alone time in a marriage

David C

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Yes, as you will read in post #20 I've already apologized for my misunderstanding, I failed to read post #5 and didn't see the full context in which the comment was being made.
You don't have to apologize here. We are just offering free advice based upon the school of hard knocks and observations along the way.
 

Synchro

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JMO: I don’t think that separate vacations are a good idea. Alone time is valuable and even a weekend apart may have value, but IMHO, separate vacations strikes me as a prelude to further separations and will probably not end in a positive manner.

As I write this, I am under considerable pressure in several life areas. I’m approaching the point of adaptive depletion, because it’s been unrelenting. I am recharging my batteries by taking some days off of work (even though much of the pressure is not work related) and that has helped, immensely. We need downtime and we need contrast in our lives, but I think that a week or two apart, in the form of separate vacations sets a poor precedent.

As I said, JMO.
 

tfarny

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My wife and I both need our "alone time" and we respect the others' need for it. However, I think that if your marriage has been under tension, announcing that you are going on a solo road trip is not going to send a positive signal or be productive for your relationship.

What men too often fail to do is cultivate and maintain long term friendships that are conducive to buddy trips - some guys have a great circle of friends and going off camping or whatever with their buddies is great and natural. If you don't have that, you're kind of stuck. You DO get alone time when she is away, so what exactly would be the reason to travel alone?

I've not traveled alone while married, I have certainly taken trips with buddies though, where my wife didn't go, and that was fine. And my wife has done the same. She just returned from a solo road trip to see a family member of hers, and I am so glad I didn't go...But if she wanted to spend a week in Paris or Hawaii without me, for no particular reason - we would have a pretty serious talk.
 

tele_pathic

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My wife and I both need our "alone time" and we respect the others' need for it. However, I think that if your marriage has been under tension, announcing that you are going on a solo road trip is not going to send a positive signal or be productive for your relationship.

What men too often fail to do is cultivate and maintain long term friendships that are conducive to buddy trips - some guys have a great circle of friends and going off camping or whatever with their buddies is great and natural. If you don't have that, you're kind of stuck. You DO get alone time when she is away, so what exactly would be the reason to travel alone?

I've not traveled alone while married, I have certainly taken trips with buddies though, where my wife didn't go, and that was fine. And my wife has done the same. She just returned from a solo road trip to see a family member of hers, and I am so glad I didn't go...But if she wanted to spend a week in Paris or Hawaii without me, for no particular reason - we would have a pretty serious talk.
I don't mean solo trips alone, unless it's for work for meetings or a conference. I do mean trips with friends. My wife NEVER takes a solo trip, several days completely alone by herself. Yeah, that would make me wonder. She does travel alone to specific places for specific reasons, whether it's a work-trip for meetings or a conference, or to meet friends in a place for a few days or a week.

IF she wanted to travel to hawaii or Paris (France, not Texas), then we would have an issue: Well, I want to go to both those places (I love Hawaii, never been to Paris, France, used to live outside Paris, TX), so no, she would not travel without me. In fact, she wouldn't even consider traveling someplace like that without me or the kids.
 

1stpitch

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I would say that if you have a reason to go on a trip, like an out-of-town gig or something else connected to another hobby, like a fishing or golf trip, then yes, go. But a random vacation alone just to get away from her, when you already get time apart from her due to her trips, no. Maybe a marriage counsellor is in order. They do help.
 

marshman

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Missus marshman also travels a lot as part of her high-stress job, and I find those times are more than adequate for alone time for myself. Additionally, it does not really seem to qualify as 'alone time' for her, as she still goes away for a long weekend at least once a year, albeit it with at least one of her old college roomies.

Getting together with my bandmates, some IPA, and no real agenda aside from a solid, jam session once a month seems to take care of most of my recharge needs.
 

Greggorios

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Yes, have done a few separate trips. A few due to one of us being otherwise occupied with work or other commitments and 2 by choice. Both worked out fine. I think it's healthy provided both people are OK with it and it's planned.
 

Jazzcaster21

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I worked many years with full weeks of hard business travel, so anytime I left home without my wife, it was business. Personally, I don't believe in taking a vacation without your spouse unless it involves a group purpose, such as fishing, hunting, camping, or golfing. I have never participated in any of those adventures personally.

If your wife is taking such adventures, my question is why not join her on a few of her trips? You didn't say where she went, but you can have fun after work or spend some weekend time. In other words, mix a little fun in with her trips. If she travels by plane, then you should have enough points to fly for free, she should have enough hotel points to stay the weekend, possibly rental cars can be added for short change or use points there also.

I personally feel you should join her for some of these trips here and there. My wife and I did that for many years and she got to see a lot of the US for the price of the extra meals and that was about it.
I went to Las Vegas once to visit her for a weekend while she was there for over a week for a trade show. I was in school at the time and could only afford a few days. It was my first and quite possibly my last trip to Vegas!

This summer we are taking a family trip to Italy(!) which is where my wife will be for an international trade show a week prior before myself and stepson join her for 10 days. It should be a fun time. While this will be her third time in Italy, it will both mine and stepson's first time.
 

Jazzcaster21

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My wife and I have been together for over 30 years. In that time we've taken weekend jaunts without each other, and it's been fine. It depends, I think, on the strength of the marriage. When we're not together, we're together... if that makes sense. Do we miss each other? Of course. Is it good to get away sometimes? It's healthy for both of us. We don't do this often mind you, maybe once or twice in 2 years, or if the trip is necessary and unavoidable like a family situation or job related. Even then we'll talk with each other over the phone for about an hour in the evening, to catch up, etc. etc.

IMO I do think it's something you and your wife should talk about first, and get each others take on the idea i.e. do both feel that it would be beneficial to have a "guys weekend trip" or a "gals weekend trip"? And not the whole "He just doesn't want to be around me... :(" sort of thing. Case in point - A good friend of mines wife just took a long weekend trip with their daughter, to get away from home for a bit. It was great for he and her because she had a good time with her daughter and got some real Mother/Daughter time together, and my buddy and I got together and worked on music and recording, without interruption! If you see what I mean... in all cases it was an agreement between husband and wife, however, so again it boils down to relationship strength IMO and FWIW.
She has a done a "gal's weekend trip" a few times where she and some friends rent a house at the beach and pretty much drink and party for the weekend (these women are all in their 40s with families and careers too). Of course the last time this happened was BC (Before Covid).
 

regularslinky

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27 years married. I've traveled alone a few times for business, but neither of us have ever taken an overnight trip for pleasure without the other. I've spent a few weeks at Boy Scout camp with our kid while my wife stayed home, but there was no pleasure whatsoever in that.

I don't think it would be an issue for either of us if the other took a trip to spend time with family or to visit distant friends. I think that "hey honey me and my bandmates are going to Mardi Gras - I'll bring back some beads for you!" would be a significant problem.
 

Jazzcaster21

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Okay, but he did not make that distinction. I thought he was asking about a solo trip, just him and no one else.
maybe I'm getting confused but isn't this the opposite of what he's thinking about?

He's asking if he should do something on his own, doing the above he'd be just crashing his wife's time on her own.. that could make things worse.
You are right. The question is should I take a trip by myself somewhere even if it's just a few days. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

I can see that like someone said, every marriage/relationship is different. Some people (like my neighbors) like to spend all their time together and have many things in common. Until a few years ago they also worked together! My wife and I however have a few things in common, don't like to spend every waking moment together and we both need alone time. But, I think I need it more than she does. She can also be more extroverted than me. In fact, I would call her an intro/extrovert. She is very extroverted when it comes to her job and work related functions because she has to be. Plus she loves what she does so, her passion is naturally on display. I can be the same when it comes to music but at the same time I would say that I am more reserved.

Anyway, I appreciate all the feedback. It's obviously something that both she and I need to discuss.
 

chris m.

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My wife really enjoys traveling. I'm a home body. So she does several fun trips a year either with friends or to visit friends. I go along on maybe two longer trips a year as well as several long weekends. That's plenty for me. Everyone's happy.

A book I'm in the middle of that I would recommend to anyone in a long term relationship is, "Mating in Captivity". It's all about why affection and comfort in a committed relationship can lead to a reduction of passion and excitement. The book argues that this is not inevitable, and that there are ways to see your partner with fresh eyes, as if you haven't already been together for years and years. One part of it is definitely giving each other space and respecting/admiring each other as individuals.

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Harry Styron

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In 2005, our eldest son was teaching English in Japan, and with my wife's blessing, I traveled there alone, on a 10-day jaunt. I arrived on a Friday afternoon at Kansai International Airport, then taking a few trains and finally a bus before sprinting to catch the last ferry to the tiny island of Ikina, about 50 miles northeast of Hiroshima. After spending Saturday and Sunday morning with my son, I too; off on my own for five days, with a backpack and a Western Honshu railpass, staying in a variety of places--hostels, Western style-hotels, ryokan, etc.--as I visited Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Mount Aso, Mount Unsen, Beppu and other places in Kyushu, dipping in several hot springs, eating food that I selected by pointing.

That week was a high point of my life at 53. I had married at 21, and my wife and I had supported one another through graduate and professional schools. Our kids were finally over 18, and my business was strong enough that I could be away. I had not had a semester or year abroad, nor the time and money to travel to Europe and bum around, as many of my college classmates did.

I loved traveling without a clear plan, without having to manage a car, luggage, spouse, kids (and their shoes and socks and swimsuits), meals, etc, in a place where the language barrier was profound and the culture was completely foreign to me and liberating.

As others have pointed out, nobody knows what will work for you and your spouse. In a couple of days, I'll be taking my wife, who has dementia, to stay for the weekend with my sister, while I go to a weekend music retreat. These days, I probably spend 150 of the 168 hours each week with my wife, so I'm craving some time off duty, even though she is still a good companion. But travel with her is exhausting, due to her almost complete absence of short-term memory and obliviousness to the clock and map. Experiment with solo travel while you can; we don't know what tomorrow will bring.
 
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Telekarster

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In a couple of days, I'll be taking my wife, who has dementia, to stay for the weekend with my sister, while I go to a weekend music retreat.

Awwww.... man.... I'm so sorry to hear this. Best of luck to you man, and hoping everything works out well for ya'll.
 




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