Have you ever come across someone who seems to think that the world revolves around them? You’ll often hear them say, “But what about me? When is it my turn? When do I?…” The cries and pleas go on and on. There are times when a person can be so focused on themselves that they forget that there is another person in the marriage. The two have become one, which means that there must be time when focus is given to the other person. One of the things that has made things really simple between my wife and I is that we’ve always had this understanding that when God joined us together, there are times when each of us needs time alone to focus on us as individuals, so that we have what we need to give to the other.
If you are hearing from someone that they need personal time, understand that it’s not a slight against you. We all get bogged down with things, and often those things can get in the way of one person having what is needed in order to be equipped to attend to all that is on their plate. It’s like going to your bank and constantly withdrawing your money, but never bothering to replenish the account. Eventually the account is depleted and soon it goes negative.
When you give your spouse the necessary time to get away, or have their personal space, or whatever it is that they are asking for, you give them what they need to make the needed deposits that will allow them to be able to once again tend to the other parts of life that vie for their attention.
Think about this: Before you married, you and your spouse were individuals that could come and go as you both pleased. You could choose to hang with your friends, or family, or whomever you chose to be with. You could even choose to be by yourself. When you decided to get away to yourself, you allowed yourself the time to focus on you to enable yourself to have what you needed. That need didn’t change when you got married. If anything, the need for it increased, because you now have even greater things pulling on you since your responsibilities and priorities have increased.
It’s funny because I hear many people complain that after a while of being married, there comes this moment where you get caught up in your own self and you never have time for each other. It’s equally just as bad when you spend every waking hour with someone so that they never have a moment to refresh, refocus, and replenish themselves. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong or will never see them again, it just means that they need a moment to regroup. Like a soldier in the military; if they never have down time, when the time to fight comes, they may lack what is necessary in order to fulfill the mission.
When Paul the apostle spoke of marriage to the people of Corinth, he said that there would be times when it was necessary for one to fast or devote one’s time to sanctification, but it was to only be for a season (See 1 Corinthian 7). While Paul was specifically speaking in reference to times where one abstains from sexual intimacy with one’s mate, it is as applicable to personal time as it is for intimacy.
My wife often gives me space to focus on things that I have been trying to work on when there are other things that often prevent me from getting things done. For this I am very grateful. However, she often will not take time for herself. I often have to remind her that she needs time for herself so that she doesn’t lose sight of herself or goals that she wants to achieve. It’s in those times that she discovers how needful it really was. It is to her like a drink of crisp, clean water that has restored her strength.
If you’re hearing your mate say that they need time, or space, understand that it’s not about you. It may just be that extra something that is needed in order to stoke the flames of passion back into your relationship. When your spouse says to you what they need time or space, give them that moment to get away and be amazed by how things in them change. It will be like a recharged battery, and your marriage will be functioning at full capacity once more.
QUESTION: What do you do when your mate is crying for space? What result do you see when you give them that space?