Many individuals feel like they are working incredibly hard and not getting as much as a ‘thanks’ for their extra efforts. When this happens to one or both of you it can have a very negative impact on your relationship. Here are some problems that might arise and some possible solutions to prevent work getting between you.
Your entire conversation is about work- When you come home, you talk about how cheesed off you are, you text each other throughout the day to moan and you send cryptic emails when something happens to prove that you are being taken advantage of.
Top Tip- Designate a specific amount of time to talk about work then have a ban on it for the rest of the night. From when you get in- you might want to spend half an hour to an hour talking about your day- then make a conscious effort to change the tone. Discuss your weekend plans, what you are going to make for your evening meal, what you fancy watching on TV- whatever it might be- as long as it’s not about work.
OR- your conversation is clipped- If you live together and the only time you spend apart is to work- you don’t want to repeat yourself night after night. You end up summing up your day in a few words so you don’t have to go into it in any detail.
Top tip- If you just want some time to unwind after work then let your partner know that you don’t want to talk about it right now. That you just need a period letting it all sink in before you can put it into words.
You begin to resent each other in company- You want to vent to someone new- but sadly your partner has heard it all and it can become overbearing or vice versa.
Top tip- Talk to your partner about their habits when you’re out socialising. If you know that their time and passion when talking about work is making people feel uncomfortable (including you) tell them gently that everyone needs their turn and talking about the negative aspects of their employment is only going to bring them down too.
You start to feel underappreciated at home if your partner doesn’t make an effort- If you already feel like you’re being taken for a ride for eight hours a day, then any little thing your partner does that makes you feel undervalued hits you all the more.
Top tip- Remind your partner that you need home to be a place that makes you feel the exact opposite of how you do at work to help you though the difficult patch. And make a fuss of your partner when they do make you feel special.
You argue more- If you are feeling wound up about your day, then the temptation is to take it out on your partner when something goes wrong at home. And what was an argument about something minor materialises into you taking out your work rage on them.
Top tip- Try to use the designated work talk time to vent all of these frustrations. Let each other know that being angry AROUND each other is fine to release the pressure- but not to use that as an excuse to be angry AT each other.
You encourage each other to leave- You might resort to the obvious suggestion of telling your partner to hand in their notice and look for something else and vice versa.
Top Tip- Be careful here. Your partner might enjoy their job despite feeling underappreciated by their superiors. If they did do what you suggest where would that leave you financially? Let them decide if this is enough to make them walk- if it’s not then help them to remember why they want to stick around so they don’t focus on the negatives all the time.
You dread gang home became you know what's coming- If your partner is stuck in a particular rut at work- then the complaints can become a little repetitive and you can predict what they are going to say when you get home.
Top tip- If this is the case, try to talk to them about their options. Different ways they can handle situations or what they could do to improve things. They may be so absorbed by their gut feelings that they can’t see there are other ways to do things. You might be able to help them see this more clearly by suggesting new approaches to encourage them to break the cycle.
You can’t concentrate when on the things you do together- If you decide to have movie night or a meal out- you can tell pretty quickly if your partner is engaged in your conversation of the joint activity and they can too.
Top tip- Talk to your partner- if they feel they need a break then this may be the perfect opportunity to arrange something couply to do and take some time out to unplug. The weekend might be better for such as this. If they are in the thick of it during the week- they may benefit from having some quiet time where you go off and do something else or take a walk so they can process the day. Even if it means that you walk in silence- at least they are working through it in a healthy way.
You feel there is an imbalance- Your partner might dominate the conversation to the point where they run out of energy to listen to you.
Top tip- If this does happen on an occasion your day has gone ok- then let them take up the extra time. It’s clear they need it. If the opposite happens and you have a horrific time between 9-5 then make a point of telling them in advance that you have a lot to get off your chest and prepare them.
If however this is a regular occurrence- tell your partner how you feel and that you need to talk- even if it means taking a little break in between so you have their full attention.
You start to compete- As to who’s more unappreciated by their boss and it becomes more about that than anything else.
Top tip: You are BOTH working and working HARD. There is little point in trying to outdo one another because it won’t achieve anything good- it will only make your work life AND home life equally negative. Remember that you are both working towards the same goal- regardless of the nature of your job and the money you bring in so don’t let it turn into a meaningless competition.