Chances are, you're not leaving your feelings about your job at work.
During my training to become a psychologist, I did what every student hopefully does when they want to become a therapist: I got therapy of my own.
One of the sayings my therapist used to routinely say was this gem: “Everything is related.” In other words, in one breath I could be talking about a problem in my personal life, and in the next breath I could be describing a reaction to something totally different. My therapist would show me how things in one compartment of my life were inevitably related to things in another compartment of life.
The same logic applies to having a job that makes you unhappy. Does having a bad job impact your romantic relationship? Yes, because everything is related.
Some of the ways a bad job affects your relationship may be obvious, but some are a little more hidden. Take a look at the different factors below and make sure you are aware of the ways a bad job can impact your romantic relationship, even if that relationship is terrific now.
The point is that the unhappiness and stress of your work life can seep into your relationship when you get home.
1. You take your frustration out on your partner and the arguments start.
Ideally, an individual works in a job that utilizes his or her best skills and strengths, and that person feels supported and praised in conducting their job duties. Before we go further, I can hear many of your reactions in cyberspace as you read this. “Yeah, right!” you may say, understanding that millions of men and women are stuck in jobs that are frustrating or even extremely toxic.
If you have a job that you’re not happy in, you’re going to feel a lot of frustration and anger. Is it safe for you to express that anger at work? Probably not. It’s for this reason that so many men and women with a bad job take it home, and that frustration and anger causes you to pick fights in your relationship or to get defensive or hostile in response to the silliest provocation from your partner.
2. You feel a little (or a lot) depressed and aren’t in the mood to have fun or emotionally connect with your partner.
No matter who you are, you are bound to get at least a little depressed from time to time, and nothing can make you feel down and defeated like a bad job.
If your job is sucking the joy and motivation out of you, that job will end up sucking some of the joy out of your romantic relationship. You may not want physical affection or you may not feel like being playful or joking around much of the time because you’re — very understandably — preoccupied with how unhappy you are at work.
3. You self-medicate in not-so-good ways.
When you’re unhappy in your job, you can rest assured that you will overcompensate for their unhappiness in your off time. This is when men and women resort to unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. These individuals may overeat or drink too much alcohol to escape the negative feelings.
Of course, what happens after the overindulgence? You end up feeling worse about yourself and you lose interest in your relationship.
4. You stop doing the healthy things that make you feel disciplined and proud of yourself.
If you have a bad job, one of the first things that suffers a grisly death is exercise. Who wants to go to the gym or work out when you feel trapped and negative?
But it’s not just exercise that you stop doing or do less often. Perhaps for you, you don’t call your parents for the weekly check-in; you don’t take care of your appearance like usually do; or you find a way to say “Forget it!” to errands or other chores that you would normally do without a second thought.
When you don’t take care of your life and your personal business like you’re supposed to, you can’t take good care of your romantic partner, either. Remember, romantic partners notice everything, so don’t fool yourself into believing that no one sees what’s really going on with you.
The only mantra you need to remember when it comes to a bad job is this one: A bad job equals trouble in other parts of your life, especially your romantic relationship.
Don’t let a bad job drain your happiness and energy. If you’re truly unhappy, stay focused on finding a new job. Trust me: Your next boss and your current romantic partner will thank you later.
This article was originally published at eHarmony. Reprinted with permission from the author.