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How to Get Personal Space


Parents and baby girl (9-12 months) in bedroom, man holding head
Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Craving some space in your marriage? Don't feel badly. Most do. Marriage experts spend lots of time telling you about the quality time you should spend with your spouse. But they barely ever tell you about the alone time you need. Space is actually necessary in marriage. Without it, you will suffocate each other, grow to resent one another, and probably argue - a lot.

You need space to pursue your own interests and passions, so that when you return to one another, you have something interesting to discuss, you've grown and gained confidence, and you can better contribute to the relationship. You need space to rest and relax. Alone time allows you to shut off whatever is stressing you out, think, and gain perspective. Space also helps you strategize your career, get over arguments with your spouse and others, and contemplate what's important to you. Of course, you need space to be away from your spouse, so you can miss one another. Just how do you find the time for this space and what do you do with it exactly? Here are some suggestions:

Morning and Evening Rituals

You and your spouse probably have your own routines when you first wake up or when you're getting ready to go to bed. Carve some time for yourself - even if it's just five minutes - to meditate, read, or watch a TV show all by yourself. Light some candles and take a bath alone if you can. If you have kids, take 10 or 15 minutes for yourself after they've fallen asleep. Have tea in the kitchen with nothing but your thoughts and maybe a cookie. Do whatever it is that makes you happy and allows you to recharge your batteries.

Lunch Break

Most people are not used to eating alone. But it doesn't have to be torture. Once in a while, you can eat lunch at a cafe or even a restaurant by yourself and the world won't end. Promise. You might even like it. Order something you enjoy, bring an e-reader or laptop or book and get reacquainted with yourself. Spend some time while eating perusing your favorite blog, playing your favorite virtual game, or reading a trashy romance novel, whatever your pleasure.

Night Out with Friends

Who says you have to be alone to get space from your spouse? Go out with your friends. Shopping, happy hour, and dinner are fun things to do, even without your spouse. Sometimes, these activities are more enjoyable with your friends, in fact. And that's all right. The key is balance. You shouldn't spend more time with your friends than your spouse. Of course, you should be careful about opposite-sex friendships that could get in the way of your marriage or hurt your spouse. Still, nurturing healthy friendships can help your marriage. Friends help you stay strong and content by providing support. They give you confidence and feed your heart, all of which contributes positively to your relationships, health, and outlook.

Take Up a Hobby

If you haven't already discovered what it is you like to do with your free time - scrapbooking, model trains, windsurfing, golf - then, take the time to find a hobby. Then, dedicate yourself to it. While some hobbies are fun to do with your spouse because you both enjoy them, you should not feel obligated to pick a hobby your spouse likes. Having your own hobby to do separate from your spouse helps you grow confident and remain your own person.

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