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Any marriage counselor or happily married couple will tell you that it’s just as important to spend quality time apart as together. When you get married, you agree to spend a lifetime together. But this doesn’t mean holding each other’s hand as you go about your daily life.
And it certainly shouldn’t mean intruding or imposing your presence on the private and particular hobbies of your spouse.
Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of quality time apart, indulging in hobbies without seeking out each other. It’s natural to have different interests, and trying to force them into alignment with each other will add stress to any relationship.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a little list of tips regarding the best way to facilitate this time apart. My husband indulges in several hobbies that— let’s face it— just don’t interest me.
But over time, we’ve developed a mature and loving way of dealing with our unshared interests.
Plan your time apart. It may sound obvious, but if you’re in the middle of an argument and your husband decides it’s suddenly hobby time, it can feel like a personal attack.
Plan ahead and fully acknowledge when your hobby time will be. Add it to your calendar with the rest of your schedule.
This will allow you to understand that this time alone exists independently of any quarrel or issue you may be having. Most importantly, it also establishes it as a constant in both of your lives.
Separate Time Means Separate Space
Put aside separate space for your hobbies. Time apart does not just mean time spent doing different things in the same room.
It means having some literal space from your partner (and children) where you can be completely alone.
In the case of my husband, a hobby space is particularly necessary. I don’t want to be tripping over and ruining his Warhammer miniatures or vintage baseball cards every time I come through my front door.
(We have the kids and cats for that)
That said, even if your favorite pastime is something as simple and minimal as reading, you should set aside a separate space for it. To have alone time, you actually need to be physically alone.
With different hobbies and interests, it’s natural that you and your loved one won’t share the same circle of friends. This can sometimes be a source of tension.
Just remember that time apart is essential. Understand, spending time with others who share in your interests is healthy, and this may not be your spouse all the time.
This can be hard, as your partner would rather spend time with someone else. But the most mature strategy is to understand that you both have emotional, private, and social lives outside of the relationship.
That said, if you have concerns, communicate with your partner because as everyone will always tell you, communication is vital. Remember these tips, and you’re sure to have a happy and mature relationship!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.