Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Couples, pay attention to your relationship work ethic, experts urge

Date:
February 19, 2014
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Summary:
Is a date with your partner as important to you as a meeting at work? A study recommends that couples develop a relationship work ethic that rivals -- or at least equals -- their professional work ethic.

Is a date with your partner as important to you as a meeting at work? A new study recommends that couples develop a relationship work ethic that rivals —- or at least equals —- their professional work ethic.
Credit: berc / Fotolia

Is a date with your partner as important to you as a meeting at work? A University of Illinois study recommends that couples develop a relationship work ethic that rivals — or at least equals — their professional work ethic.

“When people enter the workplace, they make an effort to arrive on time, be productive throughout the day, listen attentively to co-workers and supervisors, try to get along with others, and dress and groom themselves to make a good impression,” said Jill R. Bowers, a researcher in the U of I’s Department of Human and Community Development.

Couples should be at least as invested in their relationship work ethic, prioritizing their partner and putting the same kind of energy into active listening, planning time together, finding a workable solution for sharing household tasks, and handling personal stress so that it doesn’t spill over into the relationship, the researcher said.

“But that can be hard to do when you get home and you’re tired and emotionally drained, and the second shift begins, with its cooking, cleaning, laundry, and the demands associated with children that compete for communication and quality time with your partner,” she added.

Because effort at work is driven by pay, a person’s career often consumes most of his or her attention. “The job gets all your energy, and there’s little left over for what comes after. That’s why you have to be intentional about working on your romantic partnership,” Bowers noted.

The researcher is the lead author of a study that evaluated Intentional Harmony, a curriculum on work-life balance for dual-earner married couples developed by U of I professor Angela R. Wiley, Kathryn R. Branscomb, and U of I Extension family life educators.

The evaluation measured the impact of attending an Intentional Harmony workshop on work-partner balance skills and strategies as well as relationship satisfaction in 47 heterosexual couples. All couples took a pre- and post-test. Half of the couples attended the workshop before the training; the others did not attend the training until after their relationship skills were assessed.

Couples who attended the workshop improved significantly in their ability to manage work-partner role conflict and other relevant skills compared to the other group, and they also reported a greater reduction in physical and emotional stress. The evaluation also found that the study was most effective for women.

Improved organizational and time management skills can help couples balance work and family commitments, but “it’s complicated,” Bowers conceded.

“Sharing household tasks continues to be a big concern for couples. Flexible work schedules are often advocated as a way to balance work and family commitments, but these arrangements can blur the lines between work and family time. Establishing those boundaries is difficult enough, and not having those limits can make life even more stressful,” she said.

“You may not feel like you have the time or assume that everything’s okay because your partner isn’t complaining, but over time the consequences of shortchanging your relationship could mean serious relationship issues, and that has real implications for your mental and physical health. That’s why we advise taking your relationship work ethic seriously and making time for your partner intentional,” Bowers said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jill R. Bowers, Angela R. Wiley, Blake L. Jones, Brian G. Ogolsky, Kathryn Branscomb. Helping Dual-Earner Couples Manage Work–Partner Interferences: A Program Evaluation. Marriage & Family Review, 2014; 50 (1): 55 DOI: 10.1080/01494929.2013.851054

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). "Couples, pay attention to your relationship work ethic, experts urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140219124623.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). (2014, February 19). Couples, pay attention to your relationship work ethic, experts urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140219124623.htm
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). "Couples, pay attention to your relationship work ethic, experts urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140219124623.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins