In today’s day and age, the definition of marriage and relationships is fast changing. People make work their foremost priority without truly understanding its ramifications.
Is too much work really good for you?
Hard work may never have killed anyone, but too much work can certainly affect your married life. Even the most well-balanced marriage can fall apart if the partners allow work-related stress to get to them. Carrying work-related issues home and/or venting can cause considerable stress and anxiety to both spouses.
The mental health of a couple is just as important as their physical health.
Many couples fail to manage the stress that they are subjected to at work. The problem continues to deepen until the marriage falls apart. When neglected for so long, even marriage counselling may not save the relationship.
“Great couples still get angry with each other, but they continue to discuss the problem until there’s a solution”
The key to prolonging a marriage and ensuring that you have a fulfilling married life is to analyze the causes and sources of stress and anxiety.
Ten ways in which too much work can affect a marriage are:
1. Decline in satisfaction with marriage
Too much work stress leads to anxiety and depression in one or both partners. The relationship begins to go downhill and every conversation takes a turn for the worse. Arguments, counter-arguments, accusations, tears become a part of the daily routine.
According to research, as stress associated with work and being a father increases, men begin to feel less satisfied with their marriage.
2. Perception of reduced quality of marriage
Research shows that women may perceive the quality of their marriage to be poor if they are significantly stressed at work. The negative feelings that women develop towards their work or their boss or their colleagues is transferred to the husband. This causes trouble in the relationship with their spouse.
Live life in harmony. Balance the elements of life around you to live in peace. Let your worries go. Do not stress over things you cannot control. Live and be.
3. Increase in conflicts between couples
Too much work usually tends to leave a person frustrated, angry, or irritated. When these emotions fester, they lead to conflict between couples. In consequence, the relationship begins to deteriorate unless they are managed properly.
According to a study conducted by Jessica Halliday Hardie and Amy Lucas, which was reported in the journal “Journal of Marriage and the Family,” sources of stress such as financial hardship tended to cause more marital conflicts.
“The healthiest relationships are those where you’re a team; where you protect each other and stand up for one another”
4. Decrease in or absence of intimacy
When couples are suffering from the harmful effects of too much stress, often the first thing to take a back seat is their sexual drive. They sometimes have a complete lack of physical intimacy. The partners feel so resentful of each other due to their continuous fights and arguments that sex is the last thing on their mind.
5. Consideration of divorce
When conflict, anxiety, stress, irritation, loss of trust and intimacy, and frustration become an everyday reality, a couple often gives up and looks for a way out of their misery. This is indeed the saddest outcome of constant professional stress.
Sometimes people use work as a way to avoid home. Volunteering to work extra hours can be a way to avoid problems in the marriage. When people start using work as a way to avoid problems, it can be very difficult to work on the marriage. If you use work to avoid your home life it is important to take an honest look at what the issues are and determine a plan on how to address them.
How’s your mood when you arrive home from work? Does your spouse know what kind of day you’ve had within seconds of your arrival? If so, it is important to recognize how your work may be affecting your marriage.
If you come home from work, stressed, upset, angry, frustrated, or depressed, it is going to impact your ability to enjoy quality time with your spouse. It is important to recognize what sort of mood you return home with and learn to change it. Continuing to be in a bad mood from your day at work will only lead to marital discord.
8. You spend more time at work than at home
A full-time worker spends 40 hours of his or her week at work; but we all know some jobs require more than that. While it is OK to put in some overtime every once in a while, if you find yourself consistently working 60 hours or more per week, then what is happening with your home life? You may be making enough to cover your physical needs, but what about your emotional needs? Those relationships require time, not money; and if you are sacrificing your time simply to make your boss happy or bring in enough to pay all your bills, then your home relationships are most likely suffering.
9. You find yourself connecting better with your co-workers than your spouse
One dangerous thing about spending so much time with people besides your family is that you may develop better relationships with them than with your spouse and kids. You are in the same field of work, meaning you have similar interests, they can relate to work problems and you work together on big projects. If you are working with the opposite sex, and it seems like you have a better connection with him or her than your spouse, take a minute to evaluate what is really going on. Perhaps it’s time to take a vacation to connect more with your spouse.
10. You miss major events in your kids’ lives
When your job interferes with the major milestones (or even the little ones), your kids realize there is a problem. You will never get back watching your child’s dance recital, seeing them graduate or just being there for them when their team plays in the championship game. These are the moments that make life meaningful. Make sure your job allows you to take time off, or rearrange schedules so you can personally witness these moments.
Here’s how to balance work-personal life
The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man
For most people, juggling the demands of a career and a personal life is an ongoing challenge, especially at a time when many companies have slashed their ranks–and expect more from the survivors.
Achieving the elusive “work-life balance” can often feel like an impossible goal, especially for people who strive to give everything 100%. In today’s “do more with less” competitive reality, how can we manage careers and families, and feel satisfied with both?
First, prioritize. “If you want balance–and not everybody does–you have to force yourself to edit yourself personally and professionally,” says Jody Greenstone Miller, an authorand chief executive of Business Talent Group, a supplier of high-end business talent for consulting and project-based roles.
Consider all the things that compete for your time, and decide what to keep and what to discard. If you volunteer with three nonprofit organizations, select the most meaningful one, focus on it, and stop scattering your attention among all three.
Technology is a good servant, but a bad master. Remember that BlackBerrys, iPhones and other devices exist to make your life easier, not to rule it. Identify certain times, like dinner, when your household must remain tech-free. Mention this window to your manager and co-workers. “Set up your rules and adhere to them,” says Barbara Wankoff, director of workplace solutions for the professional services firm KPMG. “This doesn’t make you inflexible or unresponsive; it just allows you to be more in control of how you work. Be a role model to your staff and colleagues.”
Loretta Penn, former president of Spherion Staffing Services, takes it a step further: “You don’t have to respond to every e-mail or voicemail as soon as it comes in. Just because someone else deems something a priority doesn’t mean you should too.”