The soap star, 46, told the Loose Women he would be back on the BBC favourite in the new year but was devoting the next few months to his "beautiful wife who I don't see enough".
Asked when fans can expect to see him back in Albert Square, he confessed: "I'm taking a few months off EastEnders.
"I go back in March. I love being there, I love the job but it is very long hours."
His decision comes after the actor – who plays Max Branning in the soap – renewed his wedding vows to wife Alison Murray.
Asked the secret to the couple's 23-year romance, Max gushed: "We've spent half of our lives together.
" We've grown together and at every point we've always wanted the same things."
"Blokes in general struggle to talk about stuff so she's taught me how to do that. I think it's a working progress but I do try to get things out."
The couple are also the proud parents of Amber, 13, and Buster, 10.
The Strictly star also opened up about his return to the dancefloor for the show's Christmas special.
Admitting he was "disappointed" about not re-partnering with Janette Manrara, he insisted he still had a "great time" with new partner Luba Mushtuk.
He enthused: "I didn't get Janette because they got Aston [Merrygold] back and they matched perfectly for height.
"I'm disappointed I didn't get Janette but I got on great with Luba. We had a great time."
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