My husband says he needs some space
The other day my husband told me that he would like to go out alone sometimes. I’ve been married for about a year. My husband and I have a very good relationship. I was used to hanging out with friends when I was single. But now that I am married, the idea never crossed my mind. I was very disappointed that he wanted to go out alone. But I was scared that if I didn’t say it was okay he might go anyway and just not tell me. He told me that I can go out with my friends once in while If I like — that he trusts me.
I am very confused. I don’t know if this is normal or not. Is it okay for a spouse to go out alone or should I watch his steps closely? I am a very jealous person and I don’t know if I can accept his request for space so easily. He tells me that sometimes couples need their own space to appreciate each other more. Is it dangerous for him to go out alone? Will it hurt our marriage if I ask him not to?
Advice: Dear Friend, It sounds like you are very insecure in your relationship with your husband because of your jealousy and fear about his request. Every couple needs boundaries to protect their relationship without imprisoning them in it but instead allowing each spouse enough freedom for trust and personal development.
I would suggest that you read Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It by Jerry Jenkins. This book will help you and your husband discuss reasonable boundaries you can agree to put into practice when you are each in situations where you have contact with the opposite sex, ie., work, church, socials, recreation, etc.
Then, I would suggest that you come up with your own requests which will make you feel more secure in your marriage. These requests must not make your husband feel inadequate to meet your needs or guilty when he wants time to himself. You both need to care enough about your relationship to tell each other where you are going, with whom and for how long. Personally, my husband and I have always told each other where we are going and what time we will be home.
If my husband told me he was going to a bar, I would be very concerned about that. Why? Because if he was sitting in a bar he might meet other women and because he would be drinking alcohol he would be tempted to do things he might not otherwise do. Thankfully, my spouse does not do this because he is a Christian and he desires to please God. If your spouse does not want to talk about where he is going and where he can be found in case of emergency, then, you have something to worry about. Anytime a spouse begins to hide his/her wherabouts and activities there is reason to be suspect. Openness and honesty are highlights of a healthy relationship and the foundation of trust necessary for any growing marriage.
You can come up with some suggestions about activities you can do together without actually being together, also. Working out at a health club or going to the library to read are two good examples. You could go to a museum and spend part of the time together and part of it viewing different exhibits you personally enjoy, then, meet or coffee or lunch. Or go to a shopping mall and shop in different stores meeting later on.
Maybe you need to build some friendships together as well. Getting together with other couples is a very enjoyable and healthy thing to do. Explore with your husband what makes him feel like he needs time alone. Let him tell you what might be bothering him about your relationship. He may be feeling trapped for some reason. Evaluate the last three to six months. What happens when he is off work? Do the two of you constantly do everything together? When he is engaged in different activities are they always responsibilities around the house or only things which you like to do? Does he ever have time for his own personal hobbies or to go fishing or be outdoors?
You may have different personalities also. If he is an introvert he will need more time alone and when you are in the house together he may feel that he doesn’t have time to concentrate on his interests. It might be wise to let him have his space at home too, so he can read, or do computer work, etc.
I hope this is helpful for you. If you have a good relationship with your husband then I don’t think you have to worry about anything. Actually, worrying never accomplishes anything good anyway. If your spouse is not a drinker or a gambler, then be grateful. Build your own self-esteem so that you are not overly dependent on your husband’s attention. Read The Search for Significance by Robert McGee. Explore with someone… a confidante, mentor or counselor what has happened in the past to cause you to be so jealous and feel so insecure. God bless you!