Lately amongst counsellors northern beaches I am coming across several couples with the same theme.
I am not heard.
In today’s busy and fast paced lifestyle often a couple does not prioritise quality time. Between holding down jobs, taking care of the children’s needs and staying on top of the household chores; the last thing on the list is often time scheduled just for the two of you.
Getting the balance right is tricky. We need our jobs to afford our lifestyle and pay the bills and our children need us to take care of them and support them practically and emotionally. Both of these roles are as important as each other and it takes both roles to make a family survive.
Whether you are working fulltime or caring for small children fulltime or trying to juggle the two – life is busy and partner’s need to respect the part their significant other plays.
But if the two of you do not prioritise spending quality time talking about the important stuff, one or both of you can start to feel disconnected, disillusioned, lonely and stuck.
To our detriment we let our employers take a piece of us, what is left over we offer to our children, but what of our significant other?
So I’d like to leave you with an interpretation of a book written by a psychologist, Marcia Naomi Berger, The 30 Minute Marriage Meeting.
I’d like you to find a nice space in your home, a deck or patio, put your phones and devices away. There must be no tv, no cooking – just the two of you. You need to be fully present and have a dialogue, asking questions back and forth.
So what I say is try to make this fun, try to stick to around 30 minutes so that it is not too onerous and do this once a week.
Start out with appreciation – this is a nice way to break the ice and appreciate little things that your partner has done for you in the week. Eg cooked your favourite meal, picked up the kids etc.
Remember it is not a competition.
Next work out what the following week looks like. For example does one of you have a late meeting, who needs to pick up the kids when, dentist appointments, home maintenance etc.
It is always a good idea to go over what is coming up in the next week and plan and be prepared.
This can be plans to go away, planning the next holiday, planning to have friends over for a dinner party, date night, a picnic, a walk. (things to look forward to). We are keeping things future focused which is positive.
Issues/ Important discussions
This is a time to discuss hard to have conversations, or important conversations. Eg discussing the finances and the budget. Eg we need to pull back this month as we have both car regos coming due etc.
Or to discuss a small disagreement or misunderstanding. Start with something small first that you know you will be able to resolve. Each discuss just one issue. Start with something small first.