Working From Home with Your Partner: Coping with Too Much Togetherness!
Working from home with your partner certainly can present some challenges. Add juggling children and homeschooling into the mix and you may have a borderline disaster on your hands! There are no breaks, not even a few minutes to decompress between work and home.
So, what can you do if all of this time with your partner is leaving you on edge? Let’s discuss two essential relationship musts that are critical to maintain even under normal circumstances, but are even more mandatory with this current state of togetherness.
Create a Little Separation – The passion we feel at the beginning of a relationship is largely due to the fact that there is a good bit of mystery surrounding our partner. This process of learning about one another is exciting, like unwrapping a beautiful package bit by bit. Since you both are largely independent before you meeting, it’s incredibly stimulating and fun for each person to explore the other.
Over time, however, this mystery dissolves and it is replaced with commitment and companionship. That’s not to say that there’s no more passion, it is simply that the newness has worn off. To nurture the passion in the relationship, it is critical for each person to maintain their own interests and some separateness because it creates more stimulation when you come together again.
Obviously, this is a bit of a challenge when both people are working from home and there is little to no separation! In order to address this, you may just need to get a little creative when it comes to your time apart. Taking some time for yourself to get outside, read a book, take an online class, have some phone time with friends or pursue a hobby/interest are all ways that you maintain a bit of autonomy and have something dynamic to discuss with your partner. If you have young children at home, there may not be much time for you to devote to these things! If this is the case, either set a schedule with your partner so that you each can have a little alone time and/or think of ways to incorporate your children into some new adventures. This stimulation is not only important to the relationship, but it is equally critical to your own well-being.
Have Some Fun Together – In addition to creating a little separation, it is imperative to make having fun with your partner a priority. This bonding time keeps the connection strong, which not only feels good, but it also helps to offset other stressors. The more novel the activity, the more stimulating it will be. Seeing your partner in new ways or engaging on a different level keeps the relationship dynamic rather than stagnant. If you’re wondering what you can do during this time, think about small things like game night (a fun “get to know each other game” is fantastic and there are currently many of these online so you don’t have to buy anything), doing some type of project together, reading to each other or going for evening walks together and alternating who gets to choose a new and interesting topic to talk about during the walk. No repeats! If you have small children at home, put them in the stroller so that the two of you can walk and talk or have a movie night for the kids while you and your partner enjoy a date in the kitchen. Although you can count on multiple interruptions, setting this time aside for the two of you to connect is important for the relationship and it is also good for your children to witness.
As challenging as these times have proven themselves to be, the beauty in this is that we actually have more time together. For most, the pace is just a bit slower and the opportunity to really connect and relate with our partner is greater. In the not so distant future, many of us may look back at that aspect of this time as being quite precious.
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XO – Avery Neal