Is it work?

The Question:

If I have to work at it, is this a bad relationship?

The Answer:

That depends on your definition of “work.”  Would you consider giving your partner a foot rub or back rub work?  Would sitting together for a few minutes sharing what has gone on in your day be work?  How about finding out that your partner would love to go to a local outdoor concert, and calling to make plans and arrangements so you can go?  Or, turning off the TV for half an hour to really focus attention on each other the way you did when you were first dating?

Some people expect that once they are married, they can now turn all their energy outside the relationship – to work, children, hobbies, sports – and somehow think the marriage will feel nurtured and supported.  When we treat our partners well, the “work of a relationship” necessary to keep things happy is very easy – just a few minutes each day of attention, sharing, connecting – thinking of the OTHER person, and listening attentively to THEIR wants, needs and feelings. You don’t have to fix everything, or be the expert about their interests – just being there, listening and caring is what’s needed.  Yes, you could call it “work,” but can be some of the most pleasurable work you’ll ever do.

PAIRS has shown me how to focus on things I chose to ignore. I have grown in more ways than I can count, and will always treasure my time in PAIRS.” – Debbie J., VA

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