Male Hobbies

Whether he agrees or not, I think my H is in a life slump. Of course COVID doesn’t help. But really he was sort of there prior to COVID. Meaning that he just doesn’t have much stimulation in his life - and I think it’s starting to show in his attitude and well, this sounds kind of awful but everything he has to talk about is the past - and nothing current! (except COVID and politics - shoot me now!!!)

He has been retired for 3.5 years. He does do an ebay business which he really lets consume nearly ALL his time besides watching tv - there is a lot of that too.

I have always encouraged him to add a little something to his daily life - something old (he used to golf) or something new. I know I can’t make him be interested in something…but I can’t help but think he would feel satisfaction from branching out a bit.

He has a few “friends” - which mostly = guys he used to work with. And they only really talk on the phone and rehash their past work life, COVID, politics. Even my kids have noticed that his life is so narrow. He would be a great volunteer for something! He is smart!

So, that’s a long story to ask - what are your husband’s hobbies? Or if you’re a guy, what do you do on the side - outside of work, home maintenance tasks (we have LOTS of those too but he doesn’t want to do them) or family obligations??

Maybe I can spark an interest if I have some things to throw into a conversation.

My husband still works full time but he works out about 5 days a week plus golfs and has a once a week volunteer commitment which is usually 1 to 2 hours a week. Normally he has 2 or 3 short business trips (1-3 days each ) per month so with work from home and no travel he has been hitting the bike trails with his extra time. He has a lot of friends so in normal times he gets together with them for lunch, golf or to watch a game.
He’s very helpful around the house but he’s not all that handy so he’s not doing much of the maintenance!

He’s also involved in our church although that stuff is all on hold. They have men’s club which has some social events, speakers and some volunteer opportunities.

My in-laws are deceased so he has no elder care responsibilities but he’s very helpful to me with my dad.

Not sure I’ve given you any helpful ideas -my husband is an energetic guy who keeps busy but i think in retirement he’d like a part time job.

There are websites where you can search for volunteer opportunities. This is one.

Someone on CC posted a list of opportunities in some thread a year or so ago. Some were just fascinating and would be great for people who’d like to do something intellectually stimulating. I wish I could Find it…

He could also search for meet up groups in your area that match his interests.

Some things I’ve done that can be found online are the great backyard bird watch, and milkweed surveys for monarch butterflies.

There are a lot of retired- and young- men in my tai chi class. You have to find a good one (YMAA, or Yang long form of any kind, for instance). The men like it because it is based on martial arts and on the side we do quite a bit of that to inform our practice. Just a thought.

Here’s another.

H’s “fitness” exercises are limited to taking a solo walk on our neighborhood trail a few times a week. He is overweight and could def use more fitness! He used to go to the gym some but largely had dropped doing that even before COVID - I really thing he did more talking than exercising there. :wink:

His job really defined him. He was a park ranger with the same organization for 35+ years. I wish he’d give back to them in a volunteer way or with another park district because he loved it so much.

I think reaching out and taking a first step is super hard for him. He always almost needs to be forced to try something new. I’m not going to force him but also I think he needs something enriching.

I hate to say this - and only saying it here - it’s like his 70+ year old dad came into our house and took over his body. :frowning: (BTW, H is 64).

My H is still working but he enjoys hiking, kayaking and skiing. We are buying snow shoes for this winter too. We do most of those activities together.

He’s a bit of a gamer too so he has an online group for some computer role playing game.

My H also volunteers as a mentor and up until a few years ago also did alumni interviewing. .

My DH has volunteered as a mentor. He’s also taken up painting, which he’s quite good at. And he plays tennis every chance he gets. Unfortunately, since COVID hit, it’s basically been jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and watching old sports events. I wish I could get him more engaged with the world, but he’s always been like this.

Turn off the TV and computer. You say you don’t want to force him…some people need a push…in a nice way. Luckily my wife has never had a problem telling me when I need to get out of a rut or make a change. She’s pretty much always right.

Is there something you like to do together? Is there something you want to do or learn that he can help? Most men like to solve problems. Get a dog? Grow a garden?Maybe a community garden? Sounds like he would make a great Cub/Boy Scout leader. Make it a mission like “kids need role models and need to get outdoors”.

@abasket I could have written your post. I am looking forward to what people suggest. In my husband’s case he has physical limitations that mean no physical activity beyond walking. He does do a walk everyday but that’s the extent of his activity. Other than that he sits on his iPad all day, talks to old friends, and keeps coming to interrupt me (I am wfh these days). I need to find something else for him to do.

He needs a road bike.

My H enjoys working in the yard. Our lawn & flowers are beautiful. He plays pinball, and we have 3 machines in our basement. He enjoys working on the pinball machines. He also walks with me most days (although he doesn’t walk quite as long as I do). He also likes to watch tv, and that’s cool … he does plenty of other stuff.

I am probably the one who needs to figure out what to do with my time.


Rides on his motorcycle

He coaches at the high school and middle school both spring and fall season, although that is on a pandemic hiatus since March.

Recently is trying his hand at gardening

Watches LOTS of soccer

He helps me with a lot of my volunteer work, political and otherwise. He’s my right hand man and I know I can always count on him and volunteer him. :slight_smile:

This is on top of all he does for us around the house and yard which is a lot and greatly appreciated. He’s also now our Covid errand runner.

Oh geez, my husband has a bazillion hobbies lol!

Let’s see, in the summer.
Running trails
Mountain biking
Occasional road biking

He is really interested in gardening, he’s put in a shade garden and he mows the lawn and does yard work.

In the winter
XC skiing
Runs on the treadmill at least 3 times a week
Does snow shoe but last winter we didn’t have that much snow and his buddy that he goes with has some health problems.

And the biggest hobby, he breeds tropical fish. Oh boy, he is going to sound crazy. He has lots of fish. He breeds them, he concocts water changing systems. He sells (or gives them away lol) them. There are fish enthusiasts groups. This was before COVID, but there are monthly meetings and fish swaps. So we go to them a couple of times a year. The fish are more of a winter hobby but they have to have some maintenance all year.

He’s a mechanical engineer so he loves to problem solve. He does do things around the house and has done electrical work and tiling to our last house but is too busy to do much at this one.

He likes to do math based puzzle games on the computer. At Christmas he does one jigsaw puzzle but since he’s obsessive, it’s only done the week between Christmas and New Years.

I don’t worry about him having things to do once he retires. ?

I always feel like a slacker around him

I also could have written this post and last year I pleaded with him to find something because we became empty nesters and he is prone to depression. He loves working out - lifting. Definitely nothing long distance they would eat up a lot of time. He does not want a long distance athlete build. And with aging, he can’t work out like he used to => depression.

He also loves to buy things - action figures and comics and stuff. He eBay’s a ton. But all of that requires $$$ something we don’t have a lot of and are trying to save so we can leave this place when I retire.

We did discover going to arcades. We don’t have any in town but we have visited several within a 2 hour radius. We have been to a few comicons. Yes, I will support anything. But both of those are now gone with covid.

He is VERY crafty and artsy. I think he would love painting classes, especially Bob Ross. We have discussed doing that together - if we had any classes around in town. We don’t.

I have thought about big brother/big sisters for the both of us, but I am scared of the commitment.

He did start spanish this summer. He loved it at first. He spent several hours a day at it. But then he got stressed out and it made him feel stupid, so he quit (with my blessing) feeling stupid => depression

My DH has been retired about 16 months and me about 16 hours… just kidding, it is really 48 hours now :wink: I wished he’d have some more active hobbies or at least help more in the yard. But I am glad he took up photography - it gives him an excuse to get our walking at our nearby lake or sometimes even Rocky Mountain park (30 miles from us, mostly uphill). Also he has been doing most of the cooking.

Almost forgot - he does duo language every day, learning French.

Congrats on your retirement, @colorado_mom!

My husband struggled with retirement at first. Luckily he had a buddy who retired a couple years earlier. They golf a couple times a week, ride bikes (regular and electric) fish, etc… My husband also plays poker and dominoes on his iPad. He gardens a lot and is the primary cook. It took a while but he finally settled into a rhythm. When I retire we are going to try pickle ball.

Unfortunately my H doesn’t have a lot of hobbies either… however he does enjoy:

Playing euchre we are in a club which meets once/month (in non Covid times)
Doing yardwork
Woodworking and home improvement
He is head chef and chief of food procurement (grocery shopping)

You are outing yourself as a Midwesterner ?