Is Self Care Selfish?

Is self-care selfish? If you feel the need to be alone or to spend time away from your partner, are you being disloyal? In this time of contagion and enforced isolation is it wrong to want to spend time alone or away from your partner? The answer is no. Self-care is crucial, especially now when so many outside stressors are impacting us individually as well as our relationships with our partners.

We seem to have so much more to worry about these days and this type of outside stress can impact you and your partner in different ways. You may be feeling stressed out, trapped in your home with your partner, and all you can think of is getting away. This doesn’t mean you don’t love your partner or that you are being a disloyal mate to them.  You may just be at the point where you need to go off by yourself and spend some time with your own thoughts, block outside stimulus and participate in some needed self-care. This looks different for different people and it’s not any kind of reflection on how in love you are with your partner or how much you love your family. You can love them to the moon and back and still want to get away. Needing to focus on your self care is understandable in this Covid environment we live in. 

“Familiarity breeds contempt” one author penned, but that’s not typically the case. You may love nothing more than spending every waking hour with your partner, but somehow this time and these circumstances are making it feel different. It’s okay. You feel the way you feel and that doesn’t make it wrong. 

It’s very important that you do participate in the type of self-care that you are craving. If it’s a few days go and make that trip. Spend your time alone in the way that makes you feel content, clear-minded and at ease within your own spirit. However, make sure you aren’t running away. If there are issues in the relationship, you have to address them by talking with your partner.

With the need for some alone time communicate to your partner that this has less to do with your commitment to your relationship and to them, and more to do with the times and the amount of stress and pressure you’re feeling. 

It doesn’t mean you want to break up or anything like that. Reassure your partner particularly if they are someone that tends to have insecurities. Time away on your own can actually help you to be a better spouse and partner to your mate and a better parent to your kids. There has to be some kind of pressure release valve for some of us during this terribly intense and emotional time. 

Do what you feel you need to do to be a more healthy and balanced individual and your partner and family will be all the better for your doing that. Offer the same to your partner and let them take advantage of some self-care and alone time if they feel they need it. It can only help both of you to feel calmer and more optimistic about the present and your future together. Above all, communicate your needs and talk authentically and vulnerably about your love for them and this will allow for a more stress free loving interactions.





About the Author:

Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.