Q&A: Wanting to do his own thing


Should I be concerned that my husband of three months no longer wants to do everything together? Since marrying in April, we’ve had the time of our lives – just the two of us. But today, he opted to go hiking with a couple of his guy friends instead of going shopping with me.

Answer: Although romance novels and poetry are marketed and sold on the idea that, “My spouse is my everything,” couples who buy into – and won’t let go of – this belief is usually doomed to be miserable. The truth is that it’s impossible for one person to meet our every need.

We’d like to share a story about a couple who once experienced this. When they were first married, they spent a lot of time together, going to secondary schools around the country to encourage youths to avoid drugs. It was a great season in their lives and – since the husband is an extrovert – he loves the constant interaction.

But the wife is an introvert. She enjoyed the work they did in schools, but she felt drained by all the people. One afternoon, she headed out the hotel door for some groceries. The husband asked to tag along, but she said, “Dear, I love you, but I’d really like to be alone.” Initially, he was hurt. But he soon realized that she needed time alone to recharge her batteries. Once he learned to give his wife some breathing room, not only did she reap the benefits – but their marriage did as well.

Your husband can’t meet your every need, so fill those spaces with other healthy activities. Have good friendships, pursue hobbies you find satisfying, or simply enjoy a little solitude. Give each other reasonable room to breathe, and you’ll find your times together will be even richer.

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