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Suffocating from Togetherness

You go to work, you come home, and then you’re surrounded by kids. Your partner then comes home, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. If you feel as though life is closing in on you and you’re being suffocated with too much “togetherness,” you’re not alone. When you can’t go to the bathroom or brush your teeth without your spouse or kids needing something, you can become frustrated and irritable. Maybe you thought you’d be able to relax and have “me-time” during the summer, but it turned out to be just the opposite.

When you begin a relationship, it’s normal to want to spend time together. However, the amount of time couples need together is variable. Being sweet and thinking of your partner by sending a text can quickly turn into an annoyance if you’re texting when your partner is trying to take a bath or enjoy personal time. You may be asking if there’s something wrong with you or your relationship if you’re feeling smothered. My response would be, “No.”

Healthy relationships need personal space to keep them strong. It’s not a luxury – it’s a necessity. If you’re feeling smothered but you’re worried that you’ll hurt your partner’s feelings, consider bringing up these five reasons to get time away from each other.

  1. Time away will add the spark back to your relationship. When you have personal space, whether you spend it with friends or reading a book, you rejuvenate yourself. This energy is brought back home into your relationship.

  2. You’ll appreciate your partner more. Absence from your partner causes you to think about them more, which leads to gratitude. Listening to strangers or friends about their relationships will make you realize how fortunate you are.

  3. Your stress level will go down. Stress becomes heightened when you’re with small children or in a demanding job every day. The stress is compounded when you’re in a relationship with too much togetherness.

  4. Time alone to maintain self-care is important to mental health. Taking time to exercise and maintain your physical health are important for your overall emotional well-being. Burn-out from too much togetherness is a precursor for depression.

  5. Too much togetherness leads to inflexible partners and less stable marriages. Time alone helps you develop a broader perspective, which can help you tackle problems or conflicts. When you have choices and options, you make better decisions and become less rigid which stabilizes your relationship.

One of the most common problems couples struggle with in the summer is finding time to be alone. Give yourself or your partner time alone to improve mental health and your relationship.


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