Rica Bolipata-Santos is Female Network's resident mommy columnist. In her column, "MotherLine," she shares her experiences and insights from her life as a mother, wife, and teacher. She is also the author of two books of essays called Love, Desire, Children, Etc.: Reflections of a Young Wife and Lost and Found and Other Essays.

Would it be awful for me to say I want my own room? One of the hardest things to navigate in marriage is the carving out of space—personal space. Perhaps it’s because we presume that love is the enlargement of many of our spaces—the spaces between bodies broken by sex and children; spaces between hearts broken by vows of eternity; spaces between lives broken by intimacy; and even the space between yours and mine, broken by the shared bank account. The romance of marriage lulls us into thinking that we are one and that all sacred spaces are to be shared from this day forward.

It was certainly something I bought into the first few years I was married. How I wanted to absorb myself into him and he into me. I’d like to think he felt the same way, in the beginning as well. But it’s been more than 10 years now and the gloves have come off. My husband has finally come to the conclusion that I am messy and that I come with too much clutter. I agree.

So I say to my husband and my children, “May I please have my own room?” They do not understand—how easy the need for my own room to be labeled a rejection of the people who love me most. That is simply not true.

(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Blessing section as "A Room of One's Own" in June 2007; adapted for use in Female Network)
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