Career Couples-Role Stress

Career Couples-Role Stress

Are you and your partner experiencing dual-career role stress? Dual-career couples actively pursue their careers with equal vigour. Both are highly achievement orientated and may often place their careers above other aspects of their personal lives. These couples are very different from couples who are dual earners or couples where only one person pursues their career while the other foregoes their career due to family commitments.

Dual-career stress is generally perceived as when the demand of one role interferes with meeting the demands of another role. Generally the perceived role stress is between work commitments and family. Women still take on the major responsibility of family care within the home, so they may often be exposed to higher degrees of dual role stress.

Studies have shown that couples who are career driven experience the same levels of distress as if they are unemployed. We all know that stress can make you sick but the real solution is not working less or playing more, it is having someone to confide in.

Dual-career literature demonstrates:

  • That these couples struggle with establishing equality in their relationships
  • Wives shoulder more of the domestic responsibilities
  • Wives are more willing to sacrifice career advancement to reduce sex-role conflict
  • There is no more marital dissatisfaction among dual career couples than in the general population
  • The satisfaction in marriage is more dependent upon perceived equity than on equality

As employers demand highly career orientated employees, the prospect for couples may be an increase in dual-career role stress. Planning how to manage dual-career stress may be a long term project to developing a happier relationship.

Christopher Swane - Relationship Counselling and Psychotherapy - Wellington New Zealand