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Love Bytes Tip #6: Give Each Other Space

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In case you were wondering if Love Bytes had bit the dust, the answer is no. We had several more posts in the series planned but, ya know, sh!t happened and I took a blogging break for a spell to scrape the poo off my heart. But I felt bad about leaving you all hanging, so here is one of the posts that I selected to close our co-blogging project (for now). I picked it for it's appropriateness in light of the loss three weeks ago.

this week's tip for the men:
There is physical space. Then there is metaphysical space, the spiritual vacancy that we fill with our intangible stuff...hopes, fears, dreams, disappointments, etc. Every coupled person needs space. Room to breathe. Room to grow. Room to be. After the miscarriage, I felt strangely distant from Damon. He didn't do anything wrong and I am sure he was processing our loss in his own way. But I felt detached from him and I was okay with that. I needed that. He didn't try enter my space and I am grateful to him for that. I strongly believe that knowing when to give your partner space is a critical skill in sustaining a relationship. This can be hard to do in this new connected-and-in-your-face culture that enables us to email, text, instant message, and poke each other 24/7. I cringe when I see that commercial of a girl in a tree checking her date's Twitter page for mention of their outing. There is a similar one of a guy who checks his date's Facebook status with his car's app. I'm all for being open and sharing, but there is something to be said about maintaining some mystery. The same goes for having room to be alone with your thoughts. If your wife is working through something, don't rush in to "fix" it (unless she asks for your help). Let her know that you are available to talk when she is ready. Then, give her some space and be patient.

this week's tip for the women:
Space is a complicated subject. You don't want too little for fear of being overwhelmed but you also don't want too much for fear of being alone. Teresha and I have experienced space (and the lack there of) in a lot of different ways since we began our relationship. We were very close in college as we began dating the summer before our sophomore year - we were basically attached at the hip. We had a lot of physical space when we were first married since I traveled during the week for the first three years of our marriage. The yin to that yang was that we lived in a one bedroom 700 sq ft loft the entire 10 years we lived in Atlanta - so we saw a LOT of each other when we were together. Then we experienced space again when I went to Virginia for graduate school while Teresha continued to work in Atlanta. In my opinion, I think we may have been closest emotionally when we physically have been the furthest apart. Love needs space to grow and sometimes we get so bogged down in the mundane details of everyday life, we let the little things strangle our love for each other. When I was traveling or in grad school we never seemed to argue about the small stuff. Who left the toilet seat up, who forgot to put xx on the grocery list or who moved my X and I can't find it! While it seems like marriage (or life for that matter) is an eternity - our time here on this earth is very finite. One of the great benefits of being a guy is that we have very short memories. I could have an argument with Teresha one minute and be ready to make up and move on five minutes later. Over the course of our ten years of marriage - I have learned that is not the case for my lovable mate : 0 ) So ladies, I urge you to not sweat the small stuff. While it may be annoying that your hubby can never seem to find the laundry hamper for his dirty socks, think of the big picture and how he loves you every day. Remember to push the small stuff aside and make sure that you create a space for love to grow.

Read Love Bytes Tip #1
Read Love Bytes Tip #2
Read Love Bytes Tip #3
Read Love Bytes Tip #4
Read Love Bytes Tip #5


Help! Mama Remote... said...

Space is helpful in a relationship. I agree with you husband too, about the not feeling alone part. great tips!

Kim said...

Having babies has created in me the need for a lot of space from my husband. It's something we struggle with because it's hard for him to imagine how it feels for me- nursing a baby all day (and in Naveen's case sometimes all night) leaves me drained. Add snuggling with a three year old all the time and I feel like being alone those few minutes I get to myself. Great topic!

Mama Up! said...

Hold up - what happened two weeks ago? I haven't been keeping up with everyone, so what should I know?

Maureensk said...

You mean all men have short memories in regards to arguments?!?! I thought it was just my husband. I had no idea. Well, I guess it makes sense when you think about it... Sometimes I feel guilty, but I actually like it when DH has to go away on a trip. I like it to just be me and then kids for a couple of days. I wouldn't mind it being just me actually, but that's not happening any time soon.

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