Longer working hours don't kill romance in your life

There is no negative association between working hours and relationship satisfaction

Ians January 08, 2016
There is no negative association between working hours and relationship satisfaction. PHOTO: DECCANCHRONICLE

LONDON: Turning conventional wisdom on its head, a new study has found that there is in fact no negative association between work hours and relationship satisfaction.

"Our research questions the assumption that working longer hours is hazardous for all romantic relationships," the study said. Conventional wisdom and research seem to suggest that partners in dual-career couples -- relationships where both partners pursue their careers -- have to decide whether they would rather risk their careers or their romantic relationship.

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"Our study attempts to help answer the question of whether dual-career couples should be hesitant to devote many hours to their work when they fear negative relationship consequences," the researchers said.

In the study, 285 couples took part to determine the effect of working hours on relationships. As the researchers explain:

By examining the associations between participants' working time, private lives and happiness in their respective relationships, the team of researchers from Switzerland and Germany found that couples compensated for the time lost with their partners by making the most of time they have after work.

The researchers explained how career driven people who are investing long hours into work, crucial in the pursuit of their career goals, are also aware that they cannot have everything in their private lives.

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"There was no negative association between working time and relationship satisfaction,” the study said. The findings appeared in the journal Human Relations.

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