Study shows that successful couples support each other

Moaning about work and daily office stress can lead to severe strain on a marriage, according to a recent study carried out in the United States. As many couples both work outside the home, coping with the stress of office life can effect married life unless couples are prepared to support each other, according to the study. The study, carried out by researchers at the Florida State University College of Business, looked closely at the role of emotional support in relationships where both partners had stressful jobs.

Covering 400 working couples, researchers asked about their relationship and stress levels. Lead researcher, Dr Wayne Hochwarter said: “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.” Dr Hochwarter found that the couples who had the greatest level of support at home were much happier with their marriage and were more likely to say that they enjoyed their job and were able to concentrate better at the office. These couples were also less likely to feel tired after work or feel guilt about being away from their family, resulting in them being less critical of their children and partner.

The study, sure to be of great interest to divorce solicitors in Leeds, found that recurring elements in the more supportive marriages were that each partner was aware of the work demands on the other, feeling able that they could talk about work problems at any time, did not bring minor work irritations home and did not try to compete on who had had the worst day at work.

Researchers pinpointed support as the most crucial ability for each partner to offer. Dr Hochwarter said: “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. Successful couples almost always kept a steady supply of support resources on reserve to be tapped on particularly demanding days. When stress enters any relationship, it has the potential to either bind people together or break them apart. Findings strongly confirm this with respect to job tension. What also became obvious was the critical role of communication and trust among spouses; without them, you have a foundation best described as crumbling, even in the best of circumstances.”

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