I've been a part of a happy long-term relationship over the past 4-5 years, and we've been engaged for some of that. The relationship started when I moved to a new town, so I left a lot of my life behind, including a certain hobby, a competitive card game (not gambling). We're currently pretty settled, we have a few pets and live together in the same house.

The 'hobby' has a reputation for being an expensive one, but I'd always been stingy with it and didn't spend anywhere near as much as others often do. I wouldn't need to spend money to return to it, as I still have my old decks.

Fast forward to about a year ago, as I started to feel more and more comfortable and settled I brought up the idea that I might pick the hobby back up again. The response I got was at best mixed, and the ensuing argument ended up with my partner saying how they just "hate" the hobby, citing the associated expense and the fact that I'd changed a lot since I last did it. Honestly I don't consider myself to have changed at all since I regained an interest (passion?) in the hobby. If there is a more fundamental or reason than that then it's never been mentioned. I feel like I don't understand the problem they see. These feelings seem to have been exacerbated by the fact that I'm now out-of-work, and while I wouldn't spend anything financially on the hobby given that fact, I receive responses like 'I'm not happy to be paying the rent if you're going to waste your time on [hobby]' if it is brought up again.

As a result of them making me feel bad about it, I've essentially been committing time to the hobby in secret, while they're at work etc. I feel incredibly guilty for more-or-less lying to them like this, but I feel that I should have a right to pursue something that makes me happy and being secretive about it seems to make us both happy.

Subsequent times when the hobby has just randomly come up in conversation, my fiancée has been extremely derogatory, but I didn't say anything other than nodding my head essentially, as I didn't want to re-open the issue even though this was making me feel pretty awful.

Essentially I have no idea what to do. If I'm frank and honest with them then I'm afraid it will all end, and I feel that we're so good together and settled. I feel like I don't want to have to cut out a thing that I really enjoy because of my partner's seemingly irrational hatred, since it would also cut off a significant portion of my friendships from where I first lived.

I feel so guilty for how I'm acting because of this, and just want to have an honest relationship again, but I'm afraid that will never happen again with them.

It feels like just cutting myself off from the hobby would fix everything, but it's a social hobby and I find it somewhat difficult to start friendships in other ways.

How can I have an honest conversation with my partner about my hobby, to understand why they hate it and express why it is important and beneficial for me?

  • 3
    it's difficult giving an advice without knowing what kind of expensive hobby is this.. why such an extreme reaction?
    – Val
    May 24, 2018 at 14:39
  • I don't know if this issue can be solved by interpersonal skills. So I'm going to have to vote to close it. There are other sources you can turn to for relationship advice. It looks like you'll need to do some work, perhaps both of you, before things get to the point where Interpersonal Skills will really help solve things. The fact that your scared for your relationship to end over MtG makes it seem like a deeper problem than what is appropriate for this website.
    – Clay07g
    May 24, 2018 at 14:52
  • You say you're out of work at the moment; is your partner possibly misinterpreting your revived expensive interest as a misplacement of your priorities? However unintentional on your part that could be.
    – user8671
    May 24, 2018 at 14:55
  • 1
    I would highly suggest you read through this related thread to get a feel for the other side of the argument.
    – scohe001
    May 24, 2018 at 16:34
  • 2
    Is it Magic: the Gathering? If so, you might as well just state so instead of keeping it vague, because that might lead to speculation.
    – SQB
    May 25, 2018 at 7:10

1 Answer 1


In the end, you have to decide what you care about more! Of course, you want to have both, who doesn't? It is not uncommon though for married couples or couples intending to marry to make concessions for happiness. My father, for example, had to sell his motorcycle (both because he needed money for a ring, and because my mom didn't care for it). Another friend chose to quit smoking because their partner hated it. My sister's husband chose to convert his religion so that my sister can have her ideal wedding in a church. Equally so, I have had friends choose smoking or other habits over their SO and break up. Am I saying this works for you? I don't know your dynamics.

It's possible that your Fiancee isn't upset with you for finding a new hobby again. It's that she wants you to pick up a hobby with her. Maybe she actually wants to play (what I assume is Magic) with you. Maybe she had a bad experience where a past boyfriend played the same game and used it as an excuse to go cheat. I assume since you guys are engaged that her bad experiences in the past have come up but for others reading it may be helpful.

I would try to sit down with her and have a talk about hobbies that may be okay. See if what she really wants is time with you. Maybe she is afraid that you would spend more time playing the game than you would be looking for work or keeping the house in order.

If she is afraid you won't put effort into finding work, then put effort into finding a job, finding work, or showing that you still care about maintaining your lives together. Cook meals for her before she comes back home and have dinner ready, keep the house clean. Keep the pets maintained. Find some things you can do to improve skills you need for a job. Do the small things to show her that you are still being responsible while picking up/going back to an old hobby and she may not even care about you playing cards as long as you are still showing her effort into being responsible.

From my experience with female friends who are in a similar situation, most of the time, their bf/fiancee ends up playing on the xbox all day. The house is a mess and she needs to clean after working all day, dinner is still on her to prepare or find. While she is working hard for all the money, all he wants to do is spend it on luxury items that they don't need (more games, new gadgets, more card packs ;)). These things usually lead to the demise of relationships. Being that you guys are engaged, she is probably afraid the above situation could eventually come to pass.

So the bottom line is to just show her you can play and be responsible. Find a hobby you 2 can do together if you don't have one (it's likely she wants something you can share in common). Or ultimately, decide whether playing cards is more important, or your future with her but without cards is more important.

  • 2
    Thanks for your response! I've thought about this over the past few hours and I think I'm just going to be frank (and tactful) about it. I will drop the game if we can both understand each other's point of view and they're serious about me not playing, since the relationship is ultimately more important to me. I'm planning to start being more responsible around the house and start showing more signs of looking for work. I'm going to see if they feel left out by it but I've made the casual suggestion before and it didn't go down so well. Will suggest trying to find a mutual hobby if not.
    – AEAnon
    May 24, 2018 at 20:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.