In our last installment of Finding Time for Your Partner Again, we talked a bit about some of the causes for distance in a relationship. We hope you’ve begun the process of mentally preparing for change because we have some solutions for you. Today we’ll address the three most common causes for not having time for your partner.
For a lot of people, work is a monumental task. Whether this is because it’s hard, manual labor or because you’re using an intense creative process throughout the work day doesn’t matter. If you find yourself too tired to do anything when you’re done working, it may be interfering with your relationship.
First, ask yourself what you do have energy for when you’re done working. Do you usually sit down and watch TV? Do you play a game? Or, do you go straight to bed? If you find you have the energy for mindless leisure activities when you’re done with work, you should ask your partner if there’s any way to combine that with spending time with them. For instance, your partner may have a TV show they’re interested in that you can both watch together while snuggling on the couch. If the game you enjoy is multiplayer, you could play together.
The next thing to address is your work load. If you’re too tired to do anything after work, it might be time to assess if you’re working too much. If you work for yourself, try cutting your workload by an hour or two each day. Or, if you work every day, change your work schedule to include at least two days off. If you work for someone else, request a change in hours or consider searching for another job.
Another important consideration is: are you tired all the time even when you don’t work? Depression is incredibly common and can really sneak up on people. You might not know this but depression can cause a significant amount of fatigue. There is a stigma that depression is all in people’s heads, but it actually manifests in a lot of physical symptoms as well. If you think you might be depressed, contact a local therapist and set up an appointment. Therapy and medication can be life-changing for those suffering from depression.
If you and your partner technically do have free time but prefer to do different things, you might find you spend a lot of time apart from each other. There are two solutions for this problem. They’re fairly easy too. You just need a little patience and willingness to compromise.
The first thing is you can continue doing your own thing but move closer. If you like to play games on your laptop at the table and your partner likes to read in bed, try taking your laptop to bed to play games. You both get to continue doing what you love but are now close while doing it. Even basic physical contact can provide a sense of companionship and encourage the production of dopamine.
Some people just tend to have a lot going on. From waking until sleeping, they are on the move. If this is you, you finding time for your partner may come with some big changes for your own schedule.
If most of your busy day comes from taking care of kids, see if you can get a babysitter once a week so you and your partner can spend time together or go on a date. Family is often willing to do this for free or cheap. Check in with your siblings or parents.
If you’re simply busy because you’re going to meetings and appointments and running errands, it might be time to start setting professional boundaries for yourself. Make sure you have a few hours each night to yourself. Refuse to schedule things in the evening. Try out grocery delivery services.
If your situation can’t be fixed with generic advice, come in for counseling and get help tailored to your unique situation. With some professional help from Esther Benbihy, finding time for your partner can be done together. Give us a call to make an appointment.