We were both nearly in tears. What has happened to our relationship? How did we go from being in euphoria just a couple months ago to now questioning our love for each other?
Where did things go wrong? We can’t go to a marriage counselor this early in our relationship.
These were all thoughts racing through my mind earlier this year.
I had recently married my best friend in the world and we were happily in love.
A month before our wedding we had opened up a bootcamp studio in Charleston, South Carolina. This was certainly not our first time working together, as Brittney had managed my previous gyms for two years.
But this was an entirely different ball game. We were both in charge and building a business from scratch. After our beautiful wedding and amazing honeymoon in Aruba, it was back to reality and the grind of building our own business.
Our honeymoon phase quickly fizzled out. With what seemed like a blink of the eye, everything started to change.
We were constantly fighting, disagreeing on every little topic, and not experiencing the joy we had just a month before.
We knew it was going to be tough working together and having busy careers, but we never expected it to affect our home.
And that brought us to that moment when we were lying in bed questioning our love for each other.
We knew at that moment something needed to change.
Perhaps you and your spouse or significant other are going through something similar. It doesn’t matter if you are business partners or both have busy careers putting a huge strain on your relationship, work can make your home life miserable if you let it.
I’d like to share with you 5 tips today that you and your partner can implement immediately and change your relationship for the better.
These are all tips that Brittney and I have used over the past several months that have made a world of difference. We feel like we’re back on our honeymoon all over again.
Tip #1: Gratitude Jar – Giving gratitude is a powerful force. There’s no better feeling than complimenting a loved one and seeing their bright smile. A gratitude jar is the perfect way to show appreciation for your partner. Each day you will write a compliment on a piece of paper or sticky note and put it in the gratitude jar. At the end of the week you and your partner will sit down and read together the compliments. This is a great way to show appreciation and make the other feel special. It also gives you both something to look forward to at the end of each week.
Tip #2: Set Parameters at Home – One of the worst things you can do is come home from work and talk more about work. Perhaps you had a bad day at the office and the first thing you do when you walk into the house is talk about work. You immediately take out your frustrations on your partner. Here’s how you can avoid this situation. Make it a rule to NOT talk about work the first hour you come home. This way you and your partner can start the evening on a good note and not bring work home. What you will find too is that by not talking about work immediately upon arriving home, you will not want to talk about it later either.
Tip #3: Date Night – I know this sounds like an obvious solution… but are you doing it? Pick a night during the week (NOT weekend) when you and your partner can have date night. This could be dinner out, movies or even just making a home-cooked meal together. This date night is non-negotiable. It is in your calendar each week for that specific night. If you have kids you will have a plan for a babysitter. If something comes up and you have a late meeting, you leave early. This is something you do not miss. Change it up each week and do something different to make it fun and exciting.
Tip #4: Go to Bed Together – The most intimate moments with your partner happen in your bed. I’m not just talking about lovemaking either. Lying in bed together is a great time to talk and have that opportunity to be close to your partner. All distractions are cut off and it’s just you two together having that special moment. This is hard to do though if you both go to bed at different times. Make it a priority to go into the bedroom at the same time and experience this precious time together.
Tip #5: Keep Open Communication – The worst thing you can do for your relationship is to stay closed off. The biggest thing I learned during our pre marriage counseling was the power of communication. You need to be an open book with your partner and always share your emotions (both positive and negative). Brittney and I got away from that for a while and it really hurt our relationship. We are both stubborn and didn’t want to talk about things or take responsibility. After we started opening up again and talking through our problems our relationship quickly blossomed. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Having a high-stress-level career can put a huge strain on your marriage. I’ve seen it firsthand — it can tear apart marriages and result in bitter divorces.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. You and your spouse can have a prosperous and wonderful marriage while still working a demanding career.
Is it easy? Absolutely not!
Does it take work? You better believe it!
But it’s 100% possible to balance career and marriage by following these tips above. It will always be a struggle for Brittney and I with our busy careers, but we are in such a better place now by constantly working on our relationship.
Strive to always stay in your honeymoon phase. It’s a beautiful thing!
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