How To Help Your Workaholic Spouse Spend More Time with the Family in 2021
Ever heard a husband or wife complain about their spouse being married to their work? Maybe that person is you; maybe your spouse goes into the office early and stays late.
Does your spouse’s career make you feel disconnected from them? Do you feel like you’re saying hello and goodbye in the same sentence each morning? Do you feel like you’re drifting because you’re missing out on time together? If so, it’s time to deal with the situation before things worsen, which is bound to happen.
Why A Workaholic?
In general, a workaholic has an unhealthy tie to his or her work; it makes them feel important and becomes their identity.
To make matters worse, they often believe no one can do the job right except them, so they tend to micromanage things at work, which creates even MORE work.
Dangers of Workaholism
Loneliness is a dangerous byproduct of workaholism for both the workaholic and their spouse. Loneliness can lead to temptation – to finding someone to fill the emotional void. What starts as a casual, harmless relationship leads to emotional or physical adultery.
Besides an increased risk of infidelity, workaholics also suffer from a higher risk of health issues such as fatigue, lack of exercise, mental health problems, and stress-related issues.
For the situation to improve with your spouse, you must discuss it with them. The trick is to talk with them about the number of hours they’re spending at work, lack of time with you and the family, and the toll it’s taking on their health, without making them feeling attacked.
Begin the conversation with “I” statements: “I feel lonely when you’re away at work so much”; “Is there anything I can do to make your work less stressful?”; “It feels like you’re under a great deal of stress right now at work, can I do anything to help?”
Your spouse should know and feel that you’re trying to understand and support them instead of being accused for not being home enough or missing birthdays or events with the kids.
Ask for Their Help
Stress that this is your problem, and you need their help. Let them know you feel lonely and miss the relationship you once shared and enjoyed.
Ask if they’d be willing to try a few things to help you feel more connected as a couple. When you approach the issue in this manner, it’s likelier you’ll get their buy-in and cooperation; never attack them.
Timing for this kind of conversation is everything. Approach your spouse when they seem less stressed. Ask if they’d consider trying some of the following solutions:
Set aside ten minutes daily to talk about each other’s day and life. Share worries and challenges or victories and successes.
Set aside one night each week for dinner with the entire family; no television or smart devices.
Schedule a special date night at least once a month at the minimum; once a week is better. Celebrate your love, enjoy each other, do fun things together!
Set aside one day each week for yourself where you spend meaningful time in self-care to rest and relax; rest restores and recharges your mind and emotions.
Although this might be kind of sensitive, consider asking your spouse to step back and take a good look at their life. Ask if they notice anything they’re sacrificing at home because of all the time and energy they’re spending at work. Can they do anything to spend less time at work so they can have more time at home with you and the family? If not, would they be willing to consider another career that would allow more time for family and personal pursuits?
Going for Walks
An easy starting place to kick off this whole process is taking walks together; besides spending more time with your spouse, it increases their physical activity. Physical activity clears the mind, boosts energy, and reduces stress. Walking is therapeutic.
It isn’t easy being married to a workaholic, especially since they’re likely to be driven by financial security and/or significance. It’s easy for the workaholic to overlook the toll it’s taking on their marriage, health, and family; they might not even realize that they’re risking losing the very thing they’re working so hard to provide for and protect.
Be Their Friend
Therefore, be soft, gentle, and supportive in your approach for the best chance at creating a life-changing result; anger and accusations only make things worse and will probably make them want to spend even more time away from home.
So, be their best friend by helping them find more work-life balance that benefits them personally and their relationship with you and the family.