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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really not sure how to even think about this so I am hoping some people here will have some experiences or thoughts to share.<br><br>
My DH has always been hard working and in every job that he's had, he's given it his all. And that's something I really admire in him.<br><br>
The thing is, the job he's had for the last few years is like a "perfect storm" when you match it up to his tendencies. It has gradually taken over his life. To what extent? He leaves at 7:30, gets home at 7, eats in front of his work and then works until 1 or 2 am. On weekends, due to his work, he often works overnight at least one of Friday or Saturday, and then works 3-4 hrs during each of Saturday and Sunday.<br><br>
I knew that this was true before we had our son, but I thought he was working to gradually transition out of this kind of craziness. Still, I took a step waaaay back in my career (to part time work) in order to have a home unit that works in line with our values - a calm and cosy environment for our son, now 20 mos old. And overall I'm okay with that.<br><br>
Except I am so lonely. SO LONELY. Last week he took an hour out to sit in the kitchen for a bit and it was like a whole other world I'd forgotten about.<br><br>
And I have told him that and sometimes he bends over backwards to try to be with me and our son - but if you look at the schedule you can see that what he loses is sleep. His health has really suffered - he's put on about 50 lbs in the last few years - and he is gradually changing, it seems to me, into someone that's a little bitter.<br><br>
I totally get it because the sleep deprivation from the baby showed me how it works, and he is always, always sleep deprived due to his work.<br><br>
We've talked about it until we're blue in the face but he keeps working that way, and isn't interested in changing jobs, it seems.<br><br>
So I don't know what to do. I'm really unhappy but I want to be supportive. But I am increasingly just really unhappy. I know lots of women have it worse. But... augh.<br><br>
Any thoughts, advice?
 

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No real advice, mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
He will have to want to make a change. He will have to realize it is impacting his health, his relationship with you and your son.<br><br>
It's hard and it is lonely. I've been there.<br><br>
My husband missed soooo much with both of our boys when they were young because he spent so much time at work.<br><br>
He still works long hours and travels, but he really tries now to MAKE time to be with them.<br><br>
All these years later he has realized what he missed.<br><br>
Hope your dh comes around sooner.<br><br>
Once those years are gone, they are just gone. He can't get them back.<br><br>
It has really influenced the way we function as a family. It isn't what I had planned or wanted, but I worked with what I had and did the best I could.<br><br>
I envy people who eat dinner together every night at the table. We have rarely done that, all four of us, because he just isn't home at dinner time.<br><br>
P.S. It is very hard to make them understand that a DIFFERENT job is an option. A job that doesn't require so much of their time.
 

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My only comment is the longer it goes on, the harder it is to break away. My father hardly knows his grandkids because he is "too busy working to come and see them." It's become his mantra. He's worked like this as long as I've known him, which is 33 years.
 

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I have a real tendency towards these kinds of behaviors. I love what I do and somedays its hard to leave the intellectual stimulation of the office to come home and deal with the sometimes overwhelming chaos of a 6yo and a 2yo.<br><br>
For me, time management is part of my issue. I tend to drag things out by getting deeper into projects than I really need to. I have had to learn to severely set limits. Fortunately I work for a very family friendly organization so putting family first is part of our culture. It is the expectation that everyone has a life outside these walls and we honor that for each member of the organization.<br><br>
The time manager that has worked best for me is Laura Stack - I've been to tons over the years. Just google her. She's high energy and has good tools for work/life balance. She has two books - Find More Time and Leave the Office Earlier. She's christian based but I've found it easy to ignore that piece of it as that could be a real turn off for me if it were laid on too heavily. Her seminars are wonderful if you could get him to one. She makes you want to balance your life and gives practical tools to help with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone, this is really helpful. I like the long-term perspectives for me to keep trying, and also the idea about the time management stuff. You guys are great!
 

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And I thought I had it bad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> How do you do it? I don't have advice for you, but I know what it's like to have your home life affected by dh's job...not necessarily a bad thing for the most part, but it can really bring some challenges.
 

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Wow! Those are some crazy hours.<br><br>
A couple of thoughts to consider....<br><br>
If he truly is a workaholic, then he is working like this to escape. If he is focused on work then he doesn't have to focus on what's bothering him. Please don't think that I'm saying that he doesn't want to focus on you or the family because you're the problem. What I'm saying is that work might be the best way to escape because it makes him focus all of his attention and none of the "other" thoughts can slip in.<br><br>
And regarding sleep deprivation, he probably has to work longer hours because he's finding it harder to do the work because he's sleep deprived. Maybe suggest that he get a couple of good night's sleep in a row and see if he can be rejuevenated. Also, excercise will help boost his energy levels and help him sleep better. I'm sure that you know this. Even taking a walk as a family every evening would be a huge help and a way to get everyone together. Can he set 30 min. aside to do that?<br><br>
Another thing, he might feel undue pressure for the financial security of your family. You've taken a step back and now he needs to take 20 steps forward....just in case. This would make it difficult for him to switch jobs because of the unknown. Maybe he doesn't want to burden you with this because most men I know want to be good providers. Also, I have no idea when he'd have time given his current schedule to even think about interviewing.<br><br>
It's rough and I really feel for you. I had a stint of this type of living situation for about 1 1/2 years. When my dd at 6 months old REFUSED to go to my DH when he tried to hold her on the weekends, I told him that he was, in fact, a stranger to her. He asked for a demotion shortly after and got it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks mamaley - I think as parents we all do what we need to do but sometimes it is really tiring, esp. with a toddler.<br><br>
Lauraloo - He definitely is avoiding things. He has things in his family history that probably come up with having a young kid around, but he's really anti-counselling right now. Also we lost our first child and that's when he plunged into work, so there is a lot of truth to that. ITA about the exercise, but right now all he can do is Sunday afternoon - but we have committed to that being 'active family day' and get out for that. I will keep on it though, in terms of supporting both sleep and exercise.<br><br>
The financial side is probably not really part of it - I'm very lucky to be at a point in my career where if I worked more hours, I would make more money pretty quickly, so there is a lot of 'fallback' room if he were to be unemployed. (We also live as simply as possible.) Also we have good savings. BUT I should ask because it may well be a part of the pressure he's feeling anyway.
 

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I should send my dh over the water to talk to your dh. His dad was a workaholic and self-aholic and they have absolutely no meaningful relationship now.<br><br>
Dh is his parents' second child; their first died at birth and my husband cannot understand why this loss didn't inspire his dad to love or cherish him or want to spend time with him.<br><br>
As children dh and his sister lacked nothing materially as their dad was a very sucessful housebuilder back in the boom times of the 80s but they have no memories of doing anything as a family other than eating soup on a Saturday for lunch.<br><br>
Dh is not like his dad and has made spending time with us a priority, even when he worked for a big company he always came home for lunch. He runs his own business now and works flexibly; he says that he wasted a lot of time when he was in employment and that he works much more efficiently now. We are still not comfortable financially and have 4 children in a small house but dh knows our children as well as I do and has a real everyday relationship with them.<br><br>
He gently berates friends who stay at the office til 7pm and don't see their young children much at all during the week. They tease him for working in the property market and still living in a small house but we are making different choices to the rest of the world and our family life is important.<br><br>
What dh has with his dad is truly sad to see and has lead to an eqally distant and strained relationship with our children. Your dh is on his way to a difficult future with your children if he doesn't address his issues and re-prioritise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey I just wanted to update everyone. Your responses helped me go at it again with him and talk it over. He has prioritized sleep at night a little more over the last week or so, and on the weekend he told a coworker he had a family affair and got him to cover some work, so we could spend some time together. So far there is no long term solution but I do feel heard. So thanks mamas!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GuildJenn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8021166"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So far there is no long term solution but I do feel heard. So thanks mamas!</div>
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Jenn - I'm glad that things are looking up. Please remember that to break a habit, especially a habit that's been in place for awhile, takes a long time. Be prepared for set backs and "falling off the wagon." It's hard to make changes and more comfortable to fall back into old patterns - even when they aren't good ones. You sound incredibly supportive and your dh sounds very receptive - both are good things. Gently guide him back when he veers off the path.<br><br>
I'm sorry about the loss of your child. That pain runs very deep. Big hugs.
 

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You just described my husband, except he is like that 7 days a week. I gave up and now just do my own thing, socially. Most of my socializing is online because I have severe social phobias, but if you are able to get out and meet people... do so!!! I have made some close friends online, I cherish them and they maintain my sanity.
 
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