Contributed by Brian Adam
Understanding The Struggles of Working Couples and Surviving The Demands of A Dual-Career Relationship
In the traditional sense of relationships, women are perceived to serve their full purpose when they focus only on fulfilling their roles as a wife and eventually, as a mother. However, a lot of things have changed since the 1960s, when women have shifted their stance towards their social role: a steady rise in female workers and the start of what experts call “dual-career couples”. It is a situation within a relationship where both the man and woman struggle to maintain a career to support their families.
In this day and age, keeping up with a relationship has been diminished as a daunting task. This becomes even harder if both partners encounter individual struggles in their careers, as life’s hurdles pull partners further and further apart. What happens when couples finally encounter different demands from work and ultimately, their personal relationships with their family?
Defining Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is the idea of creating a balance between your work and personal life that would enable the individual to achieve maximum personal satisfaction. Although there is no one-size-fits-all formula to achieve work-life balance, companies nowadays initiate programs to help aid in assessing and creating a work-life balance for their employees.
Struggles of The Working Couples
Problems arise when couples neglect their work-life balance. The struggle to maintain a successful career is already hard as it is for an individual, and when both partners work to maintain a career, the dilemma doubles. When couples individually put in more effort and time in their work, it may sometimes lead to strains in communication within their relationship and ultimately lead to negative effects on the personal satisfaction of an individual. Couples who fail to balance their priorities in work and family may encounter several negative impacts on their personal life.
Impact on Individual’s Psychology and Behavior
Because there is a mismatch between the demands of work and the demands of the family, individuals tend to suffer a lot of stress and anxiety. When an individual strives to equally spend all his time to meet the demands of his work and family, he eventually loses time for himself. Having personal quality time is essential in actualizing an individual’s full potentials.
Due to this lack of personal quality time, individuals will start being inactive socially and may even neglect their health and well-being.
Disturbance on Marriage
Nowadays, companies tend to overwork their employees. Because of this, individuals in a dual-career relationship may come home drained and weary from their 8-hour work and it may cause problems within their marriage. Lack of work-life balance is one of the causes of low stamina. This may further lead the relationship to disintegrate as partners fail to spend quality time together and successfully communicate their needs.
This lack of attention creates a gap between couples, therefore resulting in another problem: a lack of intimacy. An individual may even start to unintentionally neglect the sexual needs of his partner because of lack of stamina or lack of affection.
Division of Responsibilities
Because both partners are required to allot their time to their work, couples may overlook this simple task of dividing their responsibilities at home. Who drives the kids to school? Who attends the school meeting? Who cleans the house? These tasks and chores may seem trivial; however, it asks this basic question: who should give up work time in order to attend to the needs of the family? Simple as it may seem at first sight; these can start small arguments which will eventually pile up into a pool of resentment and disappointment.
Personal conflicts contributing to poor performance at work
All these problems may negatively affect the work performance of an individual, thus adding more stress on him and his relationships, increasing work-related conflicts and introducing a new set of problems for the working couple. This cycle will continue unless working couples realize and acknowledge this problem and find ways to address it.
How to Solve Working Couple Problems
- Spend quality time together. Plan a date night. This will not only renew the love and care you have for each other, you will also get to rediscover your partner. Couples can take advantage of this time to communicate and clarify roles and expectations from your relationship.
- Amp up interest in the bedroom. Enhance your sex drive by making yourself comfortable and confident with the idea of initiating intimacy. You can try to increase testosterone in male to help address this issue. Creating and sustaining intimacy in a romantic relationship will help establish a stronger and deeper connection that will bind couples to commit to ways to improve their relationship.
Couples who want to solve the conflicts brought about by the lack of work-life balance need to remember that relationships are a hard work. In order to successfully overcome these difficulties, both partners must be able to contribute effort to improve their relationship.