Although we tend to think that relationship problems develop in the home, the workplace can be a major source of stress that ends up affecting your marriage. As a Houston therapist, I’ve met with plenty of couples who cite work as one of the major stressors in their lives. If you’re unhappy at work—a place where you may be spending 40 hours or more each week—then you’re likely to hold onto that stress and unhappiness when you go home for the day and may end up taking out your bad mood on the people you love the most.

How do you avoid letting a bad time at work carry over into your home life? Go to the root of the problem. Since not too many of us can afford to quit working altogether and retire to an island paradise, the best thing to do is to work to improve your work environment and your attitude when you get home. Here are a few tips.

Get to know your co-workers. If you work in a big office, it’s all too easy to avoid getting to know people and to become socially isolated. By making the effort to talk to your co-workers, you’ll feel more engaged in your workplace and break up the day-to-day monotony.

Break up the routine. Doing the same activities in the same order every day can get mind-numbing pretty quickly, so if your job allows, change up the order in which you normally do things. You might even find that this makes you more productive.

Separate work time and personal time. Everybody has bad days sometimes and may want to complain to their partner, but make sure that your frustrations with work don’t become the only thing you talk to your partner about. Make sure you’re checking in with them to see how their day was and setting aside time when both of you can talk without bringing up work.

Find healthy channels for work stress. Deadlines, difficult projects, or a demanding supervisor can wear you down, but don’t let that stress negatively affect your relationship. Find a healthy outlet for your stress before or after work hours, whether that’s exercising, listening to music, or walking your dog. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose, as long as it helps you unwind and let go of anything that’s been weighing you down at work.

Want more advice for coping with work or any other stressors in your relationship? Schedule an appointment for you and your partner to talk to the Houston relationship counselor. I’d be glad to help you come up with healthy ways for you and your partner to get through stressful times together.