I say that the way that we do work shows an aspect of who we are. That is why sometimes work can feel like a core aspect of our identity. I believe it is important to understand how our work identity becomes part of our romantic relationships and to learn how to manage it. Let me see if I can explain myself:
In a relationship, one person needs a schedule to work. The other one does things as they come up.
One person works and has no issue using their phone while they do it. The other one does not check their phone once they step into their workspace.
One of you doesn’t like to hang out with their colleagues and the other one considers theirs as close friends
In the relationship, one person needs to feel passion for what they do as their main job. The other person feels content with being able to pay their bills and finds pleasure in their side hustle.
One individual likes to be learning consistently, the other one struggles with institutionalized education since college.
And in a world in which our jobs are becoming more and more important, this is a subject that requires attention. Aditionally, since COVID-19 is making us spend more time working on the same space. Sharing a work space for too long can make some of the tensions around work culture to increase in couples.
When these situations happen, it is important to give ourselves the time and the space to understand the context. Each person grows in a family that has different values and stories, and these create a narrative that defines us. Our families create dynamics around money, boundaries, perfection, accomplishments, making mistakes, relationships, respect, genders, what we are capable of, among other things. And ALL of this comes into play in our relationship with our jobs. Also, if you are part of the generations that finds itself between 35-19 years old, you have experienced the giant pressure of being a generation that has to reach higher levels of productivity and needs to invest more time in our professional development.
This narrative doesn’t go away when we get in a relationship. On the contrary, it continues to develop and, oftentimes, intensifies in the presence of the other. Sometimes we think that changing our partner’s work culture for the sake of the “wellbeing” of our relationship will be an easy job. However, this can become quite risky since it oversimplified each person’s past and story.
Having these types of conversations requires a level of vulnerability that doesn’t come naturally for most of us. However, they create a space for exponential growth in our relationships and quality of life. Nevertheless, to be able to explore these topics in-depth and to be able to be present and in a space of receptivity and not reactivity, it is important to understand our own relationship around work. You can start this adventure process of heightened awareness and strengthening your relationship through therapy, and it would be my pleasure to be able to be part of your process. You can get in contact with me through here.