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Creating Boundaries Between Office and Home Life

Tags:  Marriage problem, Boss relationship, Relationship issues

Not many people think about the impact of their work relationships on their significant other, but when you consider the fact that you spend 40+ hours a week at work with these people, it makes sense that your spouse would have a natural curiosity about the other players – especially your boss. Since your welfare and happiness is important to them, a spouse has a vested interest in how you're getting along with the people you work with and how these relationships influence your home life. And because your supervisor has the greatest influence over your career, it is especially important to your significant other that your boss is a great person. Dan found this out rather quickly when his work hours began steadily increasing and he would come home grumpy and drained of all his life force. As a supportive gesture, his wife would patiently listen to all his complaints about how he worked for a tyrant that set unreasonable demands without regard to the amount of time and effort it took to meet his requests. Naturally, his wife formed her opinion of this man based on her husband's point of view. So the first time she met the boss, he unexpectedly encountered a chilly reception from her. It's only normal for a spouse to side with you when you describe what you think and feel about your boss. But what happens if your impression of your boss is different than your wife's? This has been known to happen. For instance, when a wife first meets her husband's new boss – the one he's been touting as being so decisive and engaging – and she pegs him as self-centered and a bore. It can be quite a blow to rethink your opinion or try to see your boss through your wife's eyes. Whatever your opinion of the boss, it is important that couples are very clear about the boundaries between work and home. Some people even recommend defining what these boundaries are before marriage. You may want to ask yourselves these questions.

  • Should we both work?
  • What information will we share about our work?
  • Do you like what I do?
  • Do you have questions about my work or what I do?
  • What are your expectations when you come home from work?

The important thing to remember is that it is important to balance your work and home life in order to be successful in both. While developing good relationships with your coworkers and boss are vital to the success of your career, the same is true about your relationship with your spouse. In fact, psychologists have found that people generally agree that talking with someone at home helped them deal with their work problems while at the same time getting home support helped to make them feel more confident about themselves at work. It's a matter of degree and finding that balance between your home and work life. And once you find it, maintaining the status quo.

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