A study by the University of Illinois has found that couples that use the same management skills in their romantic relationships as they do at work have better relationships. “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 university’s Department of Human and Community Development.
“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. “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.