Working Couples and the Need for Therapy

Work life balance

Whether you and your partner both work from home, one or both of you have a challenging job, or the need to pay expenses to live occupies a lot of your time, there may be a need for couple counseling. Some couples are both working from home or both at home all day and find they need some space. Relationship counseling can help couples who are together almost all week due to COVID and find annoying habits are now driving each other crazy. In addition, if one or both partners have a demanding job, there may be little time to focus on the relationship, so learning to make the relationship a priority can be an issue.

I fully understand when couples say they don’t have time for marriage therapy. At the same time, it usually doesn’t make sense if you slow down to think about it. Many of the same people will tell you that their families and/or marriage are their number one priority. I believe that time is a scarce resource. So many people get caught up in their automatic routines that they don’t focus their time on what they say they value. Marriage, relationships, and family indeed take money. Focusing on careers is indeed a way to help all three. It is also true that if your relationship is in trouble, you might want to find the time to get help. Men, in particular, often think that if they ignore the problem, it may go away.

Some may decide instead of couples therapy that they would rather start with a workbook or one of the excellent marriage books by John Gottman. There is nothing wrong with that approach. What usually happens, though, is that the book sits on a shelf or the recommendations are not followed without the aid of a trained relationship therapist. Many people need accountability or structure that a book by itself cannot provide.

I support having a strong work ethic and understand first-hand what expenses having children brings. But unfortunately, there is never enough money for enrichment camps, extracurriculars, college savings, retirement savings, home updates, bills, vacations, and home improvements. What is somewhat ironic is that many of the issues that cause problems with relationships and prevent people from getting relationship therapy are unhealthy obsessions with work (with good intentions).

A healthy balance may be what you need. However, that balance will not be the same for everyone or every couple.