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Are you the reason your spouse is successful?
Odds are that your marriage directly affects your job performance. So says a recent study that demonstrates that success in one field generally implies success in the other. - photo by Davison Cheney
A merry heart goes all the day, your sad tires in a mile-a, said William Shakespeare.

He could have been talking about how a positive marital relationship and family life is of significant influence throughout the day for the one bringing home the bacon -- interesting from a man who wrote both "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Macbeth."

Odds are that your marriage directly affects your job performance. So says a recent study that demonstrates that success in one field generally implies success in the other.

Washington University psychological scientists Brittany C. Solomon and Joshua J. Jackson have gathered data to support the idea that our spouse's personality may influence our behavior and attitude in our employment. Their position: success at home, successful at work.

Their study makes a direct correlation between happiness at home and successful friendships, to health and work performance.

From their report: The happiness/success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect engenders success.

This is nothing new to the workforce in Denmark, a country known as the happiest on the planet. Their studies support the notion that workers are better at their jobs when they have a good life outside the office. Their word arbejdsglde literally means "happiness at work."

There isnt such a word in English, not even from Shakespeare.

How does a spouse affect their partner's job performance?

Your husband, wife or sweetheart probably doesnt come to work with you every day, Solomon said to Fortune Magazine. But his or her influence clearly does.

Solomon and Jackson -- Ph.D and assistant professor of psychology -- studied a statistical report published by The Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) that interviewed 4,544 married people over a five-year period.

That Melbourne Institute report kept track of at-work performances with a yearly job satisfaction survey that measured success in the workplace, which included participants' perceptions of the likelihood of being promoted and possible salary upgrades. Participants who received highest marks had spouses who were careful, thorough and had a desire to do a task well.

Jackson and Solomons findings?

The person that you marry and spend a lot of time with can influence you in a different domain, Jackson told Reuters Health. Who they are within your relationship can influence who you are at your work -- even though they're not there.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania makes this list of the benefits of being influenced by pro-activity and positive relationships:

  • 3 times more creativity
  • 31% higher productivity
  • 23% fewer fatigue symptoms
  • 37% greater sales
  • 40% more likely to get a promotion
  • 10 times more engaged
Jackson and Solomon hypothesized several reasons that a married person with a supportive partner did well at their chosen profession. First and foremost was that the partners positive outlook on life, love and everything in-between was just so infectious the subject couldn't help but take that frame of mind to work.

Another reason given was that light minds made for a light workload - emotionally speaking. Being paired with a spouse who was attentive and dedicated translated into having fewer worries and less emotional baggage to carry around.

Such a worker would have more time and energy to focus on the tasks at hand in the office or on the job.