Q: (Aldo) When I come home from work I am tired and want to sit down, have a drink, and watch the news. I really need some time to wind down. My girlfriend wants to share her days with me, and tell me about her lunch, her friends, funny situations at work, etc….This can go on for hours. I am really not in the mood for this and just need some down time. My girlfriend blames me for not listening to her. In fact I am interested, but would prefer to talk over dinner. I already told her I need some down time when I get home from work but she thinks it’s just that I am not interested in her. What can I do?

A: (Wil) Aldo, I had the same issues with my girlfriend (who is now my wife). We worked it out by agreeing that we each had one hour a day of “my time” during which we could do whatever activities we enjoyed for ourselves. For me this meant I would retire into the garage to work on my motorbike, while she played the music of her favorite composer Beethoven.

A: (James) Sounds familiar Aldo….! The constant chatting of my wife sometimes drives me crazy…I just pretend I am listening and nod and say mmmmm, really? every once in a while.

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