There’s this couple. She sings in a chorus and he’s a manic baseball fan. She travels around the world with her group and he is a walking encyclopedia of his team. Can this relationship be saved? Here are some ideas.
The questions you need to ask are in no particular order. First, ask yourself: Do I judge this person for their interests? Is it an appropriate interest or so weird I can’t respect that person, let alone myself, for being with her or him? You want to make sure you don’t cut or slam the person in a dispute–and there are sure to be some fights about this or something else where this can come up. Get it clear first. Learn to keep your opinion on their obsession off the table.
Next, try to find out whether each of you can find something interesting about the other person’s item. In the couple above, she asked him to teach her about baseball. She had known nothing about it, had never considered learning about it. Yet she was willing and eager to learn. She never expected to become obsessed the way he is. But she was interested enough to hear him, to attend games, and to watch games on TV. As for her musical trips, at times he attends her performances and gets interested in the music.
In your discussions, find something you both can do together besides keep house. You need to find something either familiar or new that you both like. It may be watching a TV show or taking a class. Or it may be going for walks or going out for coffee. The important point is to spend time together, which is rewarding in itself.
Be honest if you can’t get interested in the other’s activities. Arrange times so that each of you can feel fulfilled–without disrupting your schedules. Be flexible. Remember: You still love your partner. With your good intentions, you can work it out!