How to Be Independent and Happily Married or in a Healthy Relationship
The general consensus among relationship experts is that personal independence is good for marriage. Spending every waking moment with your spouse and expecting them to fulfill your every need can cause marital problems. Therefore, in order to have a healthy relationship, both you and your spouse should have fulfilling lives outside the marriage. At the very least, you should:
Spend time alone
Alone time is one of the key ingredients of a happy marriage. Even though you are married, you still need time to grow as an individual. You need time alone with your thoughts in your own physical space. This is why “man caves” are so popular.
Spend time with friends
Spending time with friends is a great excuse to take a break from married life every once in a while. When you spend most of your time functioning as a couple, allowing yourselves to function as individuals –even for a few hours – can be very refreshing.
Spending periodic time apart also makes the heart grow fonder. It makes the time you spend together as a couple more special.
Have an identity beyond being a wife or husband
Your marriage should not be the only source of satisfaction and contentment in your life. In fact, being wholly reliant on your spouse for support, assurance and fulfillment is one of the signs of an unhealthy relationship.
Your faith, personal interests and hobbies, and career are some of the things that can give you an identity and purpose beyond being a spouse. Remember that being married doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy the same interests and hobbies. It is perfectly fine for each of you to “do your own thing” once in a while.
Have some financial independence
A healthy relationship is one where both parties have some financial freedom. Both of you should have some discretionary income that you can spend however you wish. This way if one of you likes expensive clothing and jewelry and the other likes expensive gadgets, you can both have what you want without harming the other financially.
However, financial freedom should go hand in hand with accountability. It is not an excuse to hide your spending habits from your spouse.
It is possible to be independent and married at the same time. This doesn’t mean that you can live separate lives where you hardly ever see each other and still have a healthy relationship or healthy marriage. It means that it is perfectly okay to spend time alone, spend time with friends, have some financial independence and have an identity beyond being a spouse.