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In marriage, two become one without losing their uniqueness. Each spouse remains an individual with his or her own interests and desires. And we have a responsibility to care for our own needs without neglecting the needs of our marriage.

Photo by Seth Macey on Unsplash

For better or worse, in sickness and in health, we have made a vow to love and care for our wives.

This love is sacrificial, but it is not self-neglecting. As the now common airplane analogy reminds us, we must put our oxygen mask on first in order to care for others.

While this is true, some guys seem to forget the heart of this teaching. We care for ourselves so that we have what it takes to care for others.

Self-care is never an excuse to checkout from our relational responsibilities.

On a regular basis we need to feed and nourish our souls through any number of practices.

And by their very nature, many of these practices will be separate and apart from our wives – a hobby, a guy’s weekend, a solo trip, or the like.

The problem comes when these practices lead us into living a separate life from our wives.  When self-care becomes merely self-serving and isolating, we’ve missed the point.

Self-care is intended to revitalize our souls so that we can keep showing up and offering the best version of ourselves to our life and relationships. The point is for us to grow in loving others as we love ourselves.

What is the fruit of your self-care?

Does your solo time produce only distance between you and others, or does it allow a deeper affection and intimacy to emerge?

Are you a better man – more capable of enduring love as a result of your time apart? If not, something needs to change.

Care well for your soul so that you can love others to the full.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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