Is Your Significant Other a Distraction?

Is Your Significant Other a Distraction?

Is Your Significant Other a Distraction?

I work from home, but my significant other works at a J.O.B. for a corporate boss. Still, there are times when I must share the house with him during vacation time, holiday breaks and again on the weekends.

If you’re a housewife, this may be a Godsend for you because it means that the odd jobs around the house get addressed and you’re spending quality time with your honey; though, there’s also a flip side to this if you work from home.

The Work at Home Blues

I’m the kind of entrepreneur who throws herself into her work. I get up in the morning, turn on the computer, grab some coffee and settle down for a day’s worth of productivity.

I don’t deviate from this schedule unless there’s a family emergency or I’m fighting lethargy from my blood disorder; though, I’m noticing a new trend with my workflow.

It gets interrupted on various occasions; most notably when the partner gets “time off” from his corporate job and is unable to keep himself occupied while he’s at home.

The Battle of the Sexes

I love him dearly, but his presence works on my nerves, too. The rushing into the office at odd occasions takes their toll. I cannot work with loud music, bumping noises, or sporadic interruptions. It breaks my concentration.

What usually follows is my plea not to be interrupted and him feeling neglected. It’s a ritual I dislike going through because it makes me feel guilty so I often leave the office to indulge his feelings.

You can imagine what happens next. I don’t get a stitch of work done because it turns into an all-day affair of “spending time together” while my work is pushed to the sidelines.

On occasion I can get him to run errands outside the house, which means I can concentrate on my work while he’s gone, but once he returns we’re back to the same problem. He doesn’t want to sit alone while I work.

I’m not sharing this story with you to complain. I’m doing it because I admit I need help in this area and I was hoping you could shed some light on the situation. Can you?

Have you experienced interruptions by a significant other? If so, how did you ensure peace within the relationship while getting your work done?

Leave a comment below and let me know. I could really use the help! :)

Thanks for reading,
– Bonnie

P.S. Did you enjoy this message? If so, please share it with your friends so they can benefit from schmoozing. Then, if you want to get more messages like this one, connect with me via my social links below or hop aboard my notification list. I would like to keep in touch.

About Bonnie Gean

Bonnie is a full-time writer and marketer with over 20-years of experience as an entrepreneur. She loves helping people overcome the technical challenges associated with an online business. Need a step-by-step tutorial? Simply ASK her and she'll help you too.

Join the Discussion

  1. Well, I am not married. But my girlfriend has interrupted my work on many different occasions. I usually just lock myself in a room until I am done. So yeah, she can be a distraction, lol.
    Timothy Torrents recently posted…Secret Traffic Generating Technique That You Never Heard AboutMy Profile

  2. Hi Bonnie

    I used to have that problem, and wish I still did.

    John died in November; no more interruptions, cups of tea brought up to me, etc.

    Miss him so much. He was so supportive even when I was a complete pain about work, as he never quite understood how I’d “not finished yet”.

    So treasure your loved ones while they’re still with you :-)

    Joy Healey recently posted…Recurrent Headaches and GlutenMy Profile

  3. No significant other but I currently live with my mom, who just recently retired. Now that she’s home, she’ll try to have conversations with me in the middle of my writing time.

    I finally told her that I wasn’t ignoring her. I was choosing to do something that was important to me and when she interrupted me it made me feel like she didn’t care that what I was doing was important to me.

    Basically I used some non-violent communication techniques and let her know what I needed. It’s gotten much better in the months she’s been home.

    Maybe you can try that with your S.O. Sometimes others really don’t realize what we’re feeling when they do things like that. And they think it’s okay because we continue to respond – cause we don’t want to feel guilty about NOT responding.

    I’m sure you can find a solution that works for you both.
    Minna Bryant recently posted…Admit To Your DreamMy Profile

    • The S.O. can surely be picky sometimes. Not sure if this would work with him, but anything is better to try than nothing!

      I don’t like feeling guilty, but I do know I spent adequate time with him. He just doesn’t respect the “me time” I need when he is off of work and I’m still on the clock.
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…How Do You Build Trust with a Blog?My Profile

  4. My husband has a regular job, and expects me to get everything done during the day, including the housework. He doesn’t help at all. Hes helped less as less as my body gets worse. He acts like he’s jealous of the computer. He wants me to shut down my business, and says I can’t use more than $400 a year unless it brings in money. He also asks how long it’ll take until I start making a profit, something that’s impossible to answer, and doesn’t like that I listen to experts. He says I should figure it out myself. So yes, he’s a distraction, and a frustration.
    Linda Ursin recently posted…3 Ladies who manage timeMy Profile

  5. My suggestion is the same as April’s. Schedule “hubbie time” and “business time.” That way, he knows he’s going to get to spend time with you AND you know that you’ll have time to work on your business. When you’re with him, spend quality, focused time with him.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted…What Are You Grateful For?My Profile

  6. I struggle because when he’s off task (he works at home too) I tend to get off task. He also has his brother over often and NO work gets done then because I end up giving up my work space for him to entertain. It’s tough and we’re still trying to make it work. Really I’m starting to think that I’m going to need my own office space. Of course, I likely wouldn’t set it up like an office. I enjoy working from the couch too much.
    Amanda Thomas recently posted…What is the Best Theme For an Amazon Review Site?My Profile

  7. LOL – sounds like he loves you to death – how sweet! I have to admit, that’s not a problem for me. Although we both work outside the home, when I’m home in the evenings, he doesn’t bother me. I guess we have our own ways of winding down after work. For me it’s working online to build my business, for him it’s watching anything on the Speed channel and playing with the drag racing games on his cell phone.

    Perhaps you can plan for those days if possible. If you’re able, work more the day before or after. If since you’re not going to get anything done, just give in and don’t.

    Or, you can state a time you’ll knock off and spend with him. Maybe on those days you can just work half a day. I say enjoy your time together. Some times we need to take time and spend with those who love us and that we love.
    Cynthia Dixon recently posted…Studying your competition is an excellent way to learn about Product CreationMy Profile

  8. Hi Bonnie,

    Stopping by from UBC!

    My ex-husband had a similar habit. If he was home, my attention needed to be on him. I can’t imagine if I had had a home based business at the time! As it was, toward the end of our marriage I was in my Masters program and a lot of it was online. In order to graduate I had to tell him “No” a LOT. It was hard because I used to be the one to cave and give in all the time. But this time, I had to stand firm to accomplish my goal and complete my degree. He didn’t like that I suddenly had boundaries.

    My forever husband (the great guy I’m married to now) knows exactly how much my online business means to me and to us. He supports me 100% and then some – so when I’m working on my business he can entertain himself. He’s got plenty of things to do rather than hang all over me. Because when I’ve finished my work for the day, he knows he gets a much happier woman by his side :-)

    Good luck!
    Peggy recently posted…The Happiness Formula For Parents TelesummitMy Profile

  9. I don’t have a significant other that interrupts, but my son is an only child and thinks I should be his constant companion. I was starting to feel frustrated.

    I finally made a schedule. It has only been a few days, but it seems to be working. I work on my projects for a certain period of time, like 2 hours, then I walk away from my computer and spend quality time with him for a set time period.

    Before I felt like not only was I not getting anything done, but I was neglecting him as well. It was a huge issue for both of us. The schedule has helped us so far. I feel more productive and I remind him to go play or color while I’m working. Then when it is quality time with him, I do not stop to just look at this or that on the computer, I actually close the laptop and devote my time to him.

    We are both much happier and have been getting out and enjoying the weather.
    April recently posted…90 Day Product Creation Challenge – Day 4My Profile

  10. Great post. This is a good subject! My situation is reversed. I’m currently unemployed and my significant other works from home about once a week. Knowing that he’s here makes it difficult to not keep popping into the office to talk to him! I know how tough it is for him to work around distractions so I try to make myself scarce, which sometimes disrupts my routine but I make it work. I go for a run, walk the dog, work in the garden or go elsewhere in the house with my computer to write. I save all the vacuuming and stuff for when he’s not working.
    Ramona recently posted…Another Lesson Learned (or the same one again)My Profile

  11. LOL. I laughed when I read this because this happens A LOT! Try giving him a “Honey Do” list when he’s home so he stays out of your hair. Keep one on reserve at all times :)
    Penny McDaniel recently posted…Holy Cow! A Lesson In Bovine BeautyMy Profile

    • A honey-to-do list. Well now, THAT I can make! Getting him to do what’s on the list is another story!

      When the guy has it on his mind to act like a third arm… he doesn’t let up that easily! ROFL

      I had to laugh at the “stays out of your hair!” part. I was afraid to write that in the post because I didn’t want people to think I was being too hard on him or being selfish wanting to get my work done.

      But… it happens far too often for me to want to pity him! LOL
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…Why You’re Losing Customers, Visitors and SalesMy Profile

  12. Bonnie –

    Perfect timing – a wrote a blog post about this a few days ago. You can find it at titled “How to Focus on Your Goals Even if Your Neighbors, the Weather, and Your Spouse is Distracting You”

    Today – I’m using the “If you can’t beat him, join him” technique. I’m scattering my work hours – a few hours early this morning, then a few more hours later this evening. My husband is home most of the summer (he is a teacher) and during the rest of the year, I seldom see him. So, I do want to spend time with him, however, my business doesn’t stop just because he’s home. :)

    The other strategy I mention in my blog post is to find a secret location to work at!

    Best of luck!

    Lisa Mallis recently posted…How “Berry” Tackled Creating Change by Using RoutinesMy Profile

    • Both sound like wonderful opportunities to get work done, but I can tell you right off the bat – he wouldn’t let me leave the house with a laptop to go elsewhere.

      He would stand at the door with that puppy dog look of “what did I do wrong” and before I would get out of the driveway – I would feel too guilty to leave.

      The thing I don’t get Lisa, is that he KNOWS I work from home! We’ve been partnered for 20 years now and it’s no secret that I can’t work in conditions other than pure silence. Why then does he feel the need to bust into the door? He already knows before he does it, there’s going to be a flair up! ROFL

      On the other hand, the “if you can’t beat him, join him” technique is probably far better for me to try out. Though, I have no doubt that he would want more “quality time” even if I spent hours in front of the tv with him.

      And my dear… spending time in front of the tv, while he’s staring at his iPad playing Candy Crush is not my idea of quality time! :)
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…Why You’re Losing Customers, Visitors and SalesMy Profile

      • Oh Bonnie –

        I’m giggling here with the “watching TV and playing Candy Crush is not quality time” comment. I agree – quality time is not the same as quantity time.

        The other strategy that I find works for me is to tell my husband that I have appointments at certain times – and what times I’ll be free. (It’s ok that the appointments are with myself!) He knows I often record my client calls, so he stays quiet – or finds things to do outside the house.

        However, this doesn’t work all the time! In fact today – he rushed into my office with an “emergency”. He saw something funny on The Big Bang Theory and thought I needed a “stress break”.

        But I figure 90% of the time is better than 50%!

        Good luck!!

        Lisa Mallis recently posted…How “Berry” Tackled Creating Change by Using RoutinesMy Profile

  13. I have a different situation. What you are describing is a DAILY thing for me. Lump that together with my slow starter style, and it means I just don’t get much done! HOWEVER, hubby is a late riser, which means that 5-7 AM is a good time for me to get stuff done. That is, if he didn’t rope me into staying up late with him since he is a night owl! Groan. I think we are in the same boat!
    Shelley recently posted…You Can Conquer Chaos Even if It’s Summer and the Kids Are Home with This One Tip!My Profile

    • Oh dear… you sound like my twin! LOL

      I understand the slow starter style because I like to take my time (mulling over things) before I dig into the work.

      If I am currently in the process of writing, and he busts in the door, all that creative juice dries up, instantly. Once he leaves the office, and I try to get back to the writing, it’s pointless.

      I have to start at ground zero all over again and let me tell ya – the second time around isn’t as easily done as the first attempt!
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…Why You’re Losing Customers, Visitors and SalesMy Profile

  14. The situation at my home is a bit different – I work outside the home, my husband is the one home all day. When I’m not working for someone else, I have things I need to do for me (online course work, shop promotions, etc). I don’t have a space that I can close off and tell him to stay out. He understands the importance of my schoolwork, and will usually leave me alone while I’m doing that (he goes into the only other room). Everything else, though, I’ve just learned to do in between his distractions. Essentially, both he and my project get a little less than full attention. Not the best solution, but it works for me.
    Sunfire recently posted…Meal Planning, my wayMy Profile

  15. Nope! Never. I think it may be because my husband is just so great!…and the fact that we have such a huge home. ;-)

    Kathy Hadley recently posted…3 New Habits To Start Now To Create The Life You WantMy Profile

  16. My biggest distractions are my kids, not my hubby, when I am trying to “accomplish” something.
    Tracie B. recently posted…Virtue Training Bible Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  17. Have similar problems when my husband is home. I try not to work on weekends, because that is our time together ( and we hike one weekend day). Problem is he gets every other Friday off & bigger challenge is that he will be retiring next year. My solution is to get him involved in a volunteer activity. Have been steering him to think what this might be for the last year.
    Maura Raffensperger recently posted…When You are a Mom Who Works From Home…My Profile

    • I work on weekends because he works weekends. :) If I didn’t work at the computer Maura, I would be cleaning the house and hey… you can only run the vacuum so much before it gets boring. ROFL

      Hiking on a weekend day? That would be lovely! I just told the partner that we lead a very DULL life. All work and no play makes for an unhappy Bonnie. I told him we need to get out more – maybe go dancing.

      I got the same blank stare on that suggestion as I’ve had the last 20 years. :)

      I used to dance every weekend before we met. I haven’t gone once since we’re together.
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…Why You’re Losing Customers, Visitors and SalesMy Profile

  18. I don’t have exactly the same problem as I have officially retired, though I now do blogging and other writing at home, which means I do need to have a fair bit of peace and quiet. My concentration isn’t bad, as I worked in an open plan office before retiring. On the other hand, my husband is at home with me most of the time. He is very good at going shopping, so I send him off with a shopping list. He also enjoys reading, so will settle down with a good book. If neither of these suggestions help, how about having a dog? John gets to walk our dog frequently during the day-time, leaving me to work in peace!
    Sue recently posted…What’s your fashion personality?My Profile

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