Working Mother

Some marriages might come out stronger.


Arlie Hochschild

Sociologis­t and author

Emotional labor is important to all marriages. There’s an anxiety management with regard to the children: “What are they doing now; are they OK?” A lot of women will feel like saying to a partner: “It’s your turn to be tuned in and my turn to be tuned out and focused on work. Can I be secure and relaxed that you’re doing a good job and our kids are happy and feel our presence?”

As we look to future marriages, the most important thing is negotiatin­g the new emotional strains and appreciati­ng the emotional labor of holding it all together. Couples will need to sit down and ask each other, “How are we going to make this work?” and thank each other. When you have a rich economy of gratitude, it’s possible for some marriages to come out stronger if forced to reconcile and renegotiat­e these things.

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