Work stress, redundancy and job hunting are just some of the work-related issues that can spill over into our relationships. Talking to your partner can be wonderfully supportive when things are tricky at work. But after a hard day, we can also take out our worries on those closest to us. The quotes below illustrate that other couples struggle with work issues too.
“When Paul was depressed about work I saw a different side to him and realized how it influences his life. So I feel I know him better now and I’m closer to him.”
Collette and Tyrell, London
Tyrell: “Collette works in the travel business and she was offered a job abroad. I couldn’t – still can’t – understand why she didn’t see how difficult that would be for me… I have a good job with good prospects and my mother is a widow, I’m her only child.”
Collette: “I wanted to go and Tyrell could have got work. But he wouldn’t budge. He didn’t want to leave his mum and I resented that. I think we were both surprised at our reactions. I suppose you can’t both have what you want all the time; so I let it go this time.”
Christine, Newcastle Under Lyme
“You would be surprised how much a stressful job or work difficulties can affect a relationship. When Joe lost his job I thought – you know, we are a strong couple we’ll cope! It was fine to begin with, Joe was hopeful about finding a new better job and I was happy to support us both. As time went on though Joe got increasingly miserable, and although I hate to admit it I became resentful at having to put all my money in to just living. Cause I was paying all the bills and rent I didn’t have any money left over at the end of each month. That year I couldn’t have a holiday and I blamed Joe. It wasn’t his fault but to work all year and not have anything nice to look forward to was awful.
I think in a way Joe felt a bit like he had lost a bit of his ‘manliness’, it was so distressing to see him so unhappy. That year was horrendous – I never want to go through that again. We argued all the time, just bickering, resentful, silly rows that meant nothing but ruined everything. We could have had a holiday at my parents in Cornwall or something cheap but I just got all cross and couldn’t see a way out. I hate what I did to him during that time.
Now Joe is working really hard and I hardly see him – so we still argue about work. I don’t think we have got our work-life balance quite right yet!”
What other couples say about … returning to work after the birth of a child
“Money is a big issue as I have explained. And going back to work is too. I don’t want to work in Tescos but I have to. But I will need to do something else, that’s why I’m studying law.”
“I’m looking forward to going back to work though. I’m only working 5 hours in the evening. It will be nice to go out and be me. Just to work and have a couple of hours to myself. Though in another way I’m dreading it. It’s not because I’ll miss Toby, because he will be in bed, but it’s just the thought of working I think! I don’t really want to do it!”