Even the closest couples these days (with the rare, happy exceptions of those who work together) spend more awake time apart in their separate careers than they do together. The individual you are at work, no matter what career you pursue, is very different than the person you are within your romantic relationship.
That is why everyone loves company parties: coworkers get the chance to see the spouses or dates of everyone else. It is frequently a real shock to get a glimpse into a fellow worker’s private life – the domineering manager who consistently defers to their quiet spouse, or the mousy little file clerk who clearly dominates her extraordinarily handsome lover.
Closeness with your partner can be deepened by taking the time to share your daily activities. We often assume that our significant others aren’t really interested in our work life. To the contrary, when we love someone, we want to be part of their everything. We want to vicariously live in our loved one’s world, hear what they did, who else was present, what kind of work relationships they enjoy. We want to know the gossip that’s flying around, We want them to describe their coworkers and their assessment of the people and events in which they are involved.
Set aside a half hour every day for each of you to discuss what happened that day. Pass along jokes and anything unusual that occurred. If you use e-mail in your work, forward funny and interesting exchanges on to your mate – it will feel as if you are genuinely in each other’s life quite apart from the actual time you spend together.
If your days are filled with meetings, print out your calendar and show it to your spouse, briefly highlighting each meeting that occurred. If you answer telephones all day, make a quick note of funny or touching calls you receive so that you can review them later. If you work on a production floor, keep your eyes and ears open for interesting tidbits of conversation you can share.
So often, we only mention the negative aspects of work job, bitching to our mate about a difficult supervisor or a lazy coworker. Strive to share positive feelings about your job also. Not only will it intensify your sense of participating in each other’s lives, it will avoid that tendency to grow apart as we forget to focus on our most important partnership because we are too busy heading in too many directions.
If one of you doesn’t work outside the home due to retirement, disability, or family responsibilities, some activities still filled your day – share them freely with the only person in your life who is as interested in you as you are.