so when it is no longer a necessity.”

      That has got to be a very difficult things. I’ve talked to military chaplains who understand and try to work with couples on that, but I suspect military folks in general don’t get any instruction on it.

      The WOW moments are great, but they are far better when shared with someone you share your whole life with!

  2. It used to be very much a shared life, but now, no. Illness has overcome my ability to participate in many of the shared activities we enjoyed, and now it’s filled my days with a kind of grim resolve…I have to be tougher than ever, because tomorrow will be worse…and you can’t share that.

    And Barb works on a totally different level…a different planet. She’s in the corporate world, sees friends, enjoys a life that has more depth than my single fixed point of survival.

    She does share her days with me, in describing them, and she does not ask about mine often, because, really, how many ways are there to say, “Today REALLY sucked”? And how many ways are there to reply, “I’m so sorry”?

  3. “The thing about sharing life with our wife is it means she has to be a major part of our life. I’m not saying you have to be joined at the hip and never apart, but if you spend significant time apart that limits sharing life with each other.”

    I think many married people are joined at the hip (except for the time they spend at work) and still share very little “life” together. I see them all over the place. In restaurants, in the park, on walks, in the car. They are toger but not really sharing life. Not really enjoying what they are doing together. Not really interested in each other while they do what they do.

    “What you do together doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy doing it together.”
    How true!!
    But what do you do when it seems that each other’s likes and enjoyments of life are so different and there is so little time to really find something you both would thoroughly enjoy doing together.

    “Most women don’t feel sexual desire for a man unless they share life with him”
    I think the opposite is true as well for men. My wife is never more attractive to me then when she shows interest in my interests!

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