I just read about a new study which found that working moms tend to be happier in their marriage when they are dealing with a heavier workload at work.
Yep. I did a double take too. But that’s what the study of 169 couples found. Interestingly, the effect on working dads is the opposite: The more work they have, the less happy they — and their wives — are in their marriage.
The researchers suggest that one reason for working moms’ increased happiness when they work more is that their husbands pick up the slack at home. So even though they work more they have to do less at home and their work-life juggle becomes more manageable.
I’m a big skeptic about this, I have to tell you. The past 6 months at my job have been truly nutty and my workload increased substantially. Sure, this has meant that my husband has stepped up his share at home, especially because I’ve been taking tons of business trips. But this has made us more stressed out and the idea that my increased workload would make us happier as a couple just doesn’t make sense.
Perhaps in some cases mom working more means that mom has a more interesting job or one with more responsibility or one she finds more engaging or satisfying. I know when I’m satisfied at work I’m happier in general, including at home and in my marriage. Maybe this was one of the underlying reasons women in the study were happier when they had more to do at work.
What do you think about these findings? Does this ring true for you and your marriage or relationship?