But I’m Not a Housewife!

Domestic Bliss, Eventually

Marriage Monday: Do I Spend Too Much Time With My Husband?

tim-jessicapoloroid1

First of all, don’t laugh at this picture! I’ve been meaning to start writing a marriage column on Mondays for weeks now and I was dying to have a sort of logo for it. Not wanting to worry about copyright laws, I decided to use a picture of my husband and me, and this was the only one I could find on short notice. It was the first photo ever taken of the two of us, when we were dating. It was also the onset of us spending all of our time together.

On with the post. Some people, such as Darla Shine in her book Happy Housewives, suggest that it is unhealthy to spend all your time with your husband. I suppose some couples would go insane if they didn’t have their “guy time” and “girl time” respectively. But that type of genderization of activities is something my husband and I don’t really buy into. Well, to a certain extent. Yes I do enjoy sewing and knitting and watching “Chick flicks” (that even I roll my eyes at but still want to watch) but my husband doesn’t really do much that requires that he hang out with “the guys” without their spouses. He doesn’t hunt, fish, camp, mountain climb, watch or play sports, or even really get into video games, (and he doesn’t need to be out at bars trying to feel like a single guy and flirting with other women). Besides, on the occasions he does do any of those things, he would rather have me there too! 

The only time we really go out is with our favorite local couple. We either have dinner and play cards at their house or we actually go to a bar where we compete in a weekly pub quiz. (We often place in the top three, sometimes even get first place. Yes, I guess we’re dorks.) The husband in that couple watches March Madness, but he doesn’t do it with my husband, he does it at home with his wife, who is probably making jewelry in the same room. Meanwhile we are at our own house watching DVDs we’ve rented from the library, such as Globe Trekker and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Sometimes I’m knitting and he’s reading the Sunday or Wednesay New York Times. We make dinner together. We eat together. We used to go to the gym together, but I’ve stopped going. See? We do have some “girl things” and “guy things” that we enjoy, but we can usually be together while doing them.

Then there are weekends. The particular day that I conceived of this post, we had spent the entire day exploring Denver together. We had brunch somewhere, roamed some old book and antique stores for hours, got some amazing deals on work-pants at Goodwill (seriously), ate ate a fun bar, while looking at some of the books we bought, went to a movie, and went home to do lie on the couch together. It was right after this lovely day that I read the segment in Darla Shine’s book about being closer with your girlfriends than your husband. Now, she didn’t write it without a lot of thought:

I’ve been sitting here thinking for a few minutes about how I should write this step. I think it’s a very important step, and I want to make sure you don’t take it the wrong way…so, here it goes…

Your husband should not be your best friend. He’s your husband, and obviously you should have a very deep bond with him, but you absolutely must have another outlet in your life. You’ll never be a happy housewife if you wrap your identity entirely around your husband and children. 

(And somewhere in the book she says the only thing she really needs her husband for is sex and that’s about it. When I find it I’ll edit it into this post.)

I know my regular readers must think I really have it out for Darla, and I don’t! It’s just that I’m a very critical thinker and I don’t like over simplified generalizations that are not thought through. 

Some of what she said above is true, we should maintain and nurture our female friendships, especially when we become mothers, but what if your husband is your best friend? What if you really do enjoy doing everything together? My sister recently told me that on Saturdays the whole family likes to go grocery shopping together. She, her husband and all four kids. And they really enjoy it, gasp! Now, I do believe that if you spend 24 hours a day with anybody, you’re going to get fed up with them for a bit, but the truth is, I can stand my husband a lot longer than I can stand most other people, and he has said the same thing about me. 

Now, a couple of weeks ago, I did have a girl’s night. One of the girls’ husband and daughter were away for the night, so we stayed up late and had a kitchen dance party. We played disco and hip hop and danced like crazy (while drinking a few cocktails) and we marveled about how this was more fun that we ever had as single women out at bars. But, the truth is, we often have dance parties when our husbands are around, after we get fed up with playing cards. Sometimes we can get them to join us in the kitchen, being silly and dancing, other times they are in the living room playing Wii

I know this type of life isn’t for everyone, and if you bicker a lot with your husband, you may need some time apart. (But, I think all that bickering is a separate issue.) And, if you are spending that time with your girlfriends trashing your husband, you are doing your relationship more harm than good.

Okay, I have tons more to say about this subject. but I’ll leave it here for now. 

Tell me, do I spend too much time with my spouse? Do you?

11 Comments»

  Ed wrote @

My wife and I have been happily married for a whole 18 months. It’s her second marriage and my first. Your desire to spend almost all your time with your husband sounds just like me and my wife. Our friends think we’re crazy when we say all we want to do is spend time together, no matter if it’s watching TV, reading aloud to each other, shopping at an arts & crafts show, etc.

We’re even at the point that just being in different rooms feels lonely. The other night she was watching ER in the living room and I was watching Hell’s Kitchen in the bedroom. Every commercial break, I had to go out and kiss my wife.

Please don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are spending too much time together. In the end, you never know how much time you’ll have.

  Jessielme wrote @

Hi Ed,

I think it’s so sweet that you go kiss your wife at the commercial breaks. I do that too! (On the rare occasions we decide to do things in different rooms.) Plus it makes sense for you each to watch what you want to watch sometimes instead of fighting over the TV.

People thought we were crazy too, when we were first dating. We go places together, we laugh with each other, we just like being together. Plus, we cooperate better than some couples I know. It sounds like you and your wife have a very healthy and loving relationship – you know, I bet those really old couples that have been together over 50 years and still act like sweethearts, started out like this too!

Thanks for the comment!
Jessie

  Robyn wrote @

I don’t know why she thinks one husband “should” not be their best friend, like this is a rule. Maybe she should just point out that some people’s husbands are not their best friends, and these people may need more time away than people whose husbands are their best friends.

  Jessielme wrote @

Well said, Robyn! She just loves to make broad generalizations.

  kiwone wilson wrote @

things use to be that way with me and my fiancee’. we spent every single moment together. we’d talk for hours on the phone even after spending a whole day on the beach or just kicking it at the mall. things suddenly went for a change. we had our first baby not to long ago and it seemed like we slowly began drifting apart throughout the pregnancy. these days I don’t even get a phone call or text just to say hi I miss you or I was worried. now I’m at home every minute of the day looking at my cell phone waiting for her to call me, send a text or an email but those days are gone. I know this is a site for housewives but I’m tryna find answers for improving my marriage. is it possible that I spend too much time with my wife and perhaps that’s the reason it seems as though se lost interest in me?

  David wrote @

Hi i am in the same situation as you and your husband.i love spending time with my wife we enjoy going out to clubs, bars, cooking, excreta. I know she feels deep in her heart that i dont “Care” to hang out with the “Boys” but deep in my heart i feel that the lack of having my “Own” time is pushing me away inside and secretly disliking her because she feels the way You do, that i dont need it. Sometimes i Hate my self for not making it a point to have our “Own”time time from the beginning of our relationship! Sometimes i feel (not intentionally ) that she has taken for granted my Sweetness and Love for Her and the fact that I willing to put Her First before myself

feel that (not intentionally )

  David wrote @

Wait i didnt finish!! That i Put ger first before myself! It just Sucks that i Dont have the Balls to tell her how i really feel because i feel i dont want to hurt her feelings or to feel that i dont Love her! Oh well im just Fucked!! And i just feel that maybe im just gonna have to live like this for the reat of my Life!! Because she is like You and Feels that we dont need it!!

  Jess wrote @

Oh me and my husband are like this too! At first I struggled with it simply because of societal expectations,theories,advice etc. I rarely come across an article like this. MOST suggest you need time away from each other. But the truth is, we enjoy our time together! If we do go out separately, we simply can’t wait to be back home with one another. People have all kinds of negative names for it. Clingy, dependent, insecure. And I used to buy into it. Not anymore. My husband IS my best friend. The only difference between best friends and spouses is sex. I always joked with him that he couldn’t have sex with his other friends :-) so its the best of both worlds. It’s only a problem when the other spouse doesn’t want it for whatever reason…either they enjoy their solitude because of their personalIty or they don’t really enjoy being around that person. And to me, that just means your not a good match. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. Each day all that I do is fill up my time while I wait to be with my husband again. I learn interesting things along the way, but nothing is complete until I’ve shared it with him. And luckily he feels the same way. We are very supportive and encouraging of each other and if one wants to do something without the other we say I’m gonna miss you but have fun! And we mean it. It’s so rare that even happens though. I want him by my side and he wants me by his.

  Julia wrote @

Well, I was doing some research about this topic and actually read your entire post (usually I skim and move on!). I am a stay at home mom and my husband works from home. We also have two boys age 7&2. We spend tons of time together every day and I have to be honest, there are days where all I want is to go to dinner with my parents or just read alone without anyone around. I do think that author was generalizing (sp) to an extreme that is ridiculous but there is a time and place that space is appropriate for sanity. I am betting that all of these couples go to work separately and see each other mornings/weekends/evenings. Maybe if I was at work all day I would look at life differently but I have only been in that situation before I had children. I am having trouble relating to a lot of women who are saying they would be with their husbands constantly if not for working or lack of a two person bathtub. I have yet to come across an author in anything close to my situation and I find this frustrating. Any suggestions? Thanks for posting your thoughts.

  heather wrote @

Thought I would respond to your question.
I have been with my husband for 10 years. We do Everything together, kinda always have. I enjoy all of my time with him, he is my best friend. Neither of us need girl or guy friends. We have children from other marriages that presents it’s own problems. I love his son’s, but can’t stand his 24 yr old daughter. I’m actually debating going our separate ways for the holidays for the first time ever. I don’t want him to feel like I keep him from his kids, but I’ m beginning to think he resents me in some way & they blame me for him not liking the holidays & spending all his time with me. Should I suggest being apart for our first time? I mean I’ve gone away for a few days on sports events with my daughter, but never like what I may suggest. Being apart during the holidays is different, but I think he may need some time. Do you think that says something? We honestly never fight, but somethings not right. Are we spending too much time together? He says that’s what he likes, but I’m wondering if that’s not true.

  anonymouse wrote @

I am about to get married to my fiancee in a week. We spend everyday together, and both our families and friends think we spend too much time together. I have constantly heard that we’re too obsessed or the spark will die out if we don’t give each other space, we have our whole lives together, all that. But if we’re happy being together I don’t understand what the problem is. We are truly best friends, everything just gets better when he’s around so why keep him away? I know a lot of couples spend too much time and then have problems with friends and family because the time is not split equally. Because my husband-to-be and i are in the same group of friends it makes sense in this case. We grocery shop together we do errands together and then go out for a drink to reward ourselves. Sure there are arguments but because of everything we go through it helps us see how special the relationship is and why we should solve and compromise on our problems because we have such a bond. If you guys don’t have an issue you shouldn’t distance yourselves because of other people. you will just feel miserable and it will distance you two.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: