Portland Relationship Counselor says Make TIME to Avoid Affairs, Part I

February 21, 2011 by

This Portland relationship counselor knows that marriages require an investment of time. The BEST way to prevent affairs is taking the action many people resist…sacrificing other interests in order to spend time with your partner. In his book Take Back Your Marriage, author Bill Doherty sums up the problem and the solution in the subtitle: Sticking Together in a World that Pulls Us Apart. If you are like most Americans you struggle with many competing interests and demands. Taking action is both a challenge and a huge opportunity.  We can grow closer to our partner and maybe improve our lifestyle for the better.

Portland Relationship Counselor Comments on Biggest Time Demands

The author has been a marriage counselor for decades, and like this long time Portland relationship counselor, he has noticed the increase in available distractions and competing interests.  He also warns that if we do not take seriously the necessity of the investment of time, we leave our marriages vulnerable to affairs and divorce.

The demands of the world that pull us apart are work, kids, consumer culture, invading media and hobbies. This post is the first of 4 in which we look at each one.  Today’s in depth look is at Work.

Work is necessary and the demands in America to work harder have perhaps never been as great as today. Work gets in the way of marital success when one spouse works longer hours leaving the other to carry the load of the evening responsibilities. The fix here may be to arrive home earlier, join in the evening demands (like dinner and kid’s bedtime) and then resume work from home for an hour or two.

If your work necessitates unpredictable hours your spouse may feel their life is on hold. Call often to update your partner about your ETA. Express your regret and your own disappointment that you will not get the time you need with him or her either. Always give as realistic a time frame as you can! As a Portland relationship counselor of 30 years, I know that everyone at sometime avoids conflict by making unreasonable promises. Break that habit now.

If you come home at a reasonable time, but your mind is back on the job, then you are not putting quality time into the marriage. It isn’t always easy to turn off your mind after work. Maybe a routine of stopping at the gym, a walk together when you first get home or playing with the kids while your partner cooks would help you switch gears. If you are stressed about works perhaps you could ask your spouse to listen or take 20 minutes and write about it in your journal.

If we can help you to make new habits, and prevent affairs and divorce,  give us a call and talk to one of our Portland relationship counselors. Don’t forget to check out our Free Resources!