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Many of you are aware that Eric is still a teacher, and therefore essentially has two and a half months off every summer. Me, I’m a therapist and don’t get time off unless I take it. There can be a lot of benefits to this system — I get a house-husband for a while and can put him to work really cracking through our honey-do list. On the other hand, it can be frustrating when one person has to work, and the other person has more free time. This doesn’t just mean he’s having fun and I’m working — as any teacher will tell you, ‘time off’ is really just time to get more work done, and Eric always takes that opportunity. But I’ve still got the same work schedule — so I can often feel stressed or bogged down by everything he suddenly wants to add to our plate. How can we manage this imbalance in our relationship?

If this is something you’re going through, take it from me: Make intentional time for work talk. Schedule a time when you’ll talk about goals, projects, and what you need from one another — but sequester it to only one piece of the day. When it’s done, make sure it’s done — don’t talk about to-do’s every spare second you have.

Once you’ve scheduled your relationships ‘work’ time, make sure you schedule time for play, too. Have a real vacation together. If at all possible, find a time when you can take off work, too –– and then make the most of that time. Don’t let it get eaten up by new projects and work; instead, plan an intentional vacation where no work talk is allowed.

It can be exhausting for someone who only has one week or less off, when their partner has so much more. Be sensitive to each other’s needs and desires for what actual vacation should look like, and be intentional about your time together.