How to Balance a Demanding Career and a Marriage

A good marriage takes time and effort. So does a good career. If you are lucky enough to have both, you may feel stretched pretty thin sometimes. You have a lot of people demanding a lot of your time and attention. You want a lot out of life and feel you can get it if you just balance things correctly. And the truth is you can have it all, but you will need to make some compromises along the way.

In today’s competitive job market, companies are demanding more and more from their employees. You are expected to work overtime on a regular basis and give your full attention to your job fifty, sixty, sometimes up to seventy hours per week. Your job may be emotionally and mentally draining as well. The effort you have to give at work to complete your job to the best of your ability and maintain your position may leave you exhausted at the end of each work day.

If you are an executive, these demands are even greater. And for those not yet in the managerial positions, the road to the corner office is paved with hard work and long hours. Your dedication to your job may be tested with extra projects and challenging schedules. You may have to spend an increasing amount of time at the office to prove yourself. How will this affect your marriage?

Spending time with your spouse is not just a luxury; it is a necessity. And this does not include that hurried time you spend together leaning over the sink in the mornings. Quality time together maintains your communication skills and increases your bond. Without this time, you will find that your ability to communicate and your comfort level in the relationship will decrease.

Many couples choose to plan a specific date night each week so they know that they will have this quality time together no matter what else happens that week. This is a great way to work around a hectic job schedule. If you know that you will be spending the entire evening together on Saturday, the fact that you or your spouse is working late on Wednesday will seem less of an intrusion.

Another way that couples deal with work stress and demanding career goals is by setting some ground rules. You may want to agree that you are only allowed to work late two nights per week. If there is additional work to be done, you can go into the office early, when you would not be interfering with family or couple time. You may also want to discuss travel for work, limiting the number of trips you can take to one or two per month.

If you are on the executive track, these limitations may be more difficult. But talk them over and try to come to some compromise about spending some set time together each week.

It is also important to leave office issues at the office. Bringing home the stress of the day and expecting your spouse or kids to deal with your bad mood is selfish. Sure, we all have bad days. But if every day you are coming home to sit and brood until dinner, you need to look at what is important to you. Find a way to de-stress on the way home. Listen to soothing music during the commute, or schedule regular massages each week.



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