There are many things in life that can steal away the time and energy that you could be spending on your mate. From work and childbearing to friends and cellphones, there are plenty of distractions to capture your attention. This constant link to the world around you can make you feel more connected than ever to your friends and family, but what about your spouse?
Common Distractions in Relationships
If you’re feeling scatterbrained in your marriage don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. There are plenty of things that can distract partners from one another. Some justified, others not so much. Here are common distractions in relationships and what you can do about them.
- Your Smartphone
Having a smartphone in your pocket can automatically connect you to the world. Your work, e-mail, social media, and chats with friends are just a swipe away. This is great for you, but not so fantastic for your partner. Keeping up with social media and having multiple conversations at the same time via text demands your time and energy. The same time and energy you could be giving to your partner. In fact partners can actually become jealous of their significant other’s smartphones.
How to Stay Focused: Having a blackout is becoming more popular in relationships. This is an occasion where for one hour every night you and your spouse turn your phones off. Some go as far as blacking out completely with no calls, video games or television. This is a great way to give your partner undivided attention and make them feel valued and heard.
- Video Games
Games are a great pastime when you’re bored and can even be a fun activity to share with your partner, but you should be cautious about how much time you’re spending in front of the screen.
Most game systems now have a counter built into them where you can check how many hours you’ve devoted to a particular game
How to Stay Focused: Take up hobbies as a couple. Although it’s important to take time for yourself, even when you are in a committed relationship, it’s also beneficial to share your interests. Instead of blocking your spouse from your interests, invite them to share in the hobbies you love. Not only will sharing a hobby allow you to spend more time together, it will also strengthen your bond when your partner takes an interest in the things you enjoy.
- Working from Home
When you set down to working from home, it can be difficult to know when to call it a day’s work. Having constant access to your workload and employer from the comfort of your own home can make you feel like you should always be on the clock, but it can distract you from your mate.
How to Stay Focused: If you are having trouble creating a work/life balance, it’s time to start setting some ground rules. If you have the ability to work from home, set a time limit to how long you sit at your desk. Start by setting a regular 9-5 shift for yourself. Get as much work done in the timeframe as possible and then devote the rest of your night to spending time with your mate.
- Raising Children
Raising a child is one of the most selfless things you can do. As a parent, there is no one else you’d rather give your attention to than your children. This isn’t a bad thing. However, you need to make sure that your spouse is still getting enough attention from you in order to maintain a happy, healthy relationship.
How to Stay Focused: Have a Date Night. Fight against potential distractions in relationships by having a date night with your spouse. The benefits of date night in a long-term relationship are endless. Taking one night every week helps you reconnect and communicate as partners, gives you the opportunity to have fun together and de-stress, and builds sexual tension.
- Friends of the Preferred Sex
Another one of the deadly distractions in relationships is having a close friend of the preferred sex. Can men and women be just friends? Of course. That said, one of the biggest threats to a marriage is spending time alone with the preferred sex. Without meaning to, feelings can develop that take time and affection away from your partner. Having other options or becoming emotionally entangled with someone else is also one of the most common causes of infidelity in a marriage.
How to Stay Focused: If you enjoy hanging out with friends of the preferred sex, try doing it as a couple. Create opportunities for group activities and meals that allow everyone to have an enjoyable experience. This will create a sexual barrier between you and your friend while still allowing you to spend quality time together.
You need money to put a roof over your head and feed your family, but the pursuit of material gain can be a distraction in a marriage. Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Do not put your pursuit of living a cushy life interfere with the health of your relationship.
How to Stay Focused: You need money to live, but it doesn’t have to be your main concern every waking moment of the day. Have a balanced view of work and finances in your relationship. Don’t work so much that you aren’t nurturing your marriage. Similarly, don’t hassle your partner or make them feel guilty when they have to work extra hours to help support your household.