What’s Your “Relationship Work Ethic?”

Some couples do a better job of prioritizing their relationship than others.  And some couples are simply more comfortable having a more casual attitude toward making time for their marriage.  But a new study shows that all couples–even the ones with a more “don’t sweat it” attitude toward couple time–experience a greater risk of marital problems over time if they don’t learn to cultivate their “relationship work ethic.”

Is a date with your partner as important to you as a meeting at work? A University of Illinois study recommends that couples develop a relationship work ethic that rivals — or at least equals — their professional work ethic.

“When people enter the workplace, they make an effort to arrive on time, be productive throughout the day, listen attentively to co-workers and supervisors, try to get along with others, and dress and groom themselves to make a good impression,” said Jill R. Bowers, a researcher in the U of I’s Department of Human and Community Development.

Couples should be at least as invested in their relationship work ethic, prioritizing their partner and putting the same kind of energy into active listening, planning time together, finding a workable solution for sharing household tasks, and handling personal stress so that it doesn’t spill over into the relationship, the researcher said.  READ MORE

In For Better…FOREVER!  A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, I outline a “Marriage Maintenance Schedule”  that takes all the guesswork out of the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual “appointments” you need to make with your spouse to develop the kind of Relationship Work Ethic that will make your love last a lifetime.  Check it out!  Your spouse might just put you up for a promotion to “Best Mate Ever!”  Sure beats the corner office!

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About Dr. Greg

Dr. Gregory Popcak directs the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to marriage, family, and personal problems. Together with his wife, Lisa, he hosts More2Life Radio. He is the author of over a dozen books integrating psychological insights with our Catholic faith. For more info about books, tele-counseling and other resources, visit www.CatholicCounselors.com.