Married life.

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A fairly short, ill thought-out, one today, as I have two important projects* this week, but yesterday’s entry got some private feedback, mostly from single people, but also married ones, saying that they too craved separate living spaces from their partners. I thought that was interesting, since I always assumed that all (or at least most) people in married-type arrangements were happy to be together all the damned time. **

I’m not a sociologist, nor a proper historian, but it seems to me that it would be a fairly recent phenomenon in Western culture that a couple would spend a huge amount of time together. Previously, they would have worked long hours (either in a traditional job, or a traditional role keeping house) and maybe seen each other only at breakfast and in the evening and on holidays and weekends (if they existed), but would have had entirely different interests/hobbies (if they had time for them). And maybe, it didn’t ‘matter’ much because community relationships were stronger/more important. We now isolate (individually or as couples) instead.

Obviously, that is a gross generalisation,*** but now the whole thing is niggling at me. I guess it helps explain the rise of the Man Cave in the face of the decline of men’s clubs/service organizations? And ladies-only fitness classes when there aren’t so many women’s ‘good works’ groups in which to participate and fewer women’s-only hobbies/’jobs’ to share? Could we have integrated so much that we want to separate again? I mean, ladies even go to pubs now! BY THEMSELVES.

Anyway, if anyone has any recommended reading for lay people, please let me know, since I know nothing.****

* Watching ‘Breaking Bad’ and knitting this.

**Readers who are worried that their spouse-type person wrote me a confessional email and are now heartbroken? Don’t worry, they didn’t. I promise you. Separate lives, separate blog tastes.

***Speaking of which (the generalisation part, not the gross bit), the human tendency to have sex at night is probably an evolutionary thing, and possibly unique — tens of thousands of years ago, getting it on in the cooler African nights made sense, because, y’know, who wants to get it on under a blazing sun? Then, the lady sleeping/staying supine to help keep things cookin’ post-coitus would make help make more homo sapiens babbies. Other animals are not night fuckers (I mean, the neighbourhood cats shag at night, but not exclusively then). Neat, huh?

**** I apologize for being so bloody hetero here. Ill-informed, straight, meth.

4 thoughts on “Married life.

  1. While I don’t desire separate space from my spouse (hi Chris!) we both know and agree that we get along better when both of us have space and time to indulge our own hobbies, meet up with separate friends, and spend down time in ways that calm us/make us happy. It’s one of the reasons we’d love a slightly larger home, despite honestly having “enough” space for us plus cats: I want a craft room, he wants a guitar room, and we’d both love a second shower/bath. I think it’s healthy and normal to want these things.

  2. Hellcat13

    Oh lord, my Chris and I would be divorced within a year if we had to spend all our time together. We’re both terribly independent creatures who like our alone time. Lots of evenings we’ll sit together in the same room but won’t say two words to each other. When I was home sick for so long, I kept apologizing to him about how needy I’d become. I was nervous alone for a long time, so I tended to cling to him when he was home. Thankfully, things are back to normal and we have our separate activities again 🙂

  3. Jackie

    I think the reason you have no idea how marriage works is that there’s no one way for it to work. The key seems to be finding the person who is cool with the way you need to live to be happy. I obviously know very little about this despite giving it a solid go for a great number of years. I’m at the point now where long-term happy couples mystify me (hi, Ali & Chris!) and I have NO IDEA what I would need to be happy with another person in my space. Maybe I just wouldn’t. And that is fine. Mostly.

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