Post # 1
- Wedding: March 2018 - The Venue, Barkisland, UK
We bought a house a few months ago, and moved 1hr30 away from the valley where we’d both grown up nearer to where I work. I get that that’s small fry to most of you! The house is great; it needs some TLC but it’s going to be gorgeous and we’re very happy in it, and love the area. My commute is now 15-20 minutes each way and my husband is working from home. Previously, we lived together for 3.5 years in an apartment we rented, but we’ve been together for 14 years in total (met at school). I was commuting 1hr30+ each way once or twice a week and worked from home, and my husband commuted 1hr each way 5x a week. It actually feels like we have a good quality of life now.
Whilst it’s fantastic that we’ve got so much more time together, I feel… trapped. I’m used to that time alone, to just be with my thoughts. The house has more rooms than the apartment we were renting, but it doesn’t feel like enough space to get away from him, and he has no outside hobbies (I’m working on that!). We’re a 10 minute drive from the nearest train station, he doesn’t have any very local friends but his best friends are 30 mins away by car – he’s going to learn to drive soon – but one of those friends had a baby a few months ago so fewer opportunties to hang out. I go to the office 4x a week, or I started taking a pole dancing class, but I’m with other people then. I feel like I don’t have enough me-time, of the kind that I’m used to and I crave. I have a higher sex drive and I used to take advantage of him being out to deal with it solo, and I don’t feel like I can do that as much when he’s around so I’m not getting that release either which usually helps to keep my emotions on an even keel.
Buying/moving was way more stressful than I thought (I didn’t believe people – they were right!) and work has been extremely stressful lately too; feels like I’ve been stressed for about 5 months now which is going to take a toll. I’m putting it down to that, but there have been occasions where I haven’t wanted to come home because I’ve just wanted to be on my own for a bit.
I want to explain all of this to him, but I am naturally quite forward to the point of being blunt and I’m worried that I’ll screw up the conversation. The last thing I want is to hurt his feelings, but I do want him out of the house for a few hours once a week. The only thing I can think of to get some me time, is to go running. It’s not exactly what I want, but I’d be away from people in a world of my own for a bit and it might be enough. I’m telling myself that a move is a big thing and that he moved for me and I need to remember that he’s probably feeling isolated, but we haven’t really talked about it.
Has anybody been in a similar situation? How did you cope? Did you adjust in the end? Any tips for how to approach the conversation, rather than my usual blurting it out?
Post # 2
BeeDD : This is more common than you think, especially with couples that have not lived together for very long. If you continue to sweep things under the rug, you will have a huge pile to deal with. Deal with things when they are small bites with minimum emotion assigned to them and be clear and calm when bringing up these issues.
Address your hierarchy of needs, including your emotional needs. Address the things that contribute to your stress and you will have an easier time engaging with your husband. Listen to him, because I’ll bet a dollar that you are not fulfilling all of his needs either.
Putting two independent people in the same house is going to take some getting used to. You have your routine and he has his. You each have your own ways of staying satisfied with life as a single person, but now you need to find ways to include each other and to enjoy being a part of a bigger picture.
I highly recommend reading Love Languages on your own if you have an issue articulating where your needs are coming from or the significance of them.
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2018 - The Venue, Barkisland, UK
rockclimberbride : Thank you, I have the love languages book but haven’t read it and will do so! I should’ve said (and have edited my original post to do so) that we lived together for 3.5 years prior to this house, but given the time he was out commuting and better public transport options, it felt less like close quarters.
Post # 4
Ok, I think you should definitely try to talk to him about he’s feeling and what he thinks about all those changes. Try to ask him just that, how do you feel about working from home, missing out on the parts of being with work mates etc.? And try to use positive-I-phrases instead of negative-you ones. What I mean by this is to say something like: I feel like the changes have affected me more than I anticipated and I feel how I miss doing xyz,.. I think it would be great if I could do xyz more.. Instead of saying: You are always home and do not go out etc. What it is exactly you miss when being by yourself?While you can’t tell him to go out and leave the house to you, you can search for activities outside, now that you have more time from not having to drive so far for work. Running/ going for a walk would be an option. While I don’t always want to interact with my husband, I don’t mind him being in another room.
Post # 5
BeeDD : I think you may need to have a conversation, but i agree i would be scared of saying it wrong and him getting offended.
But when i first started dating my Darling Husband, i straight up told him I enjoy “Me time”. So no, you cant come over tonight because im watching a girly show and taking a bath. Its important to have time to just be by yourself every now and then. We have lived together for 5 years now and I dont really have that need for “me time” as much anymore, but i very much take full advantage when he is out of the house lol.
If it is really an issue, maybe try setting up a schedule where you come home a couple days a week and get an hour to yourself to watch TV in the bedroom or something.
Stop for coffee on your commute home (or a glass of wine) ? Take 20 – 30 mins before you go home to stop and get your thoughts together. Even pick up a small snack and walk around a park or sit in your car.
Hopefully you guys will get through this adjustmen period and find your routine 🙂
Post # 6
BeeDD : I can relate! The reason my fiancé and my relationship works so well is he works alternating nights with days, and one weekend day, so I get plenty of me time. I am independent, and love time alone. I find my me time is best spent at the gym, or exploring places to photograph. My fiancé knows this about me already, so if his schedule were ever to change, he would be perfectly OK with me sticking to my schedule. I think once your hubby learns to drive, and discovers the freedom of taking himself places, he’ll probably get out more. If his current means of transportation are limited to the train or a bike, I could see him spending more time at home right now.
Post # 7
One thing I noticed in your post was that you want to change HIS schedule to make you more comfortable. I don’t think that’s fair. If you want alone time, you can have alone time. But you can’t make him leave or kick him out of the house for a few hours so you can masturbate lol.
PPs have given great advice. I’ll add that if you have the spare space, set up a lady cave, or just be more vocal with what you need. If that’s 30m when you get home, or an hour before bed to relax or whatever – tell him. Frame it around you, and don’t place blame on him, and I bet he’d be fine with it. Just avoid things like “you never leave” “you need to do this” etc.
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2018 - The Venue, Barkisland, UK
Thanks all, it really helps to get an outside perspective!
I’m hoping it’s a transitionary period; we’re setting up the garage as a gym (one of my hobbies) and he wants to get his motorbike license. Those things should help.
bellabelle12 : I think it’s feeling like I don’t need to please anybody but myself; if I want to watch trash on TV then I can or if I want to eat really early or really late or do a bit of tidying or just blob with a book.. I am sure if we talked about it, he’d tell me that I could do all of those things, and it seems a bit trivial with them written out.
Post # 9
BeeDD : I’m quite introverted as is my husband but I have to put a lot more effort into being ‘on’ for my job. At the minute, I drive and get some alone time then (providing the commute home isn’t too bad/stressful) whereas he catches the train (doesn’t get the same alone time). I also tend to be home for about 30-60 more than him in the evening. So at the moment, I have my alone time for about an hour when I get home and I give him 20 minutes or so when he gets in, I’ll start cooking and wait for him to come to me.
When our routines get knocked out of sync a little bit – either by working late or traffic – then we have to readjust. Fortunately neither of us gets pissed if the other just needs some time alone. It’s taken us a while to find our routine and quite frankly it involves being blunt sometimes. I think just be aware of his mood and clarify if something seems overly blunt, he must understand that you’re a rather blunt person by now and not to take offence? I’d have a conversation with him that you’re struggling to adjust and ask how’s he adjusting. The fact that he’s socialising less might actually be a problem for him and he might feeling quite isolated.
Does he play video games? I know it’s not an outside hobby but you can watch Netflix in a different room and he can connect with some of his friends online. We do this most evenings – he plays on his PlayStation with his friends and I go upstairs to read.
Whatever his indoor activity is you could try and find activities along those lines where he can get out and meet people. I realise you might have to drop him off while he doesn’t drive but then you can go do something separate. Find local volunteer opportunities he might be interested in, helping with a youth group or maybe your area has a timebank? Not all activities need to be outdoor activities, just something that lets him build new friendships.
Post # 10
BeeDD : So my husband and I are in a similar situation. I work out of the house and Dh works from home. So he’s ALWAYS there. Lol
Having said that, maybe I’m lucky because he does have the need to get out of the house. Got to the gym, for a walk or even grocery shopping just to stretch his legs.
I would suggest a conversation. It doesn’t have to be a you’re smothering me talk. Just express that because of the circumstances you never get to be alone in the house and you need some time to yourself. It’s not about him, it’s about you. That way there is no reason for him to be hurt or offended. Dh and I have had an open conversation about it and we’ve found compromises that work for both of us and that were both happy and comfortable with.
Monday night’s are me time. My Dh does whatever he wants and so do I. Even if we’re in the house together, he leaves me alone. He jokes that it’s Monday night and “I’m not allowed to talk to you.”