By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

There is absolutely no question about it, great marriages require time alone – time away from each other!

We have witnessed time and time again marriages in which one or both partners failed to understand the importance of being alone, not only for themselves, but for their spouse as well. When we first introduce this concept to others, the reaction is usually one of surprise. Many couples are of the mistaken notion that they are to be constantly attentive to their spouse. While their intentions are good, their desire to be attentive causes them to, in fact, interfere with the quality of their communicative relationship with each other. The desire for too much time together can inadvertently drive a wedge between a husband and wife. Isn’t that ironic?

In all probability, many couples believe that quantity of time together is the most important characteristic of their relationship. Instead, the “law of diminishing returns” comes into play here.

The economists would explain it something like this. Let’s say you buy a case of your favorite cola and decide to drink it all in one setting. The first cola tastes great. Perhaps the first two or three taste good. But after about four or five, the quality of taste begins to diminish. If you were to drink the whole case in one setting, you would like each cola less and less until you reached a point where you began to absolutely hate your favorite cola.

The “law of diminishing return” seems to appropriately describe many marriages. More is not always better. Give your spouse some privacy . . . the opportunity to be alone. Expect the same opportunity for yourself. Don’t allow communication in your marriage to fall victim to the “law of diminishing return.”

Being alone to your thoughts provides for you a periodic psychological renewal. A few moments alone to your thoughts each day frees the spirit and cleanses the soul. Do not deny yourself or your spouse these moments of alone time.

Simple Things Matter in love and marriage. Love well!

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

Authors of the best-selling book and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.

Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Nautilus Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Relationships

Author's Bio: 

As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With 26 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 43-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.

Get started with America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts by taking their Marriage Quiz or sending your questions to Ask the Doctors for Marriage Advice.

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