Question: My boyfriend and I are seeing each other for the last five years. Both of us are in the marketing profession and about a year ago he joined the organization I work for. Problems started cropping up since the time we started working together. We’ve been having fights about the work and I feel the workplace tension seeping in to our personal life. I can’t and don’t want to quit my job and neither does he. What should we do to ensure that our work lives don’t affect our personal life?
Answer: Enmeshments can cause problems in relationships. I can understand the stress that both of you might be going through. Work place demands professionalism, maintaining healthy boundaries and clear roles and responsibilities. Healthy relationships involve mutual trust, care, understanding, respect and healthy communication. Both of you need some space and need to respect each other’s professionalism and boundaries. At times problems prop up when we start taking the other person for granted. Priorities need to be clearly set. Avoid too many overlaps at workplace. Try taking different assignments and avoid unwanted interference in each other’s professional lives. Both of you might have developed certain misunderstandings that need to be carefully resolved. It would require patient listening to each other’s views, letting the other express himself/herself properly and trying to explain your perspective and stance. Both of you should refrain from discussing just about work. Healthy communication and striking a balance between work and personal life shall help. Take it as a learning experience and an opportunity to work on your relationship; and try a solution based approach.