Sometimes, when talking with my clients, I have these exceptional and authentic moments. I’m going to share one of those today. This topic affects a lot of couples, and it affects my client. When he and his wife were first starting, they had nothing. They lived a simple life and were deeply engaged in each other because they had nothing else to define them.
This is a familiar story where couples frequently start at a fragile place, yet when they look back, that is the time when they feel the most connected and the most engaged in their relationship. As time goes by, distractions take couples away from each other. There are kids, social obligations, and money to pursue other interests. Distractions cause drift. We’ll talk about that drift, how it happens, and what to do about it.
[03:34] I was talking with a client who told me that he and his wife had nothing when they first started out, but they connected as they focused together on getting by and making it.
[04:01] As things progressed, and they had kids and advanced in their careers, they became distracted and didn’t need each other as much. They were distracted by what money was buying them and what success had opened up for them.
[04:36] They were involved in the country club and social groups, their kids were in sports, and there were so many things creating complexities in their life.
[04:45] They found a level of identity that wasn’t rooted in their relationship. The cost of success.
[05:32] This couple accumulated a lot of wealth, and now he struggles with all of the complexities.
[06:00] We come from simplicity into complexity. We think the more money we have the simpler life is going to be, because we don’t have to worry about stuff anymore. Instead, we find that complexity creates a distance that forces us away from each other.
[06:53] When the breadwinner is always gone earning a living, the rest of the family starts to organize their lives around things that don’t include this breadwinner.
[08:51] Empty nest syndrome with a filling of time and things that’s been mostly fueled by success.
[10:13] Reminiscing one of the most powerful ways to recover what was lost in the drift is to talk about what it was like previously.
[12:01] Find activities that you can do together. This softens the resentment of money spent doing things away from us. Spend money on things you can do together.
[14:53] Volunteer together and give your time to something that you both care about. Create time where you feel like you are contributing.
[17:21] Entertain people at your home. This creates space to break bread without feeling rushed.
[20:11] Take walks together. There’s something about having conversation while you’re walking, and it’s also healthy.
[21:39] Make time for intentional dates. You can have space for more intentional conversations as a couple.
[22:57] All of these things are movements towards simplicity and what life used to be like when things were simple.