Should taking off days in your relationship be termed as normal?

Miller uses her marriage as a perfect example that explains how married couples can keep the spark on by turning it off a little while

Couple talking in bed

Relationship writer, Korin Miller of Women's Health Magazine explains why marriage where couples take breaks away from each other are as normal as they can be.

Miller uses her marriage as a perfect example that explains when and how married couples can keep the spark on by turning it off a while.

She writes, "I like to think that my husband, Chris, and I have a good marriage. We support each other, try to do nice things for one another on the regular, and generally do the stuff people say you should do to be happy together.

But I’ve noticed that some days in our marriage just feel…off.

Take last Sunday: I was psyched that we had a whole day to just be together with no obligations. In my head, we were going to have The Best Time Ever. We’d hit the beach, dine al fresco, heck, maybe we’d even jump over a rainbow while riding on the back of a narwhal because the day was going to be that awesome.

It wasn’t. It was the complete opposite of awesome.

Chris just wanted to just hang around our place (which is so not my thing), and for some reason, we kept misinterpreting what each other said, finding little jabs where there were none.

We ended up bickering over what to do for the day, who was more tired after a long week, and other not-juvenile-at-all topics. When we weren’t fighting, we even kissed weird, missing the mark a few times. We never could shake our funk, and the day was a total bust.

Sometimes, these off days happen to us, and I have no clue where they come from. And even more bizarre, the next day everything’s back to normal.

My friend Katie says she gets them with her husband, too. “It’s weird,” she says. “It’s like you just can’t connect on some days. It always feels like a waste of a day that could have been so much better.” Amen to that.

So…what’s up with that? Is this just some freak thing that happens in some marriages?

It’s completely normal, says Hillary Goldsher, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist practicing in Beverly Hills.

“Not only are ‘off days’ common in a relationship, but disconnected periods can also be appropriate and even healthy,” she says. “No two people, not even lovers or spouses, can or should be connected and engaged all the time.”

Goldsher explains it this way: The healthiest, strongest couples consist of two individuals. When you both have your own lives, sometimes you need your space to pursue your individual goals. If one person is temporarily distracted by what they have going on, they can seem distant, which can end up feeling like an off day.

The worst part of off days for me is how difficult it is to recover from them, but Goldsher says it’s definitely possible to shake them off. She recommends offering support if Chris seems distracted and planning an activity that gives us both the chance to relax and connect, like going out for coffee or reading the paper together.

“Finding a way to be in the same space together while engaging in some kind of shared activity can bridge a gap quickly,” she says.

Off days can happen as often as once a week, says Goldsher, but if they’re happening more often than not, there might be a deeper issue that you need to look into as a couple.

Luckily, Chris and I only have off days every few months. While they still totally suck, at least I now have a game plan for coping the next time it inevitably comes out of nowhere.


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