The Secret to Making Your Marriage Last

“I need space.”

At some point in our lives many of us have either heard these words or said them to someone else. What usually followed was a breakup and depending on who did the breaking up, some tears, and perhaps some retail therapy or watching sappy love movies on television while in your pajamas all day.  However, in a marriage, space means something completely different. In my own experience it means a chance to be awesome at life as an individual. By awesome I mean, a chance for you to develop and pursue your own interests, relax and recharge or do whatever it is that makes you feel good about you. It helps you to be a better version of you. The payoff, and there are many, is that not only are you often happier and more satisfied with your life but you end up being a better partner.

And yet as glorious as being a better version of me sounds I suck at taking time for myself.  I just do.

As it turns out, having space in your relationship may be even more valuable to your relationship than “a good sex life.” Research has shown that couples where each spouse felt like they had both a sense of privacy and time for themselves were more likely to stay together.

No Duh! You might say. But it is easier said than done. For some of us anyway.

Here’s the thing, we know we need space and that it is a good thing. But, as this article notes, often times us women are less likely to get it. We are reported to have less time to ourselves than men. Even if we work outside the home, we spend a large amount of time caring for our loved ones, communicating with our friends and planning various events. I know a lot of that is by choice but regardless it is less time we have for ourselves and for many of us, more time spent trying to make the people we love happy.

Some of us (me!) struggle to pull ourselves away from our families, even just for a little bit. With a new little one in the home, I am exhausted but at the same time I don’t want to miss a moment because I know how quickly time flies. I’ve also got an eight year old and with each passing day I wonder when she will stop thinking I am the coolest person eveeeer.  Then there’s my husband. I’ve been working to love him better and making our relationship more of a priority which means I also want to spend time with him.  There are only so many hours in the day but a lasting marriage (not to mention your sanity) is a pretty convincing reason to unplug, at least for a little while.

Even if you can’t necessarily leave the house or aren’t ready to or wanting to (new mamas or mamas with littles maybe?) there are things we can do to have a little space of our own while at home. Examples of such are an uninterrupted bubble bath (make sure that bathroom door has locks otherwise it will be interrupted, particularly if you have little ones at home) or some time spent reading your favorite blogs while drinking coffee before everyone wakes up in the morning.

Although girl’s nights are fun and important if things don’t work out to have one, we’ve still got to find a way to fly solo from time to time, even if it’s just for an hour.

For some suggestions on how to go about getting some space be sure to read the article (Tip: Don’t turn to your partner and declare “I need space!”). In the meantime, what are things you do to ensure that you and your spouse have some space and do you agree, is time spent apart more important than time spent making love? Does the saying absence makes the heart grow fonder apply when it comes to having space?

Photo Source: iStockphoto



Article Posted 4 years Ago

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