No, You Don’t Need to Share to Have a Happy Marriage

What’s Yours is Mine, and What’s Mine is Yours

If you’ve ever heard the saying “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine,” you probably heard it connected with some form of marital advice. After all, isn’t that what marriage is about? Two lives converging as one, everything shared for the rest of eternity? I used to think this, but after 9 years of marriage I’m starting to disagree.

When my husband and I were first married, I thought everything was supposed to be shared–bank accounts, hobbies, free time. If things weren’t exactly the same for us, I felt like something was wrong with our marriage.

Once Upon a Time…

My husband and I moved into our first place together. I feel it’s worth mentioning that we had never lived in the same state before we got married (military long-distance relationship), much less shared a home. Our apartment was cozy (read: cramped), but we made it work. We merged our belongings and settled into a shared closet, DVD collection, and one-sink bathroom.

Despite appearances, it did not take long to figure out that we each had our own separate way of doing things. If I could go back in time and talk to my younger, newlywed self, I would say “Don’t fret about the separate bank accounts, and for Pete’s sake, buy two tubes of toothpaste!” Eventually we sorted out the bank accounts, but it took me nearly 9 years to finally buy two tubes of toothpaste.

Everyone has Their Pet Peeve

My husband’s has to do toothpaste. Apparently I squeeze toothpaste like a neanderthal. That may not have been his exact word, but it is pretty close. In my mind, sharing the one tube of toothpaste was a sign of our marital bliss. If we were to *gasp* use different tubes of toothpaste, what would be next? Different hobbies? Different lives? It was unthinkable. In his mind, it was annoying that he had to fix the toothpaste every time he brushed his teeth. Regardless, we continued to share the one tube of toothpaste because I refused to budge.

Enjoying Separate Hobbies, Together

I enjoy reading, while my husband enjoys playing soccer. If we choose to spend some of our free time doing separate things, that does not mean our marriage is doomed. In fact, branching out into our own interests has kept our marriage happy. Yes, we enjoy each others company and we have shared interests, but we do not need to be joined at the hip.

After buying my own tube of toothpaste out of necessity, I reached an epiphany about my old, adopted philosophy of “everything is shared.” My husband told me I could now squeeze the toothpaste however I wanted and it wouldn’t bother him. After 8 years, it STILL bugged him! It was at that moment I realized that not everything has to be shared in a marriage.

Two Tubes of Toothpaste = One Happy Marriage

It sounds silly, but something as simple as two tubes of toothpaste made my husband happier. I can squeeze the toothpaste like a neanderthal, and he can keep his nice and tidy. Win win. Of course, my marriage’s toothpaste could be something different for you. Some couples operate better with separate bank accounts and bathroom sinks, while others prefer not to share blankets in bed. The point is, you do not have to share everything in order to have a successful marriage.

Giving each other space and NOT sharing some things could actually make your marriage (dare I say) happier.

Jaime Mackey
Originally from Florida, Jaime has lived in Southern Louisiana for most of her life (so, that makes her a local, right?). She currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and son and teaches high school English. An enneagram 5, you'll most likely find her doing hot yoga solo, on her phone researching a random topic or sitting in the comfort of her home with coffee and a book within an arm's reach.


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