I Know This Sounds Stupid

I also know this isn’t necessarily practical and there certainly are exceptions to the rule, but I’ve thought for years that, in a ideal world, a couple that wants to stay together probably shouldn’t live together. There’s one other thing I know about this, or can at least guess: I’m probably going to get quite a lot of flack over it, but I still think the principle behind it is worth exploring.

I’ve come to this conclusion partly because of experience – well, mostly because of experience – but through observation of lots of other couples too. I understand of course that it can’t be applied all that easily when raising a family, but even then some people (such as armed forces personnel) are forced into that situation and it’s not always a disaster by any means. Male or female, you might well be in a deeply loving relationship with your partner, but if you want to keep it that way, I’d suggest you consider not living together – not all the time at least.

I’ve never been a particular advocate of the “warts and all” school of thought. Realistically, I know perfectly well that my partner will not always look like Marylyn Monroe, Kylie, or Julia Roberts (oh how I adored Julia Roberts in Pretty woman!). I’m equally only too well aware that I’m no Richard Gere, either. But when you’re not together 24/7, you do have a better chance of at least presenting your “best” self for much of the time. More importantly, it’s so very much easier to be excited about the time you do have together, to plan and execute surprises (nice surprises that is) and things to do and to generally continue to “chase” each other – pretty much as you did when you were courting. There’s one heck of a lot more to talk to each other about too, when you don’t see each other every day.

I’m not suggesting here that you will be any more in love, but I’ve always thought that a man or woman might well love his/her partner dearly after twenty or thirty years and the kids and all the other myriad ravages of time, but that doesn’t really guarantee them being a “turn on”, does it? And sex never entirely stops having at least some importance for most people. In fact – and I apologise for this to those of you who are a little more challenged in the immodesty department, but to put it more succinctly: “I love you to bits honey, but I don’t really want to f*ck you!” And before you get all huffy about it – that’s not just a male thing either! Men are as we all know more susceptible to visual stimuli, but women quite understandably feel that way at times too – some of them pretty much all the time and who can often blame them!

Nor am I saying here that a woman should somehow miraculously remain looking exactly like the film star she was when they first met (Lassie??), or that the guy can keep on being the total hunk he once was (Shrek perhaps?), but they can still look the best they can for each other a whole lot easier if they don’t have to do it all the goddam time and it’s a great deal more fun too!

Go on then… tell me what a jerk I’m being – but please try to explain why too… πŸ˜‰

10 Responses to “I Know This Sounds Stupid”

  1. I’m not a fan of couples living apart but I will say traveling for business and spending time apart on a regular basis is a real perk. Homecomings are great!

  2. I think, as with most things, it depends on the two people involved. I know plenty of marriages and long term relationships that couldn’t bear the weight of time spent apart.

    The hardest part of my marriage was when Chef Stu had to travel the world for IBM for 2-4 weeks at a time, because I had my way of doing things when he was gone and when he came back, things went back to couple-driven management. There were always ADJUSTMENTS (big, like that) to be made.

    We are retired now and we have responsibilities caring for our elderly, terminally ill, live-in parents…responsibilities that are best fulfilled as a team. We have a house that is 3600 square feet, best cared for as a team. We have 7 pets, best cared for as a team. We have an endless stream of company, best cared for as a team. We have 22 1/2 years together and it’s been very hard work and very rewarding. It’s been a constant evolution that we would not have made had we not lived together.

    My first husband spent too much time away from home and family, and I divorced him because, guess what? If I was going to do it all myself, I was going to do it BY myself. Bitter? No, but it changed the scope of 4 lives.

    So, can I appreciate the surface level of your opinion? Yes, and it DOES work well for some…mostly the male of the species. But I can’t-don’t- won’t become a practitioner.

    God, I’m wordy!

    • We-eell… wordy yes, but wise as always πŸ™‚

      I can see and accept all that you said and yes, if you can work as a team (which relatively few couples actually truly can), then there is undoubtedly a very good case for living together. In any event NOTHING works the same for everybody.

      All that said, I think there is a valid point there in favour of what I suggested in your comment – “If I was going to do it all myself, I was going to do it BY myself.” The point is that we are individuals and we ALL need our own space – for our own sanity, our own self respect even, and to help us to remain fresh, interesting and just a little mysterious to our partner.

      I think the other thing is that I’m probably really talking about even separate homes here, (which is not very practical when you want to raise a family and can certainly be expensive), because that freshness, mystery, excitement and even slight feeling of insecurity (because you don’t know quite what your “other half” might do when you’re apart), keeps you BOTH and I really DO mean BOTH on your toes, which is no bad thing for many couples.

      I think many men at least have affairs because they just like chasing women. They may love their other half dearly, in their own way, but they miss terribly the fun and excitement of “chasing tail” when they were single. If you are together (sort of) but not living together, that may on the face of it make that easier for the man (but also for the woman and there’s the rub for the guy!). However, it will also mean that the man has to go on chasing the woman he loves and so he is quite possibly less likely to want to stray elsewhere.

      It’s a thought anyway… Thanks for your (valued as ever) input and you are clearly right in your particular circumstances at the very least. πŸ˜‰

      • I knew you were talking about separate residences, but someone who is out of town or someone who is not at home often enough are separate in their own way.

        Thanks for commenting on my post yesterday. In answer to your question, I absolutely realize that I wrote, “I have a lot of 20- and 30 something readers who are in first marriages” as if the “normal” experience of everyone is to have more than one marriage? It is, after all, more common to have a second go at it.

        That’s nothing compared to the countless times I’ve seen young brides out shopping for dresses or other wedding must-haves and I say things to them like, “Just think, you’ll have all this down pat for when you get married next time!” I can never understand why they look surprised….

      • The thing about ACTUAL separate residences is that you get to choose how YOUR place is – what you specifically like etc – it’s much more YOUR space (and costs a great deal extra too, but I did say this wasn’t all that practical). As a bonus you get to go out and, when the temperature rises, you can still ask, “Your place or mine?” 😈

        As to the rest – yes I guessed you meant it, I just wondered if it was a conscious inclusion or by chance, but I do agree it’s the common thing these days and I don’t disagree with the sentiments at all.

        Have you visited The Peach Tart and read her post (http://thepeachtart.blogspot.com/2009/10/unfortunate-wedding-surprise.html) about a wedding? Hilarious!

  3. You’re not going entirely off your head. I’d giving nearly anything to live with my husband full time right now, but I must say that we have more QUALITY time. πŸ˜‰

  4. I need a lot of alone time. Might come from being an only child. I’ve definitely found that my relationships are better and stronger if I have lots of alone time. The way this has worked best for me is if one of the other of us travels during the week and then have weekends together. We are excited to see each other and we make the quality of time better because we have less of it.

    • Hi and thank you for commenting.

      Yes, that’s EXACTLY my point. It doesn’t work for everyone, of course, but it’s the excitement and the quality of the time you do spend together, along with the anticipation of seeing the one who’s special to you. You automatically make so much more effort when you do get together.

      Plus the bonus is the amount of “me” time you both get and I think that is so vital for most people too.

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