Bob’s plea: ‘Ahhh! I just need some me time’

When couples are both finally retired, the extra time together can create issues.

Ahhh! I just need some ‘me time’

When retirement finally arrives, spending more time with your partner might create some issues. Bob feels a little smothered and craves some ‘me time’. He asks psychologist Dr Emmanuella Murray whether he is being unreasonable or if he should ask his wife to back off.


Q. Bob
How do I tell her I need time to myself? I’ve always enjoyed some solitude in my life, but my wife seems to need to do everything together. Does she need help and not me?

A. We all need some ‘me time’. It must be hard feeling suffocated by someone you love. All relationships go through times where one partner needs more togetherness than the other.

Solitude is something you choose, and it does wonders for our self-awareness.

From what I’m hearing, solitude is something you need in your relationship and when I work with couples, I encourage them to talk to their partners about their needs.

If you don’t speak to your wife about your need for solitude, you are likely to start resenting the fact you don’t have enough ‘me time’, and that could also leave your wife feeling puzzled or frustrated in relation to what you want.

Set aside some time to talk to your wife and give her plenty of reassurance that you love her and you enjoy spending time with her. Then gently express how you feel.

For example, you may say, “I really enjoy our time together, but I haven’t had a lot of me time lately. I’d really like some time alone to do a few things I enjoy.” Then maybe you could suggest ways you can both give each other space.

Your alone time might mean reading your paper outside, going to golf with your mates once a week or having ‘time out’ from one another during the week.

Whatever your need is, the key is to talk to your wife and keep the conversation going.

Do you love time alone? Is this a conversation you’ve had with your partner? Is this why book clubs and men’s sheds were started?



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    East of Toowoomba
    8th Aug 2018
    My husband just has to go out to the shed for "me time", he knows I won't follow him out there, unless to ask him if he wants lunch.
    8th Aug 2018
    Too true! No matter how good our relationship is, we all need some solitude in our lives sometime. Be it pottering in the garden, hammering away in the shed or just enjoy a good book out in the verandah and a nice cuppa. It helps getting some peace and balance in our day. Also, as we are not all built the same, some of us need more quiet time than others. After all, that's how 'man caves' were created. At the same time, some may relax better while in the company of others. Just having a quiet drink with old mates or by joining various social clubs. Whatever helps us to unwind and enjoy life...
    26th Dec 2018
    Tough for a wife who has doted on her husband all their married life, then finally he retires & she's hoping they can finally be together all the time & enjoy life together. She's been thinking about him all these years while he's been busy having a life.
    That said, some people are just hard work & you need to take a breather from them, even if you're married to them!
    I used to walk every morning with a friend who talked about 90% of the time. She is amusing & entertaining, but I enjoy at least a bit of silence. Even tho she was aware she talked too much, she couldn't help herself. The biggest downside was she talked so much it slowed down her walking speed. I'd just speed up, dropping a not too subtle hint, but after a while I ended up just walking on my own, at my own pace. Sometimes silence IS golden.

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