When work is weighing you down, and there seems like a million things to do, and you feel like your relationship is suffering, know that you are right. Your relationship IS suffering. The key here is not to use time as the adjustable consumable for your work. Fix the time for work and get done what has to be done in that time.
Add the quality of your relationship to your measure of your work process. If you are coming home bummed out, fatigued, late at night, and you think you are doing a great job, then you need to think again. That's like putting square wheels on a car. You might be winning at work, but in life - which is what counts - you are losing.
Set your standards to protect your relationships. Evolve your work practices in a way that sends you home happy and full of love rather than craving compassion and complaining about how hard work is. Work is not hard, work is just work. If you drive around all day attending meetings, and this exhausts you, either find a way to make it fun and stop complaining or change the process.
By default, if you keep doing work that you don't like and don't enjoy and can't get your head around enjoying it somehow, then you've decided that your relationship is not really what you want and you are overtly sabotaging your life and your relationship.
Sometimes there's a short period when you say to your partner, "Whoops, I blew it at work and I am struggling, please give me some tolerance for a week." And, this is understandable - one or twice each year, things can overwhelm you for a week.
When the heat of work comes on, I hear people say, "Oh, it's only for a week or so," but it is not good for your love relationship. The crack becomes a leak and the leak becomes a resentment and finally, there's a pattern. Tell your boss, "No."
That doesn't mean you refuse to do extra work. Of course you do extra work; the more work you take on the more indispensable you become. But take more on only if you can refine the process.
One client told me they could do twice the work but it set up an expectation for them to keep it up, so they backed off. This becomes a compromise on my client's life. A joyful person fills their day and fills it productively. They don't want to waste time at work or at home.
In the work of energy management, we recommend people put in 90% - never 100% because that is exhausting. It's the same in relationship; keep some energy back, otherwise you're living too close to the edge and you'll fall. You need to be stable in relationship and work; it means always looking for ways to give more in less time. How to connect better.
Relationship is about trust, and love is about the now. Compromising your significant other destroys both these important elements.
These choices might seem a little harsh but compromise just never works in relationship. If you compromise your relationship it's because you don't value it. There's no excuse for abuse, and abuse starts when you start swapping relationship time for work time. I work 14 hours a day. I don't give my time 50/50 to work and relationship. I work 14 hours, exercise for 3 and have relationship for 2. That's my pattern and it's what I promise my partner I can sustain. This is beyond compromise with us.
Turning up is the demand for an evolved relationship. People don't like the compromised model of the past. If you don't turn up then, no matter how many hours you spend with your partner or how much you work on the relationship, it will never be enough. Not compromising your relationship means turning up with a certain standard of health and happiness, contributing presence with your partner.
Quality control can mean choosing a different form of relationship
More and more people are opting to stay single. The reason is that they want quality, not quantity of intimacy. They are choosing to celebrate love with a partner rather than get embroiled in a relationship. Staying single does not mean lack of love, in fact, more often than not, it means more of it. It often means that this individual has their future clearly mapped out and they don't need or want anyone to partner with them to manifest it.
The difficulty for those in relationship is that love often takes a back seat to the future planning. The couple can find themselves making choices based on what's good for the future and sort of taking for granted the love side. Sadly, this leaves a vacuum and people often get hurt. It's because some people worry so much about the future, they invest their whole relationship energy in it and then find that they haven't looked after the now.
In the choice to enter a relationship, we are acknowledging both the now and the future are important. Work can drag people away from the now but they justify it by saying that they are doing it for the future. This often ends up in disaster because that person has built a future but has no love left to sustain it.
There are two aspects: Relationship and love -- you need to always remember to focus on keeping your love in the moment. It's a daily ritual of devotion. A commitment to higher order. It's a worship of a real live guru, your partner. It's a celebration of the lower and the higher energies of life, the sexual and the divine. It is truly an opportunity to reach extremely high states of awareness and it takes extraordinary commitment and willpower to sustain the practice.
Love is Cumulative - Global Change through Personal Change
It is wise to understand that love is never static. The level of love we share for our partner at the start must be considered as the minimum, and we build from there. Remembering that love is not relationship, so love growth cannot be measured in children produced, rings bought, cars upgraded or holidays shared. Those are the material existence of the emotional world of relationship and fabulous if you choose them. But they do not substitute or replace love. Only stillness and emptiness, unconditional expectation free time sitting together can build love. And love grows.
To sustain a growing love with your partner, you and your partner will need to be expanding your mindset on a daily basis. A fixed minded person cannot expand their love. They can love to fixed levels but will not be able to grow it. Their mind acts like a screen or a closed box locking out the world rather than expanding to meet it.
Everyday life is the fuel for relationship. If you expand your inclusions in life, and therefore unlearn your judgments everyday, your love will grow.
With the pressure of life, try to avoid using your relationship time to compensate for your poor innovation and lack of evolution at work. There are a million ways to do more in less time.
I also ask those people around me to respect my relationship too. If someone gives me a three-hour task to complete 1 hour before I am due home, I will not do it. My partner is not compensated for that abuse. If I am asked to work back tomorrow night with a day's notice, at least my partner can use her time well; she deserves that respect.
There is a reason for everything. A reason to meet someone and a reason to stay with someone. Nature is a reasoning essence. Everything has a purpose. It is wise to evolve your life and your relationship toward that purpose.
In old times relationships were for life. Many people died just to escape their relationship. Much illness and disease can be traced to the inability to leave a relationship because of social and personal pressures.
Evolving in a relationship does not mean packing up and leaving it every time the challenge comes. However, it can mean searching for more than love as a binding force to hold you both together. Love is not enough to bind people in relationship.
Love and reason are needed. Why are you with your partner? Is it for a purpose? Some people are in relationship because of very emotional reasons and therefore their relationships are only bound by contracts and social pressure. For example: some people stay for the children. This is a very important reason to take social and financial responsibility, but it will not bind a couple in a loving relationship. It binds them in a contract of responsibility and this is different to a real relationship. It is a partnership. This might be fine for some but loyalty, monogamy, fidelity and trust are not motivated by partnership.
To bind in a love-filled relationship long term is a real commitment these days because we have freedom of choice. The forced slavery of marriage contracts is less than before and now; we stay together only if the reason is good and the love is strong. This is very healthy.
Chris is an international change agent and keynote speaker on self leadership and personal change. He runs treks to the Nepal Himalayas each year leading groups and entrepreneurs on self-discovery journeys to the two highest trekking peaks in the world. Chris lives in Sydney Australia where you'll find him practising natural meditation techniques in Sydney Harbour on his racing ski or sea kayak. Chris Walker has also worked with the Indigenous communities in Canada.