Look, we all need to earn a living. And as a workaholic, I fully understand how a career can get in the way of a relationship. It just happens if you’re in a demanding field and not super vigilant about work-life balance. It actually takes a ton of work to make sure you’re not working too much. If you’re dating someone who isn’t doing the work to work less and you feel ignored, dismissed or rejected, you have to do something about it. Here’s your plan.
Identify the problem
First, think about what the problem really is. Get specific. Think about three times when you were upset about his work and pin point what exactly bothered you. Is it that he spends too much time at work? Is it that he doesn’t communicate well and manage your expectations about when he’s coming home from the office? Is it that he’s on his phone when you want him to engage with your kids? I’m going to bet that the problem isn’t actually his work or job. It’s how he’s managing his workload vis-à-vis. Figure out what the issue is and what you’d like him to do about it.
Talk about it
Have a conversation with your boo about what’s going on and how you’re feeling. Be careful! Men can be monsters when it comes to their careers. His first response might be something totally irrational like, “What? You want me to quit my job?” Stay calm and explain your specific point. Talk about different action steps you’d like him to take. Maybe it’s committing to one dinner at week with the family. Or always texting by a certain time to let you know when he’ll be coming home. It could also be something like no phones at the dinner table. Set small goals that can solve your issues piece by piece. And heads up, you’re likely going to have to have this talk more than once.
Give it time
Nothing’s going to happen over night. Your man’s been working for a long time and developing these bad workaholic tendencies for decades. He can’t turn them off right away. Give him several chances to make the changes you discussed. Be patient and remind him of how you feel when he does certain things. Hopefully, his behavior will change slowly but surely over time.
Make your decision
If you’ve had your work talk a few times with him and nothing’s changing, girl, I’m sorry. You need to decide if you can stay in this relationship as second fiddle to his job or move on along. Some dogs can learn new trick and some can’t. I really hope your pup is one who can.
Good luck weaning your workaholic off his job addiction. It’s tough, but possible! And if anyone can do it, it’s you, girl!