Home Marriage Finding the Perfect Balance: Personal Space vs. Quality Time in Marriage

Finding the Perfect Balance: Personal Space vs. Quality Time in Marriage

Finding the Perfect Balance Personal Space vs. Quality Time in Marriage

Marriage marks one of the most significant transitions in a person’s life. Two individuals who previously lived independently now come together to form a lifelong partnership and merge their once-separate lives.

This union brings spouses greater intimacy and companionship than ever before. However, with this, increased closeness also comes a need to strike a delicate balance – between spending quality time together and maintaining personal space.

Newlyweds often start attached at the hip, wanting to do everything as a couple. However, as the relationship matures and spouses settle into the marriage, the desire for more regular “me time” frequently arises. Neither extreme being joined at the hip nor disconnected is healthy for a marriage.

The key is to find the proper equilibrium between personal space and quality togetherness based on the unique needs of each partner. This allows spouses to nurture their bond as a married couple and their individual growth and friendships outside the marriage.

What are the Benefits of Personal Space In Marriage

marriage balance

Personal space in marriage allows each partner to pursue individual interests, maintain friendships, and keep a sense of identity outside of the relationship.

Time spent apart helps spouses appreciate one another more when they reunite. It prevents resentment from building and maintains the relationship feeling fresh. Personal space also provides an outlet for stress and encourages personal growth.

Let me explain.

1. Preserves sense of self. When individuals marry, they can often lose sight of aspects of their identity outside their role as a spouse. Regular time cultivating personal interests and friendships allows partners to maintain and grow their sense of self. This prevents either spouse from getting “lost” in the marriage.

2. Alleviates feeling smothered. Too much time together can leave introverted spouses, in particular, feeling suffocated. Guaranteed alone time provides a necessary break that helps extroverted partners avoid monopolizing their spouse’s schedule. This breathing room relieves feelings of being smothered.

3. Reduces resentment. Partners who give up activities vital to them often resent their spouses, even if sacrifices were made voluntarily. Personal time to pursue individual hobbies protects against this resentment.

4. Decreases arguing. Spending time apart regularly can help avoid petty arguing when spouses are constantly in each other’s space. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

5. Allows stress relief. Everyone needs the opportunity at times to retreat into their cocoon. Time alone provides spouses a much-needed break from the everyday stressors of work, family obligations, finances, etc. This helps them return renewed.

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6. Encourages personal growth. A marriage can sometimes turn inward and become a “bubble” if spouses don’t maintain outside friendships and interests. Individual pursuits lead to new ideas and personal growth that ultimately get brought back to enrich the marriage.

The Importance of Nurturing Togetherness

While personal space has clear benefits, overemphasizing “me time” deprives couples of valuable togetherness. Nurturing togetherness is essential for several reasons:

  • Strengthens emotional intimacy – Sharing feelings, fears, and dreams brings spouses closer.
  • Enhances friendship – Joint activities and adventures deepen the friendship bond.
  • Improves communication – Face-to-face conversations prevent misunderstandings via texts.
  • Boosts romance – Date nights and undivided attention rekindle the spark.
  • Provides support – Togetherness helps spouses support each other during difficult times.
  • Creates shared memories – Experiences together become cherished memories.
  • Deepens spiritual connection – Spiritual activities like prayer strengthen the bond for religious couples.
  • Allows unified growth – Tackling challenges together allows couples to grow in tandem.
couple pics
Romantic Couple Sitting On Winter Beach Together

It’s also ideal to know the repercussion of too much separateness within a marriage:

Too much separateness often leads to emotional disconnect. Spending most free time apart prevents couples from bonding over shared experiences. This can create an emotional divide and breakdown in intimacy.

It creates barriers to communication. The less time spent together, the less likely spouses make an effort to have open, honest communication about their relationship, goals, concerns, etc. Lack of communication exacerbates problems.

It causes feelings of loneliness. Human beings have an innate need to feel connected. When marriage partners spend most of their non-working hours separate, it can lead to profound loneliness.

Separateness diminishes friendship. The companionship between spouses is as important as the romantic bond. Regular quality time together strengthens the friendship so partners don’t live separate lives.

It decreases sexual intimacy. Shared experiences and frequent communication are essential precursors to physical intimacy for most couples. Too much separateness can negatively impact couples’ sex life.

Too much separateness prevents unified growth. Couples grow the most when they share activities and communicate openly. Spending most time apart deprives spouses of the opportunity to tackle challenges, set goals, and grow in unison.

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The bottom line is this, finding the right mix of personal space and togetherness is key to a healthy, fulfilling marriage. Open communication allows couples to find their ideal balance based on their unique needs and personalities. The result is a marriage where both partners can individually thrive while nurturing a deep connection.

Examples of Healthy Personal Space in Marriage

  • Regular solo hobbies – Working on art, music, carpentry, writing, etc., allows immersive free time.
  • Weekly guys/girls nights out – Time with same-gender friends provides perspective outside the marriage.
  • Solo trips – A weekend away hiking or at a B&B allows rejuvenating alone time.
  • Parenting breaks – One spouse watches the kids while the other leaves the house alone.
  • Desk space – Having an area for individual work or interests prevents constant togetherness.
  • Independent exercise – Going to the gym, running, and doing yoga alone provide a physical/mental break.
  • Reading nooks – Having a private space to read and unwind without interruption.
  • Solo counseling – Individual therapy sessions allow spouses to work on personal growth.

9 Ways to Cultivate Togetherness

Spouses desiring more quality time together can cultivate it through:

1. Shared meals – Make dining together a priority for catching up.

2. Joint workouts – Sweating together releases endorphins and encourages bonding.

3. Volunteering – Giving back to causes that matter to both makes a difference together.

4. Collaborative hobbies – Find interests both enjoy, like hiking, dancing, and games.

5. Impromptu adventures – Be spontaneous and seek out new places and activities.

6. Bedtime routine – Talk, pray or meditate together before bed to reconnect and unwind.

7. Affection – Hug, kiss, hold hands, cuddle. Physical closeness nurtures intimacy.

8. Communicate face-to-face – Don’t rely just on texts; make time for in-depth conversations.

9. Show appreciation – Verbalize gratitude for each other’s efforts and uniqueness.

The key is varying togetherness and personal space based on the season of life, stress levels, and unique personality needs while prioritizing open communication about expectations. With maturity and teamwork, couples can find their ideal balance.

How to Find Balance Between Personal Space and Togetherness

couple marriage balance

Finding the ideal equilibrium between one-on-one couple time and individual pursuits requires effort, but the rewards are plentiful. Here are some tips for striking a healthy balance:

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Schedule regular check-ins – Set aside time weekly or monthly to discuss how each partner feels regarding the current balance. Be honest about needs and willing to compromise.

Track time spent together vs. apart – For a while, keep a log of hours together and solo to identify imbalances. Strive for a comfortable ratio.

Prioritize quality over quantity – It’s not about clocking a certain number of hours. The hours spent together should involve meaningful connection.

Accept that needs will fluctuate – When life gets stressful, one partner may crave more alone time. When tension builds, increased togetherness may feel more important. Expect to recalibrate occasionally.

Give each other space after conflicts – Taking a breather to calm down separately can prevent matters from escalating.

Learn each other’s signals – With time, and couples learn to read each other’s cues indicating a need for space or company. Respect those nonverbal signals.

Remember that separating is healthy – Time apart helps both individuals flourish; it’s not an indication that anything is fundamentally wrong.

Seek outside support when needed – If communication breaks down and finding balance seems impossible, don’t be afraid to enlist a therapist to help mediate.

With the right balance, spouses can operate as a team while nourishing their well-being and personal growth. The marriage thereby gains strength and resilience.


Achieving marital bliss involves finding the sweet spot between togetherness and autonomy. Both spouses must give and receive ample one-on-one attention and opportunities for independent pursuits and friendships. Open, empathetic communication and ongoing mutual support are key to establishing a healthy equilibrium.

If the marriage begins feeling crowded yet cold or distant, it’s time to recalibrate and assess if more time together or apart is needed. Partners must remain flexible as needs evolve throughout married life. It’s helpful to track time side-by-side and solo. Schedule regular check-ins to re-evaluate the balance.

While finding the right proportions of we and me time takes active effort, it’s essential to work for married couples. Ultimately, the marriage thrives when spouses feel fulfilled as individuals and as a couple. By nurturing personal growth and shared intimacy in equal measure, partners can experience the best of both worlds.



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