“My husband wants space” is a common issue that couples face in marriage. If you need help solving this problem, I hope these 3 steps I suggest, will help you work things out with your husband, and successfully save your marriage.
Step #1: Clarify what your husband means by “space.”
It’s very hard to give your husband what he needs when you’re not really sure what he means. The word ‘space’ is extremely vague. Hence, the first thing you need to do is to clarify what his definition of space means.
For example, does it mean:
- spending one night a week with his male friends?
- having a whole hour to himself every night to do whatever he wants?
- having a room that belongs to him that is out-of-bounds to everyone else?
Ask your husband to be more specific, then listen carefully to what he says. Don’t do anything else except ask clarifying questions like: “Do you mean…”
Your aim right now should be to gather as much information from your husband as you can. Problem solving will come later.
Step #2: Understand what your own needs are.
Now that you know what your husband means by “having more space”, you need to focus on what your own needs are. Being in a marriage means working as a team to get both your needs met. But first you need to have clarity about what this means!
Our needs naturally change as we go through different stages of our life. For example, you might need your husband to spend more time with you while you are going your pregnancy, as compared to the period of your life when you are focusing on your career.
So, be as specific as you can about how much time you need from your husband to be happy.
- I need him to have a one-on-one dinner with me at least once a week.
- I need him to do at least one activity with the children during the weekend.
- I need my husband to talk to me for 15 minutes each day.
If you’ve never thought about it before, it may take you some time to be precise. That’s perfectly ok. Just start by making a guess. You can tweak this information as you go along.
Step #3: Use the information you’ve gathered to negotiate with your husband.
Now that you know how much ‘space’ your husband wants, and how much time you need him to spend with you, it’s time to negotiate.
Tell your husband that you would like him to have more space and you are willing to negotiate with him.
- Show him the list you’ve made containing what you need from him.
- Share your suggestions with him on how he can have ‘more space’ and how you can also get what you need.
- Give him some time to consider your proposal and ask him to make some suggestions of his own.
- Discuss together and come up with a win-win resolution that makes both of you happy.
I sincerely hope you will use these 3 steps to negotiate with your husband so that you can resolve your problem of ‘My husband needs more space’ peacefully and effectively, to save your marriage. Effective communication and successful negotiation takes time and practice. I wish you the best in your marriage!