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Time to yourself when married or living with a SO

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
My girlfriend moved in with me at the beginning of the year and I have noticed something about how I spend my time at home. I feel like I have to be active in conversation with her, or actively paying attention to her and such. I just want to know from married people, or people living with a significant other how to you divide your time between your SO and yourself when at home? I know sometimes if the girlfriend is working late I will grab my computer and look at style forum and I see members posting from what I assume to be their homes and I know they are married. To me it seems weird to have kids, or a spouse and to be on the computer. Maybe it is just me and I have the mental obligation to occupy my time with my girlfriend just because she is there. Any thoughts, or insight?
post #2 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

My girlfriend moved in with me at the beginning of the year and I have noticed something about how I spend my time at home. I feel like I have to be active in conversation with her, or actively paying attention to her and such. I just want to know from married people, or people living with a significant other how to you divide your time between your SO and yourself when at home? I know sometimes if the girlfriend is working late I will grab my computer and look at style forum and I see members posting from what I assume to be their homes and I know they are married. To me it seems weird to have kids, or a spouse and to be on the computer. Maybe it is just me and I have the mental obligation to occupy my time with my girlfriend just because she is there. Any thoughts, or insight?

That's not weird. Both my girlfriend and I spend time on the puter separately. Also does your gf have any friends or hobbies she does? Both of those will result in alone time for you.
post #3 of 89
Thread Starter 
Well, we both work a fair amount so when we are both home at the same time, which isn't every night it is spend doing chores like cleaning, ironing, laundry and then finally preparing and eating dinner. I just can't imagine doing something and not involving her if we are both home at the same time. I guess once in a while I will play my guitar. She says she enjoys listening to it.
post #4 of 89
I don't see a conflict with being married (or living with a SO) and still remaining independent with your time. Maybe that's just the novelty of the experience speaking to you. When you're not living together, you want to do something whenever you see each other. But that turns into a whole damn lot of time once you're living together, and I suspect most everybody changes their expectations after awhile.


I've been living with my wife for six years now. We eat dinner together, usually do a dog walk together, but we spend quite a bit of time doing our own things. I think I'd be exhausted all the time if I felt like I had to hang out with my wife all the time, simply because we often prefer to do different stuff with our time. I'd rather spend time with her than anyone else, but I'd be exhausted if I had to be around anybody all day every day. Part of that is being an introvert, I need some isolation time and my wife understands that.
post #5 of 89
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I guess I still have the feeling of having to do something with her constantly.
post #6 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

I don't see a conflict with being married (or living with a SO) and still remaining independent with your time. Maybe that's just the novelty of the experience speaking to you. When you're not living together, you want to do something whenever you see each other. But that turns into a whole damn lot of time once you're living together, and I suspect most everybody changes their expectations after awhile.
I've been living with my wife for six years now. We eat dinner together, usually do a dog walk together, but we spend quite a bit of time doing our own things. I think I'd be exhausted all the time if I felt like I had to hang out with my wife all the time, simply because we often prefer to do different stuff with our time. I'd rather spend time with her than anyone else, but I'd be exhausted if I had to be around anybody all day every day. Part of that is being an introvert, I need some isolation time and my wife understands that.

this is a good post.
post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Yeah, I guess I still have the feeling of having to do something with her constantly.

nah. Over the years with my SO, the need to impress, swoon, and constantly engage has slowly diminished with the inevitable fact that we have, inevitably, become mates that compliment each other. She likes watching the Dog Whisperer, and it makes her happy, so have at it - I prefer to play a little on the guitar or watch some stupid stuff on YouTube so I'll pull out the iPad and relax nearby. If I see something cool, I'll show her, and vice versa. Every once in a while we'll discuss stuff in the news or politics (ugh), but most nights it's just like relaxing with a friend. And I like that.
post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

(...)
I've been living with my wife for six years now. We eat dinner together, usually do a dog walk together, but we spend quite a bit of time doing our own things. I think I'd be exhausted all the time if I felt like I had to hang out with my wife all the time, simply because we often prefer to do different stuff with our time. I'd rather spend time with her than anyone else, but I'd be exhausted if I had to be around anybody all day every day. Part of that is being an introvert, I need some isolation time and my wife understands that.

Good post. The flip side of this is that Mrs. T is an introvert and I'm Very Much Not Like That, so there is a bit of friction when I want US time and she prefers HER time. This is less an issue after 14 years, though. What's kept things somewhat interesting is that we've both evolved over the years, taking on new roles in the family and community - so we always have something to discuss and new ground to cover. That said - sometimes the new ground is exhausting in itself.
post #9 of 89
Solving this is what separates the relationships that work from those that don't. With many men, you want a little time to unwind and your wife wants time to bond. We've been together 14 years and we have the right balance to suit us both. Honestly we probably spend an hour to 90
Minutes sitting together each doing our own thing every night, after we have put the kids to bed and talked about the day
post #10 of 89

Maybe talking to your SO would help. She might also want to have her own time once a while, doing thing she likes that you don't. Besides, the idea that one should spend the time together when the two are  together doesn't work out as an obligation, I think. Talk to her. Don't get tied up by your worry of obligation. Obligation wears you out.

post #11 of 89

Its odd your feeling this way after 6+ months of living together.  I have been living with my gf for almost 5 years and it is hard to stay away from someone unless you have a large house, but you shouldnt feel obligated to devote every minute to them.  Odds are if your feeling like this so is she.  When my gf and I are both in the living room I will typically be watching TV and she will be on her computer. 

post #12 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post

Solving this is what separates the relationships that work from those that don't. With many men, you want a little time to unwind and your wife wants time to bond. We've been together 14 years and we have the right balance to suit us both. Honestly we probably spend an hour to 90
Minutes sitting together each doing our own thing every night, after we have put the kids to bed and talked about the day

I find this to be true. She will ask me how my day was, and to me this question is practically rhetorical. I just respond with, "busy", or "ok" or something like that. She will pry for more information and wants to discuss it. Sometimes I am just tired and don't really want to talk about my day. I find it exhausting sometimes. Whereas I ask her how her day was and she gives me every excruciating detail, which actually I don't mind because it doesn't involve me talking very much or getting wound up by my own office issues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by imunique View Post

Maybe talking to your SO would help. She might also want to have her own time once a while, doing thing she likes that you don't. Besides, the idea that one should spend the time together when the two are  together doesn't work out as an obligation, I think. Talk to her. Don't get tied up by your worry of obligation. Obligation wears you out.

She has said to me, "do you want to have some time to yourself" especially if it is a weekend and she is also off of work. Sometimes I do, but I feel like it is one of those annyoing woman things where they really mean, "If you want time to yourself I must not mean very much to you."
post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I find this to be true. She will ask me how my day was, and to me this question is practically rhetorical. I just respond with, "busy", or "ok" or something like that. She will pry for more information and wants to discuss it. Sometimes I am just tired and don't really want to talk about my day. I find it exhausting sometimes. Whereas I ask her how her day was and she gives me every excruciating detail, which actually I don't mind because it doesn't involve me talking very much or getting wound up by my own office issues.
I go home to get away from my day, not think about it further. We rarely, if ever, discuss our days (that is usually limited to emails or phone calls during the actual day, and it's typically very light in detail).
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

She has said to me, "do you want to have some time to yourself" especially if it is a weekend and she is also off of work. Sometimes I do, but I feel like it is one of those annyoing woman things where they really mean, "If you want time to yourself I must not mean very much to you."
eh, just say something along the lines of no need for time to yourself, you're just hanging out, relaxing, and taking your mind off the day.
post #14 of 89
We have some friends, they've been married 25 years, and the husband exults in things like a business conference so he can get away from his entire family. However, it seems to be a strong marriage. With me, I hate business conference, mainly because I hate not coming home each night to Mrs. Piob. I think, pB, you have to work out where you are on this spectrum.

FWIW, my favorite time of day is dinner. We usually spend about 1.5 hours over dinner, chatting, planning, just enjoying the view out our dining room windows. It's the best time of day for me. In the evening, although we're almost always in the same room, we'll each pursue our own interests.
post #15 of 89
My fiancee and I have been living together a few months. We make sure to have dinner together, at the table, no phones or reading material, three nights a week. Other than that, we usually do things independently - I'll go play sports or read, she'll watch something on her laptop. Occasionally we'll walk to happy hour or a movie. Wanting free time is not unusual at all, if anything, it's healthy.
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