Sarah and Scott were both juggling busy careers when she got pregnant. They were nervous but thrilled when they found they were expecting twins. They’d always wanted a big family, so they figured they were just getting a headstart.
The twins were born two days after their third anniversary. After a relatively easy pregnancy, they were both surprised how hard it was after everyone came home from the hospital. Six weeks later Sarah was diagnosed with postpartum depression.
Months later Sarah started feeling better. However, feeling better didn’t mean like she felt like herself. Her therapist told her she needed to accept things were never going to be the way they were before the twins. Life was forever changed.
Caring for two babies and trying to manage two careers felt like trying to swim through quicksand. However, they did it. Scott changed his schedule at work and took more evening and weekend shifts at the hospital where he worked. Sarah was often up until one or two in the morning working on briefs and filings for her job where she was hoping to make partner at a law firm.
By the time the twins were two-years-old, Sarah finally felt like they were settling in. She was beginning to feel like they had a handle on being a family.
That is until Scott walked in one night after a late shift and told her he wanted a trial separation. He claimed there wasn’t anyone else. He said he didn’t want to see other people. He admitted it didn’t make sense. However, he wanted out, and he was willing to take the twins with him and manage primary care.
Believe it or not, it was Scott who reached out for relationship coaching, after he’d moved into a new house. All he wanted was the answer to one question.
What went wrong? How did the perfect life they shared become separate lives?
The answer is very simple, and it’s not what you might think.
It wasn’t that they fell out of love.
It wasn’t the post-partum depression.
It wasn’t the stress of having twins.
It wasn’t the pressure of family and two careers.
It was none of those things exactly.
It was time. Scott and Sarah quit spending any time together and when that happened they quit being a couple, plain and simple. They quit being lovers or even friends because being in a relationship requires one thing more than any other. Time.
Without attention nothing thrives. Relationships are no exception.
Everything that makes a relationship work has one common denominator.
Communication takes time.
Teamwork takes time.
Trust takes time.
Sex takes time.
You can’t have intimacy or connection without time.
Two ships passing in the night is only romantic in poetry. In real life, those are two lonely people that aren’t going to be in love for long. Scott and Sarah quit spending time together and although their situation seems extreme, it’s not unusual. Lots of couples quit spending time together and then wonder where the spark went.
There are about 1000 reasons that seem incredibly legit for investing time elsewhere while ignoring your relationship. Kids need attention. Work is demanding. Ageing parents get sick. Deadlines loom. Life gets real, and it feels like you don’t have very many choices.
Except you do and if you don’t choose your relationship it won’t last.
I’d be lying if I said it’s always easy. I’m married. I get it. I’m the first person who would say my marriage is my first priority. However, there are days, sometimes too many days in a row where I am not investing the kind of time I should in my marriage. So, I know from experience how quickly a relationship can start to spoil when it’s left unattended.
Time is the most finite resource we have. How we spend it is the most accurate indicator of where your priorities are. Time is the most precious gift you can give someone.
If you want to stay together, your relationship needs to go on your agenda first and everything else, and I mean every single thing including kids and work needs to be scheduled around it. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. However, it does have to be a consistent daily investment in your future.
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Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Posted on 12/07/2016 at 12:00:00 AM