Spousal Intercourse: Talking To Your Better Half About Work

So, there you are, my working friend.

You just had one of those days:
the Boss reamed you out, your colleagues made fun of you and your main client just cancelled their big order (and evaporated your commission). Adding salt to the wound (and water to the silk), you have a stain on your best shirt, you didn’t get that promotion you were counting on, your department’s being down-sized and you may have to move the family to Gary Indiana.

As your chest and head pound out the drum solo to Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick,” you walk into the house and hear that dulcet-toned question from the spouse:

“How was your day, dear?”

Before you go ballistic, remember these helpful tips:

  • If your spouse does not work, your arrival and “download” are very important parts of their day. It keeps them abreast of the workplace issues that surround you and makes them feel involved.
  • If your spouse also works, they have two simultaneous and, perhaps, contradictory needs: they need to vent and they want to know how your work-life compares to theirs. Even when dealing with different industries and titles, most everyone has assignments, deadlines, a Boss and colleagues. Your spouse needs to get a reality-check about their situation by hearing about yours.
  • Remember, your spouse did NOT cause you your work-day problems, so don’t take it out on them (and don’t make the dry cleaner bill the conduit through which you vent and release your stress…plus you do have to clean that silk shirt).
  • Never lose it in front of your kids. They have their own things to be stressed about (e.g. dates, homework, tests, college and zits).
  • A stiff drink is a short-term answer but will never solve the problem.
  • Keep your spouse up to date so that they can provide some perspective when the shi_t-hits-the-fan next week/month/year.
  • Even though they don’t work with you, the opinion of your husband/wife, a semi-empathetic “bystander,” might not be a bad thing.
  • If something really serious happened, let them know. Work-related secrets can come back and poison your marriage. Hey, what did you think “for better or for worse” meant when you said it?
  • Today’s Tip: Talk to your spouse about your workday. Let them into your world. You get to vent and they get to be involved. It’s the one form of “intercourse” that is guaranteed to be mutually satisfying.

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