Do you find that you and/or your spouse spend more time on the job than you do on your marriage? Jobs have become more demanding, making it increasingly difficult to achieve a balance between work and personal life. The increasing demands of work and additional work hours take their toll on the marriage.

   In fact, research shows that spouses who believe that job and family life interfere with each other or feel their job effects their emotional state are more likely to report higher marital tension, less marital companionship, and lower overall marital satisfaction. Thus, the demands of work are sometimes incompatible with the kind of companionship and intimacy in marriage that most of us want.

   The root of many of the marital problems created by work is “not the sheer number of hours worked but the feeling that the other’s work is more important emotionally and psychologically than oneself. So, what can you do so that work won’t starve your marriage?

   Be thoughtful about preserving time for the marriage in the face of work demands. Discuss with your spouse the options available to you so you both feel your work and marital demands are met. For example, would it be better for your marriage if you set aside time after a family event when you could work so that you can make it home in time for the event? Would it be helpful to set aside time to discuss work concerns before engaging in family or couple time?

   Also, understand that sometimes the problem is more how you handle it and what you say than the interference of work itself. Acknowledge the problem, relate to your spouse’s disappointment, and find ways to make up for those missed events. The main point is that you and your spouse talk about how you feel about the situation and find ways to make time for your marriage.

Source: UGA-Marriage Matters

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