What If My Husband Does Not Share My Passionate Interest?

Dear Elsa,

What if you know something really important that you want to share with your partner but they refuse to listen. Something like watching a certain interview or video. Nothing that requires too much work.

What if you ask them to do something (nothing that would harm them of course) and they said that they did not want to do it and that they would never do this thing that would give you and them some common ground to tread upon.

What kind of relationship is that? Is it even a relationship?

I love this person and would never want to cause them discomfort or harm but their lack of “awareness” is absolutely detrimental to our health as a couple.

What would you suggest in a situation like this?
United States

Dear Stalemate,

I am not sure you will like my read on this because it definitely reflects my bias but  considering you are Sagittarius I know you appreciate other perspectives so here is mine:

I would let this go. I don’t think you can force someone to learn something or have an interest in something they don’t have an interest in. For example, I always wind up with engineers… people like math and like it a lot. My first husband actually stalked me with a math book. He followed me around the house with the book cracked open, he just wanted to show me how interesting this all was and when he wouldn’t stop, I took off out the front door and headed down the dirt road with 5 planets in Scorpio in pursuit.

“But Peewee!” he yelled at my back. “I just want to show you this!”

I kept walking, middle finger held high in the air. And you may call me closed-minded and you may call me un-loving but you call him the same thing, couldn’t you? How closed is the mind that can’t fathom the fact another person is just not interested in the things they are interested in? Do I not love him because I don’t want to be an engineer? Or does he not love me because it is not okay I do not want to be an engineer?

This does not mean I do not understand your feelings. I understand how it could be hurtful when your partner does not want to invest something that is very important to you but if you really think about this, it could be much worse.

For example rather than tell you straight out, “I’m not interested” they could partake of the thing and then mock it. I have seen this too, I’ll tell you:

There was a gal once who liked me quite a bit. We were becoming friends and her genius (just ask him) husband was unnerved. He had her pretty wrapped up, worshiping him so anyway, this poor gal came home with a movie I recommended and he sat down to watch it with her.

He went on to criticize the movie (and me for being so stupid and simpleminded to have liked it) at every frame. Can you imagine? This gal told me about this and the friendship fell off shortly thereafter. It was just too hard for her to defend me so in this case I think she’d have been better off not to share her pleasure.

So take astrology. Should I expect my partner to stop their life and start reading about something that interests me? I don’t think so. I am so totally against this, I can’t say it strong enough. You ask somebody something once and if they have no interest, I think this should be respected. Once that happens, the ball is back in your court.

Can you stand them? Can you stand them not being interested in what you are or does this break the relationship? Personally, I don’t break relationships over things like this; particularly love relationships which are to come by but let me answer your specific question:

Is it even a relationship?

Yes. It is a relationship with a boundary which may indicate health not otherwise.

And while it is possible your partner’s boundary is detrimental to your relationship it is just as possible your inability or unwillingness to accept the boundary is what is detrimental to your relationship. He is also not causing your harm, see? It is your perspective that is causing you harm.

Good luck and I hope others will weigh in on this.

When your partner is not interested in what you are – Is this a deal-breaker?


15 thoughts on “What If My Husband Does Not Share My Passionate Interest?”

  1. But she’s a Sagittarean, she needs the other person to share experiences with her, her ideals, her views of the world, even if they’re silly or unimportant, it’s important to her.
    I’m not saying it’s a deal-breaker but it’s something that should be worked on and it’s probably very uncomfortable and discouraging for her.
    Obviously we can’t all have the same interests and share the same things, otherwise it would be a bore.

  2. While I think it’s good for partners to be able to share interests, I don’t think it’s necessary so long as there’s respect for each person’s interests and their feelings. My guy and I have very few common interests… Our biggest shared interest is reading, and even there, our tastes are quite different. We do just fine though, because we accept and respect that we’re different people. We don’t try to change each other, though we do listen with interest when the other is speaking. I’m not interested in comic books any more than he’s interested in astrology, but we still listen and take it as another insight into each other.

    And I’ve been typing this with my 4 month old in my lap, so I really hope that made sense! 😀

  3. joana – I agree. But she is Sadge running into Capricorn here. He says no and that leaves her with the decision. Either that or spend her life trying to coax a yes.

    he is more likely to follow if she maintains her gait and stays happy. People do all kinds of things they say they will never do. Like the soldier moving to CO for example!! He swore he’d never live here. People change their minds, especially when you don’t bug them.

  4. What if you picked something that is new to both of you, then you could have that one interest in common. Just a thought.

  5. That was a good answer from Elsa. And of course it is a relationship.

    I’m concerned about this statement, that ” his lack of awareness is detrimental to our health as a couple.” What does this exactly mean? I might be misreading it, but it *sounds* like: ” I am unfulfilled and the reason is that my lover refuses to improve himself with my videotapes”.

    It also *sounds like* these videotapes have some kind of religious/spiritual orientation. If that’s the case, I suggest you back up a little and investigate whether a person’s religious/spiritual orientation is a dealbreaker for you. If it is, it would be much easier for you to find someone with the same views of God/Reality/Universe already than to try to download them into your partner. People like to be captains of their own souls, you know, since they’re the ones who have to drive them home.

    Also: If you’re the Cap and he’s the Sadge you should know up front that Sagittarius will *not* chew and swallow ideology from any other person or institution. It has to be experiential, and it has to be their own.

  6. Yes, nagging about it won’t do no good. You’re right Elsa, if she doesn’t pay much importance to it and keeps doing what she likes to do, who knows? “Why is she so happy watching that video? Perhaps I should watch it too” 😉

    There’s also that theory that people tend to resemble each other as time goes by (physically and in other areas). And there’s that other theory that their personal traits become more and more “acute” as time goes by…Hmmm, I’m confusing myself.

  7. @eva – it’s funny, you thought religious/spiritual, and i immediately thought about issues of political and social justice. i regularly have debates with a friend who is convinced that racism doesn’t exist anymore, or that we don’t need feminism any more, or that the queers should sit down and shut up because they already have equal rights. i don’t agree, and it puts a strain on our friendship – partly because i feel the need to challenge his lack of ‘awareness,’ and partly because i feel put down when he trivialises my values. is that also partly my problem? well, sure. but as one of my co-workers so aptly put it today, “Life is too short to deal with assholes.” couples can survive and even thrive when they don’t share the same interests, but if it’s a question of values it becomes much more difficult.

    but i love the captain of souls analogy! and i agree that “downolading” your ideas onto your partner (another great phrase) is pretty useless.

  8. :). Hey silverfoot, “political” didn’t cross my mind at all, but it fits just as well.

    I’ve had a lot of trouble with the religious/spiritual thing, and the weirdest part is that I didn’t think I had a problem with this at all. I’m a seeker, you see, and an openminded individual who can accept all versions of all the many-faceted faces of God and live as a perfectly tolerant individual. I had worked very hard on this, examined it, meditated upon it.

    At least that’s what I thought until I ran into someone who insisted I believe exactly what he did or my soul would burn in hell. This, I could *not* tolerate.

    So I finally got to this: We’re not perfect, you know? We all have our dealbreakers, and they’re not prescribed by society and there’s no cheat sheet to tell us what they are supposed to be. So you have to investigate it: is this something that I literally cannot tolerate ( and there are those things, obviously) or is it just my reaction to the closeness of another individual living out his perspective? is it better with, or without, this person in my life?

    Women seem to need help with this. I was very confused by it until I realized I had run into a personal boundary I did not realize I had. I’ve been watching Elsa’s blog and it seems lately women are asking her this question over and over — is this okay or is it a dealbreaker? And the reason they are asking Elsa is because in actuality the only other person they can ask is *the offender*. And most likely they will say — of course not! This thing I do, it’s fine — you’re the one with the problem!

    And actually — that’s the truth. You *are* the one with the problem. The behavior, perspective, criminal activity, heroin use, whatever, is bothering you. The question is, how much? And what do you do about it?

  9. Definitely not a deal breaker for me (7th House Saturn).

    My SO was a into extreme mountain biking when we met. It was his LIFE throwing himself off 10 foot drops. Or extreme rollerblading, getting up at 4 am to ride around the city streets like a maniac with his brakes removed.
    Did I want to be a part of this? Did I fuck!
    He eventually had a terrible mountain biking accident and almost died and yes, he stopped.

    Then he got really into yoga. I mean, really into yoga. Practices every day, became a teacher, etc. It’s his life the way his mountain biking was.
    Then again, I should probably mention he has 6 planets in his 6th House. I mean, the guy gets obsessssssed (Scorpio Moon).

    If anyone has any tips on how to get a Capricorn (with Sun conjunct Saturn) and a 6th House stellium and Gemini ASC TO DO WHAT YOU WANT and BE INTERESTED IN WHAT I AM…let me know.

    Then again, I’m sure I ended up with the least controllable person in the world (we both have 7th House Saturns) for a reason, hmmm?

  10. why should it be a problem? everyone has facets. if someone had exactly the same interests as me where the room for growth simply from being different people? i don’t want to date myself. and why should i expect to share everything with any single person?

  11. Hi Stalemate,

    I think I might understand how you feel, as this issue came up for me just this morning. My husband didn’t know until this very morning that I’ve had several consults with Elsa. I didn’t totally hide it, but just knew he might not care so much and I didn’t want a downer around it. So, I shared my experience today and he really didn’t care. He doesn’t understand astrology, therefore doesn’t believe in it. He simply responded to my sharing with, “why do you need someone to tell you that you’re ok?” That kind of stung, because I was really opening up a part of my world to him.

    I had a hope for intimacy with my spouse and that turned into a discussion about why I seek outside help. The thing is I kind of let it go this way too (this is an issue I’m observing). In hindsight, it might have been more effective to stayed focused on my intention of intimacy and not let it turn into some debate.

    So, I wonder if you (and I) can focus on sharing what it is that moves you about a particular subject without the condition that he has to “do” anything. It might take the pressure off of him and the relationship.

    I also want to share the flip side of this topic. I have a friend who practiced Catholicism with her husband for years. After she began questioning her Catholic faith it created WWIII between her and her husband. It is still a huge issue for them.

    It sounds like your husband isn’t trying to control you, so maybe it is a very positive thing to know that you can be an individual and still have a happy relationship.

    Hope this helps,

  12. Pisces that is very profound…thank you. I like your outlook, on keeping your intention on intimacy.
    I agree it can hurt deeply when realizing your partner is simply not interested.
    I have a very good Aquarian friend who reminded me recently that it is very difficult (impossible) to have one relationship that fulfills all needs.
    I like this Aquarian outlook, and your last comment that “maybe it is a very positive thing to know that you can be an individual and still have a happy relationship”
    sounds very much like something my friend was conveying to me.

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