alone time in a marriage

String Tree

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I never thought I would post a non guitar/music related post on this forum but, here I go.

I have been married for 3 1/2 years but my wife and I have been together now for almost 11. In that time she has traveled often for work while I have never been anywhere by myself outside of playing local gigs. It never occurred to me that should be something to do, take a personal trip by myself. All the vacations we have taken since we have been together have been either as a couple or with her stepson but have never taken our own solo trips. Granted, work trips are different than non-work trips but you are still going away by yourself for a few days. My neighbors who have been married for over 30 years mentioned it last night as a way for me to recharge my batteries. Not to go into that much detail here but in a few words, my marriage has been under a lot of tension lately, mostly due to my wife's work (it's a pretty high-stress job at times) and other things. So now I am thinking a solo weekend trip might be a good idea.
For all you other married people in this forum, is this something you do or have done? Or do you travel with your significant other all the time when it's not work-related?
From day one, separate bank accounts, separate vacations, clean bathrooms and (seriously guys, this makes a bigger difference than you can imagine) Clean Sheets!

Another good practice, NEVER hang up the Phone when you are Angry.

As far as the separate Vacation thing goes for us, small getaways with Friends for a weekend.

-ST
 

BigDaddyLH

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From day one, separate bank accounts, separate vacations, clean bathrooms and (seriously guys, this makes a bigger difference than you can imagine) Clean Sheets!

Another good practice, NEVER hang up the Phone when you are Angry.

As far as the separate Vacation thing goes for us, small getaways with Friends for a weekend.

-ST

We have a house cleaner who comes by every other Tuesday. There is nothing I can do to make my wife as happy as she is to come home to a clean house that evening.
 

Fiesta Red

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I have agreed to a couple of “girl trips” that my wife and daughter have taken with friends or to visit family when I didn’t have enough PTO or didn’t want to waste said PTO on the particular trip.

My drummer and I took a trip to Memphis to go do music nerd stuff that we knew our wives would not have enjoyed.

My daughter and I are taking a weekend trip to go to a cabin with a big group of musicians who we’ve been having an online “jam” with since the beginning of the pandemic. My wife stated she’d be bored out of her skull and/or distracting my daughter or me from having fun, so she has agreed to stay home with the dogs and a couple bottles of wine.

I hope to repeat the Memphis trip with my daughter before she does something stupid and completely falls in love with some knucklehead.
 
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1955

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My Wife and I do everything together. Rarely, I will do errands by myself, if it makes more sense logistically. I have been apart from her to help a family member with health problems, but almost always am home before it gets late on those occasions. I can count on my hand the nights we have had to be apart for a night, and those were helping family members after surgeries. I can do anything I want, but I just enjoy being with her.
 

TeleTex82

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Sure, some time to recharge the batteries is always a good thing. Plus, it gives you two the chance to miss each other, which might sound weird, but also necessary from time to time.
 

dougstrum

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We've been married 42yrs. It's good to have some alone time. For us alone time usually involves being home alone
for a morning or afternoon. Once in a great while an overnight.
Vacations we spend together.

One time, before our girls were teens, Mrs Strum took them camping for almost a week.
During that time I put in a second bathroom upstairs for the girls. That sure worked out well~i was just ready to turn on the water when they drove up.
 

yegbert

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Many responses to this exemplify how forum discussions often go…

OP: “What would you think about choice B instead of A?”

Response: “Okay, just make sure you choose A.”

:oops:
 

MTPoteet

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I used to be on a race team and did annual trips to the Bonneville Salt Flats. There are always a lot of women out there, but not mine.
Sure do miss that.
 

Guitarteach

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invest in her but also invest in yourself…. Gigs, walking weekend away with friends. Just makes sure you make time for her.

I travelled massively with work and amassed enough airmiles to get her and the kids along around the world many times. Loads of trips to America, Hawaii, etc. they in nice hotels and us all meeting at night. We tagged on extra weeks on the best trips.

Just make sure you are really communicating everything.
 

buster poser

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28 years this summer and we've spent a fair bit of time apart; some recreational, some required by work/Uncle Sam. I wouldn't recommend doing longer than two weeks, but I think it's good for each member of a couple to be and remain their own people. I've seen "inseparable" couples become just that more often than not for refusing to recognize what I see as an obvious balance you have to strike in any long term relationship.

Maybe trite from overuse, but presiding marryin' folks read from that bit by Gibran for a reason; strings of a lute, bonded/harmonious, but still apart and unique, etc. There's merit in that mental approach to the institution in my view.
 

raysachs

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Neither my wife or I travelled more than a trivial amount for work. When we were first married and then for several years when our kids were little, I don't remember much time apart at all. But as the kids got up around 8 or 10, when it was easy enough for one of us to take care of them, we'd each occasionally take a weekend away. Sometimes with friends, sometimes to see family - we'd go as a family to see my family and/or her's during holidays, but as our folks got older and needed our attention, I'd often go alone to see my folks, she'd go to her's, etc.

And then when our kids got a little older, I'd gotten into bicycling and every summer I'd try to do a bike tour of some sort, sometimes just a long weekend, but a lot of them were a week and once I even did a two week solo trip when the kids were at camp or something. I was a pretty hardcore rider and did a tour more or less every year for about 11-12 years. She didn't have a hobby like cycling, but she had a good number of closer friends locally than I did - one of her good friends had a beach house and she LOVES the beach and would take a weekend at the beach pretty regularly in the summer. It never felt like a problem to me and she never let on if it did to her.

Since we're retired, our kids are out on their own, and there's a grandchild in the picture, we do very little traveling other than to go see them. So we spend almost all the time together. I don't bicycle anymore other than around town, but no tours since probably 2010 or 2011. Playing guitar just takes me to the next room. We spend winters down in North Carolina at the beach (near one of our daughters and our granddaughter), so she get's her fill of beach there and we / she haven't done much beaching in the summer at all. She still goes up to see her mother - she's the last surviving parent either of us have. I see her at holidays, but she goes up to help her with stuff periodically. I find when she's gone, I like the alone time for one or two days and then I just miss her. But I don't mind her doing it - I certainly understand why she feels the need / desire to help her Mom out - she's pretty old now.

Alone time has never been a problem, but our marriage has been really good almost the whole 36+ years. There were strains, but generally from dealing with outside events - our marriage was never in any real trouble. I think it would be very different if the marriage was too stressed - I don't know if travel alone would be as easy or feel as good in that situation. I feel for the OP - I'm glad I never had to find that out...

-Ray
 

markal

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Both my wife and I do this regularly. We love to do things together, but we each value time on our own as well, sometimes just an afternoon or evening here and there, but often weekend or longer trips. For me, it’s usually camping trips and usually with a friend or two, but sometimes alone.

I think it’s important to maintain a separate life. Not every experience has to be a shared experience. This helps make the shared experiences even better.

So I say do it.
 

Lonn

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We used to travel a LOT with our daughter’s gymnastics. She’s away at university now so I personally haven’t traveled much the last 3 years outside of trips to New York to visit her and Florida to visit relatives. My wife visits our daughter without me and they travel internationally without me enough as is so I don’t need any more alone time. Honestly I have too much as it is. Our 15 anniversary is in a few weeks and we’re headed to Miami for a few days on the beach. She’s going to Brazil the first week of June for work as well so there’s another week of alone time coming up.
 

Octorfunk

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I've had a weekend camping trip with the guys, but in 18yrs of marriage I've never taken a solo trip without the Mrs. I will say that things changed once we had children though, as we both understood muc better the other's need for some time away to recharge. But again it's never been a solo thing, there have always been friends involved.
 

andy__d

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Traveling for work is no fun. often, you end up doing double hours because you spend time visiting a client during the day, then going back to your hotel room and answering all the emails you missed, or doing the paperwork you couldn’t do, during the day. You may need to take a client out for dinner, which is seems like a relaxed atmosphere, but it‘s still work, and you are either talking about work, or talking about other things where you still need to project the same professional image of your work persona. Then, you go back to the hotel, and still need to answer all those emails and do all that paperwork.

Even if you are just socializing with colleagues who are traveling with you, you aren’t relaxing, you’re ”you at work”, not “you”. And, when you get back to the hotel room, you still need to get those emails or paperwork done. And wake up in time for that 5am call that would normally be at 8am, but you’re in a different time zone. Then there’s the travel; hopping between different cities every couple of days, making sure you don’t miss your flight, and, when you do, rearranging your meetings and subsequent flights, and hotels, and car rentals, to accommodate a new schedule because one piece of the jigsaw got messed up. Or one of your meetings decides to reschedule, and you’re stuck in a hotel far from home for no readily apparent reason.

I have sat in hotel bars over the years and thought I could understand why alcohol (and other substance) abuse was so rife amongst touring musicians: it’s a weird, transient, stressful existence, where even when you have down time, you never really relax; you never really step out of your work persona, and that can start to tear you apart after a while.

Also, when you travel a lot for work, I think you start to associate the trauma and disassociation of work travel with all travel, making family holidays seem like you’re just going on another business trip; you get used to traveling in a bubble; you get a routine, to dull the pain of business travel, and when others mess up that routine, that’s also stressful.

And don’t think that it’s travel. Whereever they went in the world, they saw an airport, a hotel room, a meeting conference room, a hotel bar, and another airport. There’s a reason that all Marriott around the world look the same. I once went to Venice: the only sight I saw was a washing machine factory.

I don’t really have any advice about the OPs question, only to say that, when someone’s in a stressful job, and they’ve been on a work trip, they may just need time to chill when they come back, and slowly step out of their work persona, and the protective travel bubble. Be prepared for Jekyl and Hyde moments until they’re fully “back”.
 

archetype

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My wife and I love and really LIKE each other, so we're usually in the same spot doing something together or doing things separately. We don't seem to need alone time, but it happens naturally when one of us goes off to visit someone for a few days or we engage in totally separate things things to accomplish.

BTW the above isn't prescriptive to anyone else. It's just how we work.
 

Toto'sDad

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Operating heavy equipment, and driving a diesel truck, being away from home is a way of life, not a choice. My years of missing out on things I shouldn't have from having to work are passed by now, and I'm glad of it. It's pretty unusual for either my wife or myself to go somewhere for more than a few hours by ourselves. I had to be very careful when I was gone from home because of work, when I returned it was hard to slide back into the routine of having someone besides yourself to talk to.
 




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