Too busy for each other

Too busy for each otherBetween our jobs and the kids and our jammed up schedules, it seems like we’re too busy for each other. How can we stay connected when we barely see each other at all, let alone when it’s just the two of us?

Being too busy for each other is one of the most common complaints from couples seeking therapy in Bethesda MD. In the greater Washington DC area especially, it seems there are busy people everywhere! And when couples think they are too busy for each other, distance can grow between them–sometimes leading to quicker tempers, loneliness, and a lack of shared problem solving.

One strategy to combat this busyness-induced disconnection is to improve what marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman calls the Magic Five Hours. By spending just minutes focusing on increasing connection at key moments during the day, over a week those minutes add up to five hours of high-quality interactions. Here are two of his ways to give your relationship a boost:

  • Saying Goodbye in the Mornings: When you leave for work in the morning or leave to take the kids to baseball practice, pause for 2 minutes with each other. Ask for a detail about the upcoming work day or offer to help bring things out to the car. Give each other a meaningful hug and kiss! (2 minutes x 5 days = 10 minutes)
  • Saying Hello in the Evenings: Once you’re reunited, either after work or when getting ready for bed, set aside 20 minutes to pay attention to each other. Follow up about your work days, share a funny story about one of the kids, or request help for something happening later in the week. Even if one of you will stay up later, be intentional about saying goodnight. And be sure to end the day with another kiss! (20 minutes x 5 days = 1 hour 40 minutes)

If you know a couple who struggles with this question, we hope you forward this post. Couples therapy in Bethesda MD helps couples learn practical strategies to increase connection despite busy schedules.