7 Communication Tips For Couples Working From Home, To Keep The Peace

It’s easy to feel like you can never get enough one-on-one time with your partner. Enter the coronavirus pandemic, and suddenly, you have too much time. Couples across the country are facing a different dynamic as they’re living and working from home together morning, noon, and night. All that togetherness can result in some friction if you’re not used to being around each other all the time, which is why effective communication with your partner when you’re working from home is especially valuable now.

“In this era of social distancing, working from home with your partner can cause tension and friction that may otherwise have been previously avoided,” says Christie Tcharkhoutian, licensed marriage and family therapist and professional matchmaker at Three Day Rule. “Every relationship needs a balance of autonomy and intimacy. As the saying goes, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ and it rings true, because the time a couple spends apart during the work day can enhance the quality of time they enjoy when they are together. By working in the same space, they may feel easily annoyed or irritable because of their lack of autonomy and space. Having a conversation to set appropriate boundaries will be important for couples to get through this time.”

Here are some helpful ways the experts say you can step up your communication game, so that you can keep the peace while you social distance and work from home.

1. Talk About Your Needs For Space Up Front.

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If lack of personal space has become an issue in your new work-from-home situation, Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples’ therapist in Los Angeles, suggests taking a proactive approach by initiating a conversation around one another’s needs right from the start. He recommends asking questions like: “Is one of you more private than the other and needs more emotional space? What do you need to work in a confined space? How much do [we] want WFH to impact our lives as a couple and as individuals?”

Then, make sure to follow through by giving each other the space you agreed upon, Anita Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Lovetells Elite Daily. “Sometimes, friction arises because one person is in a bad mood and the other wants to fix it. Feelings don’t need to be fixed. Space can help a partner work through their mood or even just sleeping on it can help them feel better the next day.”

2. Regularly Check In About Ways You Can Help Each Other.

Your needs in your relationship should be an ongoing conversation, says Dr. Brown. “Spend time at the beginning of each work day and ask your partner this question: ‘What can I do to make your day easier today?’ Simply asking that question will likely be very helpful because it sends the message that you are aware that they may have some needs that you would like to fulfill for them, if at all possible.”

3. Limit Negative Talk To A Specific Window Of Time.

Even though it feels like there’s plenty to stress over, Chlipala says it’s important to not let negativity take over your whole day. Instead, limit negative talk to a specific time when you can both vent together. “Relationships can buckle under the pressure of stress and negativity,” she says. “Try to contain negativity in daily gripe-fests. Keep them to 15-20 minutes each where you share your concerns about everything except your relationship. On particularly stressful days, or if you feel a spike in your anxiety or depression, have an additional gripe-fest.”

4. Get On The Same Page.

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One easy communication shortcut you can apply to help you stay on the same page is to share your work calendars, Brenda Della Casa, a relationship coach and author of Cinderella Was A Liar, tells Elite Daily. “A shared calendar is a great way to give your partner insight into what your week looks like. If you have an important client call, for example, they can plan around that.” It also helps you get a clearer picture of what the other dealing with work-wise, which can assist with the next tip.

5. Empathy Is Everything.

If you want to keep your lines of communication healthy, even in tight quarters, Chlipala says the key is to “empathize, empathize, empathize.” That means making sure that your approach to any dealings with your SO begins with putting yourself in their shoes, especially when they’re struggling or feeling frustrated. “This is not the time to try to fix your partner’s feelings or have them look on the bright side. Your partner may feel invalidated or like you don’t care about what they’re going through. Empathize first with their feelings, and you can ask if they’d like you to help with problem-solving.”

6. Pick Your Battles.

If you want to keep things as peaceful and calm as possible through these tricky and emotionally challenging times, Chlipala says it’s essential to choose which discussions are really worth your energy. “You’re going to have let some things slide. Your partner may be doing their best or may not be equipped to handle stress the way you are. Focus on the important things to you and bring up your concerns gently.”

7. Give Each Other The Benefit Of The Doubt.

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Finally, even when picking your battles sparingly, there’ll likely be moments when you or your partner decidethere’s something worth discussing. In those cases, Chlipala recommends entering the conversation with the intention of giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. “Working from home increases the number of interactions you have and also increases the opportunities for misinterpretation. Start with giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Assume positive or neutral intention. And when necessary, check things out with each other.”

Making the transition to working from home with your partner may be challenging for some couples, and that’s OK. The key is to remember that you’re in this together, and by improving your communication skills, you’re strengthening yourselves as a team. This time won’t last forever. “Acknowledge your fears but try not to be a prisoner to them. At some point, all of this is going to end. That is the historical nature of pandemics. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end,” says Dr. Brown. “This will be over at some point and life will go on.”

 

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What Men Want: 7 Traits Men Look For In The Lady Of Their Dreams

For years, we’ve talked about finding the right woman — someone we can ride the waves of life with, who will stand by our side for better or for worse.

As a man, committing to The One is among the most important decisions we make in life; some may even argue it is the most important.

The person you decide to share your world with may help you plan out your life, pick you up when you’re down, and make you a better person just by virtue of being around you. But when you’re in the midst of that process, it’s difficult to know what traits men want when they’re looking for the lady of their dreams. Moreover, do soulmates really exist? Or is the concept of “the one” just an everlasting myth? Shula Melamed, a relationship and well-being coach, previously told Elite Daily that actively looking for your life partner may actually be counterproductive.

“A healthier and more balanced approach might be to understand that there are many people you can connect with, but that they might not all be relationship material because of one reason or another,” Melamed said. “We have many chances in life to meet and connect, it’s just whether or not we allow ourselves the opportunity to do so.”

There’s so much that can go into deciding who to share your life with, so I compiled a list of the qualities to look for whenever you feel a spark with someone new.

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1. They’re Reliable.

When you’re building a life with someone, one of the key tenants of your relationship is trust. The ability to trust someone, to rely on the fact that you’ll be there for each other through the ups and downs, can be crucial in any relationship.

“Reliability is a key factor to look for in a future spouse,” licensed clinical psychotherapist and Love Victory founder Dr. LeslieBeth Wish previously told elite Daily. “If a partner is responsible in regards to work and their finances, and you can depend on them overall, that’s a good indicator they’ll be a quality life partner.”

2. They’re Respectful.

Another foundation aspect of any healthy relationship is mutual respect. If you and your partner struggle to respect each other’s boundaries and bodies, you might not be dating your life partner.

“To find that your partner respects you would be basically them listening and responding when you basically identify them,” Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, EdD, founder of the Breakup Supplement and consultant for Live for Yourself Consulting, previously told Elite Daily. “You go to your partner and you tell them that you need something from them,” and they respond well to it.

3. They’re Supportive.

A relationship is made up of two (or more) individuals with their own dreams, goals, and desires. It’s vital that all members of a partnership are supportive of each other’s intentions in order for everyone to thrive.

“Having an SO that encourages, supports, and helps you to believe in yourself can actually enable you to push through the insecurities or self-doubt, overcome the necessary obstacles, and ultimately, achieve your dreams,” Dr. Wish told elite Daily.

4. They’re your best friend.

If you’re building a life with someone, your relationship will encompass not just the serious stuff, but the silly, trivial, more intimate moments, as well. Dating someone who is not just your partner, but your partner-in-crime can make even the smallest of moments into an adventure.

“True lovers always want to be friends at the base,” Dr. Sherrie Campbell, licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist, previously explained to Elite Daily. “It’s not all about sex. Friendship and playing together help couples stay together.”

Those dating a water sign should know they're hopeless romantics

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5. They listen.

Active listening — not just hearing, but taking in everything your partner is saying and engaging with it — can be a fundamental part of any working relationship, romantic or otherwise.

“An ideal life partner is one who can listen to your concerns without reacting too quickly or strongly as well as tackle any issues without getting defensive,” Dr. Campbell said. “When you have a partner who can hear you out when you’re feeling vulnerable or they have done something you don’t like and they can remain open — that is priceless.”

6. They’re self-aware.

Self-awareness in no way means perfection, but it does imply that both partners are working on themselves individually. Self-awareness can create security, which makes room for vulnerability, communication, and trust.

“For some, it can mean that you are comfortable being your true authentic self,” says Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent relationship therapist in Los Angeles, previously told Elite Daily.

7. They communicate.

Say it with me for the people in the back: Open and honest communication is the foundation of any happy and healthy relationship. If you and your partner are building a life together, it’s crucial that you feel comfortable communicating with each other.

“Hopefully, there is enough trust that you can at least feel secure enough to talk about why you may be feeling insecure in your relationship,” Dr. Gary Brown said. “Sometimes just opening the door can help alleviate some of the anxiety. Other times, you may get confirmation that there are good reasons that one or both of you are feeling insecure. Having these conversations requires a certain degree of trust, vulnerability, openness, and self-awareness.”

Remember: You don’t need a “life partner,” “soulmate,” or “the one” to make you a complete, happy, healthy person. You are enough, all on your own. But if you’re dating someone you love, and you’re wondering if they’re your ever after, look out for these seven traits.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Cherie – Chapter 68 – So Here We Are

“I don’t know what to do at this point, so I don’t know what to say to you.”

As bad as things are between me and Cherie. This week of Phicklephilly is chock filled with fun, frolic, and frivolity!

Stay indoors!

And as my mom would say… Wash your damn hands!

Enjoy!

 

“I don’t know what to say at this point, so I don’t know what to say to you.”

This is the wrong response for Cherie. She has the opportunity to be mature and accept that we have chemistry. There is the distance factor. There is the extreme differences in our lives, ages, and lifestyles.

But we’re good together, but maybe the strain of her life and the stresses of being a parent and coupled with work and school, has become too much.

“I know we’re both busy and you’re under a lot of pressure right now. But just know that I love you and I’ll provide you all the time and space you need. I’m patient, Cherie. I love you.”

“I love you too, but I honestly just don’t know what to say anymore.”

I don’t understand this. How does an adult in a relationship have no words? This tells me something about my mate.

Then there’s this sudden reveal.

“If you can take off I’d like you to come to my graduation next Friday at 9:30.”

“What’s the date?”

“May 11.”

“Where’s it being held?”

“Liacouras Center.”

“And that’s at 9:30?”

“Yes.”

And then it’s just radio silence from there.

Should I go see her graduate from Temple with her BS in Psychology?

It hasn’t been going well. The sex is always amazing, but what else do we have? She’s beautiful and sweet but we’re in two different places in our lives.

Should I be proud that a 28 year old woman loves me and rocked my world and my bed? I am that the old horse still had some great races left in him, but do I want this?

When I started writing phicklephilly, it began as a tome about the crazy women and dates in my life. Then it grew into settling the relationships in my past. Then I started telling stories about my life and it felt so good. By writing about everything I settled everything in my mind and expressed it in my art.

It was incredibly liberating in a way I never suspected. It brought me a clarity and peace I had never experienced in my life.

I’ve enjoyed my time with all of these people and there’s so many more stories to come. My life is rich in history and I’m glad I’m making new exciting memories everyday. I truly am blessed with a life that’s fun to wake up to every day.

Two years ago I started writing a dating blog. It was about how fickle I am and how I fall in love every day. But that’s not true. I fall in love with being alive every day. To no longer cling to the bars of anxiety, depression, low self esteem, bad relationships, child support, debt, and all of the rest of the horrors of adult life for some us.

I live a simple and elegant life now in middle age. I don’t want anything.

We come from a dark and embarrassing past in this country. My current girlfriend (for the moment) is black. All of her ancestors came here as slaves.

At least they knew they were slaves.

Today we don’t even see that we’re all slaves.

We can’t live without our cell phones without having a panic attack. We have 20 different products that were once separate items we had to buy at Radio Shack in our cell phones now.

Social media is obnoxious and self absorbed. It’s all nonsense. Why do you need to see what I ate for lunch today or where I am on vacation?

None of it brings you joy. I know for a fact that all of this technology had dumbed down all of us as a culture.

People still call the salon and can’t find it. They’re calling me from the greatest piece of personal affordable technology homo sapiens have ever possessed and they still can’t find the place.

I come from an analog world and I’m proud of my mind. I work hard and came from a place where you never got a pat on the back or a trophy for participating. You failed and you felt the consequences of that failure. That’s evolution.

Now everybody’s so buried in their phones, they can barely communicate with the people around them of navigate their own lives, (Don’t even get me started on spatial awareness)

But I digress…

Once I started writing phicklephilly, I knew I had to start dating again. I needed content.

If you go back to the early posts you’ll see me struggling on shitty dates with sad leftovers.

I didn’t know. I tried the dating game, but at my age met a bunch of women that I didn’t really feel a spark for.

I met Cherie and all of that changed.

But it was because I was trying again. Like I did with Michelle, Annabelle, and others.

I’ve learned something along the way, and I think I’ve finally arrived at the elegant answer.

So many men never evolve and are stuck in their development. I know a couple that I haven’t cut off and it’s pathetic. You really need to come to know yourself as a man as you grow older. If you don’t you’re a fucking asshole.

No, you really are and you’ve squandered your life and those around you because they hate you or secretly hate you.

Here’s my revelation.

I absolutely adore women. I’m great at charming and courting women. I’m great at dating. I’m a gentleman, and know how to treat a lady to make her feel special. I’m a good father. I know that based on how Lorelei has turned out and my relationship with her.

But I like to be alone. I enjoy your company but I need my alone time. I’m not good at being a boyfriend or being in a relationship. I can’t do it.

I can write a dating blog, and dole out relationship advice but I can’t be in a relationship.

I want to be alone.

I realized that this last relationship worked because Cherie was never around.

Even my close friends said it was the perfect relationship for me because of my personality.

Cherie is young, beautiful and often unavailable. Me too. It was perfect. The sex was mind bending, and then I take her to breakfast and she’s off the property.

I tried to be married and be in relationships but I just don’t like it. I like to be free. To come and go as I wish with no ties.

When I’m with you, you’re the only person on Earth and I’ll give you a show you won’t forget, but I need you to go after a few hours.

Sorry. That’s me.

Not sorry. That’s Chaz.

I’ve found in middle-age I want to work. I love to work. Not in a shitty job where I make high 5 figures and am beholden to some asshole that is only there to justify his shitty existence, just to simply work.

I get my energy from people.

Picasso was found dead at 92 working on a sculpture. I want that in my 70’s! (If I make it)

My social life is so rich. I have so many wonderful people in my life that I do my best to squeeze in around my work. (Thank you one and all that you still want to spend time with me)

I was always prepared for Cherie to leave me. I established that on our very first date. I vowed to never fall into the dopamine induced stupor I fell into with Annabelle (See: Annabelle – Guy walks into a bar)

I have a friend that’s a workaholic. He’s a millionaire at 50 but he has squandered real living for really living. He’s my best friend and I love him, but he’s on his own journey. (See: Duncan)

I just what my simple happy life here in Philly.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Cherie, but it looks like it’s dead.

I’ll have to see if I’m going to attend her graduation.

I’ve never met her family and I’m sure they’ll all be there. (Meet the old white guy)

I think the saddest thing about all of this after 60 plus chapters, is that I feel nothing.

I think her indifference killed it in the end. How she was chilly to me during our last two encounters.

Normally I’m sad for a long time after the demise of a relationship, but not this time. Maybe because I went into it with my eyes open and my dopamine in check.

 

I never flew too close to sun, but loved I her just the same.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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