Post # 1
Something that I was reading on the board (by another bee) a few minutes ago that really spoke to me: “I’ve always felt/known that his priorities rank Career #1, Myself #2, His Family #3. I understand the importance of having a goal and following a dream, wanting to build a career. By no means am I asking him to give that up. But to know that he may never even re-prioritize his life to put me first, or our family first, our our lifestlye first, is a very scary realization.”
It’s 3am and a month away from the wedding and I keep thinking, I’m going to come in second for the rest of my life. He hasn’t taken a day off in six months — it’s normal to seldom take days off given the nature of his work. I feel constantly alone and when I ask him about it, he says “you know what my job is like.” I do, but this is excessive.
I go home after work. Sometimes I meet up with my friends. I go home, I walk the dog. I make myself dinner. I go to sleep. I wake up again, and I go to work. It starts over again. I’m only happy when we spend time together. But I’m just alone right now. Even though I can’t imagine marrying anyone else, I just can’t live like this.
Now I get to see my friend getting married around the same time I do, and I just feel like salt is being rubbed on the wound. They take weekend trips and spend time together on a daily basis. From the outside, it seems like things are great for me (and less for her): a financially stress-less wedding, supportive family and friends. However, I’m stuck eating out alone and I spend my time attempting to entertain myself with work projects and planning the seemingly fabulous wedding.
I keep thinking, do I need to call things off? What if things don’t change after the wedding? Why happens if we have children? Am I going to be alone as always?
Post # 3
YOu both need to communicate, my husband works grave yard and I teach so we seldomly see one another. I was like your future husband putting work first above my future husband and family. I was working for this school site for 1 year , over a two month vacation break I returned said hi to the principal by his last name all he did was “hey good morning,” he could have said “hey good morning bea” than it hit me I placed my career over my family for what . That was 4 years ago, I always place my family first.
Ah, I feel for you… after reading your message I sat and thought could it be that he believes everything is all right, when he asks “is everything okay” you might respond “ya everything is fine.” I feel that their is lack of communication with you both being that you both leave hetic lives.
Post # 4
You need to talk to him about this, and make him understand that you need time together. It sound like he’s very committed to his career, which is great. And for a lot of men, they see that commitment to their job as being something they do for their family. (i.e. you.) Sometimes they don’t realize that just the being together is important.
If he’s in a field where his job requires a lot of hours, maybe you can come up with some solutions for making that time. Does he go to the gym? Work out together. Instead of sitting around the house alone eating take out and pining, make plans to bring dinner to his office and eat together. If he can’t take a whole weekend to go away, plan do something together on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Make sure the plans are reasonable and that he’s comfortable with them, and that he understands that these plans are commitments that must be honored too.
Everyone has challenges in a relationship; it sounds to me, without knowing the specifics of his field, like your future husband is sacrificing now so that in the future you can have the things your friend is having now–trips and leisure time–without financial worries. It sounds like what you guys need to do is work out a way to meet your emotional needs while making that sacrifice.
“I’m only happy when we spend time together.” That worries me. If you can’t be happy by yourself, nobody else can make you happy. And putting the burden of our own happiness on someone else is unfair to everyone.
Post # 5
My Darling Husband is like that so maybe I might have a different perspective. He is working really hard now, moving up in his field, so that as time goes on you will have financial security. The further up he goes, the more time he will be able to take away. You will have a nest egg put away for when you do have kids. My Darling Husband always has looked forward to retiring also. Now that our kids are older he is back to working as much as he can so that we can comfortably retire at 48. We will be young enough to still enjoy it and not worry about money.
Sit down and talk to him and ask him if what I have suggested is his thinking, I think that you will find that he is planning for your future so that in that future you can spend it together with your newly made family.
Post # 6
What Elvis said! 🙂 Sorry you’re hurting and alone. He needs to understand the gravity of your dismay here and now, and that you fear you will always be second. Priorities need to fluctuate with the tides of life, and here you are needing to jump up and down and say HEY, make me #1 for a change! When he says the “you know what my job is like” line, he may be focusing on his need to support you both as a couple, but he is simultaneously dismissing your need to spend time with him. Your time together is seriously lacking. It doesn’t sound like you’re asking for a lot here. You both need to work out ways, big and small, to spend that time together. Speak his language. If he is so work-minded, call a “business” meeting with him and schedule a quick getaway months in advance.
Post # 7
My Fiance works about 10-12 hr days during the week. We really only see each other on the weekends.
I had to get used to this, and it was hard. My only advice is that I have a ton of hobbies. I am on a local adult sports team which practices 3-4 days a week, I scrapbook, and we have a dog…so I spend a lot of time with him. Plus I have shows that I watch. I cook for us both, and leave a portion for him in the fridge for when he gets home. We save special things for the weekend, such as going to dinner, watching movies, trying new things. It was a struggle at first, because he is so used to lying around on the weekends after a long week…and a few months ago he was starting to do that again and we were not doing things together. I finally sat him down and talked to him, and we agreed to do at least one thing together on weekends that gets us out of the house.
Don’t look at other people and compare your relationship to theirs. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. For a while, I was comparing us to another couple I know that spends a ton of time together and always seems happy. I realized that we had things that they do not and they have things that we do not. Not everyone has the perfect relationship. You will start to harbor a lot of resentment if you start comparing to others.
Like I said,my best advice is to get a hobby that you like that you can do during the week. And I mean…aside from wedding planning. Do something totally for you. Also, get all the chores around the house done during the week so that on the weekend, you can spend time together without all that extra crap getting in the way. And yes…you and him need to talk about how you are feeling and tell him that every few months, you would like him to schedule a monday or friday off and spend the long weekend together. Go somewhere, or just have a ‘staycation’ and hang out together at home. Let him know that you appreciate the work he does and how hard it must be to work those long hours, but you miss him and need little breaks here and there that is just for you two. Hang in there, it’s tough, but it is worth it.
Post # 8
@carrotkarat: The only way you will have any sort of answers is by speaking with him or seeking couples counseling regarding this if he seems defensive. Please don’t jump the gun and call the wedding off. I understand the frustration and worries about the future. But take action now and start talking or writing a letter/e-mail.
I’m sorry you feel alone though. It’s a terrible feeling. Stay strong and know we’re always here for you.
Post # 9
It is difficult. Although Fiance and I are living in separate cities right now, I know what his work schedule is like, and I wonder what that will be like when we are married. He works in a lab, so he doesn’t really have the typical 9-to-5 job. When I go out and visit him, he normally has to go into work on the weekends, even if it is just for 30 minutes to an hour. I’m a teacher, so during the school year, I’m definitely kept busy.
I like what a previous poster said. I think you do have to find those things that you enjoy, and fill in the gaps, but also make sure that you and your SO are still making time for each other. My FI’s father is the nicest guy in the world, but he can also be a workaholic. I know that has gotten to his mother at times.
Definitely communicate with your Fiance. I also know that times are a little tougher now, the economy sucks, and sometimes, they have to be putting in crazy hours just to keep their jobs. My uncle has been doing this for awhile, he’s been putting in 10-12 hour days, 5 days a week, plus sometimes going in a little on the weekends.
Good luck with everything!
Post # 10
My Fiance also holds work at a high priority. I have come to understand for him, the greatest gift he can give our son and I is financial security. So he isn’t working so much because we aren’t his #1 priority but because we ARE. I have learned to work with it. Small things like going grocery shopping together, helping him with yard work, these have become ways to spend time together. I plan date nights for us a few times a month that I let him know about a week in advance. One of the things that first attracted me to him is how financially responsible he is and it is still something I appreciate!
Post # 11
PPs have given you a lot to think about. What I will add is there is a difference between working hard and being #2 in priority
My Darling Husband also works hard. He is gone at 530 and comes home between 6-730 on any given night. But when he is home I am his sole focus. There is no question in my mind that I am his priority.
We do things on weekends, he sends me emails throught the day despite how busy he is. It might only be two words, but I know he thinks of me.
You need to talk to him and think about is he just a hard worker or are you really priority #2? And where will you be in the future?
Think about what exactly is it that you would like him to do. Do you really want him to work less? Or do you just want him to reach out to yo more often to show how important you are. Would a text from him a few days a week make a difference? And a date night once a month on a Wed where he gets home at 630 and you go out to dinner? Or even just for a desert and glass of wine.
What do you do when he isnt working? Do you share similiar hobbies and interests? Or do you spend a lot of time “co-existing” in the same space without a lot of meaningful interaction. (IE one watches TV and the other is cooking or on the computer)
Post # 12
My fiance travels for work so he is gone M-F about 45 weeks of the year, so I can probably only sort of relate. I’m sure it’s different to have him in the same city and the same house all week, but not being able to see him because of his career. It’s not easy, not at all. It takes hard work to stay connected. But like a PP said, we’re both at the point where we’re working our asses off to build for our future. Ours doesn’t involve kids, but it certainly involves a lifestyle that we both would like to be able to support.
Everyone’s different, and because of that I’d like to caution you from taking what another poster said about her relationship to heart. Don’t let someone else’s situation convince you that yours is the same, as its simply not the case. You need to have a very honest, calm and rational conversation with your fiance about the current state of your situation, and where you both see your future going. Maybe an outcome is at least making time for dinner with each other once a week, taking an entire day off to spend together (with no work talk!) once a month, etc.
Its probably only natural to start really thinking about this sort of stuff as the wedding gets closer. I hope you can work this out, good luck!
Post # 13
I’ve kind of been on both sides of this issue. When Fiance and I were first dating, I had a very demanding job that required 11-12 hour days, occasional travel, and near-constant availability via email/smartphone. At the time, his job was completley the opposite – 37.5 hours a week full time, no extra commitments, etc. It was difficult to balance. Later, we were both in different positions, and suddenly he had the more demanding job. So I know what you are going through – and it can be difficult on both sides of the equation. Like a lot of PP have said, you need to sit down and have a serious conversation – is the excessive work something that is going to change in the future, after he has established himself, and moved up? Or are the crazy hours just the established standard in his industry? And, if thats the case, does he see himself in this particular field for the rest of his life? Also – are his work habits consistent with what others in his position are doing? If he is working a lot harder/longer than others around him, it might mean something else is going on, and that he is avoiding something at home. Only you (and he) know the answers to these questions, but I don’t think its fair to assume that you will always be #2 to his career without more information.
Post # 14
@soyjoy, I totally agree. you shouldn’t cpmpare yurself to other couples. You dont know what happend behind closed doors, every couple has their issues.
Has he always worked long hours? If so and it hasn’t bothered you before, maybe it’s the wedding stress that is getting to you. Afterall your wedding is 1 month away and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. My Fiance works a lot more than me too, so I am planning solo, and somtimes when things are stressful, I get annoyed that he is not by my side deciding on wedding details. But I realize that a relationship is give and take. And that in the longrun, he is working hard for us, for our future family so that we can be financially stable.
You should definetely find enjoyment doing things for yourself. Hang out with your girlfriends, take a class etc….
If you think your Fiance is a workaholic, have a talk with him about your future and how you feel. Express your concenrs about when you have children.
It’s valid to be worried that your Fiance won’t have time for your future kids if he continues to work like that, but maybe instead of thinking about calling off your wedding, you should just wait to start a family until you have more balance (timewise) in your relationship?
Post # 15
In our house, it’s the opposite. My job is more demanding of my time than FI’s is. He gets the option of working from home and I don’t. Weekends are our special time together. Granted we fill those up easily too, but we always try to take Friday night for ourselves as “date night.”
Is it sad that we have to plan our time together when we live together? Absolutely! But it kind of is what it is at this point. It may not always be that way, but for now it is. I know that I don’t want to marry anyone else, and we just try to focus on making the most of the time that we do have together.
My father travels about 80% of the winter and a good portion of the summer. My parents have a great marriage. They are very good at making the most of the short time that they have together.
I think you definitely need to have a discussion with your Fiance about how your feeling. You also need to do a little soul searching to figure out whether this is something that you can deal with so that you can be married to this man, or whether you would be happier with someone else who you would be able to spend more time with.
Good luck! I hope it all works out for you!!
Post # 16
Just wanted to say thanks everyone.
I couldn’t sleep last night at all. I feel so dizzy and tired today that I’m going to have an awful work night tonight (I am a photographer) because I can’t focus. Things were really chaotic for him so we talked a little bit early this morning. I think one of the things that terrifies me the most is being able to believe him when he says that he is working hard now for our future and whatever family we may have (“You know I will be there for every Little League game,” he says). I am a strong believer that actions speak louder than words so it’s just really hard for me. I feel better even though we argued for about ten minutes but we never fight for very long.
Sometimes I do wonder if there are issues I need to deal with personally besides dealing with things we can work on together.
@KristenGettingMarried Maybe I am panicking a little bit. Everything is approaching pretty quickly and I’m just overwhelmed.
@lefeymw As for working hard or being #2, I don’t know. I’m not really sure if I even know the difference.