how important is it that your partner/spouse share your passions?

Posted on September 25, 2006


On Saturday after synagogue we went out for lunch, then went on a long walk ending up at the Brooklyn Heights promenade where we sat and talked before going to a social engagement at the home of friends whose apartment overlooks the harbor.

We talked about our personality differences and where our interests differ and overlap. We concluded that had we met under different circumstances (we were both rather isolated when we met) we probably would not have married and the thing we share most now is a common history.

We identified each of our three main passions and there was no overlap. Shoshana’s are food, visual arts, and laughter; mine are sex, language, and the life of the mind. Shoshana’s three passions are all enthusiasms of mine, but not my main passions. As for mine, Shoshana enjoys sex but doesn’t think about it except when she’s doing it or about to, sort of like someone who never thinks about food unless it’s put in front of her or unless she’s hungry (she also considers the details of other people’s sex lives as Too Much Information); she lacks the facility for language to develop much enthusiasm for it: she’s an avid reader but reads for content not language (though one of her passions, humor, is often language based); and finally though she is quite intelligent she is not an intellectual and never will be: if I want to have an intelligent conversation with her it has to be in an area of her expertise and interest (transportation, urban planning, disaster planning–especially hurricanes, modern art, sports, politics, and Judaic studies–especially ritual and halacha). It’s frustrating that while I discuss her passions knowledgeably and with enthusiasm she doesn’t reciprocate, and it makes me feel lonely.

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