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To survive in a thriving and developing city, it is rather an optional luxury to desire to go on long vacations, road trips or to have dinner at a five star restaurant. In recent years, Bangladesh has shown exponential growth in its economy, development, exports and GDP. To cope up with such diverse incomes where some city dwellers eat out 3 times a day and some have to fish out old, rotten bread from the streets, it is rather a challenge to be surviving somehow. This and also the increase in percentage of graduates and literate people overall has given a boom to the employment sector, therefore, more people are encouraged to earn and create a future of their own.

Unlike the nineties, the society is now blessed with greater number of working couples. While in the nineties as portrayed in monochrome movies, the wife would stay up late waiting for her beloved husband to return home from work, in the latest years however, the scenario has taken quite a brighter turn. Couples leave and return home together from their respective jobs. Couples now know the benefits of saving, financial progress and even more if they step into the stage of life where they mentally start family planning. This has nonetheless improved the notion of equality in the eyes of many with more organized and managed household chores. More women are empowered to be working and struggling to create something under their own will. In return this indefinitely solves multiple financial issues and serves a form of balance may it be in terms of paying rent, bank dues, tax or others. Many couples or even bachelors suffer from innate financial insecurity in this era. It is rather outrageous to be even living a mediocre classed life off of singular income.

However, there are always two sides of the same coin and it is no different for a couple bringing in their respective wages home either. According to a survey conducted in Dhaka, the capital with the highest number of dual career couples, the conducted 155 members faced similar challenges while being unable to juggle work and home simultaneously. 41.4% respondents fell within the age range of 31-40, 41-50 years at 16.9% and the rest 2.8% where above 50 years. The issues involved family conflicts, childcare, marital conflicts, dependency issues, housekeeping, personal well being and social maintenance. When further prompted about the nature of the problems they faced, the statements where as such – “None of us have sufficient time to cook”, “He never wants to do the laundry”, “Her working hours aren’t flexible”, “Our child is left alone too much” or “We never get to talk or see each other anymore”. Such issues can’t be smoothly eliminated with a quick whip up of a maid, nanny or washing machine. The highest intruding factors which were deciphered by the couples were either of the two or both- “Putting off things at work due to family demands” or “Interference of family related strains in job”. Which states that the weight might be uneven in both the places, difficulties in the family could arise due to time demand of job and vice versa.

The mental pressure and physical sense of immobility doesn’t only encircle to students studying for their mid exams, it is actually quite similar to those working in a hectic environment. Each work space demands something unique from the individual, some may have to overuse their knowledge, skills and abilities, some may have to gaze back at their computer screen for hours at a stretch, some are spontaneously visiting work sites, whereas some are potential and excellent leaders or managers directing a large group of people. This brings in immeasurable stress in the lives of many but what it also invites in is stress at home. No matter how sophisticated a person is brought up to be, in times of eternal crisis at work, it will not only overshadow their mood and duties but will also dilate the stress even when they’re home in their private space. Stress doesn’t care about time and space, it’s glad to be there popping a vein or two.

This creates an informal balance between the couple giving rise to unnecessary tension between the two. It is only fair that this will be reflected in how they treat each other and if they achieve to overcome such obstacles. Often in the calmness of a couple’s life, roles intervene, erupting hostile behavior and fights about standard chores in the house like cleaning the dirty dishes. The biggest questions in their lives at that instant aren’t ‘how much bank balance do we have left’ or ‘if we can repay our debt’ – it’s ‘who will do the dishes tonight?’ These genuine yet, petty fights arise due to lack of role expectations and most of the time when either of the partners are too fatigued to be putting one foot before the other to even walk – tiresome house responsibilities like the dishes barge in.

There are various ways one can comprehend when their relation is descending and in order to not endure a lifetime of pain and loneliness, certain interactions and gestures are enough to save a relationship and a job altogether. All couples must essentially listen to their significant other and receive complains, rants, talk or gossip with witty or warm remarks where appropriate. Whilst managing a tight schedule, they must still divide time to attend family, work or other social events together which blossoms a chance to spend time together while also maintaining their social image. While at work, if one can take out a few minutes to eat or recline, it’s actually undemanding and deemed thoughtful to check up on their partners here and there, especially in a society where our mobile phones are always at the palm of our hands. As tempting as it may be, it is knowledgeable to never bring work at home and even discussions regarding work activities. This prompts a healthier space for both to cherish.

Similarly, it is never accurate to bring personal issues to work either. This serves as a free pass to the overly attached colleagues to invade one’s personal aura and give rise to social complications. It should be the epitome of every working couple’s relationship to spend decent ‘we’ time and plan on vacations may that be over the weekend or for a month. Taking time out for such indelible escape gives the mind of every individual a refinement which in return pours into the growth of a couple. During rickety times at work, the other partner has to be patient, supportive and respectful. It would be normal for the other with the work clog to put their foot down in a lot of matters, however, both of them has to proceed onto understanding that no work is small or big and all work prioritizes on the same level, hence letting the victim have an outlet for their spite and adversity. In times of intense crisis and failing to overcome it might give openings to the notion of divorce or separation. Is it worth shattering a relationship into pieces over a job, temporary aggression or affliction?

Couples need to take a step back and think if their relationship is worth jeopardizing for anything at all. Sure, their hard earned money will give them a Rolex watch or two, enabling them to visit Disneyland at least once or buy the car they’d been lusting over since their teens but they must also have the evaluation processing capability that rings a bell to denote that jobs can come and go. But will their loved ones?

 

Ebana Haque

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I wonder where else can someone find peace if not within the vulnerabilities of reading. However, in all honesty I like people who don’t read like I like my tea. I don't like tea.

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