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workaholic spouses

345 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  thirtycats
Does anyone else here have a workaholic spouse...I was thinking we could start an online support group/thread.

You know, those movies about stereotypical workaholics...Like Hook and Regarding Henry??? Well, that's my husband.

He's at the office about 50-60 hours a week. He leaves around 8 and comes home usually around 7:30. He spends about an hour with us and then at night does work on the computer while watching TV. He carries a blackberry with him (email on the go device) and checks it often. We went to a homeschooling convention a few weekends ago. I was so excited for him to meet other homeschooling dads, learn about homeschooling, etc. The first night, he checked his blackberry and found a nasty email from a coworker. So, the whole night he was up in the hotel room responding to the email. I empathized with the need to respond to a nasty email, but I was disappointed that he wasn't spending time with us.

Right now he has this very stressful assignment at work. He kept warning me that he would be extremely busy in the upcoming months. I can't really imagine him working more than he has to work now! But anyway, then his boss gave him another huge assignment on top of the one he already has. I asked, "Could you not say no? What if they gave you a third assignment? Would you take that too?" Oh, and on top of that he volunteered to be on the board of a charity. I'm thinking...he always complains that he's so busy, how does he think he has time for that too?

Oh and he is also the type who never takes a day off if he is sick. He goes to work with the flu...fever and all. Then he crashes when he gets home, lies on the couch and moans all night. I told him that's not happening again. If he's well enough to go to work, he's well enough to get off his butt and do his fathering work.

I am proud of my husband for being such a hard worker, but sometimes I think work is more important to him than anything else.

I'd love to talk to people who are in the same boat.
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Sorry, I'm not in the same boat, but I bet my husband feels like he is sometimes!

He stays home with our daughter, while I work outside the home. I really wish I didn't work as much as I did, but I'm starting a new job in the next couple months that promises even more pressure - and I usually end up bringing at least some work home on the weekends and in the evenings.

Is he really a 'workaholic', or does he just have a stressful job? I know I would love, love, love to have more time than I do, and I also feel a lot of responsibility as the sole income earner not to screw up our family's financial picture. This means I just can't blow off coworkers' and bosses' expectations of me, much as sometimes I would like too. And yes, I feel terrible when I don't have time to do everything I would like to with my family, but I also know they count on me for housing, food, clothes, and all the rest of it. Maybe your dh is in the same boat? To me, all the pressure for a 'workaholic' comes from within or is somehow unreasonable.

I suggest having a talk with your husband and sharing your fears and worries with him - for example, you worry that he cares more about work than anything else, because right now that's what you see him prioritizing. Try not to get his back up, and you may find that together you have enough common ground to figure out some limits he will feel comfortable setting around how much work impacts on family time. You can also try setting long-term goals to strive for more work-family balance - for example, I know I will have to work like crazy for a couple of years at least, but I hope that after that things will simmer down.
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Is he really a 'workaholic', or does he just have a stressful job? I know I would love, love, love to have more time than I do, and I also feel a lot of responsibility as the sole income earner not to screw up our family's financial picture.
I understand that there is a fine line between a workaholic and someone who has to put in a lot of hours in order to secure his/her job and financial situation.

The problem is our society itself favors the workaholic. In order to have job security in the corporate world, you have to put in 50-60 hours. I have a good friend whose husband works for the same company as my husband. He rarely talks about his job, his hobbies seem to be of more interest and he took 12 weeks paternity leave when they had their second baby. To me, that is the ideal work/family situation. But when promotions are going around, it will be my husband who is promoted, not him.

For us though, we have money coming in from other we're not in financial danger. I just think if more good workers would say things like....

"I'm taking three weeks off to be with my new baby"
"I have to leave early today because my daughter is in a school play"
"Sorry, I can't take on another project. This current project already keeps me working 60 hours a week. I need time for my family"
"Sorry, I can't attend a meeting on Friday night. That's family time".
"Sorry, I do not respond to emails over the weekend unless their emergencies".

If they said these things, than maybe the bar would be lowered. If the dedicated hard workers set a strong example of balancing work and family, than maybe our society would be less workaholic.

My husband never says these things. Not only that, he's the one being critical of others for not working hard enough. I think SOME of his coworkers MIGHT really be lazy, but since he has that complaint about so many of them...I'm beginning to wonder if his expectations are too high.

To my husband, the world revolves around his job. It's the main course and everything else (including family) is side dishes. I know for several of his coworkers, work is just a way to get money so they can survive. They go to work because they have to, do what needs to get done, and try to avoid going beyond the call of duty. Maybe they're not working hard enough? Maybe they can work a little harder and my husband can work a little less.
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