I love my husband, but he is definitely “high maintenance.” I would like to go on a retreat with some girl friends, but he says it isn’t fair for me to go and have an adventure without him. I love him a lot, but how can I get him to understand that I need some time to reunion with my women friends?
— (Name withheld upon request)
It is important for both partners to spend quality time with their same sex friends. Recent studies say it’s not only fun, but essential for a sense of well-being and healing! Unmet needs can fester into things far worse, like resentment, depression, loneliness, illness and more.
Tell your husband that you need to have a relationship meeting; set a time to talk from a loving place about this specific concern that you are having. Explain that this pattern is no longer working for you. Practice ahead of time so you are able to stay calm, loving, and in a productive space. Focus on the unmet need and how it makes you feel to not have it met.
Include ideas for solutions, for example, “Perhaps while I take a weekend retreat with the girls, you can plan one with the boys. That way neither one of us is left sitting alone while the other one is off reconnecting.” Give your partner time to digest and consider what you have said, then plan to meet again to continue the discussion and move into solution.
Remember, you are an equal partner in this relationship corporation, so be willing to identify and negotiate for your needs. Start small, and work up to longer getaways. Be reassuring, keep your intentions honorable and frame this as a necessary time of spiritual renewal – because that is precisely what it is.