Having a bad day at work can be a good thing for your marriage. At least that’s what Florida State University professor Dr. Wayne Hochwarter found when he studied the effects of workplace stress on couples.

Dr. Hochwarter says that people in high-stress occupations who have supportive spouses are twice as likely to be happy in their marriage. They also tend to have closer relationships with their kids and to participate in more family activities.

Plus, feeling like your partner has your back helps you get through your workday. In fact, people with a supportive spouse get more done on the clock - and have higher levels of job satisfaction.

So, what’s the best way to help your partner handle their tough job?

It all starts with empathy. When they talk about their day, just listen. And whatever you do, don’t try to trump them with a story about your boss. In Dr. Hochwarter’s studies, couples who “one­­-upped” each other were the least happy.

You also want to thank your spouse for what they do at work and at home. A study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that couples who express gratitude toward their partners on a regular basis are happier with their relationship. 

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