Karen writes: I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that couples have to share identical interests. That is impossibe, it is a question of balance, and of mutual respect. There is a huge difference between an interest and a passion that is all-consuming and eats into the time that your share with your spouse. When an interest or hobby becomes so huge that your spouse resents it, then it is getting in the way. I don’t share Robert’s passion for military history, Japanese movies, Marcel Proust, abstract modern art, hand-made hunting knives, photography, and right now he’s watching a South Korean movie, Tae Guk Gi that is quite strident and violent, but that’s OK, I’m not in the mood for a gut-churning war movie. On the other hand, Robert waits for me to finish my work before turning on something we want to watch together; he’ll clue me in to the latest book he’s finished and ask my opinion; he’ll ask me to edit his latest draft of a book or screenplay. I like commas, he’s absolutely obsessed with semi-colons — no matter what the rules of grammar dictate. It’s sharing, listening, willingness to admit an error, patience to repeat a comment when I’m distracted. Being polite to each other, and yes, please and thank you still go a long way. But there are areas we go our separate ways. I go to the gym, he hates it. I play Jewish geography with a little too much enthusiasm, he couldn’t care less, I am addicted to only simchas.com and Robert is absolutely not, yet has agreed to look at one, and only one fabulous or grotesque wedding dress per night. So I choose carefully. I love to sight-see, he’s a homebody. I like math and science yet accept the fact that Robert’s brain goes into a major meltdown at the very sight of numbers more complex than 1,2,3. We compromise, I go it alone sometimes. And so does Robert. The main thing is we respect our differences and don’t try to change each other.