5 Reasons Happy Couples Should Spend Time Apart – Guest post by Tara Mohr

by Josh Hanagarne on April 3, 2010

A question: Is it healthy for couples to spend time apart?

My husband has been away on a three-week trip for work, literally on the other side of the world. We’ve never been apart this long during our ten years together.
By Tara Mohr

I love my husband. He’s the most amazing man. I’ve missed him a lot. And when he gets home, I’m going to suggest to him that every couple years, we spend a few weeks apart.

Here’s why:

1. Real Connection

During his time away, I started to think about the difference between blending and connecting. Connecting is, by definition, what happens when two different entities meet.

Over many years together, we—like so many other couples—had slipped into a mode of blending or merging—each person’s preferences and routines and being blurred with the other’s. This is comfortable, but it isn’t exciting, and it actually precludes connection. Think about it: two things that are blended together quite literally cannot connect.

During our time apart, both he and I re-centered in ourselves as individuals, laying the foundation for connection.

2. The People We Love

I got to see anew just how fabulous my friends are. I expected that I would spend more time with them while my husband was away, but I surprised to find that our time together was much higher quality than usual, because I was bringing more attention and energy to it.

As my husband travelled, he nurtured relationships and made new friends as well. This makes me very happy. I know from the scientific research that strong social bonds enhance not only happiness but also health and longevity. Of course I want all of that for him.

Plus, the stronger his friendships, the more I get to be me. The stronger my friendships, the more he gets to be himself. I can do art with my art buddies and he can go see Avatar with someone who actually wants to see it. When we aren’t looking to one another fill all of our social needs, we appreciate each other for who we are. We can connect rather than blend.

3. We See Unconscious Compromises

I knew I had made many unconscious compromises as my husband and I had lived a shared daily life for ten years, and I wanted to see what those were. When would I want to go to bed? When would I wake up? Would I spend my time differently? Would I be more focused or less? How would my mood be different?

I did end up getting on a different schedule, eating different foods, changing my workout patterns, and feeling much more independent. I rediscovered some of my own rhythms. Now I get to decide what I want to tweak in my routine going forward.

4. We Remembered How to…

My husband and I reject traditional gendered roles as much as possible, but we also specialize in tasks at home. He’s in charge of all things electronic, I’m in charge of all things social (sadly stereotypical, I know). I do groceries, he does mail. Etcetera.

Living alone, I did it all. (The cosmos itself seems to be very supportive of this project, since every time my husband boards a plane, a fuse blows, the modem commits mysterious acts, or the car begins roaring when in reverse. I deal. Well, I panic and then I deal.)

It’s important that I actually know what to do when these kinds of things happen. It’s quite lovely to feel like (or even be, perhaps) an autonomous adult. And it is important to me personally to know that my husband is my husband, not my husband/mechanic/IT support. Which brings me to my next point.

5. We Both Know We’d Be Just Fine

Because I feel so good when I’m around my husband, because he brings a lot of happiness into my life, I can understand how my brain concludes that if he weren’t there, I wouldn’t—or couldn’t—feel good. But I learned (and I wasn’t sure after ten years of coupled living) that’s I’m a very happy, well-functioning individual on my own. I am also very in love with my husband, a man who makes me very happy. Both are true. I don’t want to bring a spirit of needing or dependence into my relationship, so for me, knowing that I am just fine on my own is important.

So yes, I am recommending that if all this strikes a chord in you, you set up some intentional time apart from your darling. (And if you are someone whose partner is frequently away, what about consciously trying to use that time to strengthen yourself and the relationship?)

Yup, It Is A Little Scary

If you are feeling a little nervous about intentional time apart, I think that’s pretty normal. After all, it does entail leaving the familiar. Perhaps you are worried that one of you will conclude that time apart was better than time together. Maybe this just seems like dangerous rocking the boat. But on the other hand, this is your life. Aren’t you curious to see what is revealed when you shake things up?

You can use everything you learn (yes, absolutely everything) to make your relationship better. Just hold that as your intention, don’t get into blame, and use all your fabulous communication skills in the debrief discussions.

Up for it? Is time apart good for a relationship?

Love,

Tara

About The Author:

Tara Mohr writes about simple, compassionate, beautiful living at www.wiselivingblog.com. She loves poets, oceans, San Francisco cafes and the sound of 5 a.m.

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Fallen Monkey April 3, 2010 at 5:01 am

I whole-heartedly agree. Interesting that I should be reading this while my husband is presently away for a few days. He’s on a biking trip with friends, which I don’t begrudge him, nor did I feel the need to invite myself along as it seems so many other significant others do when the guys just want to go away to ski or the like. He actually used to be bummed out over the fact that I don’t, for example, ski, nor really care to just for the sake of our being able to do it together. I told him it’s healthy for us to have separate interests, and, besides, I do a fabulous job of sitting in a cozy ski-town pub with a hot toddy while he’s on the slopes :)

I’ve worried sometimes that I’m autonomous to a fault having lived alone for several years before getting married–it’s overall still something I embrace and insist on, but I’ve also wanted my husband to feel appreciated and needed as well. We moved overseas within three months of our wedding, which really magnified that choice I’d made between him and life as I knew it before committing to him, and my initially homesick self flew home solo for extra visits without so much as even missing him. That is why I say my autonomy concerned me. Really, though, it was just a matter of more time getting transitioned, growing into each other and connecting, as you say, and I’ve reached the point now where it’s like that “It Had to Be You” lyric about being “glad just to be sad thinking of you.” It’s a lovely feeling knowing I miss him when we’re apart now, and lovelier still that feeling can still coexist with my usual contentment with alone-time. A lot of my interests are very solitary in nature–e.g. reading and writing–so it’s essential to have that time alone, and I’m never at a loss for entertaining myself. With the initial panic over all the compromise that marriage entails behind me, it’s a comfort knowing that not all routines I’d carved out for myself need be lost.

And what’s even better than my own selfish indulgences is knowing that I’m excited for him when he can be away doing the things he’s passionate about as well. He’s fulfilling a dream right now biking through France like his Tour de France heroes, and I think that’s awesome. I don’t need to shoulder my way into all of his doings; instead, I look forward to when he returns and we can excitedly share with each other all we independently accomplished this weekend and then revel in how nice it is to be together again.

Thank you for sharing your insights, Tara!

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Tara Mohr April 3, 2010 at 10:49 am

Really interesting!
What struck me about the first part of your comment is how it highlighted all the shoulds we all carry around – if I love this person then I should….miss them…feel this way when we are apart…want to go on those trips with them…etc. We all have the shoulds – from societal norms, the movies, our own families, whatever – about what it looks like to be in love or be a good couple. And of course, the truth is much more rich and diverse and individual than that.

It’s great to hear how you have nurtured your solitary interests and found a way to keep them a part of your life i your marriage. My experience is that we can only bring our best, happiest, most generous selves to our relationship when we are also doing those things that nurture and inspire us.

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Hillary April 3, 2010 at 7:14 am

I couldn’t agree more! Even though we always resist having to be away from each other the times that we have always create such strength and rekindle some passions.

Thanks for sharing Tara :)

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Tara Mohr April 3, 2010 at 10:20 am

Glad you enjoyed this Hilary! I agree – we resist this but it really does offer so many gifts.
Warmly, Tara

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Greg April 3, 2010 at 8:42 am

I agree that happy couples shouldn’t need to be co-dependent, and should have interests away from another. But I’m not sure I agree that spending long periods (weeks) away from one another is the best way to build a “stronger” relationship.

My parents got married when they were teenagers, and the first time they spent a night away from one another after being married wasn’t until they were in their late 30′s. That was hard on them.

My job requires me to travel, and I know being away from home is terribly unpleasant. For me. My wife. And our kids. Does it make me “appreciate” them more? Sure. Being separated for 5-10 days at a time, unable to sleep next to my wife, kiss her goodnight, and tuck my kids into bed inevitably makes me treasure my time with them more.

But does it make our relationship stronger? I don’t think so.

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Giulietta the Muse April 3, 2010 at 9:08 am

Hi Tara,

I agree with you! It’s important to be your own person. It makes for a happy relationship, one based on mutual respect, aliveness, not co-dependency or co-fear of being alone.

People find the most meaning in their lives when they find their true genius and put it to work. It’s being in the “life”-zone. Always being together with your mate makes it hard to do that. If my husband doesn’t want to be an oil painter, does that mean I can’t be?

Each couple has to find their own right together-part formula. There’s no right or wrong.

My husband and I spend a lot of time together. We also spend time part pursuing our own interests.

You may like my post from last week.
But we have to save the men too!

Enjoy life!

Giulietta

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Tara Mohr April 3, 2010 at 10:03 am

Giulietta,
Thanks for your comment. Yes, this was one of the things that emerged during time apart for us – real ample space to do our “real work” – the work we love and feel called to do. That put both of us in a state of energy and flow that only enriched our connection. I also love your point that every couple has their right together-apart balance – and I would add that that balance changes during different phases of the relationship.
I did check out your post on your blog and thought it was fabulous. Also your River article at Skirt! So beautiful. You are a beautiful writer and I look forward to reading more from you.
Warmly, Tara

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Tara Mohr April 3, 2010 at 10:19 am

Greg,

Thanks for your comments! I do think it can feel difficult – as you mention it did for your parents. But I don’t think that’s bad. Sometimes the difficulty comes from being in the unfamiliar territory of being on your own after not being used to it, from leaving the usual pattern. On many days I found it excruciating! But I’m glad I went through that, because it helped me reconnect to my whole, adult self.

That being said,I don’t think that time apart is inherently good. I think it can be used for the good, if one or both people decide to use it to strengthen their autonomy, pursue individual interests, deepen other relationships, or use it in whatever other creative ways they feel will be enriching.

But to your point about your own experience with travel, I wouldn’t want to argue that more time apart is better – just that some time apart is a wonderful (but not easy), needed balance to couples’ shared lives.

Warmly, Tara

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Logan Christopher April 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

I love that passage. Mirrors what you are saying Tara albeit in a different manner.

-Logan

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Josh Hanagarne April 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Logan, I love it that you know Gibran.

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Tara Mohr April 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

Thanks Logan. So beautiful. Spaces in togetherness.

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Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey April 3, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Interesting concept Tara!

Although I’m not married I can understand the point you are making. This reminds me of a great saying: “Absence makes the heart grow funder!” Great post!!

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Tara Mohr April 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

Thanks Jarrod, glad you enjoyed it!

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Erin Elberson April 4, 2010 at 5:54 am

Wonderful read. My fiance is a firefighter, and so we know that every 3rd day he will be gone for 24 hours. I can plan ahead to have “me” time, whether it’s get extra work done, whiten my teeth and put on a silly looking hair and face mask, or plan time with friends. Every year he also has a trip with the guys. This time definitely leads us to be more wholly ourselves, which then translates to being more wholly together. A good friend of mine, after getting divorced, explained to me that she lost herself in her husband. I can imagine that would be the greatest disservice to us, and our partners. Thanks for this.

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Tara Mohr April 4, 2010 at 10:20 am

Erin,
Thanks so much for your comment. It sounds like you’ve created a clear intention about using the time apart for the good – and done that very effectively.

I love your articulation of you and your husband being “more wholly yourselves” after time apart and how that allows you to be “more wholly together.” So well put.

It fascinated and surprised me to see that my husband’s and my connection didn’t become closer as we became more merged – it kind of became dulled. When we were both re-grounded in our individual selves, we could connect in a more alive, dynamic way.

I’m glad this resonated with you, and thanks for sharing your experience. Tara

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Thekla Richter April 4, 2010 at 9:40 am

Great article Tara! I think this can be even more important if you and/or your partner are introverts. Because many introverts need a lot of time inside their own heads writing, thinking and reflecting, taking space for this can be very important to happiness. It’s not a reflection on how much we love our partner. Rather, it allows us to return to them rejuvenated and share the very best of ourselves with them even more.

Time apart on a smaller scale is important too. Having some separate friends and hobbies (as well as some shared ones) and taking time to pursue them on your own now and then releases you of the need to devote some attention to your less-engaged spouse accompanying you if they aren’t as into an activity as you are. It’s very freeing and energizing to focus 100% on the activity or friend instead, and when you reunite you can take the energy from that time back to your relationship and have new stories to share, too.

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Tara Mohr April 4, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Thekla,
Thanks!

I’m a huge extrovert and my husband a pretty strong introvert, and it took me a long time to really get how important alone time is for him. Rejuvenation – as you put it -is really the right word. When we come together again after we’ve had time doing our own thing (often for him alone time and for me serious friend/social time) we are both so much more energized and appreciative of the other.

And that goes to your second point too – and I love your observation that it takes energy to engage a not-so-engaged spouse in something you’ve invited/coaxed them along to, and that takes away from being able to immerse yourself fully in the activity. Sometimes that’s just fine, but sometimes its great to go do the thing with a buddy who enjoys it as much as you, and come home inspired and full of energy and tales and all that!
Love your insights, as usual! Tara

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Srinivas Rao April 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Hey Tara,

This really struck a chord with me. I’m a big believe in balance when it comes to relationships. I’m currently single, but I had two previous girlfriends who really didn’t understand the importance of time apart. In fact, they were almost co-dependent and I realized that there’s no way this could be a healthy relationship longer term. When you spend all your time with one person, it tends to stifle your ability to grow and have experiences. I don’t think that just because you are with somebody you shouldn’t have experiences outside that person. I think time apart keeps things fresh and maintains a healthy balance. It’s interesting to see what kinds of unconscious compromises you have made because of this situation.

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Tara Mohr April 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Hey there!
Glad to hear this struck a chord with you.
So what will it look like to choose/attract/find an autonomous woman who embraces this outlook in your next relationship? What will need to be different?
I offer that as something to simmer on!
Warmly, Tara

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Randi Brenowitz April 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

We’ve been married for almost 25 years and have always lived this way. Our jobs, family obligations, and some differing interests. In addition to what you wrote so beautifully about, the thing I like most is that we get to experience the feelings associated with missing each other, looking forward to the other’s return, and the excitement of a long-awaited reunion. After 25 years, many(most?) couples no longer have that experience. It is fun to feel like young lovers even though we’ve both just turned 60.

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Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010 at 11:07 am

that’s the loveliest thought I’ve read today. Thanks Randi.

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Tara Mohr April 6, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Fabulous! Very inspiring. I think its so important to pass on teachings about this because most of the narratives we get say the more togetherness/blendedness, the better.

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jason August 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

that is so beautiful, my wife and i are having the connection problem. we have been together 15 years and we have never really had time apart. i just told her to book a ticket to go to amsterdam for a couple of weeks to be with friends she needs too find herself and i too can find myself again i think this is healthy but i am a litttle scared. but i want too be the couple that are holding hands while walking when we are old

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Patxi April 6, 2010 at 2:03 am

Most interesting and thought-inducing post, Tara. :)

I really like the idea of re-centering (thinking a lot how to include re-centering on my busy daily schedule, and not just on holidays), and also the differentiation between blending and connecting.

After becoming a dad, our lives have become much more interconnected, not only for the shared experience, but also because of the logistics nightmare of the dual-career couple with kids. When my wife is away for some time, it helps to recenter, but it also gets very demanding, so not much time available.

On the other hand, it takes some time to be able to reap the benefits: whenever she’s away, I spend two days like a disorganized emotional mess, due to the change in routine. Then I recover and start seeing some of the benefits you mention.

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Tara Mohr April 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Thanks Paxti!
Interesting. I too found the first few days to be chaotic and not-so-fun, not bc of kid logistics but just the discomfort of the change to the familiar. It took me a while to settle enough into my new reality that I could begin playing with the possibilities.

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Asatar Bair April 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Absence can indeed make the heart grow fonder.

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Shannon O | Confessions of a Loving Wife April 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Tara – I love this post. I can relate in a lot of ways. My husband often goes on business trips for 2-3 days at a time and in some ways it has really strengthened our marriage.

Sometimes I even look forward to his business trips so that I can miss him all over again.

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Tara Mohr April 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Shannon, so glad you enjoyed it. So curious about to hear more about how you feel its strengthened your relationship. Hope you will blog about this!
Tara

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Picsiechick April 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

In the first nearly 20 years of our life together, my husband worked shift work, giving us two weeks of only seeing each other at lunchtime during the week. I still think this was a marvelous gift for the depth and longevity of our marriage, as much as we had our moments of loathing it at the time.

He’s now embarking on a career in Real Estate, which, as you probably know means lots of hours working evenings and weekends, and also means lots of time spent apart again. As busy as I am working, and helping him with his new business as much as I can, I also look forward to those times apart to practice and develop skills we would never do together. We may enjoy bike ridinig together, but he’s not about to try belly dancing!

We’re still in the transition at the moment, but I believe that as our new reality starts to feel more real, we will ultimately be re-inspired in our connection.

It’s true, everyone’s together-apart balance is different, and it’s important to find a balance that works for both of you.

Hugs and butterflies,
~T~

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Tara Mohr April 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for this beautiful reflection. Really interesting to hear that even a more intensive and long-term pattern of separation enriched your relationship.
And obviously, whatever allows for belly dancing is a good thing.

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Nicole October 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I just want to thank you for this article my boyfriend just told me that he wanted some time apart for awhile and at first i was heartbroken by this. but after reading this article i really think he wants me to find my individuality again brcause it has seemed to dissappeared for awhile…but i know its because of other things going on making me feel insecure and a sense of instability which leads to me being somewhat clingy to him cause i dont want to lose him etc…but that has made him feel smothered…im on day 4 of no contact but today right now has really made me realize hes not doing this to break up with me but rather for us to have these eye opening experiences to what we want and need in our relationship. Im not dependent im strong and i know i can show him that again after all its what made him fall for me in the first place. thank you, im sick of reading other posts and articles on how space is bad or whatever that tells me that people are really really insecure with their relationship. I dont need to worry about that!

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Sarah , from London uk December 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm

My relationship has really gone downhill with my husband. We’ve only been married four years and recently he told me he blames me for having put on weight etc and for his friends not staying in touch with him as they all know by now that he’s got a moany wife like me etc, I know none of his friends have actually said that to him though, they’re way too polite. I don’t really like it at all when he spends time with friends.. If it’s work colleagues I’m worried about if one of them fancies him etc or vice versa, and if it’s his other guy mates worried about them sitting in bars looking at other women.. He doesn’t complement me at all anymore and I think maybe that’s why I’m feeling low in self esteem and every other way. He’s a dentist. I’m a lawyer though I’m unemployed at the time.

Would time apart really help? We haven’t had that much time apart (two weeks in last 4 yrs). Shall I let Hom spend Christmas alone with his family in another town this year and not go with him? It’s 3 days away.. Pls someone tell me what to do?

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Val December 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I think that by you letting him spend time away for christmas with his family is not quite addressing the issue. It seems that you are worried about people aside from his family (its his friends and coworkers) and that’s a very dangerous thing to put as a constraint in a marriage. If you trust him, there should be no worries about that. You can’t avoid if other girls like him or if his buddies are checking out other girls, but you can trust that he’ll do the right thing. You should feel comfortable with the fact that he has other people in his life that he enjoys spending time with.. on a different level. You should have the same thing with your friends. Independent time (whether it is for weeks, days, or a couple of hours) helps the relationship to grow.

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cbisme April 17, 2012 at 12:17 am

I am curious to see if your relationship is still going downhill. You see, Sarah, this article was written by a woman who hasn’t lost her husband yet. My husband died in 2009. Not until you have something like this happen, does a person find out what they are really made of…and what they are really capable of doing alone. According to this article, spending days, or even weeks, away from a partner is good? I think not. Why would someone even bother to get married in the first place? My husband and I owned a business together. We were constantly together for 30 years; we even went on business trips together. Did we have a happy, strong marriage? Yes, indeed. Did we share friends? Of course. Did he gain a lot of weight? Yes. Did I love him anyway? Yes. He even invited me to play poker and go golfing with his buddies. He went to flea markets and girly things with me. You, my dear, are an attorney…no small accomplishment. Take pride in who you are and what you have done. Remember, only you are in charge of your own happiness. If you spent last Christmas alone…never do it again…be with him or with a new partner that will not demean you. Men don’t spend time in bars for any other reason other than to get drunk, brag or chat up females. Rely on your family members and friends now…more than on someone who tries to rob you of your self-esteem. Love means…all sizes, all weaknesses and all strengths…are shared with affection. Let me know how you are doing. Carol in Illinois.

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zazi May 12, 2012 at 2:12 am

Please stop with the judgements. Not everyone is going to handle the relationship the same way – some of us really need time to breathe. Laying down a huge guilt trip about that need is just plain tacky.

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cbisme May 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Yes, indeed, some of you do. All people have different needs. Unfortunately, at the time of her posting, Sarah was in what certainly sounded like an abusive relationship. Not a judgement on my part…it seemed that she already knew it. What she speaks of has very little to do with the subject matter of the article…positive, renewing time spent apart from a partner. Hopefully, circumstances have now changed for her.

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Linda, from Seattle March 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Thank you so much for this post.
I’ve only been married 9 months but have spent most of that time struggling with the togetherness/alone time thing. I need lots of alone time.

I’ve really blended with him too much and now I am left without a lot of the friends I used to have, without the singing lessons I used to love, and without the alone time for writing which I love.

I recently discovered I’m an Empath (http://healing.about.com/cs/empathic/a/uc_empathtraits.htm) and I think this has a lot to do with it. When I’m in the same room as him, it’s very hard for me to feel like I have mental space because I focus so much on his emotions/needs. It makes me a good writer because I can easily sense things, but it’s bad for my sense of self as I live with a man for the first time ever.

He recently went away on business (10 days) and I had the exact same experience you talk about–cooked everything with onions (he hates them) and went to my old singing lessons and spent focused time with dear friends that enrich my life.

I still have a ways to go in figuring this balance out (especially since he moved to Seattle to be with me and is lacking in a social network of his own), but it’s great to know there’s a community of people who don’t feel the need to spend every second with their loved one!

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Nate August 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

Maybe I’m just insecure… but, I think that a relationship should be more than just casual friends… This really seems like setting yourself up to be let down. I mean, why even bother getting married or having a boyfriend if you dont want to spend time together? Seems to me, when your single… you can do all this with no struggle at all. I meet a chick once or twice a month.. and have a little black book. I know, you would say you are together for a deeper more meaningful relationship… but, I dunno… to me, it sounds like everyone posting here has commitment issues. Wouldn’t you have friends together? Or go on adventures together? What happen to compromising… and sacrificing? After so many years together… doesn’t your eye start to stray? Do you really think time apart is going to be a good thing at that point?

Maybe I’m missing the whole point… or my view is just invalid, and maybe I’m the one that needs to change… I’m open to all suggestions and comments… PS (I never said I was happy with how my life goes.. I would like a real relationship)

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pandadeejay October 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

My partner went out with his football buddies on a Christmas bash, whilst waiting to meet up with his friends he messaged to say he was missing me and what on earth was he doing going out, he felt like his right arm had been cut off. Within a few hours he got drunk and took someones number, this was 5 months into our relationship, we were in the process of buying a property together. He was repentant, cried, said he wished he had never gone out…. ut now can I TRUST HIM, plus he has wandering eyes and watchs porn. His first wife cheated on him and since then he has drifted from relationship to relationship – seven year itch each time! On the whole he is a good guy but his past is makes me not trust him, worse still he told me he doesn’t trust himself so won’t go out with his friends! He wants us to grow old together but if he doesn’t trust himself, how can i trust him?

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Lorelei October 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

This was incredibly enlightening. Thank you.

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Josh Hanagarne October 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Isn’t Tara a great writer!

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Matt November 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Hello,

My wife and I have been married for a little more than 2 years. We recently had a fight and we are spending 2 weeks apart. I understand that this is important because I can see how much it is helping her but I am having mood swings because I don’t get to see her or talk to her very often. Is there anything you can think of that may help me enjoy the time apart as much as she does?

I find myself just thinking about her and wondering if she is ok even though I know she is.

Thanks for your help.

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lbj November 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Very insightful. I found this website trying to find people who have experienced their own lives or the lives of their significant other to change when in a relationship. I have just entered into a relationship that is quite different from my previous one in that I feel I need that constant presence and bonding all the time, or I want it at least more than he does. It comes to the point where I lose enthusiasm for what normally makes me happy for lack of his presence. I know this isn’t healthy and I try every day to figure out why i feel that way and try and redirect my energies to something productive. I also found out that he’s pretty much cutting himself off from close friends and colleagues in that he’s communicating with them very cursorily and that I’m the only person he communicates with on a daily basis. This worries me on another level, in that he’s letting me be the be-all and end-all of his social interaction. There are many reasons for this, money being primary, and distance factoring in as well. I see him once a week, and my weeks are now consumed with expectation and excitement for that one day a week I see him. I feel like this is a great change up from my previous relationship in that every time I see him is a treat, every minute is precious, and I never take any of it for granted. If it weren’t for the inability of coping with the absence that I’m working through I’d say it was the ideal set up. It’s difficult to adjust to being away from a loved one for extended periods especially when the love is so new and still developing and exciting. But I definitely agree, the time I spend away from him gives me time to recover and not act rashly on certain decisions, or take his presence for granted. Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

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Nina May 1, 2012 at 9:30 am

Waoh!!! This is all so interesting. I think one of the main things people need to realize to make this work is first to have a stable, well founded and 50/50 relationship. Time apart can only be good if both of you behave yourselves when you are apart and also allow yourself to digest the experience and emotions you are going through. When only one partner is committed and trying to make everything work, it won’t work. Time apart gives you that minute to breathe but you can only fully take and enjoy that breath when you don’t have to worry about your partner doing something wrong. And this goes for all things, even if you guys just spend time in the house in separate rooms doing your own activities, going out with friends, reading etc. without trust and commitment you might not be able to reach your inner self because you are consumed with worry that your partner will do something wrong if left a lone for too long. So first work on your trust issues and create a solid foundation in your relationship then you can fully understand and enjoy what Tara is talking about. And please dont hold on to past issues, let the past go and move on.

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