I recently attended the wedding of my nephew. He is the first of the next generation in my family to get married. It was a beautiful day with a beautiful ceremony as he and the love of his life began the next stage in their relationship together. It was a wonderful start to what I believe will be a long, happy, and healthy path of living their best life together.
Most marriages start off this way. Not all of them survive the test of time or the stresses that life and work often bring.
The reality of life can take you on a tangent away from the vision you and your spouse had when first married. The pressure you put on yourself, you feel from your spouse, or that is piled on by society’s continual message of more, more, more is very influential.
Soon your sole, or at least primary, focus in life becomes work or money and that, unfortunately is a powerful and slippery slope towards a relationship falling apart. That slope usually leads down one of three different paths. Each is like a tidal wave crashing down on you and especially on your spouse. Sooner or later the waves are too much to take and they leave for calmer waters.
Perhaps you’ve experienced it. Maybe you or your spouse are drowning in it right now. Over the years I have worked with, seen, and even experienced these three tidal waves myself and the damage they can have.
Tidal Wave #1 – Absentee Spouse
You are always at work and seldom at home except pretty much just to eat and sleep. There is always more work to be done and you are drowning in other waves of overwork and overwhelm not even seeing the relationship tidal wave that’s coming.
You don’t realize the negative influence all that work is having at home. You might even feel that it’s warranted because you are doing it all for them… your family.
Then again, if you do sense the tidal wave coming, maybe you are an absentee spouse who is avoiding facing it.
Tidal Wave #2 – Grumpy Spouse
You are stressed at work and bringing home the negativity that leads to arguments and an increased level of stress with your spouse or kids. Then that stress, or feelings of guilt over it, carry back to work and impact productivity and profitability. That, of course, is taken back home again.
It’s an endless loop of waves repeatedly crashing down that creates an unsustainable path that doesn’t have to be.
Perhaps you see this tidal wave and are feeling guilty about it but don’t know what you can do.
Tidal Wave #3 – Blaming Spouse
Do you ever catch yourself saying or even thinking, “it’s not me it’s you!”
You can’t see your own accountable position. You won’t back down. It’s the hill you’ll die on. This is blaming spouse.
This tidal wave just gets bigger and bigger with each argument, and it’s usually over work or money. Looking into the mirror is the first step in calming this wave.
Rescuing Your Relationship
Each of these three tidal waves will lead towards a relationship break down unless you see them building and take intentional action to rise above them, harness their power, and purposefully ride them to calmer waters in your life.
Your work is important. Money is important. When they are all that matters relationships do tend to fall apart. Shift your priorities and you will feel less stress. You will be more personally productive at work. More money will come your way. Of course, you will also become happier both at work and at home.
Re-prioritize and change now, before it’s too late!