A new study suggests that women who are busier at work are actually happier with their marriages. This comes as a surprise to many busy women who feel overwhelmed by their busy work and personal lives. In addition, it is the opposite for me—when they are busier with work, their marital level of happiness decreases!
Researchers from the study looked at four years’ worth of data from 169 newlywed couples. Over the course of the four years they measured changes in workload and marital satisfaction. They also took into account how much each spouse enjoyed their work and if they had children or not.
Amazingly, even parents had the same reaction to wife’s busy schedule—as the wife’s workload increased, so did their marital happiness.
I think this study says a lot about women and their relationship to work and their husbands. Here are some possible explanations for why women who are busier at work have a greater level of marital satisfaction:
1) Women who are busier at work feel better about themselves, and therefore better about their marriage. It is possible that as women get busy and take on more responsibility in their career their self-esteem increases which makes them feel better about their marriage.
2) The researchers in charge of the study also suggested that when women are busier at work, husbands tend to help out more at home. This shows women that their husbands are dependable.
3) When women are busy at work and their husbands are busy at work it makes the relationship feel more equal. Inequality in relationships is a major source of unhappiness. If both spouses are busy, there is a level of equality in the relationship.
4) Spouses have more quality time even though they might not have quantity time. The old phrase, “Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” might apply here. When a wife is busier at work and sees her husband less, when she does she appreciates him more—therefore possibly having better quantity time.
It is important for couples to think about this study and evaluate how workload effects their own marital satisfaction. Do you think this applies in your marriage or relationship? Why or why not?