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Keeping a Work Life Balance: How to Avoid a Bitter Divorce

f you feel that you are at your breaking point, and all you want to do is keep a work life balance to avoid a bitter divorce, you aren't alone. Most two paycheck earning families find that one person seems to do a large portion of the child and homecare duties, in addition to their paycheck earning job. As mom and dad continue to work at this frenetic pace, resentment forms and communication channels shut down. Before you find you and your spouse bickering in family court, there are steps you can take to avoid a bitter divorce and get your lives back on track.

Go on a Date

Although you are running in two separate directions every day, your marriage should be a priority. If your children's sports and club schedules have you running them somewhere every night, cancel one night for them and dedicate it to you. Schedule time for the two of you, away from home and the kids to lay your cards on the table.

If you don't have a regular babysitter, ask a close friend or family member to watch the children. They probably have a clue to what's going on at home and will be more than happy to help you out. Select a low key, casual but quiet place to have dinner together. Simply being in a quiet environment, away from home, the office and the kids will help you to begin to clear your head.

Use Effective Communication Techniques

It's over when you start pointing fingers at each other and making accusations. Realize that no one "makes you feel" a certain way and that you feel a certain way because you choose to react in that manner to the other person's actions. When you broach the subject of balancing work and family, always begin with positive comments.  Point out what you like about how the other person handles home life, even it it's a simple smile or how they hug the kids after work.

When you are ready to discuss what is bothering you, present the information that you are overwhelmed with certain responsibilities. Tell the other person that you feel that you can no longer handle these duties and would love to figure out how to make everyone work together in a harmonious fashion. Put the ball in the other person's court so they can help you come up with solutions. If it means reducing or eliminating after school activities, do that. Sometimes not having to run kids from activity to activity can relieve a considerable amount of stress.

Involve the Children

If your children are elementary school aged and older, they can pitch in and help with household duties. Children as young as 5 years old can participate, relieving daily housekeeping stress from you and giving them a sense of independence. Create a list of household chores that need to be done daily and weekly. Review the list with your spouse and determine which items the children can complete, which ones can fall on your spouse and which ones you'll take. Assign age-appropriate jobs to each child and give them rewards for successfully completing chores.  Rewards could be stickers, privileges and even money.

You can avoid war with your spouse and find common ground to level the playing field and get your marriage back on track.


Gina Ragusa is a freelance writer and mom from sunny (and sometimes not) South Florida. Her 15 year experience ranges from writing about banking to tattoo parlors. Read more about her adventures at

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