It is not easy. Being married to a person whose work is his/her first love. Staying with a person who loves to ogle at his/her laptop more than you. Loving a human whose time and attention is devoted to all those files and papers on his/her desk. Overtime, frustration and resentment creeps in. You begin to question your existence in the life of a spouse addicted to work. Once the honeymoon phase of your marriage is over, reality strikes. Work comes first for your partner. It always will. But you love your spouse way too much to part ways. You know that this addiction to work is just a part of your lives. But how do you deal with a workaholic spouse without ruining your marriage? Read on to know more.
Don’t nag about it
It is easy to look at your partner – immersed behind the laptop screen, not even noticing your presence in the room – and scream at the top of your lungs. It is tempting to complain as much as you can about the lack of his attention towards you or your kids. But as compelled as you might feel to scold your spouse about the work addiction, this is a technique that will only backfire on your relationship and family.
The best way to address the workaholic tendency of your spouse is to communicate it in a positive manner. Do not nag about it. Instead of complaining about how your partner is always neglectful of you and the kids, start a conversation about the things he/she is missing out on because of this neglect and work addiction.
Nagging will only drive your spouse further away from you. So the best way to deal with a workaholic spouse is to choose a positive stance instead of a negative one.
Do not enable your spouse’s work addiction
You might not even know it, but you are, at least partly, enabling your spouse’s work addiction. In small, but powerful ways, you are actually allowing your spouse to continue sitting behind the laptop screen. You are giving your partner the space and the time to work more – even at home.
If you are delaying your family meal, you are signaling to your partner that even if he/she is home from work, he/she can still continue to ogle at the papers from his/her office.
By letting the kids stay awake till late in the night, you are encouraging your workaholic spouse to keep typing at the keys of the laptop – you are gesturing to your partner that it is okay to switch off the lights whenever he/she wishes.
By spending money and swiping cards on your wants instead of on your needs – you are telling your partner that no amount of money is enough. By doing this, you are spurring your spouse to work more hours, earn more money, and satisfy your wants and needs – thereby enabling his/her work addiction.
The best way to deal with a workaholic spouse is to let him/her know that you are happy with you two have. The best way to stop your spouse from overworking is by informing him/her that a family needs to be together and happily so.
Seek professional help
Dealing with a workaholic spouse is not easy. Sometimes, you will not be able to accomplish this task on your own. But that’s precisely why professional help exists. If the water rises above your head, try marriage counseling or visit a psychiatrist.
You might feel guilty for not being able to handle the issue by yourself. Or, your spouse may prove to be difficult person to budge. But once you can convince yourself and your spouse that this work addiction is working like a slow poison for your marriage, counseling will become an easy process to go through.
Even the initial counseling sessions might successfully be able to convince your spouse how his/her workaholic nature is placing a strain on your marriage and kids. If the problem still persists, intensive therapy sessions are always available.
Rome was not built in a day. Likewise, you cannot deal with a workaholic spouse in one go. If your spouse has developed this addiction to work over the years, then the habit will also wean off slowly.
The best way to deal with a workaholic spouse is to start small. Open a small conversation (positively) about how your spouse’s work addiction is slowly killing your personal relationship.
Once you can get your spouse to understand the implications of the work addiction, you can suggest steps to overcome it.
You can take baby steps by asking your partner to keep his/her phone aside when it is mealtime. Or, you can assign some parenting duties to your spouse as well to keep him/her away from work inside the home.
For once, relegate the story-telling to your spouse. Not only will this help your spouse to take some time off work, but also bond with your kids as a parent. It is a win-win situation.
Give yourself a break
No doubt your spouse is a workaholic. But, maybe you are making matters worse for yourself and your marriage by centering your world around your spouse.
If you feel neglected or bored when your spouse is busy working even at home, there is an easy solution for you. Give yourself a break.
It might sound difficult – especially if your world revolves around your spouse and kids. But this is important. Your spouse might dig himself/herself deeper in work if you continue to hover around him/her.
Instead, when your spouse is busy behind that screen and isn’t ready to budge an inch, you need to step away from the situation and find something interesting to do.
A great way to deal with a workaholic husband is to find a hobby, go for a walk, make new friends – anything to distract you from the pitiful picture of your marriage. Maybe, just maybe, you will see that your life and your marriage will get better after this.
And who knows, your spouse may finally start noticing your absence or missing your presence around him/her. Miracles work when you least expect it, don’t they?