Strategies to Deal with a Workaholic Spouse
If you are married to a workaholic partner, you might at times feel as if you are married to an unfaithful spouse who has replaced your intimacy with his or her work. This sense of being alone, the numerous broken promises, feelings of anger and disappointment, and a belief that you are not that important are all similar for spouses of cheaters and also, for spouses of workaholics.
Shivani Sadhoo says these issues, if left unmitigated, could result in spousal discontent or worse yet divorce; in fact, according to Maureen Farrel who wrote “So You Married A Workaholic” for Forbes during the year 2007, on average, couples in which one partner is a workaholic divorce at double the average rate.
When one of the partners works excessively, he or she is not nurturing or harnessing the marriage. It is also unhealthy to keep a life that is so much out of sync or balance, which could easily put you on the road to infidelity and even divorce. At times it requires a wake-up call such as a personal or health crisis for the workaholic to snap out of this conduct. There are certain things you may do that would not have you waiting around for this to be the impetus for the change.
Couples Therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo in this blog shares some suggestions to keep your marriage intact if you are married to a workaholic, in a healthy manner.
Strategies for Keeping Your Marriage to a Workaholic Healthy
If you find yourself frustrated with your partner’s continuous obsession with work, it is important to remember that even though you do not agree with his or her viewpoint on the issue, the situation itself puts you and your partner both under tremendous amounts of stress; as a result, conversations regarding being a workaholic needs to be approached cautiously and with compassion.
As frustrating as it might seem to not scold your partner for their overworking tendencies, nagging is not going to work. Rather, share in a positive tone what your partner has missed by working excessively or by bringing work home and not being present to you and the kids. Also, you must try to stop enabling your partner’s workaholic behavior—you might them be enabling your spouse’s need or desire to work by delaying family meals, keeping children up longer, postponing activities, or spending your money on things and services (such as takeout) that you could do without.
Instead, consider letting your partner experience the results of working excessively by serving dinner at the normal time and making your spouse have the cold leftovers once he or she finally emerges, hours later, from work. If your partner does not want to go out of the house with you, leave your partner at home and take the kids to the movie, mall, or park, or if your spouse is too busy to take certain days off, take a weekend trip to visit family without your partner do not put your life or your kid’s lives on hold waiting for your partner to make time for you.
Also, you can try to entice your spouse out of work mode by suggesting an activity that you can both do together. Although this might be considered a bit manipulative, providing an opportunity that your partner will enjoy could ease the tensions between you and let for an honest discussion of the issues that are arising from your partner’s workaholic tendencies.
When to Go for a Professional Help
Solving your marital problems related to a workaholic partner might feel like an insurmountable task, and mostly it is almost impossible to do alone. Luckily, though, psychologists and marriage counselor’s help is available to mediate open dialogue between you and your special one.
If your marriage is in serious trouble because of your spouse working too many hours or days, then marriage counseling could be an alternative that will help. Even if you might simply get your spouse in for the first therapy session, you might be able to help him or her to understand the gravity of the things and the toll it is having on you and your relationship personally.
It is essential during these sessions to discuss setting boundaries you both agree to that will not only assist your spouse to overcome his or her workaholic conduct but assist you both to communicate with one another openly and have compassion and empathy. If your partner agrees to a day with you or even a few hours, setting boundaries such as “no cell phones or texts at dinner” could greatly reduce work-related stress during your alone time.
In any given situation, the first step toward overcoming marital problems associated with living with a workaholic spouse is to initiate a conversation, express how their behavior makes you feel, and work together towards an amicable solution that leaves you feeling more appreciated and your partner’s need to work fulfilled.