Couples and Work: Staying Connected and Productive

Reviewed Oct 10, 2017

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Summary

  • Discuss the wants and needs of transition time.
  • Plan a regular time to talk about other issues that are impacting your relationship.

In today’s society, there is no doubt that work has an impact on our primary relationship. For many of us, most of our waking hours are spent in a work setting. Experts estimate that the average couple spends only 27 minutes a week talking about themselves and their relationship as a couple. How does that compare to the number of hours spent on the job? It is also true that if a couple’s relationship is going well, the individuals will be more productive at their jobs.

Transitioning from work to home

One of the most difficult times for couples is when they return home from work. This is true if your work takes you away for the day, for different shifts or for days or weeks at a time. One or both of you may be preoccupied with the work left behind or may be tired, hungry, or emotionally drained. This is the time for reconnecting after being in different worlds and spending that time apart.

What usually happens at this time? It is the perfect time for misunderstandings, temper flare-ups, dumping on our partner, or just tuning the other person out completely. It is a time of transition for everyone.

Understanding unique needs and rhythms

Each person has his or her own needs and also different rhythms. This transition occurs whether the work is done outside of the home or in the home. It also occurs if the job requires traveling away from home, either for short trips or extended time away.

If your job requires that you deal with people all day, you may be ready for a little quiet time. On the other hand, if you have been working at home or caring for children, you may be eager to have some adult conversation. If you have been gone from home for a few days or for a few months, there is still a re-entry time. Each spouse or partner will have different needs and different expectations.

Talk it through

What can be done to improve this time? The first thing is to talk about it with each other. Find a quiet time either after children are in bed or when you both are relaxed on the weekend. Perhaps you can go for coffee or ice cream and discuss the wants and needs of this transition time. Some things to consider are:

  • How much do we share about our jobs and the issues there?
  • Is there a need for re-entry time?
  • How do we greet and acknowledge each other after being absent?
  • Are there other times of the day when we can connect?
  • What are the job expectations regarding your time?
  • How do we let each other know our psychological state upon arrival?
  • How do we deal with other demands, such as children or pets?
  • If it is around mealtime, how do we handle the food preparation?

Each couple’s situation and needs will be unique to them. The important thing is to communicate and decide on changes that may be desirable. After implementing these changes, set a time period to evaluate what is working and what may need improving.  

Now that you have taken this time to talk about the transition time, plan a regular time or date to talk about other issues that are impacting your relationship. 

By Nancy Terry, LCSW CEAP

Summary

  • Discuss the wants and needs of transition time.
  • Plan a regular time to talk about other issues that are impacting your relationship.

In today’s society, there is no doubt that work has an impact on our primary relationship. For many of us, most of our waking hours are spent in a work setting. Experts estimate that the average couple spends only 27 minutes a week talking about themselves and their relationship as a couple. How does that compare to the number of hours spent on the job? It is also true that if a couple’s relationship is going well, the individuals will be more productive at their jobs.

Transitioning from work to home

One of the most difficult times for couples is when they return home from work. This is true if your work takes you away for the day, for different shifts or for days or weeks at a time. One or both of you may be preoccupied with the work left behind or may be tired, hungry, or emotionally drained. This is the time for reconnecting after being in different worlds and spending that time apart.

What usually happens at this time? It is the perfect time for misunderstandings, temper flare-ups, dumping on our partner, or just tuning the other person out completely. It is a time of transition for everyone.

Understanding unique needs and rhythms

Each person has his or her own needs and also different rhythms. This transition occurs whether the work is done outside of the home or in the home. It also occurs if the job requires traveling away from home, either for short trips or extended time away.

If your job requires that you deal with people all day, you may be ready for a little quiet time. On the other hand, if you have been working at home or caring for children, you may be eager to have some adult conversation. If you have been gone from home for a few days or for a few months, there is still a re-entry time. Each spouse or partner will have different needs and different expectations.

Talk it through

What can be done to improve this time? The first thing is to talk about it with each other. Find a quiet time either after children are in bed or when you both are relaxed on the weekend. Perhaps you can go for coffee or ice cream and discuss the wants and needs of this transition time. Some things to consider are:

  • How much do we share about our jobs and the issues there?
  • Is there a need for re-entry time?
  • How do we greet and acknowledge each other after being absent?
  • Are there other times of the day when we can connect?
  • What are the job expectations regarding your time?
  • How do we let each other know our psychological state upon arrival?
  • How do we deal with other demands, such as children or pets?
  • If it is around mealtime, how do we handle the food preparation?

Each couple’s situation and needs will be unique to them. The important thing is to communicate and decide on changes that may be desirable. After implementing these changes, set a time period to evaluate what is working and what may need improving.  

Now that you have taken this time to talk about the transition time, plan a regular time or date to talk about other issues that are impacting your relationship. 

By Nancy Terry, LCSW CEAP

Summary

  • Discuss the wants and needs of transition time.
  • Plan a regular time to talk about other issues that are impacting your relationship.

In today’s society, there is no doubt that work has an impact on our primary relationship. For many of us, most of our waking hours are spent in a work setting. Experts estimate that the average couple spends only 27 minutes a week talking about themselves and their relationship as a couple. How does that compare to the number of hours spent on the job? It is also true that if a couple’s relationship is going well, the individuals will be more productive at their jobs.

Transitioning from work to home

One of the most difficult times for couples is when they return home from work. This is true if your work takes you away for the day, for different shifts or for days or weeks at a time. One or both of you may be preoccupied with the work left behind or may be tired, hungry, or emotionally drained. This is the time for reconnecting after being in different worlds and spending that time apart.

What usually happens at this time? It is the perfect time for misunderstandings, temper flare-ups, dumping on our partner, or just tuning the other person out completely. It is a time of transition for everyone.

Understanding unique needs and rhythms

Each person has his or her own needs and also different rhythms. This transition occurs whether the work is done outside of the home or in the home. It also occurs if the job requires traveling away from home, either for short trips or extended time away.

If your job requires that you deal with people all day, you may be ready for a little quiet time. On the other hand, if you have been working at home or caring for children, you may be eager to have some adult conversation. If you have been gone from home for a few days or for a few months, there is still a re-entry time. Each spouse or partner will have different needs and different expectations.

Talk it through

What can be done to improve this time? The first thing is to talk about it with each other. Find a quiet time either after children are in bed or when you both are relaxed on the weekend. Perhaps you can go for coffee or ice cream and discuss the wants and needs of this transition time. Some things to consider are:

  • How much do we share about our jobs and the issues there?
  • Is there a need for re-entry time?
  • How do we greet and acknowledge each other after being absent?
  • Are there other times of the day when we can connect?
  • What are the job expectations regarding your time?
  • How do we let each other know our psychological state upon arrival?
  • How do we deal with other demands, such as children or pets?
  • If it is around mealtime, how do we handle the food preparation?

Each couple’s situation and needs will be unique to them. The important thing is to communicate and decide on changes that may be desirable. After implementing these changes, set a time period to evaluate what is working and what may need improving.  

Now that you have taken this time to talk about the transition time, plan a regular time or date to talk about other issues that are impacting your relationship. 

By Nancy Terry, LCSW CEAP

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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