"By the end of the day, I have nothing left for my partner."
"She just comes home and wants to crash."
"My husband falls asleep before we have a chance to really connect in the evening."
These are common complaints I often hear from discontented partners. I understand that people have increasingly busy and emotionally draining lives. Long work days, stressful commutes, home obligations, parenting responsibilities, family drama, civic duties, etc. It seems that so much is vying for our attention, and we don't have a choice anymore about where we devote our emotional energy. How are couples supposed to maintain a quality healthy relationship if the rest of life is sucking them dry?
Is it fair that our partners get whatever limited emotional reserves we have left over? Shouldn't they deserve to have the best of us? Instead of presenting their best selves to their partners, many people give their best to their bosses, co-workers, their children, and whomever else needs them earlier in the day. It would be nice to be able to come home and just turn on an unlimited store of reserves so we can give our significant other the love and attention they need to feel truly satisfied in the relationship, to be able to attend to their worthy needs as diligently as we tended to our employers' unreasonable demands. Seems like an unobtainable goal, doesn't it? It does until you realize that you are making decisions all day long that can affect your energy level at the end of the day.