Is getting a night out with the "boys" or "girls" a problem for couples?
This is an issue that I see in couples often. I'd say that about 50 percent of the couples argue about time out. They argue about how much time each should spend apart, argue about how one partner often gets more time on his or her own ("its not fair) and argue about where their partner should take their time out (appropriate places). They even argue about how responsible each should be towards the other in terms of checking in and how often.Watch the segment in episode 163What are some of the issues?
- One person seems to get more time out with the boys or girls.
Does one gender want this type of time more than the other?
- One person doesn't like the places that her/his spouse goes out to or doesn't like the people they go out with.
- One person doesn't want to go out with her/his friends but resents the other partner for wanting so much time with his/her buddies.
- The partner at home feels neglected, abandoned, and uncared for.
- Life is so hectic with work and kids and other responsibilities that neither person gets time out with his/her peers.
I'd say that there's still a slight lean towards guys wanting to maintain relationships with their guy friends - maybe a 60/40 split in favour of the guys. The difference is that women seem more accepting of the fact that they might not have this need met whereas guys try to make it happen, even if it creates issues as a couple
I think that some men have a more difficult time transitioning from a single, carefree independent lifestyle to that of having to answer to another person, whereas women are more accepting of the responsibilities that go into becoming part of a couple. They realize that becoming a couple means less independence and they are more willing to sacrifice this independence for the sake of couple time. Guys also seem to be more influenced by what their friends think (especially younger guys) and may want to prove to their friends that their wives are not "wearing the pants" so to speak. Why do some people have an issue when their partner wants time away from them?
Tips on how to negotiate "friend time."
- People can be jealous and resentful because their partner seems to get more time out. Sometimes they feel that their partner seems to prefer hanging with his or her friends than with them.
- Some feel insecure that their partner is hanging out with friends in places where he/she might meet other people (sometimes they're right about this).
- What are the DO'S and DON'TS on this issue?
- Don't go out too many nights a week. Depending on household responsibilities, maybe once a week.
- Don't go out on weekend evenings without your spouse.
- Do be considerate of time as a couple and devote at least as much time to being together as you do to being apart.
- Do be accessible in case your spouse needs you and check in.
- Do come home at a reasonable time (around midnight)
Sara Dimerman is a therapist, parent educator and author.
- Be sensitive to your spouses need to have time with his/her buddies and to let go of usual responsibilities.
- Don't insist or demand that your spouse come home at a certain time or give him or her a curfew. Rather explain what you would like and why and ask him/her to work with you.
- Try not to be offended by your spouse wanting time away from you.
- Be sensitive to your spouses concerns about your being in places that invite trouble e.g. where there are single males and females looking to meet people. Don't minimize these concerns. Best not to go to these places.
Sara's Website: www.helpmesara.com