It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for five years or fifty, if you have six children or none at all, if your house is big or small–every couple needs a little alone time away from each other every now and then. This isn’t a bad thing–it’s simply a fact of life!
Alone time allows you relax, regroup and refocus. It allows you to pursue interests the other isn’t enthusiastic about. It allows you make other friends, and it gives you more to talk about when you’re together. It helps you appreciate the time you have together more, since you aren’t constantly breathing down each other’s necks all of the time!
How Much Alone Time Do You Really Need As A Couple?
Every couple needs some amount of alone time; the question is: How much alone time do you really need?
Obviously, the answer will vary for every couple. Some couples can work side-by-side all day and still enjoy each other’s company in the evening. Others, introverts especially, really need extra time by themselves. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The best solution, then, is to find out how much alone time YOU need. You can do that by asking yourself these five questions.
1. How Do I Feel When We Spend Time Together?
You just finished putting the kids to bed and you can tell your husband wants to spend some time with you. What is your initial reaction? Are you excited to finally spend some alone time together, or would you rather just crash on the couch by yourself? If you generally enjoy your spouse and his company, you may need a little more time to yourself.
2. How Do I Feel When We Spend Time Apart?
Fast forward an hour or two. Your husband is doing his own thing and you’ve had a little time to relax. Do you start to miss him and wonder what he’s up to? Or are you secretly glad he’s busy doing something else so you can relax by yourself? Take note of when your feelings start to change. This can be a good indicator to let you know exactly how much time you need.
3. Are There Other Issues that are Causing Me to Feel this Way?
Of course, often times, it isn’t just the amount of time you spend together that determines how you feel about spending time with your husband. If you are fighting or don’t have any interests in common, those can dramatically affect how you feel as well. Take a minute to really think about why you do or don’t want to spend time together. Is something going on, or do you simply just need to recharge by yourself and that’s it?
4. How Can I Better Enjoy the Times We Have Together?
If your honest answers to question number three are less than pretty, it’s time to put in the hard work. Maybe you need to fight through your feelings to sit down and really talk, or maybe you need to find more interests that you have in common. Whether you spend a little or a lot of time together, you want your time together to be as enjoyable and relaxing as possible.
5. How Much Time Do I Really Have?
While the first four questions are a great way to determine just how much time you’d ideally like to spend together, unfortunately sometimes life and busy schedules get in the way. When this happens, it’s time to ask yourself question number five: How much time do I really have?
Are you so busy driving the kids around, working, cleaning or pursuing other hobbies that you simply don’t have any time or energy left to hang out together at the end of the night? While it is normal to have exceptionally busy times in your life, if you find that this is always happening, it may be time to make a change. Your spouse should be either top of your priority list or very close to it. If he’s not, it’s time to let some other things go.
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