Welcome back and thanks for joining us again for this discussion on how spending some time apart can actually help strengthen your marriage. And no, we don’t mean a period of separation, we just mean regularly pursuing your own hobbies, interests and friendships, outside of your spouse. If you’re just joining us now, please take a moment to get caught up, otherwise, let’s pick up where we left off last time…
Relationship experts call it “mutuality” and “individuality”
Finding that happy medium between alone time and together time is referred to as the balance between mutuality and individuality. But what does that really mean, and how on earth do you achieve it? Don’t worry – it sounds more complicated than it is. Mutuality simply means “togetherness” within the context of a marriage, while individuality refers to that which separates you and makes you different from your spouse.
Both are important to the health of your marriage, but how do you find the right balance? The truth is, there are a lot of factors to consider. Also, every relationship is different, so there’s no exact formula that’ll work for everyone. However, here are a few points to consider when trying to find a healthy balance in your marriage.
Mismatched social needs are sometimes a problem
One struggle than many couples encounter is discovering that their social needs are mismatched. One will want three or four nights out with friends per week, while the other is content with a once weekly social commitment. This is very common and not too hard to get around – it simply requires three things to work:
- both spouses must clearly communicate their social needs,
- Both spouses must respect each other’s desires, and
- Both spouses must be willing to meet in the middle on an arrangement that works for both of them.
How you build your support network can create issues
Another issue that couples face is that women often rely on their friends and extended family for emotional support and social connection, while men tend to rely on their wives for that same connection and support. For some this isn’t a problem, while for others it may be an issue. Only a jealous or controlling spouse expects their partner to give up close friendships. In a healthy marriage, there are ways to be emotionally available to each other without compromising outside relationships.
Make sure you reconnect with each other regularly
Another way to build mutuality in a marriage, is establishing regular connection. Touching base a couple of times a day, even if it’s just a quick call, or a few lines in a text message, will help to promote bonding and a sense of togetherness. Also, pay attention to reunion after time apart. At the end of the day when you come home from work and see your spouse for the first time all day, take a moment to greet them, make eye contact and share a quick hug or a kiss. Bonding rituals bring you together, both physically and mentally, even just for a moment, go a long way towards re-establishing your connection.
Not all relationships will survive the test of time (and time apart)
Studies have shown that couples who take time to give one another a place of importance in their daily lives, have a greater chance of success. On the flip side, couples who honor each other’s individuality and need for space, also have a greater chance of marital success. The key is communication and respect. Talk to each other, discuss what you’d like and what you’re willing to settle for if your desires conflict with your spouse’s. Remember, if you want your marriage to succeed, you have to be willing to prioritize it.
However, if your relationship doesn’t seem like it’s going to succeed, and you’re considering ending your marriage, come in and talk to our experienced divorce lawyers. At The Kronzek Firm, we’ve helped countless people navigate their divorces over the years, and we can help you too. Call us today at 866 766 5245 and talk to someone who can help you.