We’ve all heard it, and we’re sure you’ve said it to your spouse at one point: “I’m busy.” It’s an easy go-to explanation that we tend to use when our time is occupied with something else. And while we might be telling the truth about what we have going on, we’re not saying the entire truth: If we were to stop and think about it, we likely could find a way to shuffle our schedule and make some time for the person we love.
In reality, most of us are constantly using “I’m busy” as an excuse because … well … it’s easy! It can be difficult to find the right words to say when our time is being so wholly consumed by other things. And while saying “I’m busy” instead of, “‘I’d love to talk but I just don’t have the energy,” might help spare our partner’s feelings in the short-term, it can cause some major problems down the line.
According to a study, couples who say “I’m busy,” instead of putting their partner’s needs first, tend to experience decreased intimacy and increased conflict over time.
This isn’t what you or your spouse want. You want to find a way to make sure both of your needs are being met. That means coming up with a mutually satisfactory answer when your partner asks you to do something together. Whether it’s making plans for Friday night or meeting up after work, you have to learn how to say what you mean without masking your intentions with “I’m busy.”
Saying “I’m busy” makes even the most basic of conversations awkward. It tells our partners that we’re not really interested in what they have to say and we don’t care about their needs. And while we might think we’re sparing them by putting our own needs first, we’re actually doing them a disservice because the more you dismiss your partner’s feelings, the more likely they’re going to close off.
How can you be more open with your significant other?
In order to take your relationship from polite strangers to unconditional lovers, couples need to be able to take the time and effort necessary to communicate. It’s vital that you find ways to express what’s on your mind without sounding like you’re brushing them off. And this doesn’t just apply to when your spouse asks for your time; it’s also important when you want to discuss your feelings with them.
In conclusion, in order to have a healthy relationship, couples need to learn how to be more mindful of each other’s needs. Whether it’s making plans for the weekend or discussing what went wrong in the office today, saying “I’m busy” is never going to get you the results you’re looking for.