Work is an important and fundamental part of life. We work not only to pay the bills but also to fulfill our potential, realise our ambitions and progress in life. Work is very often bound up with a person’s sense of worth and self-esteem – for some it’s so much part of their identity that a period of unemployment can cause grief and bereavement.
Given the crucial role work plays in our lives, it’s natural that our attitude towards work will affect our personal relationships, and a certain bit of caution needs to be exercised to know just where to draw the line.
How constant long hours of work affect relationships:
Attention: While work is an important part of life, if it’s constantly given priority over your partner’s needs, your relationship will suffer. Like a plant needs water, relationships need attention and without it they cannot thrive. Often it’s the physical time couples are apart that causes relationship problems. Long hours, being on the road, foreign travel, unsociable shifts or months away on deployment will all have an impact on a relationship.
Work/life merge: Technology is blurring the gap between our work and private lives with people plugged into work when they’re at home, out socialising or even on holiday. With the advances in smart phones and other mobile devices it’s possible to check in with work wherever you are and at any time of the day. The temptation to use your free time to catch up can be tremendous, especially if you work in a highly competitive environment, may also strain relationships.
Job insecurity: It’s not just too much work that can have an impact on your relationship. In these times of economic uncertainty, job insecurity and all the associated stress it brings can have long-term consequences on relationships. People may work harder or longer hours if they feel that their job is threatened, or stay in a job where they are deeply unhappy for fear of not being able to find another one.
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