Balancing a Marriage and a Career

Updated: Dec 16, 2020


A good marriage can be built only by constant attention and effort. It evolves, changes, and develops slowly over a period of time. It does not develop overnight. The same applies to a good career. Balancing a marriage and a career is a something that needs to be learned.


A healthy relationship is about balancing the attention you offer your spouse and your career. You have to effectively divide your time and attention between your marriage and career if you want to succeed in both, and the amount of time you offer each is governed by the circumstances of your marriage as well as your marital and individual goals. It's not always an easy thing to do! Managing a successful career and a marriage and family is a skill that calls couples to make judgments that don't always work. In one corner you need to spend a large amount of time and effort in the workplace to advance and increase your salary and lifestyle, and in the other corner you need to spend the necessary time at home cultivating the relationship and fulfilling both yours and your partner's needs.


This is where problems begin. How much time do you devote to your career? How much time do you devote to the marriage? Sometimes it feels as though you are being pulled both ways. Many cannot manage both and sometimes they even lose both. Too much time either way comes at the expense of the other.

It doesn't have to be this way. If your communication is clear and you plan properly, you can have it all.


These days companies expect more and more from their employees. You are expected to work beyond your regular hours that may add up to fifty or seventy hours a week. If you want to climb the career ladder you have to be seen to be putting the hours in. In addition to this, the demands on your income may be greater at an early stage in the marriage. A wife, young children, childcare, schooling, rent or a mortgage, all of these things place a large strain on the family income. You have to keep the job in order to not just earn a living for yourself but to support your family.


Being an executive doubles or triples your burden. In fact, the demands are greater and the stress is higher. You may be expected to oversee projects, meet deadlines, do project reports, give presentations, etc. You may spend an increasing amount of time everyday at your office to get all this done. How will this affect your marriage?


With the increasing demands on income, it's increasingly common to see both partners working long hours, and this can have a detrimental effect on the relationship. The perception is that you are all working hard to have a better life, but the cost of working long hours is that there is less time to have a life!


Career advancement, workplace pressure, two-income families, shift work, all of these are factors that can place pressure on marriages. But if you are able to play it smart like some couples, you can have a successful career and a stable marriage. All it requires is communication and balance.


There are couples that successfully manage their careers and their marriages. Since both partners are busy during weekdays, they make it a point to plan a specific date night each week so that they can spend some quality time together. With this kind of an arrangement, you may look forward to the date night and focus little on the days your spouse is not available.


Set The Ground Rules For Balancing a Marriage and a Career


Some couples come to an understanding by setting some ground rules. You may set your schedule to work late nights two or three days in a week. You may negotiate with your office if you are on a traveling job and limit your travel to two or three trips per month. You may schedule to take some of your leave in small increments so you can have long weekends away together every few months.


The key to a successful marriage is in having clear communication. Sit down with your partner. Make a budget. Talk about what you need to do to pay the bills. Talk about what is expected of you in your job. Talk about how your job is important when it comes to paying the bills and funding your lifestyle. Talk frankly with each other about what is necessary for you to reach your goals as a couple. Be clear about what your goals are.



Too many people believe if they work harder and earn more money the marriage will get better. It's simply not true. Work to live, not live to work. While it is great to have career goals and individual goals, they need to be congruent with your marital goals. Talking and communicating with your partner is the key to achieving balance, having the resources you need to live, and the time available to enjoy it.


Communicate, negotiate, and find balance.


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