Work. It’s where we spend the lion’s share of our time. We spend more waking hours with the people we work with than our own spouses. But can the people we work with destroy our marriage? Quite possibly, yes. Here are four scenarios:
Stress at work can cause problems at home if you bring the problems home
When work is stressful (due to the fact that there are people there who are on your case or who are bullying you or who are asking you to work unreasonably long hours, etc.) sometimes that stress can spill over at home. In fact, because you may be in a situation where you can’t vent at work, a natural consequence might be that you hold it all in and wait till you get home to vent. Needless to say, this can take a toll on your relationships at home after a while. You are going to have to speak up at work and assert yourself (easier said than done, true) so that you are not taking home all these toxins to your families who are innocent bystanders and deserve to have you happy, loving and calm rather than volatile, depressed and distant. Speak up at work. Even if it’s a boss who is unreasonable and who is bullying you and who wants you to work late all the time. Speak up. A lot of times, I’ve found that workplace bullies are really just cowards like they are on the school playground. If you stand your ground with them, they usually back off. Unless you have the super-bully. In which case, think about changing jobs. Sometimes, you just need to leave these folks to bigger/better bullies rather than try to fight them yourself. In short, do whatever you must do, even if it means quitting the job, to save your family.
An affair at work can destroy your marriage
Affairs at work can wreck your marriage for obvious reasons. And there are often a lot of temptations at work, no doubt about it. Again, it’s where you spend the lion’s share of your time and it’s quite natural that you could meet people you are attracted to. How do you deal with that? Just don’t act on it. Nobody ever said you can’t be attracted to other people. It’s about what you do about it that matters.
Instigators and “friends” at work can give bad marriage advise
With this scenario, you may be trash-talking your spouse over lunch with cubicle-mates and they are giving both solicited and unsolicited advise which you are listening to and then you are incorporating into your relationship – to the detriment of your marriage. You have to sort of step back and ask yourself whether the people you are confiding in have your best interest at heart or not. Sometimes people are just instigators. They are trying to wreck your marriage because they are envious or they may not be so Machiavellian, but they certainly don’t know what the heck they are talking about and they probably don’t have the whole story so their advice is really skewed and it’s not reliable and it will do your marriage more harm than good. The simple solution is to shut up about your marital problems. If you need a shrink, hire one away from work.
Working for the same company can cause friction in a marriage
Maybe you and your spouse work for the same company and this probably has its advantages. But it can also be a bit of a distraction, can’t it? Especially if you are working in a firm where everyone sits in a cubicle and gossip is rampant and people can see everything and hear everything. You need a little bit of distance and so for this scenario, if work is having a negative impact on your marriage, one or both of you needs to find another job.
Working too many hours can cause friction
Too many hours at the office is bad for home life. Why have a family/marriage if you’re going to be working all the time? The solution? Reduce your work hours, obviously. Especially if there are children involved. Both spouses definitely can’t work around the clock when children are involved. One of you probably should consider staying home with the kids as a matter of fact. If that is not feasible, definitely make quality home life/time a priority. Ask to telecommute, i.e., work from home if that is possible; share a job if you can; or better yet, find a way to start your own home business. And this is true even if there are no children involved. For marriages to flourish, you have to spend enough time –quantitatively and qualitatively — together as you possibly can.
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