Many couples wonder how to maintain a successful relationship with their partner while balancing high demanding careers. You know that power couple. They're happy and successful, they almost make it look easy. But when it comes to our own life, well, then it becomes a different story.
To simply maintain a relationship with another person you need the ingredients of friendship, romance, intimacy, navigating ongoing conflict, and meaning creation. Throw in a high demanding career to the mix; you may wonder at times how others even manage it. There simply is much less time to do so.
There is good news, it is possible to maintain a successful relationship and both balance demanding careers. It takes a lot of work (team work) and dedication.
Couples become at risk when one or both partners choose their career above their commitment to the relationship. It's the classic scenario, one spouse addicted to work. This can feel as much as a betrayal as an extramarital affair.
But what if you both are addicted to work?
How do these busy couples weather the storm and come out on top? In “What Makes Love Last”, John Gottman, after 40 years of research, shows that a strong commitment to a relationship leads to a strong sense of trust, which makes love in a relationship last the test of time.
Here is what power couples do to make love last:
- They prioritize spending time together. They schedule regular date nights or rituals in their calendars that are meaningful to just the two of them. Busy couples share google calendars and time block it out, so there’s no excuses. Need inspiration? Here’s a list of date night ideas.
- They outsource tedious chores. Busy, successful couples know their time is valuable and also that each hour equals real money they could be bringing in to their household. Hate cleaning? Always fight over chores? Maybe it’s time to invest in household help. Trust, your self care and relationship will reap the benefits.
- They listen and emphasize. They make it a point to appreciate and listen to their spouse when he/she shares the stressful things happening in life. This isn’t usually the time to problem solve or fix. Most often we just want to be heard from our partner.
- They speak up about problems when they arise. Successful couples express their needs instead of avoiding them and waiting until the repressed feelings get the best of them. Our society is very conflict-avoidant, which leaves us afraid to express what we need from one another. The result is many of us have very poor communication and only know how to fight to get what we need.
- They agree upon important issues from the start. Couples need to establish what they need from each other early in the relationship, before resentment builds and erodes the foundation of their relationship. Some of the most important issues that need to be agreed upon are : sexual and romanic needs, finances (who pays for what), family boundaries, what’s acceptable within the boundaries of the relationship (such dates w the opposite sex, whether we can bring others into the marriage and have open relationship). They know what their partner can handle and what they can expect from the beginning.
You need to know that your partner has your back and they intend to do all they can to understand, support, and help you grow. That is what builds trust, and what will make your relationship last the test of time.
Feeling like you could benefit from a relationship tune up? Whether that be through premarital or marital counseling, click here to learn more about how we can work together.