OR DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE!
The case for less space.
MY WIFE, Maria, and I spend three to four months each year on a cruise ship as yoga teachers. And it’s a good thing we’re flexible, because our cabin is 23 square metres, which is roughly the size of a onecar garage, or five prison cells. It has one desk, one couch, one television, one bathroom, and one closet. All told, we’ve spent about four years of our marriage sardined in there. Oddly enough, these months on the ship when we can’t escape each other are the strongest times for our relationship.
In our small cabin, Maria has her side of the bathroom, and I have a shelf. She has her portion of the closet, and I have a few roomy drawers. Compromise, no matter how minor, means being considerate and respectful of your partner, and that daily reminder is a big relationship-builder.
Therapists will tell you that happy marriages and communication fit together like peanut butter and jam. In a tiny living space, ignoring your partner becomes impossible.
So when Maria asks a question with no right answer, I can no longer fake mis-hearing and retreat to another part of the house. When there’s an elephant in the room, it feels like there’s actually an elephant in the room. It can’t be shooed off into a corner. We’re forced to address problems quickly.
After three to four months of living in each other’s personal space, I find I’m able to anticipate Maria’s needs intuitively, and she mine.
It’s extreme, sure; but when we’re back on land and living our lives with a little more room, we don’t feel so far away.