Results-driven. Forward-thinking. Effective communicator. Proactive. Strong attention to detail.
You would likely see many of these buzzwords and phrases on professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and job descriptions. While these are some of the top qualities expected of an ideal employee in the workplace, why should it stop there? I believe couples should bring that same drive and work ethic to the marriage.
At work I strive to keep the lines of communication open with key stakeholders, think about how to deliver strategic value, and proactively plan out resolutions to complex problems. I try to put that same effort towards my relationship. For example, Marcus and I keep in touch throughout the day, checking on each other’s well-being and bouncing business ideas off each other (brainstorming). We now work together to resolve issues before things blow up (proactive problem solving). We cut off work and outside forces at a certain time to talk and laugh after work (focus). We prioritize our Friday night dates and even get dressed up for each other (prioritization) because a date with your lover should hold the same importance in your life as a meeting at work!
People usually fill their tanks each morning with whatever works for them (i.e. coffee, music, prayer, workout, etc.), drive full speed at work using up all their gas, and come home to their spouse running on fumes. That’s not fair. Don’t let your career siphon off 100% of what you have to give for the whole day and leave nothing left for positive interactions at home. Instead, try fueling yourself twice a day – once for work and again before you get home.
We get so caught up in doing what’s best for our jobs that we sometimes forget about our spouse and personal well-being. We arrive early, stay late, do two jobs at once, avoid vacation…all to show that we are hard workers. At the same time, we frown our noses up when our partner asks for the same effort at home. Chances are, that same manager you’re aiming to please with all that’s within you would replace you in a heartbeat if something happened to you. Sure, you should aim to be loyal to your company and do your best at work, but not to the point where your marriage takes the back seat. You didn’t marry your boss. Don’t let work ruin your marriage.
Staying at work late to prepare for a big meeting/presentation?
Understandable. Try balancing that out by leaving early/on time the next day to spend quality time with your spouse.
Attending happy hour after work because it’s a great opportunity to network?
Great! Get the same points on the board with your spouse by taking him/her to happy hour at that place you’ve been meaning to try.
Having exhausting meetings or calls until the very last second of your workday?
Try suggesting a new time for meetings that are scheduled after 4:30 PM so you can wrap up anything that has your attention for the day and recharge before arriving home.
Long story short: don’t go give your all at work and have nothing leftover for your spouse.
Work hard at your marriage just like you do at work. ♥