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Marriage indeed unifies two individuals. However, a married one sometimes cannot deny the feeling to have a personal space or me-time. It is, in fact, normal. "Physical and emotional space is a basic human need," mentioned Christopher Knippers, the author of Cultivating Confidence.
According to Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, a professor in psychology who wrote the book The Arc of Love: How Our Romantic Lives Change Over Time, no one should lose their unique identity after marriage. "Autonomy is of great value in romantic relationships. If one spends too much time with his/her beloved, it may actually decrease love," he suggested. Giving space to each other for personal space is indeed a crucial thing in a relationship.
Here are some reasons why both your partner and you need to spend me-time.
1. To put a better mindset to take care of each other Spending time alone gives you a chance to have a fresh perspective on your marriage. You don't need to wait for a conflict to be reflective, but you can also receive inspirations from thinking about the future of your relationship. Ben-Ze'ev also agreed on the idea that distance can provide a space for oneself. It can give you focus on the partner's attention on the profound aspects of marriage, and help you to disregard the superficial ones.
2. To avoid suffocating each other A marriage counselor, John Aiken, recommended couples to have their own personal space so that they don't suffocate each other. Maintaining marriage needs efforts and energy, but each of you should also better to let it flow some other times. "Having time apart is extremely healthy and keeps freshness in your relationship," he mentioned.
3. To foster independence & strength Furthermore, Aiken also mentioned that having personal space encourages each person to maintain their own sense of identity while still being a couple. Besides, you and your partner will foster independence and strength. Neediness is not recommended in any relationship. "When two people assume all their needs are going to be fulfilled through each other, the relationship is set up for disappointment, and ultimately a failure," Knippers advice.
4. Less bored Boredom is a normal thing, and it doesn't mean that you both are going to leave each other. To spice things up, do your hobbies or activities that have been your great interest. "When partners have their own set of interests, friends, and time for self, that makes them happier and less bored," Terri Orbuch mentioned in her book Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship.
5. To develop a personal, social, and spiritual health Spending your time to socialize out of the house not only decreases boredom in marriage but also contribute to new knowledge. You will have various topics to share and tell your partners. Your social and spiritual skill will be more matured, as well.
How to say to your partner that you need a me-time without offending him? Here are some tips that might help you.
1. Don't keep secrets Share what activities you might be doing on that day and tell him when to expect your return. This will make your partner feeling appreciated.
2. Choose the right words and moment Avoid moments that involve negative emotions. Use "I" perspective, instead of "you," with a neutral explanation so that your partner is willing to compromise.
3. Don't feel guilty It is a natural thing if you feel needing a me-time, especially if the goal is to maintain a healthy marriage. Don't be liable and try to enjoy the time of your own.