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I have a confession to make. I’ve been happily married, even deliriously happily married, for more than 30 years. (That’s not the confession.) But as my dearest and I spend more and more time together during the days and evenings in our (reasonably recent) retirements, I’m finding I’m needing a little bit of space.

It’s not that I don’t love spending time with my nearest and dearest and doing lots of things together (he’s actually rather good company), but the older I get, I’m really relishing a bit of time and space just for me. To think, to explore, to waste time if I want (I’m quite good at that – one of my super talents, in fact), to try new things—whatever I’d like—all my myself.

So, it is with the utmost of love and respect that I want to say to my most beloved:

I love you dearly, but occasionally, please just leave me alone!

Sometimes you hear women complain their husbands are golfers and that they spent inordinate amounts of time on the golf course, meaning the wives have become ‘golf widows.’ Not me. I actively encourage him onto the course. Go, stay – for as long as you like. Because that’s my special time, when he’s out for four or five hours at a stretch and I’m completely left to my own devices to do whatever I want—write, read, ‘waste’ as much time as I want on the computer. Whatever I want with no one to come and ask what I’m doing. Not that I’m doing anything sneaky or untoward. It’s just I don’t want to be bothered.

And those days when he’s booked in to golf and I’m planning to do all the things, and then it rains and he stays home instead! Ugh! My special time gone in an instant.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m married to perhaps the most wonderful man on earth, and I love spending time with him. But as I’m getting older, I’m really valuing some ‘me’ time more and more, when I’m not beholden to anyone else and I can do things that bring me pleasure, even if others can’t understand why.

I like to be by myself when I’m on my computer, in my little cyber world, and don’t even like someone else at the desk next to me. I know I shared offices for decades, but now I don’t like sharing that much. Concentration levels are so much higher when I’m by myself. Or maybe I’m just becoming old and curmudgeonly.

Mr T and I have been together since we were teenagers, and while we share a myriad of similar interests, we also enjoy our separate interests. As I said, he golfs, I play tennis. He likes James Bond movies, I like tragic dramas. He cooks, I eat.

Most of our holidays are together, but we also do our own trips. He goes on wine trips with the boys, I go to Thailand with the girls for massages and cocktails. A couple of months back I spent a couple of weeks in Zimbabwe next year without him travelling with a small group and taking thousands of photos all day, everyday. I loved it but it would have him crazy, so all the more reason to do it by myself.

We are a fabulous partnership, as our many couples, but we’re also two individuals so I’m delighted we are able to pursue different interests and have different friendships and don’t always have to be tied to the hip, even as we spend more and more time together. It’s good for both of us. I’m not an introvert—I thrive on the company of others, especially my family —but this little place I’m discovering now that’s just for me—I have to say, it’s an absolute blast.

What about you? Do love spending some time by yourself?

And I wonder when his next golf day is?

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