by Tara Bard, Contributing Writer
In a tough economy or at the start of a career, more than a few of us dislike our jobs. Many in the workforce suffer from annoying bosses, impossible deadlines and compensation not quite commensurate with experience. Are you dating or married to someone who deals with these daily pressures? If so, you understand how it can have a negative affect on his mood - and your relationship. Here are five ways to help your partner if he's having issues with his job.
Break the Routine
Repetition is one of the most annoying things about a difficult job. Who likes doing the exact same thing every day? In particular, 9-to-5 jobs require a rigid routine. To help your partner cope with the monotony, consider breaking the routine. Even the smallest mid-week surprises can encourage him to stick out the work week.
Respect His Need for Alone Time
When my husband comes home from work, he's usually stressed out. He needs about an hour to unwind - sometimes he'll play a video game, watch TV or take a shower. After that, he's ready to converse about the day, walk the dogs or share a meal.
If you're like me, you want to catch up on your day the moment your partner walks in the door. As a writer, my job is pretty solitary, so I'm eager to socialize when I get the chance. My husband's job is the opposite - he deals with cranky customers during the day, so sometimes he needs a bit of time to himself at the end of his work day.
Be a Good Listener
Having support at home is crucial for anyone who hates his job, especially since it may not be appropriate for your partner to share his gripes about bosses, coworkers or customers at work. Sometimes, it will help your partner just to air his grievances without someone judging him or without the fear of getting in trouble.
Listen for a few minutes without talking. Since I've become a better listener, I have noticed that my husband responds by doing the same. Two-way communication is always a benefit to your marriage.
It's one thing to listen, but it's another thing to communicate your understanding of your partner's topic. If I don't understand my husband's concerns about work (or the processes and procedures at his job), I ask him. When I understand why he's upset, I let him know. This goes a long way in letting him know his concerns have been heard, which is especially important when he needs to think about something before articulating it to his boss.
Think of a Way to Make Things Easier
Suggestions for improvement or positive change can help your partner feel less stuck - whether he feels stuck in his job or in a routine. With a removed perspective, you can gently suggest areas of improvement that will make the job more bearable.
Ultimately, if your partner is continually unhappy in his job, it may be time to suggest he find alternate employment. If he decides to do this, the job application task will require a great deal of emotional support as well.
Through all of this, don't neglect yourself or forget to take care of your own needs, either. Each of you must remain forward-thinking if the relationship is to work along with your careers.
by Tara Bard, Contributing Writer
Unless you've chosen specifically to date someone within your religion or set of beliefs, eventually religion becomes a topic of discussion. If it's important to you or your partner, the religion topic will come up well before the relationship is significantly developed. Even if you know your partner's religious affiliation, you may find yourself unaware of how important religion is to him or whether it's something he'd change.
As one of the many 'spiritual but not religious' out there, I found this aspect of dating particularly fascinating. Understanding my own beliefs and expressing them respectfully was especially helpful along with these tips.
Know Yourself and Your Priorities
How important is religion to your personal identity? There is no right or wrong answer, just a matter of preference. My whole spiritual concept kind of follows a 'live and let live' philosophy, so I am open to interacting with people of all types as long as they don't force their beliefs on me. This also applied when I was single and dating. When dating, I thought a lot about my own limits. What beliefs made me feel comfortable or uncomfortable and why? It's important to be honest with yourself when it comes to these questions - that way you can give your date an honest answer. Before the religion conversation, ask yourself:
Discuss Morals and Values
If you're not sure about your date's comfort level regarding the topic of religion, try approaching the topic from the more general perspective of morals or values. Because I am not a part of a specific sect or religion and because I have pagan leanings, I found myself answering a laundry list of questions from dates. Most of these were just general moral questions rather than curiosities about scripture or doctrine, and I was very comfortable with this.
For many, having compatible values is far more important than sharing a religious doctrine with a partner.
That said, controversial topics such as abortion and same-sex marriage could come up when discussing morals, regardless of whether you are discussing religion. Be prepared to discuss this in a tactful and respectful fashion to avoid a major disagreement.
Understand Your Own Feelings on Children and Religion
If you want to have children (or already have them), define your own feelings on children and religion. You should ask yourself the following questions:
Ending or Pursuing a Relationship
After the discussion, you and your partner may need to determine whether to continue or end your relationship. If your beliefs are fundamentally opposing, it may not be possible to pursue the relationship. However, if you disagree on only a few points, it's likely that you can respect each other, compromise, and work around any issues.
When my husband and I were dating, we found that we shared most moral beliefs and family values, even though our religious affiliations differed. This factored into our decision to continue our relationship.
by Tara Bard, Contributing Writer
When it comes time to announce your divorce, you probably know what to generally expect from others. If people were aware of your difficulties, then the news might not come as a surprise. Either way, you'll still have to field questions from them, whether in person, over the phone, or semi-publicly on social media sites like Facebook. This really adds to the stress of a divorce. When I announced my divorce from my ex, I noticed people kept asking the same questions.
"What are you going to do with your wedding gifts?"
While this might seem like a rude question for someone to ask, it's a pretty common one. Guests care about you, and those who consider themselves 'on your side' invested time and money into coming to your wedding and picking out a gift. If your divorce happens within years of your wedding, they want to make sure that you get to keep the gift.
When I left my ex-husband, I kept all of the gifts that my family gave me, in addition to the gifts that friends gave me if they were my coworkers, much closer to me, or friends with me long before I met my ex. Similarly, he kept the items given to him by his family and long-time friends. I made sure to mention this and I told my close friends and relatives about it so they could help field this question.
"Who gets custody of the children and pets?"
Most people are immediately concerned about the well-being of your children and pets - as they should be. If a friend is concerned about you, he or she also wants to ensure that you have the right to see your children or pets as frequently as possible, making this a common question.
I did not have any children or pets with my ex, so I didn't have to worry about this when I got divorced. However, this is something I would have discussed with him prior to formally announcing our divorce. It's best for the kids to know what's going on before you start answering questions for other people, and if the matter is up for legal debate, you need to be honest about that.
"Where are you going to live?"
When divorce happens, most couples no longer wish to share a residence with one another. Friends want to stay in touch and they're also worried about you, which leads to this question. If you're not sure about where you'll be staying, it can also help to let a friend or family member know, as he or she may offer you a place to stay temporarily.
When I announced my divorce, I had already looked at my options. I chose to live with my mother and stepfather for a while and was able to easily answer this question.
"Why are you getting a divorce?"
This is one of the more complicated questions you can receive in many instances. Regardless of what happened, you're still sorting through a lot of feelings when you announce the divorce. It's natural to feel guilt, shame, and confusion - not to mention a healthy amount of vulnerability.
If possible, have a discussion with your ex about why the relationship is ending and how you would like to explain it for others. My first marriage ended for several reasons, but most of them were connected to money and my ex's lack of interest in finding or maintaining employment. For that reason, I generally told people that it did not work out for financial reasons.
"Don't you think it's time to admit I was right about your relationship?"
Your naysayers will come back to haunt you. Anyone who was jealous of your relationship or had a reason to doubt you might take this opportunity to come back and point out the fact that they were right.
If you're anything like me, this will only make you feel worse. I just told these people that I really needed support rather than 'I told you so,' and then proceeded to distance myself from these individuals. Coming out of a bad marriage, I didn't need more emotional turmoil and I'm glad I cleared those people out of my life.
"Is there anything I can do to help you?"
This is the best question to get when you're going through any sort of rough time, but it's still hard to know how to answer. Your answer will of course depend on your needs.
When I was going through a divorce, I really needed company. I just wanted to be around friends and move on with my life. When my friend Joann asked me this question, I told her I just wanted to spend some time with her. A few days later she was traveling through two states to visit me and I'll never forget this sincere act of friendship.
Some of the questions are tasteful - some are downright tacky. Many people also wonder about these things but don't ask. After I figured out what people wanted to know, I made sure my close friends and family knew the answers to these questions so they could diplomatically spread the information.
Overall, talking about a recent or impending divorce feels inevitably awkward, but being prepared with answers to common questions can certainly minimize the strangeness.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN