By now you know that Paul and I fight, just like every other couple. We love, respect, and admire each other, but we have days where things are f*cking hard. It’s life! Add on running a couple of businesses, working together 24/7, raising a child, renovating a house, quitting jobs, and a pandemic, and the last couple of years have tested us more than ever before. Any long-term relationship will come with its set of challenges, but above all, being cooped up in a house together might be the hardest thing we’ve gone through. I’m not kidding! Since I see know a lot of people are about to lose their sh*t on their partner, I wanted to share my advice.
+ Be honest
Paul and I have always been honest with each other and it’s one of the reasons we work. If something is bothering us, we speak up. If someone is being annoying, we call each other out. And in the pandemic days, if one of us is stressed or uncomfortable about a situation, we bring it up. If one of us needs alone time, we ask for it.
Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for resentment which never helps a situation. Be honest with your needs, fears, and feelings, and let the other person do the same.
+ Have a ‘kill word’
If you’re arguing, fighting, bickering, WHATEVER, choose a word that will end the situation right there. This has to be something you both agree on beforehand and can be used when one of you isn’t in the mood or you see the convo going nowhere. It can stop you both from saying things you wish you didn’t in the heat of the moment, among other things. Just use it sparingly so that it doesn’t lose its importance.
+ Be kind
I’m the first to admit I’m a brat, and Paul was the first guy that could actually handle that, all while putting me in my place. Especially lately, I’ve had to remind myself to be kind. This year is f*cking weird and hard and no one knows how to handle everything. I don’t know if “grace” is the right word, but I’m trying to be more relaxed and kind as we all try to navigate this new normal.
+ Actually connect
Though a lot of us are together way more, it’s not necessarily time for connecting as a couple. Paul and I spend our days working, parenting, and adulting on autopilot – not necessarily connecting as we did when we were younger (when he’d come home from the office and we’d share our days over wine or whatever). Since we’re together allllll day, we already know everything that happened and that feeling of surprise or “catch up” is gone.
Because of that, we’ve dedicated two nights a week to not working and instead, connecting. I especially need this attention and it’s helpful for Paul to have designated nights where work isn’t an option. We either cook, make cocktails or play a game that brings back a fun element to otherwise mundane #adulting days. This usually works until I beat Paul and then it’s a whole other issue.
+ Fake date nights
Paul and I brought back Fresh Fridays where we dress up and fake a date night. It doesn’t happen every Friday, but on the weeks we’re needing it, it’s an excuse to get the hell out of loungewear and feel pretty again. Seriously! That might sound vain but I think it’s healthy for a relationship on both ends. The whole pajama thing is only cute for so long.
+ Look for the positive
Let’s just say it’s VERY easy to get on each other’s nerves when you’re sleeping, eating, working, living together 24/7. It’s even easier to start looking for things that annoy you! Which is why it’s important to check yourself and to focus on the positive the other person brings. Yes, Paul talks loud AF when he’s on a work call, but he also has such passion and dedication to our businesses. I won’t pretend it’s easy but instead of me eye-rolling him every time he answers a call, I take that time to say something nice about him and go outside to work. I repeat this situation whenever I feel myself creating a list of his annoying tendencies.
How are you surviving your relationships right now? Are you struggling?