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In marriage, the two become one, but this doesn’t mean they must be tied at the hip. At its best, unity still allows for individual breathing room. And often we must be as intentional about our time apart as we are our time together.

We all desire degrees of being with others and doing our own thing – some preferring more solo time, while others more time together.

And each couple must also develop their own rhythms. Occasionally, both individuals enjoy spending every waking moment together, while others are more comfortable having more time in their own space.

But more often than not it seems we’re partnered with someone who has a different preference than our own.

The general encouragement for couples wanting to improve their marriage is to spend more time together. And for many, this is the exact prescription they need.

However, many others would benefit from having more time apart.

It seems like strange marriage advice, but there’s some truth in the adage of absence making the heart grow fonder.

Spending too much time together is suffocating, while time apart allows for needed breathing room and new life to flow into the relationship.

Perhaps we enjoy a guy’s weekend or develop an interest and hobby independent of our wife. There’s nothing secretive or hidden about it. We’re just free to do our own thing, while freeing her to do the same.

This gives us new stories and experiences to share with each other once we reconnect – keeping the spark of interest and curiosity alive.

However romantic it might seem at first to spend all our time together, we start to lose ourselves when there’s no time apart.

Again, the amount of time needed will vary depending on the individual and couple. But we must be intentional about this time all the same.

Enjoy your time together and your time apart. We need both to thrive.

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

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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