Spouses typically differ in character and personality. If they were not different, they would not have been attracted to each other and would not have gotten married… But these differences create conflicts, and those conflicts can be painful. Sometimes they even resemble a war. To keep the war from escalating, a periodic armistice is needed.
I wonder how much playing golf, fishing, going to the gym, car racing, hiking, playing tennis, or sailing is the de facto armistice of escaping the marital warfare for some peace and enjoyable quiet time to be away from the spouse.
I remember how the armistice used to be achieved years ago. Middle-class men had their own space. They would get together to play cards, have a drink, joke, and laugh a lot. Women would be in another room doing embroidery and gossiping. The rich men had their exclusive clubs, where no women were allowed, and the less financially well men went to a bar, without their spouses, to socialize with other men. Men and women would not intrude into each other’s space.
All this changed with women’s liberation. No more exclusive men’s clubs. Going to bars alone is no longer acceptable. We are either at work or at each other’s throats. Some find their escape in drugs and alcohol—not recommended.
If you are a married person, man or woman, consider what legitimate intervals you have to be away from your spouse that are not due to work? I mean your free time, spent doing things you enjoy without being controlled by the spouse. If you are not into any sports, and bars are out of the question for you, find something that gives you pleasure and can be with yourself. Happiness starts with you.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes
Founder and CEO, Adizes Institute Worldwide