My husband really is my best friend, but we are far from attached at the hip. In fact, there are certainly days that I’m convinced we are leading completely separate lives — and I like it that way. Our marriage is a strong one because we fully acknowledge that we’re two people, not one. Here are four ways that living your own life can make your marriage better.
#1 – Our shared interests are really our shared interests
I think golf is possibly the most boring way in the world to spend time. I’d rather do just about anything else, like scrapbooking or coloring. (Neither of which would be very appealing to him.) My husband doesn’t get out on the course very often, but when he does, he really enjoys it. He also loves to go for long, overnight hiking trips. I love to hike, but if there’s not a cozy bed with a hot shower and air conditioning at the end of said hike, you can count me out.
We don’t like to do all the same things and neither one of us feels the need to adopt the other’s passions. Our shared interests are truly shared, and we enjoy doing things together so much more because nothing is ever forced. This doesn’t mean that we don’t try new things together, but we certainly don’t feel like we need to like the same things.
#2 – Not all friendships are shared
Yes, we have couple friends. We always have a lot of fun with these people. There are even single people that we are both friends with — male and female. However, we also both have friendships that are just our own. People who we can talk to about real things like parenting and politics, annoying co-workers and difficult spouses.
At the end of the day, he’s always the person I want to confide in, but I’m a stronger person because he’s not the only one I have to confide in. Having strong relationships outside of our marriage helps us both to be better individuals.
#3 – Doing things separately gives us both a sense of freedom
I find myself wondering sometimes why marriages get stale and people who have seemingly loved one another and shared so much decide to call it quits after 10, 20, or 30 years. Then I look at some couples around me and realize that they do so much together, there’s no room for air.
Having separate interests and separate friends gives us both a sense of freedom that we might not have otherwise. I’m not the same person I was when we decided to spend our lives together and neither is he, but we have the freedom to grow into the best version of ourselves.
#4 – Being apart makes us want to spend time together
One thing that modern couples seem to really struggle with is making time for themselves. Whether it’s kids or work, there’s always something that’s going to prevent you from having real together time. You may not even crave it if you don’t get time away from one another now and again. For hubby and I, that time when he’s on an overnight hike and I’m busy wine-ing makes it so we’re that much more driven to schedule quality time for us because we genuinely miss each other.
No marriage is perfect. No two people are perfect, but marriage is better when the participants get a chance to be the best version of themselves, and living your own life is one of the best ways to do that.