Most people, both men and women in our era of democracy and equal possibilities try to realize their potential and so make a career. While climbing the ladder under natural conditions of competition dual-earner couples tend to forget about their family and housekeeping. Today investigation of relations in dual-earner couples is of current importance because recent researches have shown that such couples have problems and conflicts and their relations are strained.
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On the one hand dual-earner couples help maintaining living standards, they earn more than when only one member of the family works. By the year 2006 wives earn 81 % of what men earn, in the United States of America wives’ salaries contribute 35 % of family income and it is a significant value. In one-third of dual-earner couples wives earn more than their husbands (Moorehead, 1998).
Dual-earner couples face different kinds of problems. At the work place women get more stress and overload than men do and, of course, it is reflected on the atmosphere in the family. Still women spend much more time doing housework and it is another source of stress, nevertheless some kind of progress has already been made. Today according to the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research men do double norm of housework in comparison with 1968, this averages seven hours per week. It is extra load for men, as for many centuries woman used to do all housework (Langan, 2004). Such state of affairs supposes making a compromise from both sides.
The possible solutions of this problem can be the usage of supportive practices, such as supportive supervisors, supportive supervisees or colleagues, job autonomy, flexible work schedules, working from home, non-traditional work hours and others. These are alternative solutions that could take place in the professional sphere and in family.
The only way to make the atmosphere in the family with dual-earner couples less strained is to find balance between work and family responsibilities. The first step is communication in the bosom of the family. It is necessary to make special appointments for dual-earner couples to talk in order to solve the questions dealing with children and housing. Every day small responsibilities should be taken. It is impossible to solve the problem in one day by equally shared responsibilities. The next step deals with limits for work. It is necessary to have a well-defined work schedule and follow it, then both, a wife and a husband will have time for their family and their time will be well allocated.
Dual-earner couples should be ready not to criticize each other, be tolerant and find alternative solutions. The ability to make compromises is of great value, it is one of the bases for such couples. The final step deals with different kinds of consultations. “Couples stymied by work/home disputes can view professional counselling as a business consultation, an objective third party who can help them analyze the situation, rather than as therapy” (Haddock, 2006).
To sum up, there are a lot of dual-earner couples in the modern society, because both, men and women are aiming at success and climbing to power. Such state of affairs can lead to conflict inside the family, so it is necessary to do everything possible to escape these possible problems.—————————————————————————–
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