Balance is critical. Just like in cooking, where the right amount of acid and salt compliments the sweetness in a dish (or ruins it if you add too much or too little!), a couple must balance their “togetherness” and their “separateness” in order to achieve a healthy relationship. And yet so many couples seem to have a hard time finding this middle ground.
Most relationship experts will tell you that there’s no exact quantity of time that constitutes the “right” or “perfect” amount of time that a couple should spend together or apart in order to achieve this healthy relationship. And that’s because there isn’t – it’s different for each person, and each relationship.
Couples who are never apart often become unhappy in their relationships
You’ve seen them before… the couple who goes everywhere together, does everything together, and finishes each other’s sentences. Cute? Maybe. But in all likelihood, it’s also unhealthy. Couples who don’t have individual friendships, or hobbies, or even just things that they do alone or apart from each other, rarely have completely healthy relationships.
Couples who’re never together rarely survive in their relationships
Conversely, couples whose lives coexist but don’t intersect, have a very high rate of failure. Spouses who live like roommates, leaving notes for each other or exchanging brief snippets of information in passing, without ever making time to be together, aren’t living in a healthy relationship either.
Work and kids and all of life’s other commitments can be very time consuming. But if the last time you and your spouse spent any one-on-one time together was weeks or months ago, you have problem. And no, sleeping in the same bed doesn’t count as “together time”!
Believe it or not, there’s a science to “together time”
John Gottman, a research scientist whose focus has been the science of relationships, says that couples in successful relationships spend about 12 to 15 hours together weekly. And by together, he means wide awake, with the T.V. turned off and your phone put down. Sound like a lot? It is. And for some, especially those with demanding careers and families with little children, this can seem like a ridiculously unattainable goal.
You need to figure out what works for your relationship
However, the goal here is to find something that meets both your needs – the need for together time to strengthen your marriage, and the need for alone time or time apart from each other that supports your individuality as a person. In order to be successful in this area, you and your spouse have to do some serious thinking about yourselves, and what you need and want (but don’t confuse the two – they are not the same thing!). Then you’ll need to spend some time talking it over in order to reach a mutually agreeable solution.
Not every relationship survives the test of time (and togetherness)
Join us next time, when we’ll be talking about some possible solutions to this dilemma, and discussing options that’ll help you and your spouse find the balance that works for your marriage. Until then, if you and your spouse just can’t seem to find that sweet spot, and your marriage doesn’t seem worth saving, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 today. Our skilled family lawyers can help you work through every aspect of your divorce.