Absence, marriage and making that little heart grow fonder

So yesterday I came across an article in Slate about a new book by Iris Krasnow, who has spent every July for the past decade away from her husband of almost a quarter century. Her book is called The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes To Stay Married, and much of it has to do with how spending significant chunks of time away from your spouse may actually be good for your marriage, especially if you’re a woman.

“…the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that is a cliché. But it is a cliché for a reason,” writes Jessica Grose at Slate.

The benefits of the time spent apart? It helps women become more emotionally self-reliant. It empowers women to recognize that the emotionally fulfilling relationship of marriage is still not “an intimacy oasis,” as a 1980 study from the Journal of Marriage and Family describes it. Also, it benefits couples because they are forced to communicate. It’s easy in the chaos of daily life to go through days with out ever needing to really speak to your spouse. But when communicating is all there is to your relationship, many wives say that time is incredibly fulfilling.

What about you? If you’re married, how often do you spend time away from your spouse? And when you do, does your marriage benefit?

  • http://gravatar.com/livingpalm Tamara @ Living Palm

    short and sweet: yes
    ; )

  • http://fromtheheart-anna.blogspot.com Anna

    2005, my husband took another job and the house didnt sell. I was in the house with the children and he was roughing it. We took turns visiting one another. Over the course of a year we spent more time apart than together. It did beautiful things in us both.

  • Ashley

    About a year ago, I started a job that requires me to travel every few months, sometimes it’s for 2 days, sometimes it’s for a week. Since doing this, I am absolutely a believer that leaving your husband for a while is good for your marriage. If you’re never away from him, how can you miss his sweet smile or spend time recalling his quirky habits (ones that frustrate you at home, but that you wouldn’t change for anything) or take the time to realize how much affection he gives you? I was very independent before I met my husband as well – I did a lot of traveling and moving around. However, since I’ve met him, I’ve become incredibly dependent on him (not necessarily a bad thing – isn’t that what marriage is about?). Being away from him reminds me that I can still be independent – it reminds me that I’m stronger than I think I am.

  • http://lyndseygvora.blogspot.com Lyndsey

    I am not married, but I can offer the perspective of a daughter whose parents have spent ample amount of time away from each other.

    When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, my dad took a job that required him to travel during the week. On weekdays, I was raised by a stressed-out, frazzled single mother. Of course, I did not realize how stressful my mom’s role was until my teenage years. I had wanted to join clubs and be super involved with school. My mom, without my dad present for support, grew frustrated with having to balance my agenda with my siblings’ schedules, and rarely had a moment for herself. We grew frustrated with and bitter toward each other, and argued incessantly.

    On weekends, I enjoyed the benefits of parents who deeply loved each other. While I think my dad’s absence allowed my parents to develop a stable, constant relationship based on communication, it did not come without price.

  • http://lyndseygvora.blogspot.com Lyndsey

    I am not married, but I can offer the perspective of a daughter whose parents have spent ample amount of time away from each other.

    When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, my dad took a job that required him to travel during the week. On weekdays, I was raised by a stressed-out, frazzled single mother. Of course, I did not realize how stressful my mom’s role was until my teenage years. I had wanted to join clubs and be super involved with school. My mom, without my dad present for support, grew frustrated with having to balance my agenda with my siblings’ schedules, and rarely had a moment for herself. We grew frustrated with and bitter toward each other, and argued incessantly.

    On weekends, I enjoyed the benefits of parents who deeply loved each other. While I think my dad’s absence allowed my parents to develop a stable, constant relationship based on communication, it did not come without price.


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