Any career can interfere with romance, but teaching can be one of the most surprising culprits. The long hours you spend planning lessons, marking work, and being emotionally invested in your dozens or hundreds of students can quickly take its toll on any relationship, whether you're just beginning to date or you've been married for years. If you feel like the time you're investing in your career is putting a wedge between you and your partner, here are three ways to balance teaching with love.
Set a Routine
Teaching work can be very unpredictable, and (unlike many jobs) a lot of the tasks you undertake won't be completed on your work premises. This can make it difficult to set a routine. However, having no routine can lead to problems in your relationship, which you'll know if you've ever had to cancel on your spouse to mark essays or if your partner's complained that you're unreliable. Try to make a concrete timetable for your teaching activities so you can schedule more time with your partner. For example, why not dedicate a few hours on a Sunday to lesson planning or set 'office hours' so you only answer your students emails a few times a week? While it may seem like a small thing, a routine will help you establish consistency and reliability in your relationship, which any partner will appreciate.
Discuss Your Expectations
Sometimes problems can arise in relationships because each person expects something different. Your partner may expect you to spend less time on work than you think is reasonable, for example. Discussing these expectations and coming to a compromise is a good way to work out problems in your relationship. Find out how many hours your partner would like to spend with you each week. If you think they expect too much, explain why. Sometimes people who aren't teachers find it difficult to understand the level of emotion that goes into the job; letting them know your feelings can help them come to terms with the amount of time you need to spend working on educating your students. When both parties are on the same page, there's less cause for conflict.
See a Relationship Counsellor
If changing your habits and having discussions hasn't solved anything in your relationship, it may be time to consult an unbiased professional. Booking an appointment with a relationship counsellor may seem scary, but therapists have the know-how and experience to guide you through repairing you relationship. They can mediate difficult discussions, provide tools and tricks to help you understand each other, and give you advice on how to move forward.