Do you remember the beginning of your marriage when you couldn’t wait to get off work and finish all your chores so you could see each other?
That’s the power of being apart.
Then, when you get together you don’t want silly issues to infect the time you have together so you both try a little harder and are on a little bit better behavior.
If that sounds superficial to you, you couldn’t be more wrong.
There is power in being apart, not just for your relationship together, but for your own mental health and well being.
You Both Need Your Own Space
Some people get married and seem to think no one needs their own space. In the “old” days men got their “man cave” and women, unfortunately, had the kitchen or a maybe a sitting room as their space. Also, people did not always sleep in the same bedroom at night.
They had time to read a book before sleep and could choose to join their spouse or not. This alone time is imperative if you want to live for a long time with your spouse. Studies have shown that long marriages of 30 or more years relate their success to time apart and being able to enjoy and do their own things.
You Should Keep Having Your Own Thoughts
This might seem pretty obvious, but oftentimes when people get married the “alpha” in the relationship starts overpowering the more submissive partner. This isn’t always done on purpose. It’s just kind of the natural order of things.
However, you can prevent it from happening if you know it might. If you’re the dominant one in the relationship, make sure to give your spouse room to keep having their own thoughts by encouraging them and complementing them.
Someone Else Can’t Make You Happy
It might seem strange to say it, especially when you think of how happy your spouse made you in the beginning of your relationship. But the truth is it’s not the spouse that’s making you happy so much as it is your better self, coming out when you’re around the right people. You must be happy with yourself before you can truly be happy with someone else.
Separate Interests Give Spouses Conversational Material
If you do literally everything together you are going to run out of things to talk about. The best way to cure this problem is to start doing things separately outside of work such as a course, a club, or another activity that you enjoy. Then when you’re back with your spouse you’ll have so much more to tell them and to share with them about your day.
Have Respect for Your Spouse’s Privacy
It’s a common joke about married couples who use the toilet in front of each other, fart, and other such things. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but why not keep some things private? If you don’t want to keep that private at least have some area of the home that you can enjoy without being interrupted.
The Word Alone is Not Negative
One thing you have to realize is that the word “alone” is really not negative. Even if you’re married you can go to a movie along, or go to dinner, or even to a piano bar for a drink. You don’t have to do everything with your spouse. However, do discuss your activity so that you both agree on what is allowed.
You And Your Spouse Are Not Siamese Twins
The fact is you and your spouse aren’t stuck together day and night. You can have your own email address, your own Facebook page, your own things, space and time. It’s perfectly okay and not only that research has shown that couples who can do things uncoupled have longer and happier marriages.
A few ideas of what to do alone are:
Take a Course – You don’t even have to leave the house to do it, you can take online courses nowadays, but consider going to a class outside of your home with other people. Being able to meet more people and widen your circle of friends will be a good thing for your life and your marriage.
Join a Book Club – If you like reading, and discussing what you read with others, consider joining a book club. Not only will this ensure that you stick to a reading schedule but help you get more out of the book.
Write a Journal or Blog – Journaling privately, or publicly in the form of a blog can be a great way to work out your feelings about your experiences in life. Just be careful if it’s public to get your spouse’s and other people’s permission to share private information if you use real names.
Sign Up for Yoga – Yoga is a great way to get exercise as well as encourage calmness. It’s kind of a mixture of meditation and stretching exercises. Many people swear by Yoga for helping them get healthy.
Learn to Meditate – Taking the time to center yourself each day before you start your day and as you end your day is a good way to encourage happiness and good decision making.
Take up Painting – If you’re artistic, sometimes doing that can take the place of any other type of alone time you want to experience. Any arts and crafts can do wonders for your mood and life.
Remember these ideas are not an excuse to neglect your spouse. Quite the contrary, taking an hour or so a day for your own interests will only make the time you share much better. You’ll come back together and share the experience, giving you more conversational topics.
You’ll also have a lot wider view of the world and who is in it. You’ll feel fortunate to go home each night to your best friend with a rejuvenated spirit.
If you’re not sure how to start separating yourself from your spouse’s hip, try taking the time to research some things you’ve always wanted to do. Both of you should make separate lists of things you’ve always wanted to do.
Then, find the things that you each want to do that the other did not list. Then make time to do it. You can do it alone, or with other friends, but not together. After you’ve done the thing, have a nice dinner date so that you have time to talk about it.