Should Married Couples Take Separate Vacations?

Reasons Why Couples In a Marriage May Want to Take Separate Vacations

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Separate vacations are not a threat to your stable, happy marriage if you also make time for shared vacations.

Taking separate vacations is okay and can be healthy for both of you if you are taking the separate vacations to add something to your lives and you are not wanting to escape from one another.

Some of the Reasons Married Couples May Want Separate Vacations

  • To experience something new that doesn't interest the other.
  • To visit a locale that your mate doesn't want to visit.
  • To have a reunion with old friends or family members.
  • To continue an old tradition of meeting with family or friends every few years.
  • To take a trip with one of your children for a specific reason.
  • To have some time alone.
  • To take advantage of vacation time your job requires you to take at a specific time or you lose the vacation time.
  • To learn a new skill.

Separate Vacation Thoughts and Recommendations

Separate vacations can rejuvenate both of you if you communicate your concerns and fully discuss your plans with each other.

  • Don't assume that your spouse doesn't want to visit a specific location or try a new adventure.
  • If your spouse is against separate vacations, find out why. Is there a lack of trust, concern about caring for your children alone, jealousy, a fear of being lonely, a feeling of resentment in being left out, an attitude that married couples have to share everything?
  • If you have children at home make sure that you are both comfortable with your child care plans. Some families use the time the children are away at camp or spending time with grandparents for separate vacations.
  • Be honest about safety concerns when traveling alone and establish a plan for keeping in touch such as having a time to call or email each day.
  • Discuss the financial costs of the separate vacations. Will you each pay for your own vacation out of your own account? Will the funds come out of a joint account? Do you think the cost of your vacations should be equal?
  • Be specific about what type of separate vacation you want and why.
  • Separate vacations should not take the place of shared vacations with one another. It is important that you save both time and money for both.

What the Experts Say About Separate Vacations for Married Couples

Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D.: "Think about it, how boring would it be to marry someone with identical interests, careers, and friends? Marriage often leads to a larger understanding of the world, more people in our lives and a more mature and realistic take on how relationships work. If we married our clone, there would be little room for growth! ... When the relationship is intact, occasional separate vacations can add a terrific dimension to your marriage. But if trouble is already brewing between partners, a separate vacation may do more harm than good. Consider your true motivation for the vacation, the stability of your finances and relationship, ages of your children and willingness to compromise. If this all checks out — enjoy and make some memories!"  Source: "Should Couples Take Separate Vacations?",

April 19, 2006.

Dr. Larry Davis: "It's a good idea for couples to take separate vacations some of the time. We need to take a break from everything at one time or another. It (a separate vacation) gives you a chance to put your life in some perspective and think about the relationship." Source: "Are Separate Vacations a Good Idea for Couples?" Jet. December 15, 1997.

Kahlil Gibran: "Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you." Source: "On Marriage." The Prophet. 1923.

Julia Boyd: "With a little time away, you miss that person and you want to hurry and get back and share with that person. When you have trust in a relationship and in your partner, separate vacations should not be a problem." Source: "Are Separate Vacations a Good Idea for Couples?" Jet.

December 15, 1997.

Audrey D. Smith, William J. Reid: "Almost invariably both spouses reported that these separate vacations, which frequently were only weekends or a few days in length, worked out well for both. This was true whether both partners took separate trips at the same time or whether one stayed at home. They enjoyed the time apart, missed each other, and were glad to be back together again when the trip was over." Source: Role-sharing Marriage. pages 162-163.

Tara Fass: "Going away on your own gives you and your partner the experience of autonomy and also allows you to reflect on your marriage." Source: Kyle Roderick. "Make Your Marriage an Adventure."

Georgia Dullea: "Attitudes on the His and Hers vacation are changing. No longer is it necessarily seen as a sign of hanky panky or gathering divorce clouds. In an age of two-career marriages, it is now generally recognized that, partners may have different interests, different needs, and different vacation schedules and that an occasional holiday without a mate poses no threat to a sound relationship. If anything, separate vacations may make a good marriage even better, according to mental health professionals who use such words as 'refreshing' and 'rejuvenating' in describing the benefits. At the same time, the professionals stress that the best separate vacations are those to which both parties agree and that separate vacations should never be viewed as a cure for a shaky marriage." Source: "Behind Separate Vacations." May 11, 1981.

Susan Schwartz: "If your spouse has a problem, look for a compromise: How about a vacation at the same destination that takes the needs of both of you into account? The avid golfer plays half the day, say, the spa-lover is massaged and exfoliated -- and you spend the rest of the day together. Or take turns planning holidays -- so that each of you plans alternate vacations."Source: "Spouses Go Separate Vacation Ways."