It is not enough in relationships to just know what you need, it is also important to know the most loving and healthy way to ask for it from your friend or partner. If you like your space, and have trouble asking for it…sweetly…, read below for more info. Have a great week! Jayna
Need Space in a Relationship? Just Don’t Say It That Way
The Wall Street Journal
June 19, 2012
. . .Having enough space, or privacy, in a relationship is even more important to a couple’s happiness than a good sex life, according to a recent unpublished analysis of data from an ongoing federally funded longitudinal study. And women tend to be more unhappy with the amount of space in their marriage than men.
Terri Orbuch, a psychologist and research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, has been studying 373 married couples for the past 25 years. When she asked participants if they felt they had enough “privacy or time for self” in their relationship, 29% said no.
Dr. Orbuch recently analyzed one year of data from her study and found more wives than husbands (31% versus 26%) reported not having enough space. She believes this is because women often have less time to themselves than men. Even when women have jobs outside the home, they still are typically the primary caregivers of children or aging parents. And because they also tend to have more friends than men, they often have more social obligations.
Dr. Orbuch asked participants if they were unhappy in their marriages. Of those who reported being unhappy, 11.5% said the reason was lack of privacy or time for self. That is a more common answer than the 6% who said they were unhappy with their sex lives. . . .
. . . Around this time, the Carrs overheard a couple, whom they didn’t know, arguing. Each presented his or her view, then calmly discussed it. At one point, the husband noted they were late for an appointment and suggested they talk again the next day. “I saw that and thought, ‘We need to schedule time to talk, to visit and discuss what we each need to get done,’ ” Ms. Carr says.
Now, the Carrs have marriage meetings. At 5:30 each morning, espressos in hand, they sit for an hour by a wall of windows overlooking Mount Ranier, catching up on personal stuff. Then they call up their joint calendar online and discuss the day’s schedule—including the personal time each one will need. “What works is making this a part of a normal conversation,” Mr. Carr says.
After the meeting, he goes for a walk of a half-hour or more with his Labrador retriever. Some afternoons, he sits in an old chair overlooking the pasture in back of the main stable. For a “major reset,” he schedules a stay at a business retreat center in Austin, Texas. This year and last, he spent three days alone at a rented cabin in the woods, Father’s Day gifts from his wife and kids. “When I give him his space to do what he wants,” Ms. Carr says, “he is more engaged, more excited and more rejuvenated when he comes home.”
Here’s how to negotiate for more space without hurting your partner.
• Be specific. Say, ‘I need the afternoon to myself.’ Simply saying ‘I need space’ sends confusing signals.
• Explain why more space makes you happy, so your partner knows it’s not about him or her.
• Enjoy the space you take. Guilt defeats the purpose, says Barbara F. Okun, counseling psychology professor at Northeastern University.
• No secrets. Tell your spouse what you did and with whom when you were away.
• Don’t get carried away. Too much space weakens your connection.
• Don’t forget to schedule couple time and family time, too.
The full article: