Why Your Spouse Needs Space and What to Do

Why Your Partner Needs Space and What to Do

There are few things scarier in a marriage than hearing your spouse tell you they need space. 

It is normal to assume the worst when you hear your spouse needs space but this is not always as fatal as it seems.

There are numerous reasons your spouse needs space.

Sometimes, your spouse needs space to preserve their individuality. 

In a marriage, it is normal for spouses to grow co-dependent on each other and have their identities merge. 

In this situation, you can encourage your spouse to find their individuality again.

Engrossed in your marriage, it can be easy to get distracted and forget your friends and family.

Time to maintain connections with family and friends is yet another reason why your spouse may need space in the marriage.

It may seem paradoxical but the reason why your spouse needs space might be to miss you. 

A marriage that lacks space often loses its spark and excitement.

Here are reasons why your spouse needs space in your marriage and what to do:

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Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Rodney Collins, LMFT

Rodney Collins, LMFT

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

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Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

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Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

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Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

They Want to Preserve Their Individuality 

The truth in a marriage is that over the course of its length, the couple shares various experiences, likes, and dislikes.

At some point, it might feel like one spouse is losing their individuality to the marriage as everything becomes 'we' rather than 'me'.

It is advisable to remember that before the relationship began, your spouse had their individual identity. 

A reason why your spouse needs space could be that they want to preserve their individuality.

It might be a little difficult to accept this but to preserve their individuality, your spouse might need to spend time away from you.

Even though you might feel hurt about the need for space, try to remember it is normal and healthy for your spouse to preserve their individuality. 

This could also be an opportunity for you to regain your individuality.

Once you have identified the reason your spouse wants space, try to understand and respect it. 

Remember to be sensitive to their need for space, and allow them the time to cater to their own individual wants, feelings, and desires.

You could also encourage their unique interests and personal goals.

They Need Time to Reflect on the Marriage

Reflection on marriage is the act of taking a conscious moment to evaluate your marriage.

There are times in a marriage when your spouse might want to reflect on your marriage, and this may be why your spouse needs space.

In spite of the fact that the reflection might appear to be negative, it is noteworthy that it could also be positive. 

Reflection in a marriage could be positive as it allows them to become more aware of their feelings. 

This might lead to them understanding how valuable you are to them.

Reflection is usually done in vital moments of a marriage, perhaps there are big questions like whether you and your spouse are ready to take a bigger step or if you both make a good couple.

It might also be necessary if there has been incessant squabbling between spouses. 

Your spouse may reflect on the marriage itself.

In this situation, although it might be difficult to give your spouse space. 

Depriving your spouse of space might only frustrate them more, so it is essential to allow them to reflect. 

You could try to let them have some space and remember they might appreciate you more after reflecting.

They Want to Maintain Connections With Family and Friends 

Sometimes a marriage can be time-consuming, your spouse might find out that they have not spent time with their family or friends in a long time. 

Thus, why your spouse needs space might simply be to maintain connections with family and friends.

Before you started the relationship with your spouse, they might have had friends and family that played a vital part in their lives.

In the early stages of a relationship, it may happen that all your spouse paid attention to was you and neglected their friends and family.

After a period, your spouse may want to regain and maintain connections with family and friends.

This requires your spouse to apportion time to their family and friends. 

It might mean they have to go out regularly or travel to another state away from you.

It is important to note that whilst you are a vital part of your spouse's life, you are not the only part of their life.

In this circumstance, you may be tempted to join in but resist this urge as your spouse will invite you when they are ready to.

They May Be in an Exploration Phase

In a marriage, it is easy to assume everything your spouse does is because of you. 

It is possible that the reason why your spouse needs space is that they might just be in an exploration phase, unrelated to you.

Usually, there comes a phase in life where there is a hitch to explore and figure out certain things in life

. This phase may be triggered by loss, death, or similar events.

It is rational to be scared if your spouse asked for space because they need to figure themselves out.

However, not all marriages suffer an end when one spouse needs space, it is possible for the marriage to continue after your spouse's exploration.

This might just be what your marriage needs, especially if your spouse has been changed suddenly. 

This phase might allow your spouse to return to you as a more rounded person. 

You can assist by allowing the spouse to have space and letting them come back to you.

They Need to Miss You

It might seem counterintuitive but absence does make the heart go fonder. 

One of the reasons why your spouse needs space is that they knowingly or unknowingly need to miss you.

In a marriage where both spouses spend most of their time together, it is possible that there is overfamiliarity between the couple. 

This could eventually lead to a reduction in the attraction levels in the marriage.

If you and your spouse work from home or spend a considerate amount of their time together every day, then what time do they have to think about you when you are always right in front of them?

It is helpful to consider time apart in this circumstance to allow the feeling of desire to return to the marriage.

It does not have to be a lot of time away from each other but an agreement as to a certain amount of time away from each other would be ideal in this situation.


Space is a scary word in a marriage but it does not always have to be scary especially when you know what to do.

The reasons why your spouse needs space could be they want to preserve their individuality, need time to reflect on the marriage, want to maintain connections with family and friends, want to explore, and need to miss you.


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April 18th, 2024

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