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Your Spouse Needs Space, And So Do You: How To Find Balance

Sad-CoupleOne of the hardest things to live up to when getting married is the old adage that “two become one.” This has been misinterpreted over the millennia to mean that you no longer exist as a separate entity. Unfortunately, such talk can be dangerous if taken too literally. The reality is that your spouse needs space, and so do you, especially if you plan on strengthening the family unit.

By acting as individuals, you both can bring an element of surprise and excitement to the marriage that always keeps things fresh. You’ll also be able to conquer challenges that you may not have been able to handle on your own, as seen when one spouse is able to get their partner through a death in the family or serious illness.

But how do you find balance for your lives, where you can get the space that you need without sacrificing the marriage?

1. Start with schedules. Time gets harder to come by once kids enter the mix, and if you’re not doing something to stay organized, then you’re going to let a lot of opportunities for Me Time and Together Time pass by the wayside. So map out your week. You don’t have to get too detailed. Just know where your work obligations are, as well as your parental obligations and your spousal obligations. From there, look for gaps in the schedule and plan on doing something that you enjoy.

2. Plan your thing. My wife works early mornings to afternoon. Sometimes she’s out of the house by 6:40am. My schedule, because of childcare, doesn’t allow me to work until afternoons and evenings. Many times it is hard for us to see each other during the week, so the weekend is our sanctuary. That means we plan the lion’s share of our time together for Saturday and Sunday. She’s fulfilling her work obligations while I’m being a parent, I’m fulfilling mine while she’s being a parent, and since we’re on different sleep schedules at this point, we both get Me Time when our little one is asleep. Without structure, we wouldn’t be able to find time for everything, but that structure also lets us know when our space will come, and it gives us something to look forward to when we’re working. Planning — can’t stress it enough.

3. Make one-on-one time a priority. Be careful not to spend too much time together “as a family.” That sounds awful to type that, but it’s really true. Children will not allow you to tap in to that dating side that you both so desperately need to make your marriage last. While you want to be there for them as a source of support, don’t do it at the expense of the relationship that you enjoyed before your children came along. It can be work to manage all of it, but it’s work that usually pays off in a long-lasting and healthy marriage.

Do you think personal space is important to a healthy marriage? How do you spend your Me Time?

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