Huge fight with my fiancee again over his work. Help?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Hugs! I understand how stressful horrible work schedules can be. My DH worked nights for the first four years of our relationship. I have to ask, what does he do? I wonder because is he working this many hours to get a promotion? For example, I know lawyers just starting out put in 80-100 hours because if they don’t they will get fired and they don’t have job security. All the advice I can give is maybe just talking calmly about it and ask him why he feels the need to work so much. Does he want to provide a certain lifestyle for you both, is he wanting to prove something to his peers/boss? He obviously is super stressed and knows how you feel,but maybe asking questions to get to the root of why he works so much could help. Its good that he has an end date in mind. Maybe you could talk about moving that date up by a year or so. 

Post # 3
Member
1107 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

xtals:  I think if he’s only going to do this for another two years, depending on your goals, it will be tough but I think you could make it through. I only say this because my stepfather was the same way. He worked sometimes 16 hour days and even on weekends for the company him and his brother ran. I never understood how my mom was okay with it but I think it is because they want to live a certain lifestyle where it requires a good deal of money to fund that. I think it was hard on her all those years but I think they both have the common goal to retire early (and he just did this past December and he’s under 50 years old.) I think it is what you are looking for in life and what you can both handle. Some decide to live at or under their means to spend more time together, others are major work horses and want to make a lot of money to retire younger. I think it is preference. If this is something you cannot live with, it may be time to have a good talk with him about it. Tell him that you prefer being with him more than maybe all the extras that come with the extra work (money, vacations, whatever it may be.)

Post # 6
Member
1107 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

xtals:  If he’s not getting anything more from that job…I’d ask him to really consider another position. It only makes sense to do that if you’re getting something from it! Otherwise, it’s like his boss is stealing his valueable family time away IMO.

Post # 7
Member
6021 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

This is part of the career culture but can have huge benefits in the long run. I’d suggest you talk with him about what benefits he expects to get from all this extra work– you said he wants to get published. What does that translate to, in terms of 10-20 year career path? If it sets him up for a more prestigious career, or one that pays very well, then it might just be a case of “deal with it for a few more years,” much like doctors in residency or junior lawyers trying to break through in big firms. If there’s no reasonable chance at a good reward down the road, perhaps that talk will show him that the benefits don’t justify all that extra work.

Post # 8
Member
2261 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I have to simpathize with you because it is hard to deal with hard work schedules, but at the same time, I’m having a really hard time with that “so upset this is how I have to live” comment. If this is the case, then why are you marrying this man? Be glad he is a hard worker and not the opposite!! I think you should let it be, it is 2 years…. it isn’t like he is fooling around on you or going off with his buddies day in and day out…. 

A little background here, so you can see that I’m not just saying this without knowing how it feels… I work graveyard, 7:15 p.m to 7:15 a.m. He works in our store 6 days a week and opens at 7 a.m. The days I work, not only do we not even get to share our bed, but we don’t see each other at all. And if I work on Sunday (his only day off) like I am going to today, that’s it, there is nothing we can do about it. So we hardly see each other. But it is temporary (another 6 months of graveyard….) so we are ok with it. 

 

Post # 9
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

If this is leading to a position where he makes more money, then he probably has to stick with it for a bit longer.  If not, WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING???  I mean, for real.  Admin assistants straight out of college make more than that for 9-5 M-F jobs.  My husband works 35 hours a week and makes 5 times that much.

What I’m saying is that he’s actually not doing himself any favors by working that many hours for that little money.  He’s showing his boss and everyone else that that’s all he thinks he’s worth.

Post # 10
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

xtals:  There are plenty of labs out there that he could work in that don’t have those expectations. Only PhDs students, post docs, and lab heads worked that much when I was in academics (at a very high level school). Is he a post doc? Or is he a lab tech/manager? It’s hard to tell from the salary info you gave, since those both make around the same. Work/life balance is a big reason why I went into industry after grad school. Just something to seriously talk about with him.

Post # 12
Member
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

xtals:  what exactly does he do? what industry?

edit: nevermind, see you already answered that. 

Post # 13
Member
1891 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Um, no… That is ridiculous for that amount of money. He needs to look for another job ASAP. If he was making 80k, MAYBE I would get it, but that is not enough money for all those hours. He is literally wasting his time. He needs to find something with a better work/life balance and quick…

Post # 14
Member
42453 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Did he work that amount of hours when you met him?  If yes, I would not be expecting him to change.

Post # 15
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

xtals:  I can totally sympathize with you, because I was doing my PhD previously, and the culture in the lab I was in was exactly the same. There was always pressure to be in the lab constantly. If you left after an 8 hour day, you felt supremely guilty and had to ‘make up for it’ always.

Is he a PhD student or a post doc?

If he is still in his PhD, I think you really need to speak with him about what is best for you both in the future– does he want to go into academia, or does he want to stop after the PhD?

Because if he chooses academia, then you guys are in for a tough 9 or 10 year future. You have to be honest and realistic. The life of a researcher is NOT an easy one, and you have to think whether you are up for it or not.

Good luck!

Post # 16
Member
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

How much longer does he plan tomstay in academia? I am doing my PhD at the moment and I can see first hand the pressure that the Post Docs are under. If they don’t publish, they don’t get grants and they have no salary. It’s sink or swim. 

Unfortunatly, even though a lot of work (reading and writing papers for example) can be done at home, if you aren’t in the lab/office then you are seen to not be working at all. 

He needs to have some sort of exit plan, do you think he will stick to the “only two more years” thing? You need to find ways to be with him during work, what sort of lab is it? If they don’t work with diseases then is it possible for you to come in and help on weekends? I’ve had my sister help when I have labour intensive but not complicated or dangerous work to do. As long as I am with her 100% of the time and tell her how to be safe then I am allowed to do that. Or could you just come and hang with him in his office? My partner does that with me. Could you bring by lunch on Saturday and Sunday and have it together?

I’m sorry that you are dealing with all of this, the lab culture is very intense and the guilt I feel ever minute that I am not there is awful. Even writing this now I have voices in my head screaming about everything else I should be doing. I know that you want to spend quality time with him but it is very hard to get the best of him when he is feeling such guilt. 

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