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« Lack of Work-life Balance Can Be Fatal | Main | Tools to Help You Be Happy and Successful as a Lawyer »

Dr. Paul Lanthois Advises Busy Professionals to Achieve "Work-Wife" (or "Work-Husband") Balance

In a recent article in the American Chronicle, Dr. Paul Lanthois, a successful chiropractor and kinesiologist and Director of the Work Life Balance foundation, offers solutions for dealing with the stresses that arise in a marriage when a spouse in a demanding occupation (e.g. law) spends too much time and energy at work and not enough time and energy at home. In a play on words, Dr. Lanthois describes this phenomenon as a lack of "work-wife balance" (obviously when it's the husband who is spending too much time at work and the wife is at home full time taking care of kids and running the household).  Dr. Lanthois opines that the way in which a couple deals with the imbalance between "work" and "wife" will determine whether their relationship survives or ends in divorce.

As a starting point, based on his observations of successful and unsuccessful relationships involving couples in demanding occupations, Lanthois suggests "bringing some gratitude and praise back into the relationship."  He has some specific recommendations for both the partner who works outside the home and the stay-at-home (SAH) partner.

Lanthois advises the partner working outside the home to appreciate the SAH partner's work and to communicate that gratitude clearly and regularly.  Some things to be grateful for include a safe environment for the children, a clean home, a cooked meal, and having your family home when you get there.  It's easy to take such simple pleasures for granted, but sincerely thanking your spouse for making them possible can help deepen your relationship.

In turn, the SAH partner must discover and express his or her gratitude for the partner who leaves home each day to generate income for the family.  SAH spouses can thank their partners for working hard and long to support the family.  Additionally, by making the home an enjoyable place, the SAH spouse can encourage his or her partner to spend more time there.  Part of making the home an enjoyable place is greeting your partner with enthusiasm when he or she returns from the workplace.  People want to spend time where their loved ones are happy to see them.

Finally, both spouses must ensure that each of them gets some time to themselves to do whatever they want to do.  Such time can be spent on exercise, playing sports, or pursuing hobbies or other interests, and it can be a great benefit to people who have busy careers.

Dr. Lanthois concludes his article nicely with these observations:

"By both partners showing appreciation and gratitude at home and at work you can enjoy both [your work and the rest of your life].  Enjoying work, and your life and family away from work, is what they really mean when they talk about having a work life balance."

By Steve Imparl, guest blogger

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