More Work Makes Happier Marriages?

New evidence is emerging that in couples who both work, both husbands and wives are happier in their marriages.

This is somewhat counterintuitive because common wisdom says that the more both halves of a couple work, the less time they have to spend with each other.

But evidence is mounting, HRE Online reports, that actually the challenges at work give people a sense of purpose and thus more energy at home.

The new study, from researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. found that women felt more satisfied with their marriages when they were extra busy at work.

That could be because of the reason described above, or because when work is more demanding for women, their husbands pitch in at home more. Or it could be simply because women who work longer hours tend to make more money, and money is, after all, one of the biggest root causes of divorce.

“”If it’s something that you value, [that] your family values, there are these benefits to working that I think have been underemphasized since we continually focus on the negative stress on work/family,” said Ellen Ernst Kossek, director at the Center for Work Family and Health at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich, who was unaffiliated with the study. “There’s a lot of positive, but people in the U.S. has been very slow to see it.”