Marriage Mondays: Time Alone

Sorry this post is late! But let's face it. It's Memorial Day, and half of you are probably shoving burgers and hot dogs in your mouth. Unless you're me. If you're me, today is all about the Law & Order marathon on TNT and a pile of work. Plus a couple of errands thrown in for good measure. And perhaps a nap somewhere around 4ish.

Yesterday, I hung out in the bedroom all day watching movies while A.P. was in the living room watching cable and hanging out with the dog. Which made me think, "People who saw this right now would think we hate each other!" A whole day off, and we spend it in separate rooms doing things alone. In fact, a lot of people make fun of us because we spend so much time together, but alone. For instance, most nights, A.P. comes home from work, and I am on the couch. I'm either working on real work, or working on blogging. I usually put that aside for an hour or two and hang out with him. We talk about our day and whatever else. Then, he walks the dog, makes phone calls to his family, and I get back into work. We watch some TV, or just have it on as background noise and we're each on our laptops (We did this in Florida a couple of times, and A.P.'s father made fun of us.). Sometimes this setup annoys me. Sometimes I want A.P.'s attention and I get angry that he gets sucked into his computer and the internet and seems to ignore me. Most of the time, though, I like our lives. I like that we live together, but do things separately.

There are some couples who wouldn't be able to handle this, but I think a lot of couples are like this. Maybe they don't spend time on their computers, but they spend time separately...together. They have other hobbies: crafting, knitting, web design, whatever. They are together for some portion of their night, but the rest of the time is spent separately, working on things that make them happy.

I sometimes see those huggy, kissy couples on the town. They are fawning all over each other, and giggling. I don't get it. It's not in my DNA, I think, to be that girl. I dated one guy who I was like that with, and it felt fun, but immature. This feels real. It feels grownup, and our time alone helps make that successful. I wouldn't be able to be in a relationship with someone who demanded 100% of my attention, 100% of the time. The only way that would work is if the other person in the relationship was a child, and even then, I'd be passing off that child to the husband a lot of the time, too.

When I first moved in with A.P., this setup bothered me. It felt like we were drifting apart. Then I realized: I will always need some time alone, and I will always have other interests besides work and my boyfriend/husband that will fill that time. Not only is this time important, but it makes me feel satisfied with my life.

Years ago, I was reading an article in a magazine about couples who were living their marriages their way. There was one woman who was renting a studio apartment. She wasn't divorcing her husband, or leaving him. She just wanted space separate from her husband and family. I remember thinking that was crazy, that they were doomed to fail. Now, I am jealous of that woman! A whole apartment of her own personal space? And her husband was okay with that? Sign me up! This is also why, btw, I think I enjoyed the second Sex and the City movie so much, while the critics panned it. I related to that strong desire to figure out how to be alone and together. I loved that Carrie still has her apartment, too! How fabulous! And I loved Big's idea of some time alone, some together. Though spending the night apart wouldn't have appealed to me.

Do/Did/Will you spend time alone or apart from your significant other? How do you feel about it? Take the poll below to see how you compare to other NTMK readers!


  1. I voted yes. Together alone is something I enjoy a lot and definitely need, even though like you said, you don't always feel the need at the same time and it can be frustrating but yes, I do feel it's necessary.

  2. i voted no. i may be interpreting this wrong but i feel like we need time every day to connect back together. although i would never ever deny him his surfing and i better get time off with the girls. but that time every night to check in? very important. i think you do really have to create your own private world and there are lots of other worlds out there to get sucked into. so you make sure yours is really nice.

  3. We have alone time but it is mostly on the weekend, or on nights when the other has something scheduled. During the week we usually spend our evenings together, since we don't really have that much time to spend.

  4. I voted YES, but then again we're not married so maybe I shouldn't have voted! lol

  5. Dude and I are similar to you and AP in the regard that we enjoy a lot of "separate togetherness." We also sleep in separate beds on occasion, usually as a result of his allergies acting up, which results in him snoring. I don't think I will EVER be one of those women who gets used to the sound of snoring and/or can't sleep if her husband isn't in the bed with her, because you know what? I LOVE having the whole bed to myself!


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