5 Successful Ways To Avoid Relationship Strain While Working From Home Together
Working from home with a partner every single day can be challenging if the relationship is lacking healthy boundaries. While you and your partner may share the same living spaces or debate who gets the office today, this can chip away at your emotional bank account as a couple.
Being homebound with your partner from sunrise to sunset can highlight the relationship issues tenfold, especially if they have been shoved under the rug for years. Discord tends to increase because you and your partner are forced to face your relationship challenges instead of escaping or hiding out at the office all day. By not having relationship intelligence skills to smoothly navigate discord, the greater risk you are of damaging the health of your relationship.
However, there are some tips you can try before calling a relationship expert.
Here Are 5 Successful Ways To Work From Home With A Partner:
1. Setting Boundaries For The Relationship
Boundaries can look different for every couple but knowing how to set them is key. Some common boundaries may include emotional boundaries, time boundaries, professional boundaries, and some personal boundaries for yourself while keeping the peace in the home.
For example, if you and your partner had a disagreement last night and they want to reiterate their perspective the following day during work hours, setting an emotional or professional boundary would benefit the relationship so you or your partner doesn’t feel ignored. While the relationship problem is important, talking during business hours is likely going to prevent you or your partner from actively listening to meet the relationship needs. It’s important to bring up relationship discussions outside of the workday so you and your partner are receptive to each other and can negotiate a mutual agreement to create a win-win outcome.
Not sure where to begin on setting boundaries? Check out our most popular online course: Boundary Badass. The course will give you the exact communication skills you need to address relationship issues and set healthy boundaries so your needs are met to keep your relationship growing. Of course, we are here to help you navigate as well. Click here to chat.
2. Asking to Talk Versus Assuming Their Available
It’s important not to assume your partner is available to talk at any given time. While it’s common to freely talk to your partner whenever you feel like it in your home, it’s respectful to be mindful of business hours when working from home.
While it may feel like a foreign language to ask if your partner has a minute to talk, ask yourself what you would do in the office. Would approach a colleague by asking if they were free to engage or just start chatting away about your needs?
Asking your partner for a few minutes shows mutual respect for the relationship versus assuming they are free. This way you have their undivided attention when you address your concerns rather than assuming your partner is automatically listening to you when you start talking. If you just begin making conversation, your partner may miss your perspective on a topic, just say "Yes" or "No" without listening because they are busy, or completely dismiss the conversation altogether.
You can try: “When do you have a minute to talk?” to a constructive conversation that respects the relationship between you and your partner.
3. Respecting Your Partner’s Professional Hours
Even though you may feel like colleagues during the workday, you and your partner may work different hours due to career responsibilities and goals. Your partner may tend to work earlier hours of the day while you work more towards later hours of the day or vice versa, which can impact the relationship at times.
It can be helpful for couples to talk about their schedules a week before, especially if a partner’s schedule may change week to week due to meetings or tasks. It’s important not to expect your partner to finish their workday at the same time as you, as you only end up disappointing yourself. Having an open conversation before the workday is key to keeping engaged and feeling like you are on the same page.
And if your partner is an entrepreneur, understand that they may be required to work longer hours to keep their business afloat as they won’t be working the typical 9 to 5 hours. While this may be hard to accept when working together, keep in mind they also help support the livelihood of household expenses and couple adventures. Knowing how to support each other and maintain a harmonious connection while respecting your differences will be key to being a good team.
4. Prepping Meals Together in Advance
Since you both work from home, meal prepping can be very helpful so it doesn’t fall on you or your partner’s plate. Whether it's making larger meals the night before and having leftovers for lunch or prepping meals on Sunday this can be super helpful and keep the tension under control.
Another helpful idea is taking turns making lunch every other day or week can help couples maintain respectful interactions in the home without assuming or depending on each other. The last thing you want is bickering over whose day it is to make lunch and have it turn into another hangry conversation.
5. Depositing Into Your Emotional Bank Account
While it feels like you and your partner see each other every day, it can impact the level of intimacy in your relationship, especially if your partner says "We spend time together all day every day."
Working together under the same roof isn’t considered quality time or adding deposits into your emotional bank account. Carving one-on-one time outside of work hours like planning dates or adventures can keep the relationship growing and prevent it from getting boring.
For every one disagreement in a relationship, you’ll need five positive deposits to keep your relationship from going bankrupt. The best way to do this is by maintaining healthy boundaries, writing spontaneous “I love you” notes, scheduling quality time together, finding a shared hobby on the weekends, and respecting each other during work hours. While you are busy growing your financial bank account at home, it's crucial not to avoid your emotional bank account as a couple. This is key to a long-lasting relationship.
If you and your partner work from home together and have found relationship issues coming up more frequently, set up a call to see how we can help you and your partner get back on track.