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Do You and Your Partner Have a Healthy Work-Life Balance?

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Managing your work life and your love life is a balancing act with a packed schedule and to-do list. It's natural if you feel challenged to do your best work and be a good partner. Managing a job you love and keeping the love strong in your relationship is possible if you work at it. There is so much talk about work and life balance, yet balance is very short-lived and constantly requires us to correct our course in one direction or another. We get busy, tired, and stressed, and the first thing that goes out the window tends to be the people closest to us, including ourselves, which creates a sense that we need to see that everybody gets some attention. 

However, that strategy can make the people we care about feel like a responsibility or a burden.

What Happens When Your Work Life Overshadows Your Marriage?

Even ten minutes of being present with somebody can have an impact. Try to value the quality of the time spent together rather than the quantity. When we have space from each other and are engaged and happy in our lives, spending time together can be even more rewarding, nurturing, and valuable. Seeing somebody you care about enjoying themselves and feeling good about their work can also be incredibly fulfilling. 

Discuss what times work best for quality time with your spouse. Consider keeping a planner and sticking to it when it comes to time with your spouse. Quality time spent with spouses and friends during special occasions or holidays can't be replaced, but work meetings can. If you don't spend as much time with your husband or wife for one month, you can give a little gift or plan a nice date. If you're both morning people, plan extra time before work to eat breakfast together to start your days, help reduce stress, and improve your mental health. 

Seven Ways to Create a Healthy Work Life Balance

1. Communication is Key

Talk to your partner about the work-life balance in the marriage:

●   Sitting down for an open, honest conversation should be one of your first steps. 

●   Once you've established which areas are causing issues, try and work out boundaries. 

●   Discuss your shared goals. 

●   Let go of resentment. 

●   Schedule us-time. 

●   Focus on quality, not quantity.

2. Set Boundaries Between You and Work

You can often set yourself apart by making yourself available, taking on extra responsibilities, or staying late at work. However, being so accommodating might also set you up for undue stress and burnout and affect your marriage. A good work ethic doesn't mean you must always be perfect. It's okay to say no to overtime and want to have the weekend off. Your value as a human being is independent of your ability to perform at work. Removing the pressure of performing makes setting boundaries with coworkers easier.

3. Ask Your Partner for Help 

If the marriage has a poor work-life balance, it is easy to take stress out on your partner. Try scheduling something to look forward to each day. Read a best-selling book together to discuss at dinner, go for a  walk around the neighborhood, or plan a double date for drinks to unwind after work.

4. Disconnect from Technology at Home

In the workplace, speed increases productivity, but a fast pace has the opposite effect at home. Families don't thrive on speed and productivity but on love and communication. We need to soberly look at how we allow technology to replace loving interaction and limit their use or turn off cell phones, tablets, or laptops.

5.  Make an Effort to Connect With Your Partner Daily

Cutting out the white noise or distractions in life is no easy task, but it is crucial to a healthy relationship. Whether slowing down on responding to texts, limiting your time on professional blogs, or turning off your phone after nine o'clock, you'll have more time to focus on giving to your relationship. If seeking a healthy work-life balance, it's about dedicating an equal amount of time personally and professionally. The secret to successful work-life integration is disconnecting from the distractions around you and your spouse and making time for just the two of you to connect.

6. Make Time with your Partner for Emotional Check-ins

As it relates to marriage, prioritizing means reserving energy for your spouse. Even if you're dog-tired when you get home from work, check in with your partner for a few minutes. "Prioritizing" means you do this even if you are facing an impossible deadline. The best time for meaningful communication in a relationship may be at the end of the day when lying in bed together before going to sleep. Couples can talk about the highs and lows of their day, discuss deep topics, or be intimate.

7. Take Time to Show Your Partner Your Appreciation and Love

Seizing a moment to remind your partner of your affection can significantly impact your relationship. Showing love in small ways, especially when you're not together physically, like texting a  simple "I'm thinking of you" message, demonstrates that you're engaged and deeply committed to your partnership and enriches the marriage. 

It takes effort from both spouses to achieve a healthy work-life balance, planning, and communication. Consider using Marriage in a Box for suggestions to help work through the rough areas to achieve a healthy balance between work and home life.

Marriage In a Box is a resource for obtaining tools, techniques, and solutions professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the website. You can also set goals and obtain rewards. Feel free to check out the kit and sources of information online.

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