As I sat in the courtroom shocked at what I just heard the judge announce, I was now officially divorced. My life flashed before my eyes, I watched our wedding happen, I saw my daughter taking her first step, and I saw my wife and me at family gatherings, laughing and enjoying our life together. I even saw us even sitting in church together. I stared at the floor and watched my personal life movie play in my mind’s eye. “Mike, Mike”..I felt my lawyer tapping me on my right shoulder to get my attention. I looked up at him, and then turned and watched my now ex-wife walk out of the courtroom, with my broken heart. I was crushed and devastated. I managed to force my wife to find love from someone else because I was never at home or in her life. When I found out that she was having an affair, that’s when I was hit in the face, what had I done to my family and myself? The long clinical hours at work took their toll on my family and job, I was the only one who knew how to do my job, and I did it well. Vacations were extremely difficult to enjoy. In the back of my mind, I thought that disaster lurked around every corner, and each day I didn’t get a call from work. I expected a phone call at any time, that my office said that I was needed and had to return to work to fix the problem right away. Yes, my family suffered a great deal, all because of my stupidity and self-centeredness. I believe it’s never too late to save your marriage or relationship. Do you feel that you are losing control of your spouse, children, and co-workers? Are you waking up in the middle of the night, and wondering where your life is headed? Do you think you’re losing your wife and children because you don’t spend enough time with them? As a professional, with a busy schedule, I know how hard it can be to manage your time with your spouse, and family. Your job can take you away from focusing on the needs of your children and spouse. I have been guilty of not being there when my family needed me most. It also cost me a marriage, I want to help you prevent that from happening. So, how can you prevent the problems most professionals will face at one time or another in their lifetime? First of all, do you know how many hours you spend at work? Yes, you may be putting in 40 hours a week, How many office hours are you taking home with you, while ignoring your family? If you’re not sure, then this should be your first area of concern. How many hours do you spend with your significant other? Do you have a date night planned during the week? No kids, no pets, just you and your partner. Do you use this time to focus and listen to the other person? This should be an enjoyable time, fun talk, laughing, joking, teasing, etc. Nothing serious, this time is for both of you to leave the seriousness at home. There will be times that you will need to sit down and plan, and talk about issues that arise, but not on your date night. Do you make time to play with your family? Does your family sit down and plan a vacation together? Do you talk about short vacations 2 day stays, or overnight get away’s? Do you have an event planned for a Saturday for the whole family? Do you plan as a family for extended stays? Do you plan father and son, or mother and daughter get away’s? Do you sit down and eat meals together? It’s important to grow the family by doing fun things, are you aware of that? Do you protect your time as a family, and make sure that you spend quality time together on a regular basis? One of the big mistakes people make is that they invite friends along with family vacations or outings. Generally not a good idea! Interaction is the key to growing closer. Here are some good tips to try with your family to bring the closeness you need. Make sure all of you are present at the dinner table whenever possible. Sit down and enjoy one another’s company. Share what has taken place during the day. Most importantly, ignore phone calls unless you know it’s an emergency. This is your time and no one gets to intrude. At least once a month, enjoy a movie night together either at the theater or at home. If you have a large family have your movie night at home it will be more affordable and exciting. Make lots of popcorn, lay out some sleeping bags, get comfortable, and let the movie begin. Plan to attend special activities for each family member. For example, if you have one of your children in a sports program, encourage everyone to attend that event so they can provide support for that brother or sister. Develop interests that everyone can share in. I happen to love photography, my daughter is learning the basics, and we have plenty to talk about whenever we see each other or talk on the phone. Find mutual interests that you can all share and enjoy. This can be fishing, hiking, camping, bowling, bike rides, etc. At least once a month as your budget allows, all of you as a family go out to dinner. Why not let someone else worry about the food prep and cooking so all of you can sit back and enjoy. This is also a great time to sneak in some social skills, especially for your little children. If you would like some help in getting your priorities with your family and job on track, you can contact Mike at 303.880.9878, If you need more information about the Professional Accountability Partner Program, call me at 303.456.0555 or go to contact Mike link to set up a free consultation appointment.