In today’s modern world, the majority of couples are living in a dual-career household striving towards success and climbing the corporate ladder to achieve their ambitious dreams. As relationship coaches, with a background in marriage and family therapy, we have many couples come to us asking for help to improve their relationship because they aren’t receiving what they need from their partner.
With the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities, there is an endless competition of heightened pressure to perform amongst financial professionals, lawyers, doctors, real estate developers, entrepreneurs, and other high-profile jobs. Demanding careers require spending anywhere from 8-12 hours of the day in the office which makes little time for the relationship with their partner. And, days can even be longer if there is travel and overnight stays involved to meet their clients.
With the quality of time deteriorating amongst couples, both partners value their financial independence making it challenging to find the balance. While their bank accounts are growing, simultaneously it’s depleting their emotional bank account. To keep an emotional bank account out of the red margin, requires five positive interactions for every one negative interaction. Yet, financial status and time can take a toll on their emotional bond making those touches far and few between.
Here Are Three Ways to Support Your Relationship:
1. Feed Your Focus and Disregard Distractions
Every day we experience digital notifications going off on phones whether it’s an email from your client, text message from your friend, or your bank sending you an alert, they are distractions from your relationship. Regardless, it’s quite easy to seek interest in what the notification states and become deeply immersed that you forget what you were initially focusing on or talking about with your partner. While these notifications can be extremely crucial at times, they are merely distractions from carving out time for your partner especially when you are both at home after a long workday.
Silence the noise to honor time with your partner.
If your goal is to strengthen your relationship and rebuild the emotional intimacy you desire with your partner, then knowing how to silence those notifications can be resourceful in balancing your lifestyle. Whether it’s placing your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or leaving it somewhere you will not check it every ten minutes, then honor that commitment to yourself. By committing to being more present, will allow you to focus on your partner while receiving a deeper commitment to grow the connection. You can only receive what you are willing to do for yourself and the relationship.
2.Prioritize Your Relationship
How often do you spend time talking to your partner? Like actually sitting down and listening to what they share with you? Do you go on weekly dates to spend time with one another? Despite building an empire at your firm, you have to prioritize the relationship like you prioritize your clients and meetings. A relationship doesn’t function on its own once it’s built. It requires tenderness, love, and care on a continual basis to maintain growth while working through differences when they arise. The same way you feed yourself every day or water a plant, your relationship needs daily touches too!
One of the easiest ways to prioritize your relationship is by creating an appointment on the calendar just like you do for your clients. Whether you agree upon a set day each week or talk on Sunday about what night you will spend a few uninterrupted hours together, getting a weekly date on the calendar for you and your partner is critical to growing your emotional bank account. While this may seem business-like, it holds each of you accountable while honoring the relationship and prevents you from making other commitments. And let’s be honest, it can be hard to remember everything between personal and professional interactions, so when you and your partner have a weekly date on the calendar there are no excuses, like saying “I forgot” or “I didn’t remember us agreeing on this”
3. Show Appreciation and Affection
No matter what your love language may be, showing affection and appreciation helps increase those positive interactions which make you and your partner feel good. Whether you give your partner a hug or kiss when they walk in the door or say “I Love You” before they dash off to work, these simple gestures elevate the emotional intimacy you and your partner are seeking in your relationship. And, if your partner’s love language isn’t words of affirmations or touch, you can make them dinner or ask to go on an evening walk.
Love doesn’t cost a thing.
Even if your energy is spent after dealing with chaos at the office or a client who is on your last nerves, make sure to take time for yourself before interacting with your partner. As much as you may want to vent, it’s better to ask your partner “How was your day?” before you unload a cannonball of complaints. While you both may feel stressed at times, it’s best not to use your partner as your punching bag and sounding board when emotion is heightened from long working hours.
While you and your partner both value unlimited financial resources and deep emotional intimacy, strategizing a path for your relationship to prosper comes from realigning your values and goals. Communicating what you each need is oxygen to your relationship becoming an important part of your daily life. Why feel like you have to choose one or the other when you can have both!