One night this week I chose to get my music library straightened out. My partner was a little surprised when I chose not to do the TV-couples-evening on the couch thing, but she did comment that I had been planning on updating that library for two years. I got her support to continue my two year old project, so I did. But what surprised me as I sat at the computer was that she was not in the living room watching our usual TV shows but instead she was at the kitchen table researching Healing with Herbs, one of her two year old projects not followed up on.
So I thought about our time together and away from each other. It seems that a typical couple where both work must spend more of their ‘awake hours’ away from each other at work. That makes fewer hours couples have to themselves and increases the need to manage those few hours for relationship success.
Example: she has an important issue to discuss at 10 PM. Certainly you can be there physically at 10 PM, but if you have already used up your available social energy, your happy mood, and then you may even argue the “Why do we need to have this conversation right now?” thus introducing a new argumentative situation to the end of your day. So the biggest hindrance to great communication with your partner, aside from just plain “being there physically” is also having the emotional energy for quality time. So where did that happy mood and social energy go?
Think about your day. When is the time of day when both of you are most awake and your emotional systems are most open for new ideas and possible controversies? At work. As we have to be awake and focused in our daytime job, we somehow must also bring more of that energy home to our Personal Life. How can we do that?
First, let’s redefine what we consider Time-Off. Shouldn’t our Time-off actually be when we are at work, and conversely our Time-on be evenings and weekends. Our life’s most valuable time is not happening when we are at work. It’s happening outside of work when communicating socially means the most towards changing the rest of your life. To be clear, evenings and weekends are the only times we can partner with our partner to change our lives and relationships together. So how do we use that important time?
Follow the leader. Yes, believing is doing, and the fastest way to better communication with your partner is by being the new you who has energy and focus during your evenings and weekend time. You do not need your partner’s permission or approval to start living a new life of intent and action outside of your work, just Do it. You will see something happening. They might even be curious when you start a new hobby instead of watching TV on Wednesday evening.
Remember way back when two individual people with their own lives met each other, fell in love, and chose to become one partnership. But you fell in love as two individual people with their own work life and interests outside of work, not two exhausted people who used it all up and work and only communicated on the weekends. Bring that magical unique personal you back, and while you’re at it bring back that magical unique partner too. Turn off the TV and get a life, a life of what you would want to do – source out activities and join a local gathering. Go to the hobby store or home crafts store. Get a pony, a race car, an airplane, a princess outfit.
Has work become a partial excuse of not taking care of ourselves personally? As humans, when we partner two into one we sometimes lose “self” to the new union. It is amazing how hard it is to think of what we would like to do as a person when we are a couple. We need energy to try something new, find it. Otherwise, tomorrow will be exactly like today. Are you having as good day today?
Next is finding the right medium or venue to connect again as two lovers in a relationship. Stay tuned as we have found the energy and time, now let’s make connecting the easiest thing we can do.
The “He works – She works” series of articles
Article 1: He works She works – You spend more time at work than anywhere else
Article 2: This Article
Post by Geoff LaPlace