Relationships

What to do when his work gets in the way

I’m basically writing this for anyone who dates me in the future. Change the “his” to “her” in the title of this post and you basically have the number one question my exes have struggled with. I’m writing it about “his work” now because that’s how the question normally gets posed to me. Granted, I have a bit of a skewed demo because I work with a lot more male millionaires than I do with female millionaires. And millionaires come with a lot of baggage. A demanding workload is generally a big piece of that baggage. Like, not a carry on sized piece. A checked luggage piece. So, if you’re dating someone whose work is getting in the way, here’s what to do.

Know his work

Get familiar with his job and career path. Talk to him about his goals and why he’s working so hard. You’ll better understand what he’s working toward and why he’s sacrificing so much. Also, get into the details of his workday. Find out his take on the folks he works with. Be familiar enough with his day-to-day that you can be a sounding board for work issues and stress. You’re not at work with him, but make sure that you’re savvy enough in the area to help him deal with some issues or just to be a sounding board for new ideas and work complaints. What I’m saying here is don’t separate your relationship from his career, like it’s church and state. You love all of him and a big part of him is his work. So, don’t turn the dynamic into you vs. his career. Make it you two vs. his work struggles and you’ll be in a much better situation.

Find the main thing

Think about your goals. What’s your main thing? Is your main thing to put your kids through college with no debt? Is your main thing to have kids? Is your main thing to have a demanding career of your own? This is a silly expression, but it really resonates with me: The main thing is to make the main thing the main thing. So, if his dedication to his job and career helps you two achieve your main thing, that’s a great thing. But, if his work-alcoholism doesn’t help your main thing come to fruition, it’s time to have a serious talk about how to make the main thing the main thing.

Set a timeline

Sit down with your man and talk about how you two can schedule around his work so it doesn’t get in the way of your relationship. This will be different for each couple. Maybe it’s scheduling on date night a week. Or figuring out an end date for this work push. You could set up a vacation or just make a rule of spending one work free hour together at dinner every weeknight. Whatever makes you feel like you and the relationship are a priority to him works.

Get busy yourself

Don’t sit around like a puppy waiting for her owner to come home and play. Get busy yourself! I’m not saying you need to throw yourself into your career the same way he does, but you can find other things to take your time. Reconnect with old friends or pick up a hobby. Personally, if it were me, I’d get really into fitness classes. Take the edge off not being able to spend time with your boo by spending time doing things you love.

Figure out what works

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Dating a workaholic isn’t for everyone. Many of my exes have learned that the hard way. If it’s not for you, you need to be honest with yourself. And then you need to be honest with him. Have a long and hard conversation about what works for you in terms of his work and what doesn’t. This might be the start of a long process of adjusting his life to make more room for your relationship. But, it also might be the beginning of the end, I’m sorry to say. Either way, it’s important for you to be in a relationship that works for you. So, you’ll turn this into one or find a new one that’s much more workable.

Career commitment is a tough thing to contend with when you’re in a relationship. It can make his job feel like a mistress you can’t even be mad at. Hoping these steps help you handle the issue in your relationship…and help me in my future relationships, too!

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