Portland Relationship Counselor Says Make Time to Avoid Affairs, Part V

March 10, 2011 by

My years as a Portland relationship counselor have taught me that the best marriage enhancement is spending time quality together. Nothing else helps as much to avoid affairs or divorce. If you are like most couples you experience multiple challenges to finding that time. In the last blog I addressed the interference of media. Today I want to talk about hobbies and recreation.

Hobbies are wonderful for the most part. They take our mind off our troubles and enrich our lives. Hobbies and recreation are not selfish pursuits and need not weaken your bond. As with issues such as work and children, individual hobbies and recreation aren’t really the problem. As Bill Doherty says in his book, Take back Your Marriage, “It’s how they are decided on and how they are handled”.

Portland Relationship Counselor Asks You to Avoid Affairs and Divorce by Guarding Priorities

As a Portland relationship counselor I agree with Doherty’s suggestion to think of hobbies and recreation as secondary to marriage and family priorities. It is not that these individual pursuits will be left off the schedule; it is that they will be worked around the more important priorities of keeping your marriage happy and strong. Your marriage needs to be your highest priority if you want to insure against affairs and divorce.

Number one; decide together if the hobby or recreational activity is feasible. Have a dialogue with your partner in which neither of you blame, shame, criticize or call the other selfish. Be honest in the dialogue and do not resentfully go along with what your partner wants. Instead work together to see what your budget and your calendar can afford. Secondly, once you have jointly decided then look together at how you will offset the loss to relationship time. If one of you wants to go skiing with a friend for a week, or join the girls for a weekend in the sun, it may be agreeable to you both. But when and how will you replace the couple time that was sacrificed? Make that decision together in dialogue as well.  If you don’t know how to dialogue visit our website for classes and counselors who can help you learn.

When you work together to make decisions about time spend away from the family and relationship, you can actually draw closer. Being close and sincerely supportive affair proofs your marriage. Making the grownup decision to skip hunting or not to train for the marathon this year will sometimes be the wisest decision. But making it together will bring respect and mutual sacrifice will pay off in a long future together.

If you need help breaking these or other habits, or want to find a good Portland relationship counselor, please visit our website. And while you are there be sure to check out our ever growing collection of free resources.