Life is stressful. So much going on. Everyone needs a little time and space to recharge physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. It’s the whole “adjust your oxygen mask first before assisting another” principle.
But sometimes it can be challenging to communicate our personal needs to our partner; it is not fair to assume that your spouse should just see that you need space/time and offer it.
Feelings of guilt or shame may prevent these conversations, but not sharing our feelings and needs can lead to resentment, exhaustion, and contempt. And failing to reserve time for ourselves can make us less happy and less effective.
You need that time and space, and you may need to ask for it.
– First, know what you need. Choose a few options that are really possible (think: time, childcare and resources, and if it will really reenergize you).
– Timing is important. When/where.
– Think how to best present your needs. No blaming or criticism. Use ‘I statements’. Remember, you are on the same team.
– Really listen to the response. There may be a valid perspective that you hadn’t considered. You may have to think creatively or compromise.
– Show your appreciation. Come back with renewed energy.