You have to ask for permission to go out alone
Here’s a thing I don’t understand: when people assume that being married or in a long term relationship means that you have to ask for the permission of the other person to go out without them.
I hear it a lot. People asking men if they need to check with ‘the missus’ before they can commit to plans, others wondering how somebody’s husband will ‘feel’ if their wife spends a weekend without them. And too often you hear those in relationships confirming this opinion, making their wives out to be like prison guards, only letting them out for their allotted amount of fresh air, or suggesting that their husbands are so helpless when left alone that there’s a good chance they’ll panic and accidentally eat all the furniture.
In this house we’re pretty clear about what’s not allowed. The rules are:
1. Don’t sleep with anybody else; and
2. Don’t be a dick
That’s pretty much what wedding vows say, but in prettier language. (I do of course have a number of other lower level rules of my own, such as don’t wear shoes in the house, don’t leave crumbs everywhere, and don’t leave lights on in rooms you’re not in, but unfortunately these seem to be seen more as ‘loose guidelines’ than rules. It’s hard to enforce them without being a dick which, as discussed, is against the rules).
But beyond that, the world remains free. We can both go out, we can partake in conversations with other humans, and we can be so bold as to say that we have had fun, despite not having been side by side at the time. As long as everybody is safe and well when they return, and ideally not covered in mud or having purchased a pet tarantula, there’s nothing to worry about. Because, when the above mentioned rules are observed, what harm can a little apart time do?
Perhaps he’ll go the pub with a friend, drink all of the alcohols, come home and smash open a leftover Easter bunny, devour the whole thing and then come to bed having left all the downstairs lights on (and by ‘perhaps’ I mean ‘this is what happened on Thursday’). I’ll admit, it did disrupt my plans to gain a solid seven hours sleep, as well as my intention to consume said bunny myself the following day – and you can work out for yourself how I felt about the lights situation – but it made real no difference to my life or our relationship. I just had to remember to keep my voice down the next morning, and point gently in the direction of the ibuprofen.
It’s important to remember that you marry someone, you don’t hire them. You don’t get to decide what they do and between which hours. There’s certain boundaries of course (once again, see above rules) and I do recommend a joint calendar in the interests of planning your social events, but that’s quite enough. No need to clock in and clock out.
People should give themselves and each other more credit. If you’d rather stay at home than socialise then just say so – or pretend to have a migraine if you’re that embarrassed – but don’t blame your other half for your own desire to stay in with them eating Cheetos.
There is no need to play up to this ludicrous idea that women spend their days guiding their husbands around the world like puppets (How much spare time do you think we have, exactly? With Coronation Street, maintaining my eyebrows and hating total strangers for no apparent reason, I really can’t fit anything else in), and that men expect their lady friends to remain by their side at all times in case they accidentally set themselves on fire.
If that is your situation then, well, I’m very sorry to hear it and I recommend thinking about what you can do to change it, but if you’re just saying it for something to say, then don’t. You’re breaking rule number 2 and I’m sorry but that’s just not allowed.