Relationship Advice Tips from Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Tug of War – Career or Marriage?
Do you go to work each day feeling a bit guilty that you spent a few extra minutes in bed cuddling with your partner?
Perhaps you get anxious on your way home from work, knowing that you stayed late to finish a project or deal with customer service problems.
It’s hard for you to give equal weight to your job and your marriage when they both mean a great deal to you.
You don’t like the feeling of having to take time from one part of your life to give to another, and it’s a conflict that you can’t seem to resolve.
You know in your gut that your marriage is the key foundation that sustains you and makes you feel secure.
So how can you make the time you spend with your partner special and free of work and other intrusions?
Four ways to make sure your marriage is protected and nurtured outside of work time
1. Keep personal time sacred and commit to it with your spouse.
Too often the exhilaration of the job is a greater pull with immediate rewards- while married life becomes a drudge – doing chores, or fulfilling family obligations.
Make sure that you plan for fun and productive activities with your spouse that will also fulfill your need to accomplish, achieve and contribute, otherwise you will just live out your married life as an obligation and get your kicks in your career.
2. Arrange specific things to do together to enhance emotional intimacy
The mistake that most couples make when they have time away from work is that they do ‘role’ based separate activities instead of doing things together. For example if the man is the one who works long hours and now has time off, he may do gardening, auto or handyman jobs, while his wife does shopping, child minding, cooking etc.
- planting vegetables or taking care of patio plants
- walking the dog together
- trying a new recipe at home
3. Play with each other when you have that precious time together– research indicates that
playing in marriage is the one activity that
- equalizes the partners
- promotes humor and affection
- neutralizes the disappointments and hurts of expectations not being met
- Fosters trust and inter-dependence
- Develops empathy and understanding
Play can include going for bike rides together, hiking, board games, enjoying music, dancing, water games dreaming out loud about traveling, taking day bus trips so that you aren’t “driving” (working).
4. Keep the phone off unless you are ‘on call‘.
No games, or social media check ins. No taking photos and putting them on social media.
Avoid text messaging colleagues, friends or family members unless there is a ongoing crisis.
No listening to music or pod-casts with your ear phones firmly in place.
That’s how you give both your spouse and your job the message that you take your personal time as seriously as your job- and intend to balance it.
If you follow these steps and keep no secrets from one another, you can bullet proof your marriage against fractures that would need therapy to knit it back together.
AUTHOR OF ‘Now You Want Me, Now You Don’t! Fear of Intimacy: ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationships.”
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015
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Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]