The Secret to Living with a Workaholic Spouse

Are you tired of feeling like your spouse puts their career ahead of you? You eat dinner alone while they work late at the office. You miss out on parties and weekend outings because they get called away for business meetings and trips. 

Being married to a workaholic can be lonely unless you find a way to achieve more balance. Discover the secret to building a happy and healthy relationship with a spouse who works too much. 

Steps to Take with Your Spouse: 

1. Pull together. While you may be feeling frustrated and hurt, keep in mind that you’ll make more progress if you and your spouse work together. Focus on finding solutions that will satisfy both your needs. 

2. Stay positive. Nagging rarely produces the results you want. Your spouse will be more receptive if you listen to what they have to say and validate their perspective. Let them know the things you love about them while you’re dealing with their work habits. 

3. Clarify expectations. Try to understand the reasons behind your spouse’s behavior. They may be using work to avoid other issues, or they may be passionate about their career. This may be a longstanding situation that needs to be addressed or it may be a brief phase that will sort itself out. 

4. Set boundaries. Whatever motives your spouse has for being consumed with work, you deserve to be valued and respected. That includes communicating respectfully and acknowledging your contributions to your partnership. 

5. Block out time. Maybe a little more time together on a regular basis is all that your relationship needs. If your partner feels uncomfortable lounging around, find activities you can do together. Sign up for salsa lessons or develop a hobby like rock climbing. Take turns planning date nights and weekend trips. 

6. Limit technology. One way to free up more leisure hours is to turn off your devices at designated times you can agree on in advance. Spend family dinners talking with each other instead of texting. Set aside a quiet hour each evening for reading and meditation. 

7. Be patient. Staying busy may be a major part of your spouse’s personality. While you’re both working on channeling that energy more constructively, set short term goals and celebrate each victory. 

8. Seek counseling. If you need more help, consider talking with a therapist who specializes in relationships and career issues. Ask your doctor or friends for referrals or contact your local or state psychological association. 

Steps to Take by Yourself: 

1. Set goals. You and your marriage will benefit if you remember to pursue your own dreams while you enjoy being a couple. Give yourself challenges like learning a new language or painting the exterior of your house. 

2. Have fun. Self-care includes putting playtime on your to do list. Find daily opportunities to relax and laugh on your own and with your spouse. Call a friend who cracks you up or watch funny videos. 

3. Avoid enabling. Identify any habits you have that could be reinforcing your spouse’s tendency to work too hard. Serve meals on time instead of waiting for them to come home. Cut down on shopping if you’re running up bills that your spouse feels pressured to pay. 

4. Examine your career. It’s smart and reasonable for you to engage in meaningful work and know how to take care of yourself financially. On the other hand, you may decide that it’s worth adjusting your own activities if it creates more happiness for you and your family. 

Build a fulfilling life for yourself while you and your partner collaborate on dealing with the pressures that work can place on a relationship. Taking responsibility for your own choices and supporting each other will help you to clarify your priorities and deepen your connection. 

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