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alone time PLEASE

FI and I are getting married next month, and for the last few weeks ive been feeling completely smothered.

I am an only child and lived by myself my entire adult life until a year ago when we moved in together. We love spending alllll of our free time together, however, recently i just want some alone time! We have been bickering over nothing and i feel guilty when i want to do my own thing like surf the web, or go into my phone. He has really laid off saying stuff to me about those things (both of which i did too much too often) but i can tell it annoys him when i do it when we are spending time together. the problem is...we ALWAYS are spending time together, and texting thruout the day while we are at work,

For the past week when he has picked me up from work, as soon as i get in the car in instantly irritated. I just want to be alone! He has been driving me to work which is also new...i always drove myself.

Last weekend i sent him to the basement so I could do my hair and have some alone-girl time, and I didnt want to tell him to come back upstairs, but he text me from the basement that he missed me, and i felt bad and rushed to let him come back upstairs.

He comes from a family that is ALWAYS together....like, his brother moved directly behind their moms house. its insane. there is constantly at least 5-7 people in one house at a time...so I know he cant relate to me wanting to be alone and entertain myself. Recently he had a falling out with his family, so he isnt spending any time with them and doesnt have many friends. I feel so bad because im basically all he has now, and i dont want to shun him by telling him to go away,

Our sex life has been suffering for months now, I thought it was my depression kicking in, but the anti depressants didnt work, I thought it was my birth control, so I stopped taking it...still nothing. I now think it may just be we spend so much time together I dont have a chance to miss him and want him, ya know? He has been very supportive, but its frustrating for both of us.

i told him all of this today, and he agreed that maybe we should have alone time. But Im not sure if he really likes this idea like he says he does. I went to my therapist today and told her my concerns, and she told me to encourage him to go out more and start playing basketball with a mutual friend, which they have been planning to do for awhile. She told me that if I tell him Im going to take an hour a day to myself to do the things I enjoy like crafts, talk on the phone, surf the web etc, he wont have a choice but to find SOMETHING to occupy his time. She said that its a lot for me to go from one extreme (always alone) to being with someone ALL the time, and then the wedding day jitters. Its a lot of pressure. Shes right. 

We both are very excited to get married and love each other very much. Like I said, im used to be alone, he isnt. So this is such a transition for me from single life to engaged and married life. Im just trying to find the happy medium without hurting his feelings.

How much time should we spend doing our own thing? Ideally, id like alone time everyday. Id love to come home from work, do whatever it is I want to do for awhile, and share our evenings together doing the things we like to do together. The thought of one day a week on the weekend alone just isnt enough....I feel like id be looking foward to that one day all week, and thats not ok either.

We used to always shower together and stopped because we both agreed it wasnt special anymore, and when we showered together the other day, it was great! I want to apply this same strategy to our everyday life.

I dont want him to feel like I dont want him around, I want him to want alone time too, i want him to have a hobby of his own and also look foward to his alone time. How can we accomplish this? Is the lets make an hour a day for time alone a good start? How do you get away?

Re: alone time PLEASE

  • I think an hour a day is perfectly reasonable.  I'd start with driving yourself to and from work (assuming you have your own car?).

    It's odd but sometimes you have to "schedule" things with your other half when you feel something is lacking.  You're missing having your own time so yeah, start scheduling it!

    As far as communicating this with your FI, it's all about how it's framed.  Don't say "You're too clingy, I need my own space, you're irritating me" etc.  Try something like this - "Hey, I think it's a great idea for us to have at least an hour a day to do our own thing.  It will help our relationship if we have the chance to miss one another!" 

    Good luck!

  • thank you :-) Yeah i always drove myself but we have a small car and a truck, the truck is what I drive and he has been using it for work, and its been saving us on my daily parking fee. I kinda miss driving myself to and from work...never thought id say that lol
  • So drive!  A parking fee/gas/maintenance, small prices to pay for privacy and personal time!  That's a great start!

    I'm fortunate that I get home anywhere from an hour to 3 hours before my husband so I get that time for me. I'll clean and prep dinner but I'll also sneak in Real Housewives (which oddly, he enjoys watching - actually doesn't like when I watch w/o him - but the f*cking commentary he throws out there during every episode drives me bonkers... I digress).  Or I'll paint my nails. Or check out The Nest.

    We all need personal time, it's totally normal. As long as you guys talk it out, find common ground, you'll be good!

  • Are you kidding? ALL your time together -- and all of your time together when you're apart, with texting?

    Everybody needs a hobby. Everybody needs to be alone --- you also need to spend time with your friends or to pursue some other endeavor.

    How long shojuld you spend by yourself each day? An hour wold be good.

    Everybody needs to have an outlet to blow off steam.  I strongly suggest the both of you each find a hobby to pursue by yourself and on your own.

    You can also volunteer someplace; so can he.

    Look into learning something new. Look into finding something to do, also, to help others. GL.
  • I never realized how important my drive time was to me. All of a sudden, the price to park to TOTALLY worth it!  Since he has been driving me its like "omg, i wake up and see you, i go to work and deal with crazies, I get off work and see you, I see you every second of everyday that I have free!" My only me time is in the bathroom. and even thats not private, the cat wont leave me alone!

    I need to stop feeling bad for saying Id rather do things alone. Its something he may not like in the beginning but will have to adjust to.  We like to go to the mall together just to people watch. But lately ive been shopping for the honeymoon, and I like to shop alone. When we first moved in together I would take lots of shopping time alone and it was great. I do have a big list of crap to buy...i better get started.

    I feel so much better knowing im not the only one who needs their space!


  • imagegnc0988:
    I never realized how important my drive time was to me. All of a sudden, the price to park to TOTALLY worth it!  Since he has been driving me its like "omg, i wake up and see you, i go to work and deal with crazies, I get off work and see you, I see you every second of everyday that I have free!" My only me time is in the bathroom. and even thats not private, the cat wont leave me alone!

    I need to stop feeling bad for saying Id rather do things alone. Its something he may not like in the beginning but will have to adjust to.  We like to go to the mall together just to people watch. But lately ive been shopping for the honeymoon, and I like to shop alone. When we first moved in together I would take lots of shopping time alone and it was great. I do have a big list of crap to buy...i better get started.

    I feel so much better knowing im not the only one who needs their space!


    Please exercise caution with all this togetherness --- and when you tell him you wish to pursue an interest, hobby, volunteer, sport (or whatever it is you chosose to do) and he balks at it or shoots the idea down....rethink this guy.

    I would very seriously consider postponing the wedding until you get this too much time together issue rectified to your satisfaction. The restrictiveness of this entire relationship has me worried quite a bit. It's not healthy.

     

  • I think you are misunderstanding Tarpon, he doesnt shoot it down or balk at it alone time... you can just see the disappointment in his face I guess (or maybe there is no disappointment and Im just seeing things because I feel bad)? I really think its because he doesnt have a hobby of his own. He is trying to play basketball with a friend of ours, but its still too cold out for the courts to be opened yet.

    I enjoy crafts very much and spend a lot of my free time doing that, and of course shopping. So i have some hobbies, its him that doesnt have much. Like i said, his family was his big social interaction and now their gone so it sucks for him. I am going to encourage him to find a new hobby.

    by no means does he limit me in having time to myself or discourage me from hanging out with friends. In fact I asked him the other day to drive me and my friends to a bar this weekend, which he has no issue with.

    He never really had alone time, you know? I mean his family is so close its unhealthy....so this closeness is what he is used to. His family is SO close that I had to stop going over there, it was just too much for me.

    Like i said, it wasnt until recently that i started to get irritated about it, and ive never said anything to him about it before. we do enjoy spending time together but all of a sudden i just need some space to breathe. He means well, he doesnt mean to smother me, and has no clue he is doing it. But I am also allowing it by now asking for space.  When I brought all this up to him, he totally agreed. his words were "quality over quantity"

    I am a homebody, but I do like to be alone. he doesnt FORCE himself in my way, I dont think either one of us realized we are irritated with each other until it dawned on me just today.

    As I said earlier, it bothers him when I am in the computer or my phone for too long while we are together....but the problem is we are ALWAYS together, so how would I have time to do it on my own? Its like even when we are doing nothing, its "quality time" to him. But to me its just time I could be doing something I enjoy, like crafts.

    He was working out of town a lot for awhile and though I missed him, I enjoyed the time to myself. and I know he did too. When he would be gone, we would text throughout the day, but barely spoke on the phone. I was busy doing my own thing, and he was busy hanging out with his friends from work, working out, doing whatever it is he wanted to do.

    Its not an issue that is postponing the wedding worthy, because it could be easily corrected. Now if he DID balk at the suggestion of alone time, then yes...that'd have to be something Id have to consider, and would have considered a long time ago. Before I met him, I didnt have boyfriends and date a guy for very long because I felt like I was on a leash, which I didnt like. When I met him, he allowed me to be me, didnt distance me from my friends, accepted me for who I am, accepted that I had male friends even though it was something he wasnt used to, etc etc. I think what has happened here is we both inadvertently have gotten on each other nerves by devoting all of our time to each other. I just happened to be the first one to say it out loud.


  • So far, my favorite is spending alone time in the same room-hanging out and doing something personal while the other person is involved with their own stuff. They are in their bubble, I am in mine, but we still are sort of around each other.

    Of course, we've never gone a day when we were always in the same room all the time sans bathroom... 

  • even this would work fine. its weird because we are both guilty here. I havent said anything when I should have said something when it immediately started bothering me.

    Ive been asking him to build me some shelves for the garage for awhile now. Now that itll be getting warm soon, itll give him something to do. The poor guy just doesnt have any hobbies! He is used to working all the time, and now that he gets off at a normal hour, he has all this free time and nothing to fill it with. So he fills it with me! I will definitely start encouraging him to do things, even if its around the house. When he is off fixing something or washing the cars or whatever, he is very proud of himself and actually enjoys it. When summer is around, i NEVER have a dirty truck :-) . Winters suck...you get stuck in the house with each other and this happens :-/
  • I think you are misunderstanding Tarpon, he doesnt shoot it down or balk at it alone time... you can just see the disappointment in his face I guess (or maybe there is no disappointment and Im just seeing things because I feel bad)? I really think its because he doesnt have a hobby of his own. He is trying to play basketball with a friend of ours, but its still too cold out for the courts to be opened yet.

    I'm just saying that if he DID balk at it, beware,

    There has to be something he is good at -- everybody is good at something. I have never seen it fail.:)  There has to be something he is interested in. How about tennis? Maybe he'd like to learn the game; find an indoor tennis court facility; they usually run leagues and give beginner's group lessons.
  • Maybe while you're scheduling your alone time, you should also schedule some one-on-one time where you can focus on him.  You say you're always together, but you also say that you're constantly checking the internet or on your phone.  So you might feel like you're just with him, but maybe he's not getting the attention he needs from you.  Scheduling time with no internet and your ringer turned off might make a world of difference for him.  Having your undivided attention can really make him feel like he's important to you, instead of always an inconvenient interruption for your phone and internet time.  

    Just a thought...

  • I'm big with needing my alone time, too. If I spent as much time with my husband as you spend with your FI, I'd go bonkers. Honestly, I think the togetherness in your relationship borders on a bit unhealthy...your FI texted you from the basement to tell you he missed you? THat's just bizarre to me...

    I think an hour of daily alone time, at least, is reasonable. It depends on the day, really, and whatever else you have going on. Here's a pretty regular worknight schedule for me and DH (it's more complicated now that we have DS, but the basics are still the same).

    WHen DH and I both get home from work, we always greet eachother and talk briefly about our day, but we also take a few minutes to ourselves, check e-mail, decompress a little, etc. I usually busy myself making dinner and/or making babyfood while DH empties the garbage or does some other household chore. If he has nothing to do, he'll entertain our son while i'm cooking. Then, we both sit down and have dinner together. As DS gets older, I'm really going to insist on dinner being family time, with no phones, iPads, etc.

    After dinner, we put DS to bed and and DH and I go off and do our own thing for a while. We might have work to do (he freelances, I grade papers) or we might just want to watch something on TV that the other doesn't like (he watches sports, I like the Food Network). But we'll usually agree to meet back up around 9 or 10pm to cuddle up in bed and watch TV or spend time together. And we stick to that.

    Some nights, if one of us is particularly busy, we see each other less. But we make up for that on other nights (Friday and Saturday evenings, we spent most of our time together).

    In a nutshell, try to schedule in both alone time and couple time, then stick to it. If you are having alone time, don't cut it short because you feel bad. And when you're with your husband, don't spend time browsing the web on your phone. I think you'll find your relationship will become even better! 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • It seems like to both of us that im not scheduling couple time because I do go into my phone on the internet. But If I had my own time, I wouldnt do those things doing couples time....you know? We have tv shows me both like, and thats what I consider our "couples time".... but our alone time isnt so alone. I cant do the things I want when we are always together. I know I am guilty of browsing the web on my phone during our time in the past and Ive made it a point to put it down and not do that, but like I said, when personal time and couple time is intertwined it gets a bit confusing.

    Luckily, he isnt opposed to alone time and completely agrees. We talked about it again this morning and he said something that i was thinking yesterday... When he was out of town all the time, we would only see each other on the weekends so we would of course try to make up for the time we lost. Now that he has been home, weve been trying to make up for the time lost...which we have more than done and without realizing spent TOO much together. We are both guilty of not asking for and requiring our own space.

    Now that we are aware of the issue, it will no longer be an issue. He left last night to go do his own thing and when he got home, we had a great time :-)

    We both are committed to make it a point to get alone time everyday, as well as get out of those house more and socialize. Winters here suck, so every year when it rolls around you get a little stir crazy by this time. the warm weather is so close you can taste it

    I dont mean to make it sound like we are purposely doing something unhealthy or he is clingy, we work hard to avoid unhealthy patterns. Im happy that we can talk about these things and come to an agreement and conclusion. We both are aware that so much time together isnt good for either of us. It just took us awhile to come to that realization. He doesnt have as many hobbies as I do, partly because he hasnt has the time for them But with time alone it gives him to opportunity to explore other avenues which he is excited about.

    I am very big on dream interpretation and I googled my dream from last night and was amazed. Basically it said that I am coming to realize mistakes Im making, recognizing my need for independence and taking steps to keep that, etc etc. I really made me feel good.

    Thank you all for all of your advice, its awesome to hear that other women feel the same way I do and always recognize their need for independence and alone time away from their husbands. Already, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders :-)
  • I've commonly heard parents say to their children "use your words". You're acting like a child because you're not speaking up for your needs. Just say what you want/need. Say it kindly, clearly, and with the goal of not hurting him, but understand he may still be hurt. 
  • imagegnc0988:


    Last weekend i sent him to the basement so I could do my hair and have some alone-girl time, and I didnt want to tell him to come back upstairs, but he text me from the basement that he missed me, and i felt bad and rushed to let him come back upstairs.

    Yeah, this is not normal.  At all.  I think you could both do with some therapy.

  • imagegnc0988:
    It seems like to both of us that im not scheduling couple time because I do go into my phone on the internet. But If I had my own time, I wouldnt do those things doing couples time....you know? We have tv shows me both like, and thats what I consider our "couples time".... but our alone time isnt so alone. I cant do the things I want when we are always together. I know I am guilty of browsing the web on my phone during our time in the past and Ive made it a point to put it down and not do that, but like I said, when personal time and couple time is intertwined it gets a bit confusing.

    Luckily, he isnt opposed to alone time and completely agrees. We talked about it again this morning and he said something that i was thinking yesterday... When he was out of town all the time, we would only see each other on the weekends so we would of course try to make up for the time we lost. Now that he has been home, weve been trying to make up for the time lost...which we have more than done and without realizing spent TOO much together. We are both guilty of not asking for and requiring our own space.

    Now that we are aware of the issue, it will no longer be an issue. He left last night to go do his own thing and when he got home, we had a great time :-)

    We both are committed to make it a point to get alone time everyday, as well as get out of those house more and socialize. Winters here suck, so every year when it rolls around you get a little stir crazy by this time. the warm weather is so close you can taste it

    I dont mean to make it sound like we are purposely doing something unhealthy or he is clingy, we work hard to avoid unhealthy patterns. Im happy that we can talk about these things and come to an agreement and conclusion. We both are aware that so much time together isnt good for either of us. It just took us awhile to come to that realization. He doesnt have as many hobbies as I do, partly because he hasnt has the time for them But with time alone it gives him to opportunity to explore other avenues which he is excited about.

    I am very big on dream interpretation and I googled my dream from last night and was amazed. Basically it said that I am coming to realize mistakes Im making, recognizing my need for independence and taking steps to keep that, etc etc. I really made me feel good.

    Thank you all for all of your advice, its awesome to hear that other women feel the same way I do and always recognize their need for independence and alone time away from their husbands. Already, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders :-)

    Good for you! 

  • imagerenegade gaucho:

    imagegnc0988:


    Last weekend i sent him to the basement so I could do my hair and have some alone-girl time, and I didnt want to tell him to come back upstairs, but he text me from the basement that he missed me, and i felt bad and rushed to let him come back upstairs.

    Yeah, this is not normal.  At all.  I think you could both do with some therapy.

    I agree. And I just want to point out that you both are completely opposite and not on the same page. He can't go an hour without missing you? It's not your job to be there for his guy and put your needs down. You do not have a healthy relationship dynamic. That's not going to get better once you get married if you don't do something about it now.  

  • eh, its not that big of a deal. we are both guilty of texting each other i miss u or i love you out of nowhere. its more of a cute text, not a omg i cant live without you. it annoyed me that day because i was busy, but i know it was more out of habit. like i said, i dont mean to make him sound like a clingy psycho. i always miss him, i enjoy his company. 

     

    last night without me saying anything i got my time alone. he stayed in the basement after we worked out, we did our own thing, i made dinner, then we had couples time. it was nice. he gets it.  

  • Of course it's all fixed and perfect. Keep turning a blind eye, I'm sure that will work for you in the long run. 
  • How about getting him a gym membership as a wedding gift? That gives him someplace to he can go year round and hang out with the guys (mine has an indoor basketball court). That way, he has his time, you have yours while he is gone, and when he gets home -- Together Time!
  • gym membership is a good idea, i have one that i dont use...i wonder if i could just put it in his name since its the same account? theres no basketball at this one though. i have to find out if the ymca has bball, its a smaller one so im not sure. good thing is our friend wants to play too and they are both activily looking for somewhere to play. weather is breaking soon so thatll give them lots to do. he wants to learn golf and the park here has a free golf course. 
  • turning a blind eye to what? him listening and understanding i need alone time, not balking at it, and respecting it? youre acting like he is being unreasonable and uncooperative and he is not. we talked about it like adults, we agreed we both could use alone time, and weve committed to giving ourselves alone time...so im not sure what im turning a blind eye to? i feel that the issue is resolving itself. if he had an issue with me wanting alone time, and i defended it like it was ok then yes, i could understand where you could say im turning a blind eye. but ive implemented the advice ive gotten here and so far so good (even though its been only a couple of days) and we are now both on the same page. i opened my mouth, discussed something that i was unhappy with, took responsibility for contributing to the problem, and committed with him to do things differently...so whats the problem?
  • You and your FI are me and Mr. Kuus, respectively.  If he had his way, he'd be hovering around me and chirping like a little bird during all his waking hours, while I, on the other hand, want to be alone with my thoughts, or to read a book, or to do something that doesn't require interacting with any other humans for a good portion of my day.

    Over time, the clash of this wears off a bit.  After thirteen years, I get plenty of alone time (and he enjoys his own) even though it's less than I originally felt that I wanted, and we both feel comfortable with him coming over and getting a kiss or something when he gets a pang of loneliness.

    image
  • thats good to hear. i thought an hour was fair, and i found myself last night needinb even less than that to do what i wanted to do. i figured itd be minor adjustment. like i said, im new to this whole living with other people and being around people all the time thing. he is used to it. his family never goes away...whole 'nother story 
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