Have you found yourself more overloaded at work than usual, arguing with co-workers more often, or feeling a general dissatisfaction with the work you’re producing? You could maybe chalk it up your terrible boss, or even more terrible coworkers, or even MORE terrible assignments. But do you also happen to have a laid-off partner? Well then, the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that’s where the real blame belongs.
After examining couples’ interactions daily for two weeks in Shenyang, China, the researchers found that couples with one jobless person created a hotbed of stress that just kept multiplying between them, as one person is forced to provide support for the entire family while the other descends into a spiral of self-loathing while they both secretly resent each other. Much like missing your subway can just totally ruin your work day, this financial marital stress spills over into the workplace too. As Associate Professor Maw-Der Foo of CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, told Science Daily:
“One of the key findings in this study is that couples are better at sharing their burden than helping alleviate it,” Foo said. “If you feel bad at home there is going to be spillover at work where you will also feel lousy. Going into the study we thought that marital support might help alleviate the stress of unemployment on the family unit, but it didn’t turn out to be the case.”
And according to LiveScience, studies have proved that stress is deadly (and linked to heart attacks, disease, and weight gain). Not sure how much this study will help the stress cycle (“SEE?! There’s scientific proof that my life is terrible because of your unemployed ass!!”), but maybe that static divorce rate is finally going to see some movement? Or, in other words: Reason 469 why the recession is ruining your love life.