It is pretty common for couples to have a hard time managing their time. Just by the nature of things, one of you will tend to have a busier schedule than the other. It can be endlessly frustrating to have a partner who is always working or has a high pressure job. It can feel like they never have time, but you know it is not their fault. They can not control their job after all. So here are some thoughts on what to do when your partner feels too busy.
Spend Time Together
I am a broken record. I have said the same thing in too many blog posts and to too many clients in session. Regardless of how busy you are, how long you have been together, or whether you are doing well or not every couple needs to spend intentional time together. Our tendency is to try to find time when life gets busy. Honestly, you will not just magically find any time. Time has to be made. Here is a very practical article on carving out time for each other.
Talk About How It Is Effecting You
It is important to talk about your feelings. The trap that a lot of people will fall into at this point is to blame their busy partner. say things like, “you’re never around.” It is important to talk about when you are missing them. When you feel like they are distant, it is important to be honest about that sadness. Along the same lines…
Talk About Expectation in Your Relationship
It is important for you and your partner to have open conversations about what your boundaries and expectations are in work/life balance. What are expectations around dividing up the house work? If you have kids, how will you manage balancing parenting? What are our personal limits if there is no end in sight for this work stress?
Unspoken boundaries and expectations turn into resentment over time. There is no opportunity for the two of you to connect and care for each other without these conversations. Instead, disappointments build and stew under the surface until things blow up. Open communication is vital.
It is always important to support each other when life gets stressful. It is important keep the right perspective when your partner is busy. You are a couple managing stress together. If you are having trouble connecting or making time, give us a call at The Marriage & Family Clinic.
About the Author
Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado.