Guest post by Susie Collins (learn more about Susie at the end of this post)
The tension and stress have been there for, it seems, all time. Historically, as more and more women entered the paid workforce, more and more women felt the tug and pull.
It continues today.
There are a growing number of career opportunities for women these days. While discrimination has certainly not disappeared, there are more women holding higher-paying and higher authority jobs than in the past. Women are CEOs, teachers, doctors, managers, chefs, legislators and more.
It is exciting to grow a career in a field that you are passionate about. Difficulties can arise, however, when growing your career seems to interfere with your ability to also consciously create the kind of love relationship or marriage you want.
Sometimes a woman’s partner feels threatened by the career achievements or higher salary and esteem that a woman attains. Other times, her partner is unhappy to come home to an empty house with no dinner waiting. (By the way, even some of the most “liberated” men can be disappointed or put off to do most– or all– of the cooking and home care.)
Aside from these issues of competing over salary or position and who will do traditional “women’s work” in the home, there is the matter of time.
When a woman is focused in on her career, her time, energy and attention may be split between her relationship and her job, among other things. Periodically, she might even be hyper-attentive to her career and less so to her partner.
The question that all of this pushing, pulling and splitting of energy can bring up is this…
“Do I have to choose between my career and my relationship?”
For many women, it can feel like a choice between having a successful and satisfying career OR having a successful and satisfying relationship. This is an impossible and emotionally painful place to be.
The good news is, you don’t have to choose.
Stop making it an “either/or” question.
Too often we box ourselves in and feel stuck mostly because of the way we frame a situation. This happens in all areas of life.
Notice the way that you think about your career, your relationship, yourself, your energy, your time and your ability to succeed. Are you setting yourself up to feel torn or as if something will inevitably suffer because of your choices?
If so, invite yourself to make a shift.
For example, instead of thinking that, “My husband will have to fend for himself and be ignored for a few weeks while I work work to meet this deadline,” stop. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if this is the only way to think about this.
You could replace this thought with, “I can let my husband know how important it is for me to meet this deadline AND he and I can be creative about finding connecting moments and ways to keep our house running.”
A shift like this starts with you recognizing when you are setting yourself up with an impossible, “either/or” choice. Next, you can invite yourself to consider different approaches that will help you nurture both your career and your relationship.
Be efficient with your time and energy.
I’m not suggesting that you set aside your personal needs and run yourself into the ground so that you can keep your career and relationship both running smoothly. That strategy won’t benefit anyone!
Instead, find ways to be more efficient with your time and energy. It can start with re-assessing your priorities.
What is most important to you?
Get specific with this. You could make a list of your priorities and also of the particular ways that you live out your priorities– or don’t.
When you look closely at what your priorities actually are and what you tend to spend time and energy on (this includes mental– planning or worrying– energy too), do they match up? Quite often, people discover that they are expending large amounts of their precious time and energy on things that are less important to them.
This is decision time and there are no right or wrong answers.
You decide what is most important in your life and then you decide what you will start to say “Yes” to and what you will say “No” to.
When you do this on a regular basis, what you will undoubtedly find is greater ease, enjoyment and success in those areas that truly are a priority for you.
About Susie Collins
Susie Collins is a relationship advisor. You can get women’s relationship advice and Susie Collins’ FREE report: “10 Keys to Making Your Love Last (Without Losing Yourself)” when you sign up for Susie’s Relationship Secrets for women free newsletter at www.relationshipsecretsforwomen.com