(Closed) Need advice on dealing with work-a-holic spouse

posted 5 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
509 posts
Busy bee

Be supportive, get involved with another activity, and be VERY direct about the fact that he needs to cuddle with you at night. I know there is more than physical interaction, but that does matter and hopefully soften the negative feelings enough that you both feel a little more free to connect on an emotional/discussion level. The worse thing would probably be drawing out or reinforcing the blocks. This is just my personal experience. 

Post # 4
2945 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My FI’s work schedule is so nuts that I call him when I’m done with work everyday to know when he is coming home (which can be any time between 4:30PM and 10PM)  I very much understand.  Here are some of the things I do;

1. I go to the gym almost every night, so I don’t have that first hour after work where I’m at home waiting for him.  It gives me some me time and kills some of that down time before he gets home.

2. We make “don’t break unless the world is on fire” plans at least once every other week.  Those nights, we are both home by no later than 6:00 PM, and we do those plans.

3. I do all the extra house work while he is not home.  This allows him and myself more time to just be together when he gets home.  Often, this means making dinner, cleaning the kitchen, ect.  He use to do the same for me when I worked long hours.

4. I have become perfectly okay with the fact that most nights, we will sit on the couch, and not do much other than talk and catch up. 


Post # 5
7647 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@lovekiss:  Darling Husband was, but in a kind of different way. He was one that could sit and just stalk his e-mail, look for new music (he’s a teacher), etc.

I had multiple talks that didn’t work, but finally we came to an agreement after I was really stressed out. We had just gotten engaged and I quit my full time supervisor job and sold my house to move with him (and I was only in a very part time position with less than half of what I was being paid).

We decided to no phones/iPads/work after 8. It made sure that we get a little time together, whether it be cuddling on the couch or just watching TV.

Post # 6
7276 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@lovekiss:  how much extra is he actually working? How do you know it’s voluntary?

I work quite a few extra hours that are ‘voluntary.’ There is no one telling me I have to work these hours but at the same time I need to get my work done so I’m going to stay at work until it’s done.

At the end of a long day there is nothing I would rather do than come home and be with Darling Husband but I know if I do I’m going to be stressed out because I didn’t finish my work. It’s definitely better for me to stay those extra hours and finish everything than come home and just spend the evening being stressed out about trying to catch up the next day.

I think you should find your own thing to do while he’s at work. Keep in mind that if he does leave early he might end up just being stressed all night. Also, hold him to looking into those changes in his hours and working at home.

Post # 7
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@lovekiss:  I harbored some negativity when Darling Husband made a job switch when Dirty Delete was just a few months old.

He went from a work environment that made him unhappy, with crappy pay, and semi-decent hours to a different position in a more positive company, doing something he loves, with room for advancement, but terrible hours.

I was left to work full time all day, every day, and take care of our three dogs, house, and newborn baby by myself pretty much every evening.

I definitely had to suck it up for a while, and try to be excited for his opportunity and less resentful.

He started missing some of DD’s firsts… first time she rolled over, first time she held her own bottle, first time I sat her up and she didn’t fall over!  He missed bedtime every night, he missed first foods, etc.

We talked about it a lot.  I expressed some of my concerns (not in an angry way though, in a logical and concise way) and allowed him to do the same.

Some of it was just growing pains.  Some of it was me learning how to even BE a mom, much less feeling like I was doing it on my own.  Some of it was just him bucking up and paying his dues with a new company.

Well, it’s been a few months now and they’ve already made him General Manager of another location!  His hours are better, his pay is MUCH better, and he isn’t missing out on his daughter or our family time as much now.

So, for us and our situation, all it took was a few ‘air your grievance’ conversations and a whole lot of ‘sucking it up’ and things worked themsevles out pretty well.

Hang in there, I hope he is able to strike a balance quickly!

Post # 8
1649 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@lovekiss:  My Fiance is a work-aholic by necessity. He’s an Accountant and during the months of January through May he is pretty much always working. I mean, he works over 60 hour weeks at times.

We’ve been together for 6 years, well before he finished school and started working. It wasn’t an easy adjustment for either of us, but what keeps us sane is knowing that he usually likes what he does, usually likes who he works with, and all that hardwork is because he loves me and wants to provide a good life for us.

What helps me alot is finding ways to fill my time. I have a gym membership (that has sadly been languishing since we moved) and I plan on forcing myself to use that during busy season. I also took up knitting last year and spent the first half of the year making a blanket. I’m planning to knit another one soon for my sister and Future Brother-In-Law in their wedding colors. I also have the majority of the cooking and cleaning that I’ll be doing this year, as well as my own job to keep me busy at other times. And cuddling is always important. We always start the day by cuddling a little bit (I set my alarm a bit earlier then needed so we can wake up a bit) and when we get into bed we always wind up cuddling a little bit before rolling into more comfortable positions.

Do you have a hobby you love? Devote more time to it. Don’t have one? See about picking one up. And make sure he knows that no physical interaction is not a valid option. See how things work out with the adjusted schedule and, if necessary, continue the discussion and ways to improve the home life.

Post # 9
2532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Fiance is a workaholic. We get by right now, but I suspect it will be difficult if he finds a job he absolutely loves (though I’ll be thrilled for him!) since he’ll spend more time there for sure.

We had a few talks about family vs. work, and we found we needed to discuss and adjust things as our lives change and priorities come and go.  We are always calibrating, but we want to make sure that work doesn’t overwhelm our personal lives (i.e. it took a while, but I finally convinced him to take his work email off his personal phone – they aren’t paying him for that, and work ends when you come home!)
Part of the problem is that we work in the same field, so I really don’t want him bringing work home with him, and I know how easy it can be to miss out on personal time when our workloads get overwhelming.

I can’t resent him for working to support his family, but you can bet your ass that working to the point of missing out on your family will not fly with me – he knows that as well.

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