It was Valentine's Day and no doubt that you were bombarded with tips on how to make the day perfectly romantic, how to convey your love or even how to get over the fact that you might be single. I personally don't have time for it.
Like me, you may have bought into this horrible Hallmark holiday at some point in your life, hoping for dozens of roses to show up at your office, just for all your coworkers to gasp in envy on how worshiped you are by your significant other. Or you may have even wished to awaken to the sweet scent of strawberry crepes smothered in seductive chocolate. Or even the ultimate Valentine's fantasy, a little blue box of baubles whose value could pay off your mortgage, but let's face it, you're worth it!
Instead, let's focus on the things that will enable you to have a happy work life and be happy wife at the same time:
1. Ditch your title at the front door
No one really cares about your title at home so why do you believe that if you apply all the strategies that make you successful at work, at home, they'll work? They won't. The energy that you bring to the office is not the energy that is likely to help you create a supporting and loving home life. We often deploy our multitasking skills, while forgetting that our partner and kids could use a good listener as opposed to the drill sergeant that gets everyone tucked in by 8:45p.m.
2. Don't discuss your work stuff at home
Other than the obvious reason, which is re-living various work issues through discussion with your partner, who doesn't know the context and is obvious bias, this is a huge waste of time! If you have ever been on the receiving end of a work rant, you'll know that its difficult to engage. If your partner is the one who normally brings home the work drama, then nicely tell him/her that you'd rather cuddle and talk something random, like how you would escape the monotony of daily life.
3. Be a lover not a career coach
Of course you want your partner to be supportive and maybe you actually have the answer to whatever they are struggling with but career advice is entering uncharted territory. It's tough to give advise that isn't interpreted with a risk of self-service. "Do you want me to stay at this job because you're worried about the mortgage?" Instead, let your partner know that you support them unconditionally with a clear expectation of what you need to feel secure with their decision.
4. It's knowing when not to talk that matters
Before you're married, romancing means knowing what to say. After you're married, loving means knowing what not to say. There are times that responding to a comment or pointing out that you're right, isn't as valuable as building harmony in your home. The things that people bicker about are often small and rooted in ego. Ask yourself if it's really that important to agitate or are you truly looking to resolve something or create a shared understanding with the intent of making your relationship better.
5. Make time for talking
In most work environments, you're in meetings or on the phone all day long. When you come home, you're usually all talked out. All you can think about is making it to bedtime when you can settle into a book or trash TV to decompress. Problem is that you may not be in the best frame of mind to talk to your partner when the whole household settles down. Figure out when the best time for you to reconnect with your partner in a meaningful way.
Valentine's Day may just serve as a reminder to make sure we have the right things in place in to have a successful career and marriage. One day of flowers and romance won't do the trick. Purposefully working on prioritizing and adjusting every day will.
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