Could you tell me if it's natural and correct to say "rest from someone" meaning not spend time with the person for a while? For example:

Oh, I need to rest from my wife. She's been nagging me about my work recently.

If it's not, then what would you say to mean that you need to stop spending time with some person maybe because you are tired of them?

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    The expression to take a break from is close to what you seek but we don't really use it about people unless you turn it around She needs to give me a break or possibly go easy on me.. Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


"Rest from <something>" is an idiomatic English phrase, however, it's probably not very common in this context.*

The more common way of phrasing this in contemporary American English would be: I need to take a break from my wife.

Note that this can sound quite strong. Taking a break from your spouse might imply the kind of trial separation that is often a precursor to a divorce. If an unmarried person suggests to their partner that they take a break, it's likely that they're thinking about breaking up.

In the right context, where it's clear that you're mildly frustrated and making a joke, taking a break from your wife could sound appropriate.

You might be safer using a different phrasing, which is careful to avoid suggesting something like divorce, such as, "My wife and I have been getting on each other's nerves. I need to take some more time for myself."

*For whatever reason (probably because of some common translation of the Bible), contemporary uses of the phrase "rest from <something>" appear most often in Christian literature:

"In that wonderful day when the Lord gives his people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains."

"It is a rest from dead works that cannot earn salvation (Heb. 6:1)."

"And, please note that Jesus promises rest from your weariness and burdens"

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