Is Your Marriage Taking A Backseat To Your Work Or Schedule?
Despite the constant talk about work-life balance today, it remains elusive for too many families." The economy, the uncertainty of careers, make leaving work at the office is more difficult than it seems. Technology allows us to work virtually anywhere, and anyone can reach us at any time. Working at home is not a luxury, it has become a necessity for many. Working too much can have a negative impact on your marriage.
Every company and spouse value a hard worker. However, there is a difference between being a hard worker and being a workaholic. A workaholic is someone who works compulsively at the cost of sleep, health, and spending time with loved ones. They don’t just work hard; work consumes their life.
- They miss out on life events for work.
- They try to find ways to make more time for work.
- Hobbies and leisure are sacrificed due to work.
- The amount they work has negatively impacted their health.
- They find a way to work even if sick or injured.
- They rarely take vacations, and if they do, they still work while out of the office.
- They always bring work home with them.
- They find it hard to be "in the moment" because they are thinking about work.
In a workaholic marriage, everyone suffers. The workaholic experiences tendencies to entitlement, irritability, frequent physical ailments, angry outbursts, and constant guilt over their work habits. The workaholic’s spouse feels disconnected, abandoned, or estranged from their partner. The marriage lacks physical and emotional intimacy, communication, and togetherness. Sooner or later, something will snap and both partners will have to confront the issue.
If you or your spouse recognize signs of being overcommitted to work, you are putting your marriage in danger. Here is how to make a lifestyle change and turn things around before it's too late.
Communicate your feelings to your spouse. As your spouse is engrossed in their work, you are silently raging with resentment at always putting your needs on the back burner for the sake of his or her career. Sacrificing in silence will not change the situation. You need to have an honest conversation with your spouse. They may not be aware of how much they have neglected you and the family. Gently let them know how much you love them and need them to be present in your life instead of always at work.
Once you open the door to the issue, it allows you both to discuss how to solve the problem. Start with one or two small steps that could begin to make a difference and go from there.
Create a boundary between work and home life
Your work life can bring many benefits such as a sense of accomplishment, success, money, and recognition. However, no matter how good you are at your job, it will not bring you lasting peace, happiness, love, or comfort. People were created to need other people. When you develop a relationship with someone, you open yourself to them. You get to know them, and they get to know you. As time goes on and you become more involved with each other, love blossoms, intimacy occurs, and two become one. That sharing, communication, and building a life together is what gives life meaning.
Work is what makes your life outside of work possible. A healthy marriage and family life is possible because of the boundaries you set. Set a specific time that you will arrive at work and that you will leave work every day and stick to it. Learn to protect your family time. If your boss asks you to stay late, let him or her know that you have already made a prior commitment that you cannot break. Offer to come in early the next morning to attend to the project.
Establish Technology Free Zones.
The master bedroom should be set up to use for relaxing, cuddling, and sleeping. It should be a couple’s sanctuary. If you have an office set up in the bedroom, relocate it to a different part of the house. If you are a laptop or tablet fanatic, have a specific place that you use it and stick to that space. Don’t take your office with you everywhere you go, every minute of the day. You need to unplug to get rest, decompress, and focus on your family relationships.
Make your Spouse a Priority
Your career, your work, or your schedule should not be at the expense of your marriage. To have a great marriage, requires devotion of time, energy, communication, and intimacy. If you are consumed with work or your schedule, what is left for your spouse? If this sounds like you, you need to get back to investing some time in your marriage.
When you leave the office (whether is a home office or an out of the home office), put work out of your mind. Establish a weekly date night for “just the two of you.”
Set Aside Family Time
Gather as a family for meals and make it a rule that cell phones are turned off during your time together. To create and maintain a close bond, you need to spend time being completely present, talking with and enjoying your time with your family. If it’s been a while, start off by making an effort to connect. Ask about how their day went and share something about your day. Mealtime is an essential time to decompress from work and get back into family life.
Every couple struggles with finding the right balance between family life, couple’s time, work, and scheduled events. Talking about and sharing your struggles with your spouse brings you closer together and motivates you both to work at improving your life and marriage.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises