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You Just Got a Promotion. Will it Take a Toll On Your Relationship?

Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted! But after the good news and all the well wishes from your colleagues, there’s a new level of responsibility on your shoulders, which can potentially affect your personal life and marriage.

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For your partner, anticipating potential issues, setting expectations, and ensuring both partners feel supported and valued, can help avoid some of the pitfalls that can destabilize a marriage.

This Pacific Prime Dubai article will give you a scoop on the ways couples can anticipate the inevitable impacts of new work responsibilities, helping both your marriage and your career as a result.

Some Statistics to Consider

The unavoidable changes to a family system due to a career promotion don’t fare well for every couple. According to a Forbes Advisor report, over 46% of divorced couples listed career decisions as the most common type of conflict.

According to a report from The Quarterly Journal of Economics, in marriages where a wife earns more than the husband, she’s still more likely to spend time doing chores, and the couple is more likely to be less satisfied with the marriage.

Studies also suggest that married women in leadership roles are still five times more likely to do most if not all of the household work.

The unequal burden continues to be a trend in parenting, too. About 41% of working mothers admitted that parenting has made career advancements more difficult, while only 20% of working fathers have admitted the same.

When confronted with family responsibilities or childcare duties, wives tend to make more compromises and sacrifices to their professional schedules or career paths compared to their husbands.

Additionally, women working in private firms who got promoted to CEO were twice as likely to get divorced within three years following their career promotion.

Relationships Suffered if Husband’s Career Was the Priority

After a job promotion, the risk of divorce is two times higher for women who took up more traditional gender roles early on in a relationship, according to a Swedish study on job promotions and the durability of marriage.

Additionally, a married woman’s promotion could more likely destabilize the marriage and result in divorce in marriages that prioritize the husband’s career in the early stages of the relationship.

In contrast, couples who had equally valued and supported each other’s careers from the beginning of their relationship were not as affected by increased divorce rates when the wife received a job promotion.

Thus, the initial approach to balancing career aspirations seems to set the tone for how well the relationship could adapt to career changes later on.

Women Are More Stressful Holding a High-pressure Executive Job

According to the same Swedish study, there are three theories as to why there’s more risk of divorce when women assume the leading role in a relationship:

  1. A wife’s promotion could be more unexpected and disruptive in couples where the husband’s career has been prioritized.
  2. The wife’s career development causes more stress due to the need to renegotiate household tasks and responsibilities in these unequal relationships.
  3. Women may leave relationships that offer the least flexibility and support for their career development.

The study suggests that for women in traditional, heterosexual marriages, achieving both a loving marriage and a successful career simultaneously can be more challenging compared to their male counterparts.

To change this dynamic, societal norms and expectations in both the labor market and marriage institutions need to shift away from the mindset that men’s careers should be the priority in relationships.

How to Adjust to Your Partner’s Career Promotion

So, what can couples do to avoid this worrying trend? What can they do to prepare for the imminent consequences of new job responsibilities? Here are a few ways to consider.

Prepare together for the probable consequences of a promotion

It’s recommended that you should consider the impacts a promotion will have on your relationship. Anticipating something, rather than reacting to something can avoid the consequences of blaming and being defensive.

Since dealing with the real impacts will be trial and error, open conversations will enable both partners to check in on how they’re dealing with a promotion, reassuring them that they will navigate any challenges together.

To initiate this kind of conversation, it’s important to first “celebrate and savor the news” beforehand, and the partner receiving the promotion should take the lead on the relationship after the promotion.

Say “Thank You” Instead of “Sorry”

Regardless of which partner got the promotion, the other partner needs to be cautious about not burning out from the increased responsibilities at home, especially if they feel left behind, or the fear of their partner not needing them as their career progresses.

If a partner is already prone to feeling abandoned or neglected and then begins to overcompensate with support, it can make that person feel resentful, angry, and neglected. Thus, there should be a balance between accommodation and picking up the slack by giving more self-care.

Furthermore, instead of feeling guilty and constantly apologizing for being busy or preoccupied, the partner who received the promotion should consider reframing their emotions as gratitude.

Expressing gratitude shifts the focus away from the promoted partner and acknowledges the other partner’s support, making them feel more valued during discussions revolving around the new role.

Be Aware of Your Own Burnout

It’s crucial for the promoted partner to engage in self-reflection to ensure that they are not overworking themselves to deal with the new role’s responsibilities. Being burnt out can deplete emotional, physical, and cognitive resources, leading to negative behaviors in marital interactions.

Newly promoted partners must prioritize self-care, including adequate sleep, healthy eating, responsible substance use, socializing with friends, and taking breaks from work. Remember, it is essential to take a moment to prioritize your mental wellbeing.

Most importantly, spending quality time with your partner not only alleviates feelings of abandonment but also promotes relaxation and rejuvenation. Activities like going out to dinner together generally improve the relationship’s well-being, helping partners to feel refreshed going back to work.

Don’t Be Shy About Career Goals, Ladies!

Ladies, set your aspirations and your ambitions straight early on with your partner. Getting on the same page early on will only foster more understanding among yourselves in your relationship.

Thus, it’s best to try to have open conversations. If that becomes difficult, you can get help from marriage counseling to find the best solution for you and your partner.

Talk About Work And Family Goals Before Marriage

Relationships can be at their most fragile when initial expectations of gender roles become reversed. To avoid this, we recommend you set established agreements on career and household roles.

Have conversations with your partners about financial and household expectations, and the sharing of responsibilities in general. This allows for more room for discussion on how each partner will meet said expectations.

Share Housework and Family Duties From the Beginning

Research has shown that couples who split household chores are generally happier, and they’ll have less trouble if a woman gets promoted.

Generally, partners should have a list of their own chores from beginning to end. For example, if the husband is tasked with picking up kids from school, he would know exactly what time each day he needs to pick up the kids. He wouldn’t need to rely on his wife to appoint or tell him.

Let Us Help You

A career promotion always deserves a celebration after all the hard work. On the other hand, a promotion may present a set of unique challenges to family life.

To mitigate these challenges, open communication and careful navigation of the changes are crucial for couples. Anticipating potential issues, setting expectations, and ensuring both partners feel supported and valued, can help avoid some of the pitfalls that can destabilize a marriage.

This is where Pacific Prime and our team of experts step in. With over 20 years of experience providing individual health insurance and family insurance, we strive to provide you with tailor-made solutions to any personal and family situations with expert knowledge and impartial advice.

Contact us to find out more about our comprehensive plans, ranging from maternity care to outpatient and inpatient care for you and all your family members with our expert advisors today!

Content Writer at Pacific Prime Thailand
Veerabhatr is a content writer with over 6 years of experience with a particular penchant for storytelling and marketing, both in print and online. He now works with an experienced team of writers at Pacific Prime, aiming to shed light on the essence and benefits of insurance for companies and individuals by creating engaging, informative content across multiple platforms.

After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, International Relations from Mahidol University International College, Veerabhatr has forged his career as a content writer in the travel, lifestyle, and real estate industries, writing in both English and Thai. He now continues to hone his skills as a writer at Pacific Prime, looking to engage and educate the audience by simplifying insurance.

Writer by day, and a DJ by night, Veerabhatr is a staunch music lover, and listens to all spectrums of genres available. He also loves to drink beer (moderately), eat all types of food, go to the beach, and learn about different cultures across the globe. He is also a die-hard fan of football and motorsports.
Veerabhatr Sriyananda
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