December 26, 2020

Couples Workshop: How Do You and Your Partner Spend Your Time? Part 1

Work you and your partner can do right now.

Want to start working on your relationship now? Try this 10-minute practicum with your partner. You will each need three pieces of paper and a pen. This exercise is especially good for couples with young children or couples who feel like one has less leisure time then the other. Make sure you can NOT see your partner’s paper :)

1. How do you spend your time? Make a pie graph of the time YOU spend on:

  • “Work” (what used to be outside the house)
  • Household chores (laundry, cooking, bills)
  • Children (driving, reading, scheduling, food prep)
  • Eating
  • Leisure/Friends
  • ??

Make sure your graph adds up to 100%, don’t worry about the time you spend sleeping.

2. How does your partner spend their time? Make a pie graph of how you think YOUR PARTNER spends time on:

  • “Work” (what used to be outside the house)
  • Household chores (laundry, cooking, bills)
  • Children (driving, reading, scheduling, food prep)
  • Eating
  • Leisure/Friends
  • ??

Make sure your graph adds up to 100%, don’t worry about the time your partner spends sleeping.

3. Imagine a world where you were single. Make a pie graph of how this IMAGINARY YOU spends time on:

  • “Work” (what used to be outside the house)
  • Household chores (laundry, cooking, bills)
  • Eating
  • Leisure/Friends
  • ??

Make sure your graph adds up to 100%, don’t worry about the time IMAGINARY YOU spends sleeping.

Discussion

Now share your pie graphs with each other. What do you notice? What surprises you? Questions:

Are they the same? Should they be?

Are you asking your partner to spend time working while you are not? Do you IMPLICITLY ask for your partner’s time watching children? Do you EXPLICITLY ask for your partner’s time watching children? What does your partner do?

Because someone enjoys cooking, how does this change how you interpret the pie graphs?

Do you ask your partner to watch children while you sleep in? Does your partner?

Do you value the work your partner does? Do they know how much you appreciate what they do? Look them in the eye and tell them!

What part of the household chores are you glad to have your partners help with? What can you do to remind yourself to make your appreciation felt?  

Need help discussing this without fighting? Feel like you're being heard? Understood? That is where couple's therapy can work for you. Call today for a free 10-minute consult with with of our couple's therapists. And try our other couple exercises!

Example pie chart showing how one person spends their time

Example Pie Graph

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