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  • Writer's pictureShannon Johnson

Is your relationship on the back burner?

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

Does anyone else feel like their relationship gets shoved to the back burner as you move through the phases of life?

As Brad and I moved into parenthood almost 15 years ago, I feel like we have been on the run. When our three children were in infant and toddler phase, we were in a state of survival. Our world focused on the input and output of the little people in combination with sleep deprivation. I distinctly remember one of our worst fights was at 2 AM arguing over who was more tired. Since Taylor didn't sleep through the night until first grade, I am pretty sure it was a toss up. During this phase, there was very little time for dates and connection.

As the kids have aged, we have moved out of survival mode into taxi mode. Between volleyball, musical theater, private school, orthodontist appointments, and social fun, Brad and I spend a great deal of time handing the baton back and forth. I would say it is easier than mitigating tantrums over who gets the "purple" cup, but still not the easiest to carve out time as a couple. At times I find myself slipping into only sending texts to Brad that are list and schedule based instead of actually checking in on how he is doing.

Career and hobbies can take a lot of focus and time. Brad gets to spend many hours listening to me brainstorm ideas for couples, and I try to keep up with how many fertilizer tanks he has delivered to Buhl. I buzz to Colorado for yoga retreats while he finds new mountain bike trails.

So with all we have going, how do we make sure our relationship continues to be our foundation? In my work with couples, I tend to see couples who have little people are and feeling like they lost connection with each other. I also see couples in the empty nest phase, and they feel like they have lost all common ground. It is so easy to stay busy and not even notice the relationship starting to weaken.

This is why I am motivated to put together retreats and workshops that give couples tools to strengthen connection throughout the phases of life. By carving out intentional time together, we can make sure that our foundation stays strong. Spending time working on our relationship does not insinuate that our relationship is "broken". Instead, we strengthen what we focus our time and energy on.

Please join Brandi and I for our first Thriving Relationship Online Workshop. It is the perfect way to take your relationship off the back burner. This is not therapy. Instead, it is a framework for you and and your beloved to use in the comfort of your own home. Find out more at:

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