Protecting Your Marriage As A Human Services Professional

Those who work in human services face the challenges of humanity as they confront issues like child abuse, addiction, crime, foster care, poverty, and hunger. While their services are to be applauded, this difficult line of work can also bring challenges to relationships. If you work in a social services capacity, here are some protective measures you can take to make sure your marriage stay strong, no matter the challenges you face at work. 

1. Take time to confront small issues.

Many social workers work long hours, and when those hours have included crisis intervention, domestic violence, addiction or other stressful situations, it can lead to diminished perspective when it comes to smaller challenges that don't seem all that important to you after what you've been working on. However, your spouse's problems are very real to them, and it's important that you take these small issues seriously and deal with them promptly. You don't want to alienate your partner by downplaying the hardships of a simple bad day. A small problem is still worthy of your empathy.

2. Be honest about the challenges you face when on the job.

In the area of human services, confidentiality is king. You often cannot talk about cases, persons, or problems outside of work. It can sometimes be difficult for your spouse to understand what is causing you stress if you're burdened by the hardships of some of your cases. While you should never violate confidentiality, learn to communicate with your spouse about how you feel and react to the cases you're assigned. For example, if you're working on helping a child who was abused in their current home, you could talk to your spouse about how difficult it is for you to see the pain of abused children. You give no facts about the case at hand, but expressing your feelings and relying on their emotional support can help them feel needed included in your life.

3. Consider financial counseling.

Many human services jobs are not lucrative, and you might find that you make just enough to get by. To prevent fights over finances, visit a marriage counselor and financial advisor to learn how to properly communicate about the financial barriers you face. You can live quite well with a good budget and financial goals for your future. Open communication over money can stop problems before they start. 

For more information about protecting your marriage when you work with human problems every day, contact a counselor, such as one from Living Hope Clinic.