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The Ultimate Work-Life Balance: How Lawyers Can Stay Married

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on April 16, 2015 6:58 AM

Lawyers are often married to their jobs. Some are also married to other people. There's no reason either marriage should be unhappy, though they are often at odds. Divorce rates among skilled professionals such as lawyers are high, though thankfully lawyers are nowhere near to top of the list, according to Bloomberg -- sorry paper-hangers and nurses.

So how are you supposed to keep winning in the courtroom while also winning in love? We've got a few ideas.

Keep It, and Each Other, Together

After a day of contentious work, many lawyers prefer solitude in their few spare hours of free time. This, of course, can be challenging for partners who, ostensibly, are in a relationship because they like being with each other. While everyone needs time to unwind now and then -- alone, in the dark, curled up like a baby and silently crying -- it's also important to make time for each other. Make sure you're both informed about each other's calendars. Set aside time to spend together, both in daily chunks and with more significant date nights or day trips together, and try to stick to these commitments.

Oh, and have sex. According to Judith Bryant's Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Married, lack of sex goes hand in hand with marital problems. Physical and emotional intimacy play off each other in a very chicken or the egg fashion, but both need to be nurtured and worked at.

Deal (Appropriately) With Stress

Many relationship problems develop from stress, whether it's stress over a challenging case, money, or office politics. Stress can leave lawyers anxious, cranky, and generally not the most fun to be around. It can also be inescapable. And that's, maybe, where the solution is. According to Laura Freeman, a psychologist interview by Lawyerist, accepting stress is the first step to reducing it. The less individuals fight stress, the less stressed they become.

Avoid Fighting Like a Lawyer

The stereotype of the stubborn, argumentative lawyer isn't universally true -- thankfully. But when lawyers do fight, they like to win. Winning a fight in a relationship isn't always the best for the partnership. A lawyer's propensity to butt heads can be even worse when both partners are esquires. So before you butt heads, think about whether the satisfaction of being "right" is worth the resentment it can cause -- or whether your relationship's health is worth some healthy compromises.

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