How to Protect Your Relationship from Work Stress


Research suggests that work stress can undermine our romantic relationships, but we can take steps to prevent that.

In today’s “always-on” culture, the boundaries between our personal and professional lives are often blurred. Many jobs demand constant connectivity, and we feel stress from work long after we leave the office—unless we learn to “detach.”

Research suggests that detachment, or disengaging psychologically from work when we leave, is important in promoting recovery from stress and preventing feelings of agitation, or emotional strain. The failure to detach from work—by continuing to think about it when we get home—can lead us to feel more fatigued, have less energy, and withdraw more from loved ones. But how else might it affect our romantic partners?

A recent study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies explored how daily work stress affects the well-being of both partners in a couple, specifically looking at the importance of detachment. It found that the stress we bring home from work isn’t just exhausting; it can also affect our partner’s view of the entire relationship.

For the study, 159 educated, dual-earner couples with children completed questionnaires multiple times per day for more than a week. They rated their stress at work, their detachment from work, their relationship quality, their feelings of strain in the evening, and their affectionate behaviors toward their partner. To read more from RUPA MAHAJAN ROBBINS, click here.