My wife's pretty cool with my obsession(s). My brewery's taken over the whole basement. Sometimes I evict her car from the garage to brew or, more recently, to dry hops. Sometimes I take over the kitchen to brew and while I'm in the basement filling the fermenter she cleans up after me. I neglect her with club meetings and events, keg washing, double brew days, whatever. Totally supportive. But I've loved and lost before and that sucks. I know you can only push a woman so far and next thing you know, she's gone. We all need to do what is fulfilling to ourselves, but we need to strike a balance. Compromise. Especially if our significant other doesn't share the same interests. So I wanted to share some of the things I do to keep my relationship positive and I'd like to hear what y'all do to keep your relationships in good standing while spending way too much time doing what we do.
First, I think it's important to at least keep your significant other in the loop. They may not be interested in brewing and you may think they don't want to hear about your geekery but I think we all understand that it's very positive to have something fulfilling to focus on and just enjoy in our own way. So talk about it! It's attractive to be passionate about something! Just try not to get too geeky, unless he/she likes that.
Also, if you're going to put a lot of energy into something just for fun, you'd better be an energetic person! If I'm going to neglect my wife for a Saturday marathon brewday, I'll spend the previous day vacuuming the house, washing windows, etc. and I'll make sure I have dinner in the crockpot and then gice her a backrub to boot. Always better to pay it forward. And "thank you" doesn't hurt either!
Anyway, my point is, it's easy to get wrapped up in our obsessions and neglect the ones we love. So be passionate, be grateful, be generous, be energetic, be kind, and don't take your loved ones for granted. Good beer brought me to this community and good vibes kept me here. Peace.