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Marriage Manners Monday | Work … The Other Significant Other

In an industry where a lot of my peers work side by side with their partners, I am one of the few whose work is very separate from my husband’s. Ian is a structural engineer dealing with what he likes to call “massive concrete lego”, and I work in the creative field of photography. Two very different work definitions indeed!

But from the very onstart of our relationship, we were extremely motivated to educate each other about the ins and outs of our separate businesses, mostly because I needed him to understand why I wasn’t able to spend entire weekends with him, the regular 9-5′er, but also because my work is such a big part of my personality.

Sharing deatils about your work life is the biggest advantage you can give to your relationship, because it demystifies the “workplace”, hence cutting down on a lot of assumptions and would-be problems that could flare up, such as jealousy and misunderstanding over a precious commodity such as time spent together.

Here are a few ways to share with your partner what goes on in your “other” life:

1. Describe the people you work with.
Your coworkers spend at least 8 hours a day with you during a regular work week. These are important people in your lives, and introducing them to your partner will bridge the gap between work and life. Who knows? New friendships can be borne out of such introductions!

2. Vent a little about your frustrations.
Home from a day’s work but feeling a little gnarly because of something that happened at work? Share that frustration with your significant other so that they can get on the same page as you, and know that perhaps today, you need a little bit more TLC than usual.

3. Boast a little about your succcesses.
Yes, it’s okay to toot your horn as well! Sharing your work successes with your partner extends that feeling of accomplishment, and brings tons of positivity into your relationship. But remember to toot with mindfulness. A little self-back-patting is a-ok; bragging is not.

4. Confide about your hopes for promotions, bonuses and increased responsibilities.
Visualising a future together involve not only your personal dreams but also your work dreams as well. Share with your partner what you would like to accomplishment in the future, so that they can be the support that you can look towards as you step forward.

5. Invite your partner to visit you at work, so that he or she can visualise you during the day.
Create an inviting welcome for your significant other, and introduce them to your coworkers. How you treat your partner will be noticed not only by him or her, but also by your coworkers, and will help them frame their opinions of you.

Photos: Binary Flips Photography, Tin Sparrow Studio, Kristen Booth

In short, break through the mystery, and make your work world real for your partner. This shares with them not only the person you are when you’re with them, but also the person you are when you’re not with them. When you’re involving all facets of yourself in a relationship, that brings true intimacy. Isn’t that what we all strive for?