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Love & Marriage Love & Marriage

Any experience with workaholics?

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:25 AM
  • 20 Replies

I'm worried about my husband.  And, if I'm being honest, I'm harboring some resentment.  He is a fabulous provider and he works really hard, and he does try to maintain a healthy balance between work and home, but it's falling apart.

He manages a retail store.  He's been a store manager at three different stores over the last 3 years and now he runs the flagship store (the biggest store in the chain).  Over these years he has gotten more and more work-oriented.  A few things have happened recently that make me feel really worried about him, his health and his stress levels... and one thing in particular has me still seething after months :(  My daughter and I were sick with a stomach flu.  My son is 2 and he was fine.  I was flat out incapacitated with horribly painful intestinal cramps (I've had two babies without painkillers and it was pretty close to that painful) and called him several times, begging him to come home.  He kept saying he couldn't.  He just couldn't.  He finally made it home after hours and hours and he felt really bad, but I was so upset about it.  I could not take care of our two year old.  He could have seriously hurt himself.

He has been skipping lunches to work and he doesn't eat breakfast because it means getting up a few minutes earlier.  Which means he frequently doesn't eat until he gets home at 5 or 6.  Yesterday he came home and told me "I was so busy I didn't even drink any water."

Wha????

I feel like any job that has you so concerned about getting your work done that you can't see to your very most basic needs is taking up too much of your life.  And I don't think it's healthy or necessary for him to do this to himself.  He insists that I don't understand, that he HAS to do these things if he wants to keep his job.  I just flat out disagree and feel like HE doesn't understand that he is asking too much of himself, and if he were to take it just a little bit easier, maybe the work wouldn't get done like he wants it to, but he wouldn't be starving himself, going without water or bathroom breaks, he wouldn't be unable to come home in urgent situations.

They gave him extra paid vacation days for working so hard over Christmas... he never took them.  There was always a reason.  He has too many interviews to do, he has this shipment coming in, etc.  I reminded him that the point of the extra days was so that he didn't have to worry about those things for a couple of days.  He agreed, but still never took them.  I've been bugging him to take a couple of vacation days for more than a month and he won't do it.  I'm so frustrated with him over this and I feel like he doesn't see what he's doing or how much it effects him AND me AND our kids.

Or am I overreacting?  Is this how most people do full time work? 

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:25 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lapcounter
by Gold Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:28 AM
My husband is a works a lot but not to the extreme of skipping meals, that's unhealthy and dangerous.
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beaugrl0824
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:30 AM
No its not how normal people function. He sounds extremely overwhelmed and is trying to prove he's good enough for this job.

He might not have hit his comfort level with this job yet. Give him some time to feel more comfortable with his performance.
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BKozICan
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 8:14 AM

My husband is a workaholic. Actually, maybe I should say was. He would leave at 6:00 a.m. and get home around 8:00 p.m. He couldn't take time to do important things like go to son's school concert or anything. He even went to work right after ds was born and gave up his paternity leave.

Then, my dad--another workaholic who had just retired-- passed away very unexpectedly. Apparently a couple weeks before he died, my dad had a heart to heart with dh about how he regretted spending so much time working and missing the little things and how he needed to build relationships with us kids and my mom. Dh tok it seriously and has changed his hours. 

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:22 AM

 


Quoting beaugrl0824:

No its not how normal people function. He sounds extremely overwhelmed and is trying to prove he's good enough for this job.

He might not have hit his comfort level with this job yet. Give him some time to feel more comfortable with his performance.


 I know for sure he feels pressured to be perfect.  Since it is the flagship store his CEO and all the VPs come in all the time.  His district manager works out of that store too, and none of them are shy about telling him something isn't up to par. 

He's been working at this store for 6 months now.  It's not getting any better, you know?  He's just finding more reasons to go in early, stay late, skip lunch.  I'm not saying that the work isn't really there to do, because I'm sure it is.  I'm saying that there has to be a line in the sand where you say "This is as much as is healthy for me to do", you know?  And he doesn't seem to understand that.

floridamom34601
by Courtney on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:26 AM

My husband works a lot too, he's a salesman at a car dealership and works an hour away from our house so he has a two hour drive too. He leaves at 6am and gets home at 8pm.

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:33 AM

 I'm sorry about your dad.  I lost my dad when I was 15, I know how hard it is.

My husband doesn't know our kids.  He has been deeply hurt on the occasions he's been reminded of that.  He would give up his job in a heartbeat if he could stay home with them, but I can't make enough money to support us.  He knows them on a surface level, but he doesn't know how to interact with them or meet their needs.  He doesn't understand their cues.  If they're cranky and defiant he gets cranky right back at them and it just escalates.  And I'm feeling more and more touched out.  I have never experienced that in my life, even with a colicky newborn, I have always wanted to touch and be touched, especially with him.  Now he gets home, we have dinner, we all chill for a little bit, I put the kids to bed and then I'm done for the night... but he wants his back rubbed or to snuggle and watch a movie, but the last thing I want is to meet someone else's needs.  I feel like it's a reaction to taking second place in his life.  When he works harder at his job it means I get less help with the kids.  I'm TIRED by the time they are in bed.  I've had a full day of meeting three people's needs, caring for and cooking for and looking after myself, my two kids, the cat and the dog AND the house.  All, sometimes, on interrupted sleep (actually, almost always on interrupted sleep).  I feel, for the first time in my life, that I have to have the evenings JUST FOR ME.  I barely want to interact with him at all most evenings.  He chides me for reading or surfing the web on my phone because he wants to spend time watching a movie together or something and I sigh and bite a bullet and do it, but the whole time I'm distracted, uncomfortable and wishing I could go to bed and be alone.

I hate that!  And I'm not blaming him for any of this, he truly is doing the best he can for our family.  But I can't help how I feel, either. 


Quoting BKozICan:

My husband is a workaholic. Actually, maybe I should say was. He would leave at 6:00 a.m. and get home around 8:00 p.m. He couldn't take time to do important things like go to son's school concert or anything. He even went to work right after ds was born and gave up his paternity leave.

Then, my dad--another workaholic who had just retired-- passed away very unexpectedly. Apparently a couple weeks before he died, my dad had a heart to heart with dh about how he regretted spending so much time working and missing the little things and how he needed to build relationships with us kids and my mom. Dh tok it seriously and has changed his hours. 


 

Kaylawv2
by Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM
I was a workaholic when I was a retail store manager. I'm so glad I left that career. It's not a healthy way to live at all. I never saw my family and when I was home I was constantly on the phone with employees...etc.
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AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Yup.  He gets called at all hours.  He never has a day off without someone calling him at home with stupid questions, or to call off or whatever.  It's terrible.

Changing careers for him at this point is probably not an option.  Not for a long time at least.  Is there anything *I* can do on my end to help him balance things in a more healthful manner?  What could someone have done for you while you were working this job? 


Quoting Kaylawv2:

I was a workaholic when I was a retail store manager. I'm so glad I left that career. It's not a healthy way to live at all. I never saw my family and when I was home I was constantly on the phone with employees...etc.


 

SoKamele
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 11:16 AM

No....he needs to understand that is what managers and asst managers are for. Sounds like a control issue.

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM

 


Quoting SoKamele:

No....he needs to understand that is what managers and asst managers are for. Sounds like a control issue.


Some of it is a control issue.  But in the interest of honesty, he does have his assistants stay late a lot.  They work a lot of hours too.  It seems like it's never ending short-staffedness.  They are constantly covering shifts for people who quit suddenly, call out, get transfered to other stores in the area, making up for work that arrives suddenly and without warning (like another store closing and them sending my husband's store their inventory... without telling him to expect it.).  I just think that he needs to draw a line, like I said.  He needs to be able to meet his biological imperatives at the very least, and help me when I need to meet mine.  It should not have been an option to stay at work when I physically could not care for the kids.  It should have been "Sorry, gotta go, gonna have to take care of this later."  Both for his lunch breaks and for helping me when I was sick. 

It makes me so sad and upset that that's not his mindset. 

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