When stressed couples need each other's support


Having one stressed out working spouse at home can challenge the entire family – what happens when that stress doubles in a two income household? Work stress and the two income family are two trends going hand in hand in the US which could potential impact work and home.

A study from Wayne Hochwarter, the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in the Florida State University College of Business, looks at the times-2 daily stress in the lives of working spouses. “Given that a lack of support from one’s spouse represents a major cause of both divorce and career derailment, this research is needed to address issues that affect both home and work,” explained Hochwarter.

Over 400 working couples of all types participated. For those who reported high stress, but strong support, they experience the following:
- 50% higher satisfaction with marriage
- 33% higher likelihood of positive co-worker relationships
- 30% lower likelihood of guilt for home neglect
- 25% higher concentration level at work
- 25% higher likelihood of quality time with kids
- 20% higher rates of career satisfaction
The type of support that had a meaningful and far-reaching effect included awareness of the other spouse’s daily work demands, not “forcing” support from the other partner, understanding that communication must remain open regardless of circumstances, recognizing that distancing oneself from the family is counter-productive, not unloading tons of work complaints on the family, not competing with the spouse, and not keeping tab on who is getting and who is giving.

“Most important, though, was the ability for a spouse to offer support on days when he or she needs it just as much,” Hochwarter noted. “In many cases, both return home from work stressed. Generating the mental and emotional resources needed to help when your own tank is empty is often difficult.”

Source: Florida State University, MedicalNewsToday


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