Living Well Together


     "There is such an intense focus on work these days. I see it stressing a lot people. One of the first things that seems to vanish from their lives is enough play. We need to play, to engage in joyful, fun activities or pursuits. It's one of the ways we celebrate life, and it's also a great way to relieve stress.

The importance of play

     "The same thing is true for a relationship--you need to play. If you make your relationship all about work, even the work of psychologically managing the relationship, it will wear you out. Playing together reminds you of the positive feelings that drew you together in the beginning. Are you getting enough play time? If not, create more. Are you being playful together? If not, let your "inner children" out more often. Be silly together, make each other laugh. If it helps, make an agreement not to bring any adult assessment into the picture, so if you look or act goofy, your partner will not judge you. They will play with you instead! Sit down together and make a list of all those things you could do that get you playfully into the moment (besides sex). Be sure to include outdoor activities. Have fun! Love and joy go hand in hand.

Work together

     "On the flip side, partners need to know how to work together too. If you both work but it has nothing to do with each other, that does not count. This work does not need to be something anyone pays you for. It may be in projects around the apartment or house, or even chores. The key is that you do it at the same time, in the same place, and in some way cooperatively. This gives you excellent practice for working together on psychological issues that come up. It many instances it also gives you a tangible result of your partnership, evidence in the world of your creative capacities together. If there are aspects of the cooperativeness in your partnership that need attention, it can bring these to light. Focus on working well together. Talk about how to communicate better as you do this. If you are parents, it will help you in co-parenting more as a partnership."
 2000 Mark Shafer  

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