8 Tips to Work From Home without Ending Your Marriage

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted November 19, 2020

Six months ago, most married couples would swear that a month-long vacation alone together would be heaven. If the vacation were truly a break from life and reality, that might be true. However, COVID quarantine and work-from-some changes have put the whole thing into a new perspective. Millions of couples across the nation have suddenly transitioned from being apart during the day to spending all-day everyday together.

Cabin fever would be challenging enough – going crazy from isolation together is all the rage these days. But many marriages also aren’t prepared for the stress of working together in close proximity. Maybe you want to spend too much time together, or maybe you’re driving each other up the wall. For many couples, you alternate between the two.

It’s very common to harbor thoughts of divorce when your partner has been tapping their pen in thought for 3 solid hours and lunch dishes aren’t clean before you’re ready for dinner. But is this really the end of your marriage? Any couple thinking about Denver divorce mediation during work-at-home quarantine should try these tips – just in case this blip in your affection is cabin fever and not an eclipse of the heart.

1. Create Separate Home-Office Space

Couples working at home together tend to step on each others toes. There may not feel like enough room for both of you, or you might not be able to stop talking. Even in best-case scenarios where you’re having a great time alone with the spouse, all that fun can detract from both of your abilities to focus on work. 

Set your work offices up in separate rooms or, if you share the larger space, designate separate office-space with furniture, tape, and decor. Create a psychological distance so you both have a chance of focusing instead of bonding or bickering.

2. Work-Time is Work-Time

Working at home is difficult. This is the space where you’re used to relaxing, and used to seeking time with your partner. You may be on different schedules or working in parallel. It’s all too common for couples working at home to interfere with each other’s ability to focus on work. One partner always seems to be getting a snack or ready to talk when the other is head-down, or you partner might be having too good a time while you’re holed up with a tough project. Or you might be the one wishing for fun company while your partner is tied up in a backlog of work.

The most functional compromise is to respect work-time as scheduled.  Ask your partner to respect your work hours – even at home – and give them the some courtesy for scheduled hours.

3. Couple-Time is Couple-Time

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Likewise, it’s important to maintain a healthy attitude toward your romance together. Between work stress and constant at-home familiarity, it can be easy to take your love for granted. Couples becomes casual and stop doing those considerate after-work things to keep the tenderness alive. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t miss each other’s affection. Even if you’ll have to work late, put your task down to spend dinner and some cuddle time with your partner every day. 

If you plan a date night (do plan these), dress up and light candles. Show as much respect to the relationship at home as you would when spending your days apart.

4. Maintain Your Mutual Sleep Health

It’s hard to understate how important healthy sleep is to a healthy marriage. Both spouses must get enough sleep of decent quality to stay sane. Time spent sleeping in bed together is a powerful element of couple bonding, and respect for each other’s sleep can prevent potential conflicts. Working from home changes the balance of stress, which can interrupt sleep. Take time to ensure that both of you are getting good sleep.

If you need to, add a fan or white noise to the bedroom. Change blankets, flip the mattress, or even arrange for different sleep arrangements. If one of you is a night-owl and the other 9-5 at heart, you may share half a sleep-cycle in the wee hours of the morning, for example.

5. Learn and Respect Newly Discovered Work-Quirks

Many people have never seen their spouse at work, doing what they do professionally. You may be surprised or even dismayed by what you see when your spouse becomes an at-home coworker. They may be a pencil-tapper, or pace on the phone, or speak more abruptly to their colleagues than you realized. This is just learning a little more about your partner.

Give your partner the space to do their job and respect any little work-quirks you discover by sharing a home office.

6. Attentively Avoid Hostility or Pestering

Going stir-crazy has a few distinct symptoms that are toxic to a healthy marriage. One is becoming prickly and hostile – sensitive to every movement or thought outside yourself. Think Jack from The Shining – hostile isolation is a common trait of cabin fever.

The other option is to become clingy or begin to pester others trapped with you to offload some of the cabin-fever stress.{estering can be friendly and casual, but time the interruptions. If you’re interjecting more than once an hour during work-time, you may be suffering from cabin fever clinginess.

Be attentive of these symptoms and actively avoid them in yourself so you don’t accidentally treat your spouse poorly.

7. Remember to Consider Each Other’s Health

It can sometimes be hard to stay considerate in quarantine conditions, especially when you’re wrapped up in work stress. So intentionally remain considerate. It can help to remind yourself of your partner’s physical health. Cabin fever can lead to hostile and even suspicious thoughts. Counter this by thinking about what your partner needs to stay healthy. Bring your spouse some orange juice when you’re up for a snack because they tend to get dehydrated. Pick towels up off the floor so your partner won’t trip.

This can help you remember your compassion, and is also a handy motivator for keeping up with the house while working from home – a challenge worth a whole article on its own.

8. Schedule Some Separate ‘Unwind Time’

Sometimes, a person wants to spend some relaxation time totally alone. In non-quarantine conditions, you would spend this non-couple recreation hours during the commute, on out-of-home activities, or meeting friends for guys/girls nights. But when you’re isolated at home with the spouse, the pressure to spend all non-working time together can be surprisingly stressful.

If you feel or your spouse says that some separate ‘unwind time’ is needed, plan for it. Build a hobby workshop in the garage, or encourage your spouse to build a soundproofed video-call den in the basement.  The best compromises are those that make both of you feel better, where you both get valuable alone-time (or sleep time) when purposely spending time apart.

When It’s More than Cabin Fever

Of course, sometimes working at home together simply brings existing problems to light. Many couples who were already struggling decided that quarantine was just the last straw. Sharing a home office with someone can sharpen your clarity on your existing reasons for Denver divorce mediation. It may become clear that separation is the only next option and you may know that divorce is your eventual goal.

In this case, your best option is a collaborative and remote divorce service. A Denver divorce mediator can meet with you through online calls and video conferences. Separating and divorcing are both still occurring and there are safe methods you can follow.  With remote Denver divorce mediation services, you can cut out most of the running-around of divorce and narrow the process down into good, practicable, and actionable final terms.

Contact a Denver Divorce Mediatory Today

Contact Split Simple today to consult on remote Denver divorce mediation services or tactics to stay together through this work-at-home experience.

Split Simple

1624 Market Street #202

Denver, CO 80202