We just celebrated 9 years of marriage!  From the outside looking in it might seem like Raf and I do everything together, but in reality we don’t. They say time flies when you are having fun and we are definitely doing that. Raf has always been right for me. He is my home, my brave space no matter what else is happening in the world.  I will be the first to tell you that our marriage has not always been sunshine and rainbows, but it has always been worth the work, and I am so happy we chose each other.

Living, working, and playing together can get overwhelming from time to time. Here are 3 things we do separately that help us stay together:

We Take Separate Vacations

Now, we still make sure we take a few romantic vacations every now and then and we make it a regular practice to clear time for each other, but lately we’ve been taking separate vacations. He might go hang out with his brothers or I might go see my niece. Either way I find that when we do, we miss each other. We have lots to share and it makes us hold each other a little closer when we are back together.

 We Eat At Separate Restaurants

He drops me off at my spot of choice and he goes to his. Unlike most couples, we have different diets. Raf was born and raised a vegan. He likes hearty foods like beans, rice, corn, potatoes etc… all things that, because of my lipedema, I can’t have. You’ll find me eating more low carb or keto-ish. So we usually save the one or two restaurants that have something for both of us for special occasions, time crunches, etc…

We don’t hike together

Raf introduced me to hiking, but we usually go our separate ways. Splitting up while hiking increased both of our enjoyment. Raf is a casual hiker; he wants to admire the beauty of nature. Not me. I want a hard workout. I want fast feet, and of course for me it is all about Peloton. Enjoying the experience separately cultivates a space to decompress, reflect, and rejuvenate.

Raf left his job of over 20 years to work with me, and it was a big adjustment. He went from working nights to days. He went from being managed to managing, and we had to figure out how to keep dating and run the business. My team was growing. It was total chaos and we needed help so I hired a professional coach. Angie Mattson Stegall is an Executive Wayfinder (Business and Life Coach) and an award-winning author of five books. Angie has a calm spirit. I’d worked with her as a coach and client before.

Angie Mattson Stegall is an Executive Wayfinder

We took a retreat and slowly started to smooth things out. During that time, Angie helped us recognize our strengths as a work team. We also did a few virtual meetings.  She was honest with us and helped us articulate our professional and personal needs.

I love our new lifestyle. Growing through this process we’ve managed to grow our business, find deeper personal connections, and get a little space to grow as separate human beings.

Aisha And Rafrica on a hike