Do You and Your Partner Argue About How Much Time You Spend Together? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Do You and Your Partner Argue About How Much Time You Spend Together?


Do you and your partner have different expectations for how much time you spend together? Does one of you think you should spend more time together while the other wants more time doing their own thing? If so, the following tips may help you identify how to address this concern.

Me Time Vs. Us Time

Conflict over time spent together vs. apart is a common relationship problem. Your partner may want to do more activities by him/herself, which may make you feel that he/she doesn’t care enough about you. Or maybe your partner wants more time together, which makes you feel crowded or claustrophobic. You might find it harder to enjoy the time that you do spend together because you are upset you do not get enough time for yourself.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 06:46 PM
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Re: Do You and Your Partner Argue About How Much Time You Spend Together?

We never argue because from while I sit in the living room I can't hear her from the trunk of the car parked all the way out in the garage.

.........><)))#">
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 09:08 PM
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Re: Do You and Your Partner Argue About How Much Time You Spend Together?

Schedule husband and wife time before the very end of the day. For couples with children, this can mean having 'us time' as soon as the children go to bed at 8 P.M. This leaves the couple with 1 to 1.5 hours to do other things only afterward. The relationship is the priority, so make it a given that 'us time' is the rule not the exception.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 02:30 PM
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Re: Do You and Your Partner Argue About How Much Time You Spend Together?

While I agree with some of the article's recommendations - such as it's OK to have your desires and express them, and you should be OK that your partner's desires are meaningful also, I am trouble by the article's overall tone of "me versus you". I see very little "us" in the article.

Too, I am informed by reality. John Gottman's "Love Lab" in Seattle, after decades of study, measurement etc, has determined that there really is a numerical value. 15 hours a week. Below 15 hours a week of couples time, the statistical probability of divorce within the next ten years takes a significant spike upwards - like doubles, if I recall. "Couples time" by their definition requires some involvement. You could be working a project together, walking (even silently) in a low-distraction environment such as a nature park (a mall is high-distraction and only counts as couple time if you're engaged in conversations while being there). TV watching is never "couples" time according to the Love Lab.

My own situation is kind of sad. Wife really does not trust people...any people. She trust things about them, such as my presence makes her feel like we'll be OK with money because she trusts my money judgment way above her own - and way above that of any financial advisor. However, she has so little faith in herself that any conversation or interaction feels risky, as if she's going to expose yet another thing wrong with her.

Just as I was composing this, she came into my office, hugged me and said, "I'm sorry I'm so badly broken." I told her that can't feel good, but I don't think of her as broken, but having a wonderful heart and if she could learn to trust herself more, she probably would be more able to see all the good she does. That's kind of where I see myself adding something - encouraging her not to change, but to realize she doesn't have to.

There are three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business. Whose business are you in? -Byron Katie
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 03:27 PM
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Re: Do You and Your Partner Argue About How Much Time You Spend Together?

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Originally Posted by DustyDog View Post
Too, I am informed by reality. John Gottman's "Love Lab" in Seattle, after decades of study, measurement etc, has determined that there really is a numerical value. 15 hours a week. Below 15 hours a week of couples time, the statistical probability of divorce within the next ten years takes a significant spike upwards - like doubles, if I recall. "Couples time" by their definition requires some involvement. You could be working a project together, walking (even silently) in a low-distraction environment such as a nature park (a mall is high-distraction and only counts as couple time if you're engaged in conversations while being there). TV watching is never "couples" time according to the Love Lab.
This is interesting- I didn't realize that Gottman had the same 15 hours/week rec for married couples that Dr. Harley recommends in his Marriage Builders books/program. Thanks for sharing this. I know that I've never been unhappy in my marriage until we stopped prioritizing time together. It was very hard for me and now that we have it back, our marriage is much stronger, but I do struggle with the feeling of resentment from when I did not feel like as much of a priority.

Is your wife in IC? That might be a huge help to her. They even offer online therapy now where she can text a licensed therapist when she's feeling down about herself. It could help improve things with you and the marriage if she has a safe place to vent and gets helpful feedback.
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