Your career has taken off, and you’re enjoying being recognized for the stud or studette that you are. The feeling of success can be intoxicating, similar to a drug. We want more of it, because who doesn’t want to be appreciated, have prosperity, and have a sense of accomplishment? There’s nothing wrong with ambition and achievement! However, it can pose a problem if your partner feels like your career is consistently winning your attention and they are losing the battle.
Obviously, you don’t want to give up your promising career. I’m assuming you also don’t want to destroy your marriage and that’s why you’re reading this article. I’m not a believer in balancing everything equally. There are times your company or job require you to put in extreme focus and time. The trick to gaining greater harmony is to learn the skills to satisfy your relationship and career demands.
Once you discover how to do this relationship/career dance, your life can soar even higher! Here are some red flags to be aware of and the tools to strengthen your connection, as you pursue your ambitions.
Here are warning signs that your career is hotter than your relationship:
The Back Burner Syndrome is when you’ve been together for awhile, and the positive connection in your relationship is missing due to being put on the ‘back burner’ for too long. If you notice that you are staying late at work consistently, you may find yourself thinking, ‘Oh she’ll understand, or I’ll make it up to her later’? What’s happening is you’re thinking, ‘I sleep with this person every night so at least I see them. I’m busy kicking butt at work right now, and there will be time to focus on the relationship later’. Over time, this pattern creates frustration and disconnect. You may find that ‘later’ leads to your spouse making-out with the mailperson.
Downtime spent thinking about work.
Do you catch yourself at the family dinner table thinking about how you can be even more fabulous at work, and you’re completely unaware of the conversation occurring around you. You know you’re guilty of this when your kids or partner ask you to respond to the dinner topic, and you have no clue what it is. Another clue is when they start throwing bread rolls at your head to get your attention!
You miss your kid’s events due to work commitments.
Have you missed your child’s first play or their awards night? Don’t beat yourself up if there is an occasion or two where you just can’t make it to a planned event. That happens to the best of us. However, if you are making it so infrequently that other parents yell ‘Stranger Danger’ when they see you, well …ya’ know something needs to change.
Spouse gets irritated when you talk about work issues.
Have you noticed that when you talk about your job your partner’s eyes glaze over, or they don’t engage with you? They may even show frustration when the topic of your career arises.
Rarely have intimate talk…let alone sex!
This is a biggie. If your conversations revolve around mundane issues and the flirting is gone, you’re moving into the snore-zone. We all need that passionate connection. When it’s absent for too long, our human nature begins to look for ways to recover that missing link.
What to Do Before Your Marriage Crumbles Like Blue Cheese:
- Recognize where your relationship is headed if nothing changes. If you see many of the warning signs from above how long do you think it can sustain a lack of attention? Taking on the issues head on is imperative.
- Have scheduled weekly connection time that becomes a ritual. It’s important to have this time put on your calendar to create stronger commitment. Treat it as you would a business meeting, although you can make it as enjoyable as you like! It can be as simple as having coffee together every Sunday morning or doing a Zumba class followed by a glass of wine. The key is to create a plan that gets you to communicate. Here are suggestions to incorporate into your connection time:
- Converse about what each of you needs in the relationship to feel valued and loved.
- Discuss your big goals that you both want. This is where you can make your dreams a reality, with the support of your main squeeze. It will add excitement to your life and relationship. Take this seriously and enjoy working together to reach your goals.
- Create a blueprint of weekly actions needed to get there. Re-visit this each week
- Bring up obstacles or challenges you encountered in your quest to achieve your weekly goals. Brainstorm ideas on how to overcome any issue
- Tell your partner what they did during the week that you appreciate
- Mention areas that you feel need improvement.
- Dedicate 100% to what you are doing. Be completely present during the family game time. No one wants to play with a dud. I promise that being the super star mom or dad, during these times, will pay off huge long-term dividends! The same thing goes for date night or connection time. Put away the cell phone and give your partner your full, undivided attention. Of course, when you’re at work that’s your opportunity to focus in and be the overachiever you are. Nothing wrong with shooting for the stars! Communicate with your main squeeze how you are implementing this 100% focus tactic and how you hope they’ll support you in respecting your work time. These steps mentioned above create a ‘balance’ that is designed for your lifestyle. When everyone feels appreciated and has your full attention at a reasonable level, your lives will feel more in sync and harmony will be more of a reality.
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