Childless couples face some different problems than couples with kids, but some of our issues are the same. One problem that I think any married couple has is spending time with one another. The specifics of the problem, however, vary whether or not children are in the equation.
It’s well-known that finding time, period, when you have kids is a common conundrum. Finding time to do household chores, take a shower, spend time with your spouse, and still have some alone time can all be troublesome depending how many and what age children you have.
Obviously Jon and I don’t have that problem yet. Maybe I should ignore it when I read all of these marriage advice sites telling me how imperative it is to spend time with my spouse. I feel like we do spend time together, but sometimes, prompted by marriage magazine articles, I wonder if we’re not spending enough.
I already looked at this problem a little bit when I stressed how important alone time is in a marriage. This is the other side of the equation: finding that balance between making sure each spouse has enough alone time and being together.
Obviously Jon and I spend most days apart. Last week was an exception; due to a strange work schedule on top of a holiday Jon was around the house more than usual, and there was more than one day where I’d leave to do my own things for a few hours. They’re things I do any week, but usually the only ones I’m leaving at home are the pets.
This might seem like common sense, but I admit sometimes I fight an impulse to clear my schedule if Jon’s going to be around. If he’s here I want to spend that time with him. But that’s silly for a couple reasons: one, the things in my life shouldn’t only be there to fill the time I don’t have with him, I should do them for myself, and two: most of the time, I’m only talking about an hour or two anyway.
Although Jon and I both might be around the house when he has a day off, we’re not spending every moment of it together. We always come together for meals and usually at other random times throughout the day, but often we watch something while eating. We talk the whole way through, cook and clean together, banter across rooms even if we’re partially occupied in other things; we do spend time together, but I wonder: are we spending enough?
I know for sure I’m worrying too much. Perhaps it’s good we’re already in the habit of not spending every free moment together, because then we’re already somewhat used to it for when our kids take up most of our time. I know I’m a worrier, and I often perceive problems where there are none. But I’m here to represent the childless couples, or at least other young marrieds, so I thought sharing my own experiences might be helpful for others in similar situations.
The key is to make sure that you want to spend time with your spouse and that you have no problem making time to do so. If you’re constantly ignoring each other when you’re both at home, maybe you need to make the effort to spend more time together. If not, if you’re both happy and content, then all is well.