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What is the best thing to do when a husband wants space or time apart?

I often hear from wives in a panic that they are not sure how to proceed when their husband has asked them for “space” or some “time apart.” They worry that giving her this space will result in her deciding that she likes him and wants more in the form of separation or divorce. Therefore, it can be very tempting to try to talk him out of it or convince him that he is wrong. However, from my own experience, I feel that this strategy may be a bad idea. I’ll tell you why in the next article.

Sometimes if you deny your husband time apart, he will want it even more or take it anyway: If you show your hand or express fear and pressure, you run the real risk that your husband will return the pressure and become even more convinced that this is just what he wants. In short, she’ll dig in her heels and suddenly she’ll accept nothing less. Worse yet, sometimes when you’re arguing this point so much that it causes her stress, she’ll just walk away from the situation and take her time without further discussion.

It is often a bad idea to take the side that opposes your husband. You want her to know that you want her to be happy and you want to help her get what she wants to make it happen. But if he’s debating what he thinks he needs, he’s likely to think you’re the one standing in the way of his happiness. Once this happens, he potentially sees you as something he may need to eliminate in order to be happy. This is the last thing you want.

Cooperating with your request for space, while having control over how you achieve it: For many reasons, I feel it’s best to appear cooperative with your request for some alone time. This makes you seem like his ally and helps ensure that he won’t limit his contact with you. However, just because you cooperate doesn’t mean you want to leave everything to chance.

You might want to suggest that he take the space while you’re the one staying with friends for a while. This gives you greater ability to control the process. He’s getting what he asked for, but you don’t have to worry about finding a way to get him to come back. Not all husbands will agree to this, but some will.

If this doesn’t work, then the next step would be to try to establish some understanding of how the separation time is going to work. You don’t want to push so hard that they want to avoid the topic altogether, but you might ask them how often you’ll be in touch and how they envision the process going to work logistically.

Using free time to your advantage: His perception of you while taking time off is very important. Because while he (or you) is away, he’s thinking about you and the relationship. He is going to be exploring if he is happy with you or without you. You want to make sure that his impression of you is favorable.

To that end, you’ll certainly want to give him something to work with. When he thinks of you, it doesn’t suit you if he imagines a depressed, sad and desperate person walking around waiting for his call. Instead, you want him to know (or at least suspect) that he’s getting along, that he’s staying positive, and that he’s using the time to work on yourself and figure out what he wants.

That’s why it’s so important to be and sound upbeat and positive when you interact with him. You want to show trust and the knowledge that the two of you are right for each other and can certainly work this out. Yes, this is a bit to allow him to see what you want him to see, but it’s usually worth it in the end because you can both get what you want.

I hope it is now obvious that, in my opinion and experience, the best thing to do when your husband asks for space is to offer it freely, but only after you have a careful plan that will work in your favor.

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