Before Mr. Butler was forced to telework, he had a 30 minute commute to and from work every day. In order to make it to the gym before work, he would leave before everyone was up most days and make it home just before dinner. We talked on the phone often, but his new position had him in meetings more than before which meant less time to chat during work hours. But it was our normal and that was fine. Like the rest of the world, it was hard to see how anything could be different, even if you could argue that it should be different. Jobs have to be tended to in order to pay the bills in order to keep families fed and protected. Luxuries, whether in time or money, are often not an option. So when he finally got the word to start working from home, like the rest of the world, we really didn't know what to think. He immediately started projects he had been putting off. I tackled things around the house to attempt better organization. Since we homeschooled, life wasn't all that different.
I would like to tell you that it single-handedly purified us of all our marital disagreements and subsequently perfected our children as well. Sadly, that is not the case. After about 6 months of walking together, we still hash out many an argument or end up more upset by the end than the beginning some days. But, I'll tell you what it has done for us. We have grown closer, empathy is getting more effective, and we enjoy each other more than ever. Not without bouts of maddening fury because an engineer and a highly sensitive creative type are not going to sync up well without a lot of work. However, spending most days taking about 45 minutes to process life together is teaching us to truly walk together in our marriage. I know from a female - gotta release 40,000 words or I'm going to explode - perspective, just having time to talk and process is SO important to my mental health. Mr. Butler's job has grown more complex and I know having the chance to just process his stuff in a non-work setting has been helpful to him as well. This time helps us stay on the same page better simply because we're talking about it all regularly.
Now I realize that just my husband working from home still is a luxury in many regards that most couples may not have available to them. Maybe it's not the time, but an appropriate walking space. It is December and maybe you don't live in Oklahoma like I do where it was 75 today. Whatever the case, I realize that my solution may not help you. What I want you to take from this is that if something is important enough, we can find a way. We can and should make our marriages a priority even if we don't think there is any urgency in it. Mr. Butler and I weren't setting out to make drastic changes anywhere, but through all the madness it certainly has become so.