By Anna Johansson • November 28, 2017•Careers, Other Career Issues
You don’t need anyone to tell you about stress – you experience enough of it in your career as a lawyer. But what happens when you’re also experiencing stress on the home front? Whether you realize it or not, a rocky marriage could hurt your career.
Deal With Your Marriage Now
The legal profession isn’t something you enter if you’re looking for a nice, comfortable job that comes with lots of time off and the chance to gradually climb the ladder. While there’s incredible income earning potential, there’s also substantial stress.
According to data, lawyers have one of the most stressful and depressing jobs in America. The suicide rate for lawyers is 1.33 times greater than non-lawyers, while the combination of long hours, crippling amounts of debt (from student loans), and intense work relationships gives it a 9/10 on Bustle’s stress scale.
Bascially, you don’t have much room for error. Your job is already stressful enough and any additional friction could prove to be a tipping point. This includes a rocky or tumultuous marriage.
Because attorneys spend so much time at their jobs, their marriages often struggle to be as healthy and rewarding as they should. Ironically, this can have a rebound effect and actually further damage your job.
Work is so tough that you don’t spend enough time with your husband. This causes strife in the marriage. The strife in the marriage leaves you feeling anxious and stressed at work, which causes you to spend more time at work…and so the cycle continues.
If you want to thrive in your career and your marriage, you have to get a grip sooner rather than later. Ignoring friction on the home front isn’t an option. And while there isn’t always a good answer, here are some things you can do:
1. Improve Daily Communication
Without a doubt, the number one key to a successful marriage is communication. If you don’t communicate with one another, you’re going to struggle.
Good communication looks different for every couple, but you must be willing to invite your husband into what’s going on at work. This doesn’t mean explaining every little detail and talking about work all the time, but it does mean connecting with him when you’re stressed and allowing him to understand where you are (mentally and emotionally) and how he can help you.
2. Set a Better Schedule
Practically speaking, one of the best things you can do is set a better schedule. When you set a schedule, you force yourself to commit to something in advance. Whether it’s regular dinners with your family, full weekends away from work, or a romantic vacation, your schedule should include personal appointments in addition to professional obligations.
3. Pursue Mediation Over Litigation
If divorce is the route you eventually choose to pursue, don’t let the process be more stressful than it already is. You, of all people, know how time-consuming and gut-wrenching litigation can be. Instead of going down this path, try something like mediation. With mediation, you and your spouse can avoid the traditionally combative nature of divorce and handle things privately and maturely. This should hopefully be less jarring for you – personally and professionally.
Don’t Give Up
Divorce may be somewhat common in today’s society, but don’t use it as an easy out for your problems. Yes, divorce could be the answer, but exhaust all of your other options first. Remember why you married your husband in the first place and try as hard as you can to hold things together, for your relationship and your career.