What does it take to have a healthy balance between work and marriage? For couples that either work in or out of the home, the demands of a job and relationship are challenging. Not to mention if you have kids and want to have an existent social life, balancing it all can be stressful. Do not fret, below are 5 Ways to Have a Healthy Balance Between Work and Marriage.
Though this balancing act can be hard, being intentional with your time and committed to prioritizing your marriage is key. Remember that your marriage and career are all blessings and we can turn to God when we need help navigating our responsibilities.
5 Ways to Have a Healthy Balance Between Work and Marriage
1. Prioritize Wisely
In Jimmy Evan’s book, The Four Laws of Love, he lays out four principles that govern a successful marriage. The first law mentioned is the law of priority.
Couples prioritize each other all the way to the altar. Yet, based off research, marital satisfaction generally dips after couples say “I do” and after the honeymoon. This occurs because husbands begin to prioritize career over their spouse. In addition, wives begin to prioritize the kids or other interests inside the home over the marriage.
As a follower of Christ, there is an understanding that “love begins with priorities.” “After God, our spouse should be the most important human relationships in our lives.” When we follow God’s plan and prioritize correctly, our marital satisfaction increases with time!
We prioritize our spouse by actions. One January weekend of my marriage, I was gravely ill. I could not get out of bed or even have the strength to care for myself. My husband, who is a head college basketball coach, had an away game this same weekend. He sacrificed going to his game as a head coach to stay and care for me.
This and many other examples of acts of love demonstrates that my husband prioritizes me over his career. Making the daily decision to prioritize our spouse will pay huge dividends not only for our marital relationship but in every other aspect of our lives as well.
2. Slow Down!
My husband and I have this line we playfully say to each other when we recognize one of us is moving at a pace in the home that is more conducive for the workplace. We will say with a little charisma, “Slow down baby, you’re moving too fast, you have your hands in the air, and the foot on the gas..”
We originally heard this used in the context of a sermon preached by Bishop T.D. Jakes and simply applied it in our scenario. Yet, it is a simple reminder to “watch the speed limit.” (Focus on the Family). Often times spouses do not make a distinction from the speed of work versus the speed at home. If you’re not careful, you can be reaching for the stars in your career, that you burn everyone you love with the heat. (Inky Johnson).
Dr. Richard Swenson, author of In Search of Balance, states that workplace values speed, while the home values love and communication. We have to learn how to switch gears between the pace of work and home (Focus on the Family).
I have practically learned to turn work mode off on the drive home from work and or take a moment and sit in the car (my commute home is not long) so that I can mentally shift gears. The same applies for my husband as well. It’s easy to bring the same work speed of “productivity” into our homes. We must be mindful to operate at the speed of “love” at home instead.
3. Detox from the Digital Life
Daily texts, emails, chats, bings, calls, and social media posts inundate us. No wonder balancing all of this work and personal life can be exhausting! the third way out of 5 Ways to have a healthy balance between work and marriage is to set healthy digital boundaries and detox regularly from digital life when we are with our spouse. Our work and marriage balance would vastly benefit.
Good face-to-face non distracting communication is vital with your spouse. Find regular and consistent times to date one another without having the pressure to look at work or social media on your phone. Plan for dates well in advance and create space for each other throughout the day.
My husband and I connect with one another and talk about our days when we generally get home from work. We then turn our attention and focus our time with our kids and then once family time is over, we may re-engage with our smartphones.
Being in the moment is key to appreciation and gratitude. Erika Boissiere from Forbes encourages couples to ask this question, “What did I do today to connect with my partner?”
4. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Increasing productivity and organization at work not only makes you more efficient at work, but it helps you have more time to spend with your spouse. Recognizing that you have limited time to work you can prepare well in advance for meetings, schedule your days, utilize lists, calendars, and more to meet deadlines.
Depending on the type of jobs you and your spouse have, try to schedule work hours that do not conflict with family time. Focus your efforts to complete your most important tasks first. As you make progress on your work day and come to your designated stop time, honor the commitment and pick it up again the next day.
5. Make Time for You
It’s difficult to be there for everyone else when you do not find time to re-fill your cup. Do not forget that your relationships are only as healthy as you are, whether these are work or personal relationships. Make an effort for self-care.
Self-care looks different for each individual. For you, it may mean exercising 30 minutes each day, reading a book, meditating, painting, resting, or enjoying the outdoors. Self-care also looks like utilizing professional help through therapy or a coach to focus on mental health, stress, and anxiety.
All in all, it’s possible to have a healthy balance between work and your marriage. Prioritizing your spouse and being intentional with your time are keys to enjoying the blessings God bestowed upon you. Let me know in the comments below, which tip helped you the most.