Over the weekend a few of my husband’s colleagues came over for dinner. (I have to just take a minute and brag, in the most unashamed way possible, about the rockin’ dinner menu I pulled off. It included my wrapping a large piece of salmon in dozens of lemon slices and bay leaves, tying it with kitchen twine and grilling it in a fish basket — absolutely none of which I’d done before. You’ve got to give it a shot - here’s the slideshow on how to do it.)
OK, back to the actual topic of this post. So we’re sitting around and talking after the delicious dinner (promise, last mention of that), and one of the guys mentions this big project they’d just finished. I knew that my husband was working more than usual, but besides that, had no specifics on what was going on with this big client deal and I said this much to his colleague. He was really surprised and that’s when we got to talking about work-talk with your spouse.
I’m not sure when we started doing this, but my husband and I don’t talk too much about our work at home. Sure, when something is going on or is particularly stressful or exciting, we share it. But we don’t really do a daily “here’s how my day at work went” download for each other and it’s not uncommon for him to not know many details about what I am working on or vice versa. We both have pretty intense jobs and find that when we come home, not talking about them and instead, focusing on other, more fun and lighthearted stuff — like say, playing Zingo with our daughter or eating random stuff for dinner while standing in the kitchen and drinking some wine — is much more relaxing than talking about our work.
But I know that many of our friends deal with work stress in the complete opposite way: By talking about it to each other, often in excrutiating detail. They get it off their chest and it helps them get over it. I get it, but it doesn’t work for me.
In thinking back to how surprised my husband’s colleague was that I didn’t know about this big project they were working on, I wondered if my lack of knowledge came off as a lack of caring. It’s not. Not talking about work at home (most of the time) is just something that works for us.
What about you? Do you work-talk with your spouse or partner?