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Hobbies for Couples Strengthen Newlyweds
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Once the wedding is over and the couple is back from the honeymoon, it's time to start playing together.
Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University, said couples should make a habit of spending time together. Communication grows with shared interests.
"Treat your spouse as your deepest and best friend," Davis said. "Learn to enjoy each other's interests and find an activity of your own to do as a couple."
Choosing a common pastime should be very easy, Davis said, even for couples where opposites attract. The fact that the couple found each other indicates some things in common.
Some partners take up a hobby of their spouse. Many wives become sports fans or hunters and many husbands take up shopping or cooking. This is good as long as both are having fun, but sometimes it's good to find a totally new activity.
Bride's magazine offers some tips on finding an appropriate hobby for couples.
* Talk to each other to find out interests and priorities. Do you want something conversation-friendly or competitive?
* Be willing to try something new.
* Let an expert teach a new activity. This prevents a spouse's feedback being seen as criticism and allows frustration to be directed at the instructor, not the spouse.
* Don't decide you must learn to like a spouse's pastime. This could lead to resentment towards a spouse and their hobby.
Davis also said to use common sense when choosing an activity. Time and money should be factored into the decision.
At the MSU Golf Course, Chris Dyer, assistant golf professional, said there is a definite increase in the number of women playing this sport.
"We have women whose husbands play and they want to learn the game, but most of the time when a husband and wife play together, they're beginning golfers," Dyer said.
To serve this interest, the golf course offers continuing education golf classes for beginners, individual lessons, and occasional beginners clinics specifically for ladies' and others. Students in these classes learn the basics of putting, chipping, full swings, rules and terminology.
Randi Retherford, manager of Gold's Gym in Ocean Springs, said in two and a half years, he has seen about a 20 percent increase in the number of couples training together.
"We have a lot of couples who come in here together, and it's not just newlyweds," Retherford said. "Older couples tend to do the entire training program together, while the younger couples work out together until the weight activity separates them. He ends up doing free weights, and she uses machines."
This gym does not offer classes specifically geared for couples, but many couples attend beginner programs together.
"It's a given that two people training together works better than one person trying to stay with it alone," Retherford said.
No matter what the activity chosen, Davis said with all the togetherness, don't forget separate interests. Partners need not lose their individuality when they get married.
"If you don't have your own interests and your own time, you tend to not have a life outside that person," Davis said. "Couples are happier when they have good dialog and respect because they haven't given up themselves or their interests."