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  • Writer's pictureSiegfried Howell

When Careers Need To Take A Backseat: Knowing When Your Relationship Requires More Attention

Navigating Dual Careers as a United Front

In today's fast-paced professional landscape, many couples juggle the demanding responsibilities of two thriving careers. While this presents opportunities for growth and fulfillment, the inevitable time constraints and competing priorities can strain even the strongest partnership. However, dual-career couples can prevent this chaos from driving them apart with proactive effort and creative solutions.

Make Your Relationship the Third Priority

With work obligations frequently taking center stage, it's easy for romantic partners to

deprioritize each other and their relationship. However, letting your connection fall too far down the priority list breeds resentment, disconnection, and unhappiness. After dedicating yourselves to your careers:

  1. Make nurturing your romantic partnership the consistent third priority in your lives.

  2. Safeguard quality time by defending it fiercely against over-scheduling.

  3. View your relationship as essential to your mutual life vision, not just a pleasant diversion.

Get Radically Aligned on Values & Goals

When professional demands rise, it's crucial that you remain aligned on your deepest values, long-term visions, and relationship purposes. Take time to re-clarify your "whys" - what you're working towards together, the dreams fueling your daily sacrifices. Keep ideals like health, family, travel adventures, or charitable giving top-of-mind. When you share the same compass, inevitable career storms don't shipwreck your partnership.

Schedule Recurring Check-Ins

Busy lives require intentionality to maintain closeness. Routinely schedule check-in conversations where careers remain off-topic. Use this uninterrupted time to share personal wins, struggles, hopes, and appreciations. Listen actively to understand each other's inner experiences more deeply. These bonding discussions cultivate trust, intimacy, and teamwork amid your external responsibilities. It's also wise to occasionally do relationship "accounts reviews," evaluating where you can improve as partners.

Divide & Conquer Responsibilities

As a dual-career couple, you have double the mental load between work and home duties. Rather than allowing this to fragment your energy chronically, adopt a united division of labor strategy. Examine all recurring tasks and assign ownership based on skills and preferences. Hold each other accountable in a spirit of teamwork. Feeling like you have a true partner prevents exhaustion or feeling overburdened. Let go of perfectionistic tendencies and appreciate shared efforts wholeheartedly.

Celebrate Your Individuality Together

While on a trajectory of mutual goals, you're also two unique individuals with distinct passions, growth areas, and developmental arcs. Give each other room to evolve and follow personal callings at varying paces. Avoid comparisons or score-keeping; appreciate and encourage your combined dreams and solo side hustles or hobbies. Witnessing each other's multifaceted selves inspires awe and attraction. Make space for creative expression.

While juggling the intense demands of two professional careers, it takes a lot of work for couples to lose sight of their committed partnership. However, being proactive and intentional can prevent your relationship from becoming a casualty of career chaos. Make quality couple time a rigid priority, realign frequently on your core values and visions, schedule recurring check-ins solely focused on bonding, divide home life responsibilities as a united team, and allow each other the freedom for individual growth alongside your shared dreams. With these strategies, you'll cultivate an unbreakable partnership that can withstand any external stresses. Your career may require intense dedication, but your romantic connection will always be the vital heart fueling your combined ambitions and life fulfillment.

Dr. Siegfried Howell

Relationship Consultant

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