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My Married Life: He Said: Why Alone Time Is Integral to a Happy Marriage

I'll admit, the whole "man cave" thing annoys me. The title makes me imagine a carpeted basement that smells of stale beer, has ESPN blaring -- and a floor littered with wayward darts and porn. But here's the deal: Even though I have no desire for a man cave, I'll take the trendy term as a sign that the world finally got the memo that men need alone time. As someone who needs more alone time than most, I've learned that it's my responsibility to take it. Whether that means finding a quiet place on set to hang out alone on my lunch break or telling Holly that I need a few days free of any social obligations, I'm pretty good about taking it these days.

I really believe that having time to myself helps my marriage. For one thing, Holly and I always have stuff to talk about since we’re not together 24/7 and actually have new things to tell each other when we do hang out. For another, it helps me appreciate the time I spend with Holly. I don't feel put upon or stifled by her when we are together because I've usually had my own time to decompress and relax. Holly and I are lucky in that we don't have kids yet, and we do have an apartment in the city and a place upstate -- so we’re able to take a few days here and there to go work on music or writing or just lie around in our underwear without a witness. I know these are unusual circumstances that we won't have forever. So I feel obligated to take advantage of them now.

How do you feel about alone time in your relationship and how do you go about making sure you get it?

-- Jack

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