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When You Don’t Want to Talk with Your Partner

Hi everybody, I’m Mike Staver and this is Mondays with Mike. This is a weekly video show where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question:

Dear Mike, my life partner and I are very, very different. I suppose that’s what makes us a great couple and gives us the challenges we have. I travel a lot for my work, he does not. So when I get home he wants to chat and I don’t. Any tips?

Yeah, I have a tip! Tell him you don’t want to talk! Nah, I’m just kidding. Here’s what I do:

I travel a lot and when I get home I don’t really want to talk because I talk for a living. So here’s what I do. We create what’s called a re-entry zone, or a quiet zone. It’s a specific period of time for re-entry. It’s generally an hour, or an hour and a half. It doesn’t always take an hour and a half for me to get back in. I was just on a three-week trip, I talked all day every day, when I get home tonight I’ll probably need about 30 or 40 minutes just to debrief, take a shower, and relax. So just negotiate it. It’s not NO talking forever, otherwise, you’re just a jerk. It’s no talking for 30 minutes or 40 minutes or an hour so that you can re-enter.

I’ll tell you what’s likely to happen. What’s likely to happen is after about 15 or 20 minutes you’ll kind of get in the groove and you’ll want to chat a little bit. And if you don’t, if it’s chronic, then you’ll probably want to go talk to a professional about it. But usually negotiating some time works really well. But don’t walk in and go “Oh my gosh just give me a minute!” No. Set it up in advance so it’s a ritual that the two of you go through.

I’m Mike Staver, this is Mondays with Mike.

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