Ask Amy: Wife Craves Some Alone Time

By Amy Dickinson | July 28th, 2021

It's tricky when one spouse is a people person, and the other needs time for herself!


Wife needs some alone time Image

Dear Amy: I am a wife to a good husband who is 12 years older than I am.

We recently lost his wonderful mother (at age 93), and mine (she was 80 when she died).

I loved both of these women and I miss them terribly.

My mother lived with my husband and me for the past five years, and I took care of her.

Now that she is gone, I am craving having some time alone.

I haven’t had time to myself at all! My husband has retired and does volunteer work weekly, at two different places.

I have asked him to please let me have a day to myself every week.

I have yet to receive that. He just doesn’t seem to get it.

I keep telling him that I need a day to myself.

He isn’t listening; he plans his days home with my scheduled days off.

Do I just tell him a lie (“oh I’m off this day”), and say I made a mistake after I get my day at home?

I feel overwhelmed with still working 40-plus hours a week, planning meals, doing laundry, and helping with yard work.

He does help with laundry and vacuums for me.

But I just want a day to myself! Is this too much to ask?

– Needing “Me” Time!


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Dear Needing: No, getting time to yourself is NOT too much to ask. You have already asked, and your husband – for whatever reason – is not willing to grant you what you need.

So take it.

Ask your husband about his volunteer schedule for the week and then rearrange your work schedule to be at home while he is gone.

Just make your plan and then explain, after the fact. Say, “I HAVE to have some time to myself at home. It’s that simple. In fact, I plan to do this each week.”

Your husband might be one of those people who never needs to be alone, and so he doesn’t realize how necessary and restorative a few hours of alone-time can be.

I also highly recommend taking a mini-break and going to a nearby spot for a day and overnight by yourself, if at all possible. You will return feeling so much better – and you can hope that your husband will note and appreciate the positive impact on you.

Overall, it seems that your husband could do more to step up at home.

If he has the energy to volunteer outside the home, then why can’t he do more to ease your domestic burden?


In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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