Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash

Lets’ face it. Working from home, current job challenges and redundancies bring more work-related frustrations right away to your home and relationships these days.
How to cope with it without critising your partner and spoiling your chances for creating the supportive and romantic relationship you wish for?
Here are 3 tips that worked for us shared with my partner’s permission.  I am curious to learn what worked for you to keep the magic in your relationship alive while working from home together?

Face it with an open mind  

Everyone likes to moan now and then. But when it comes to listening to someone else’s moan, it can be a different story. Do you recognise it? I certainly I do. One thing I definitely recognise is that I was sensitive to my partners swear-words when he moaned.

His is certainly not the type of person who moans a lot. In fact, he is a very aware of his emotions and uses walks from work to de-stress or cycling to clear his mind. Yet the recent home office situations brought us to work together under one roof being together more or less 24/7, just like millions of other people on this planet.

We both had to learn how to face our moaning with an open mind. Sometimes I go off. Another day he does. What seems to work us is create a space to unwind or moan during the lunch together:
  • Sometimes we discuss what has been happening at work and another times we just quietly enjoy our presence and eat,
  • I am practising to be more mindful and not take swearwords as a bad thing (I admit sometimes it’s a challenge),
  • Keep an open mind, tune in, listen and try to avoid making my other half right/wrong.
What this does for us is that we can let go of things that upset us during the day, leaving more enjoyable stuff to talk about in the evening.

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Decide if you want to “turn into his parent” or “stay a loving partner”

One of the things I am most scared of in our relationship is to turn from a loving partner into a protective mother. He already has one great mum and doesn’t need two. I know it’s not healthy for our relationship, but it’s easily said. Practise requires that I catch myself when I feel the need to direct my other half, tell him what to do, how he should do it … when in fact is not actually really needed.

There is one sentence I find helpful to manage this mothering temptation when he starts having his little moan.

“Would you like me to just listen or would you like to hear my opinion?

8 out of 10 times my other half would go for listening only, after all he is an adult and fully capable of making his own decision. To be fully honest, I had to get used to this. I had to get used to the fact that I will not get the chance to share my opinion even if I felt (in my world meaning I was deeply 100 % convinced) it would help.

I had to learn to seal my lips.

I had to learn not to get upset or get bitter about it. And simply let go. To my surprise listening really works because at some point when you go silent and listen, your other half will moan, then talk and then eventually realise enough was said … You will notice the change in the energy of their speaking slowing down. The moment of silence and that magic moment of stillness will come.

What I did learn was this. When my other half asked for my opinion, he was really open to consider it. He didn’t play any games and I didn’t feel upset firing back “Why did you actually ask for my opinion when you do it your way anyway!” Have you been there too? 🙂

When I presented it as …. “My perspective on this problem is … or in this situation I would try this” …. “ instead of saying “I think you should do this … “ he listened and thought about what I said. But I had to make it clear to myself that I will not step into making his decision or offer direction what he should or must do. I also had to learrn not to be upset if I shared my opinion and he disagreed with it (this is a tough one and I am still working it!)

Embrace moaning as a door to your partner’s soul

Have you ever realised that moaning can be a whisper of soul’s unfulfilled desires? In other words, that if your partner starts to moan more often, it could be a sign he or she is feeling somehow stuck in their job … hoping for something better, more meaningful or fulfilling?

Once you get through the layer of emotions and stop reacting to your partners moaning, you will be amazed how much moaning can tell you about your partner. I started to tune in into my partners moans and it kind of paid out.

I remember the time when he was coming back from work really frustrated. He is a positive person and that’s why it took me by surprise when he started to moan more often.  I started to notice that he cared about his work yet didn’t find it fulfilling any longer. I was asking questions to understand what was frustrating and what he was missing, but I was holding back with making any suggestions. I realised it would save us from running into disagreements or arguments.

I got he desired something new, maybe different in his career. I also realised it wasn’t my place to analyse it or solve it for my other half. This is a big challenge if you’re working as a career coach who is working with people to solve this exact problem.

I did one little thing though.

As I was browsing job portals I came across a job offer that looked like his current job except that it was closer to his home. I sent a short email saying “This looks like a great opportunity xx “ and left it there …

That one short email turned into a new working opportunity later on. A new job with better pay, closer to our home and with a new challenge. But the credit goes to my partner for taking the ownership and dealing with it. If he didn’t it was equally a right option. I trusted that at some point he will find his solution. I was there to hold the space for him, just as he did when I was facing redudnancies twice during first 18 months of our relationship.

So what’s my conclusion?
There is no one sweet remedy for your partner’s moaning. How you cope with it it’s really up to your open mind, willingness to give up being right all the time, giving up the urge to offer solutions and hone your active listening skills.
That’s my take on it.
What is yours?
Curious what have you found helpful these days?


Author: AdriAna Kosovska

Certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY

Helping unfulfilled professionals and freelancers in 30s & 40s create a rewarding career

Dream job & Career Development  |  Stress reduction |  Talents development