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Married to a workaholic

(41 Posts)
killbilly Wed 16-Nov-16 22:56:58

How do you cope with being bottom of the pile?

My DH isn't hugely ambitious he just happens to have a lot of responsibility. But it's taken over our lives. He typically works most evenings and in pretty resentful.

The house is neglected because there are things I don't have time or inclination to do like DIY etc.

I feel neglected and unloved at times. Three months ago I talked to him about it and he promised things would get better but they haven't.

The children get plenty of attention when he's around but there's not always a lot left for us as a couple.

He cannot reduce his hours and carry on in the same job. He's too fearful of walking into a similarly draining role to leave the company. Catch 22 sad

I need coping mechanisms fast! Before I get any more miserable! I can't be the only one,

Had anyone managed to turn around a workaholic other half?!

Jinglebellsandv0dka Wed 16-Nov-16 23:03:48

Im watching with intrest and understand how you feel!

Do you work yoursekf or is your only income from your Dh?

My Dh has just didn't the last two years building our buisness up and he is never in our home. Even at 9:30 st night he will 'nip' back to the office or be sat on Skype to contacts at 11pm.

One day a week he takes off and he spends half of that st football, the other half of the day is spent in a brain burned out fog watching tv.

It's shit as they are working so hard for their family - but what's the point if you never actually see you family. Thry will never get this time as a young family back :-(

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 16-Nov-16 23:08:22

I left.

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 16-Nov-16 23:13:13

AnneLovesGilbert me too. Wasn't worth it. He wasn't interested in me, didn't do much with kids or as a family as was married to his job.

geekymommy Thu 17-Nov-16 02:53:30

I didn't mind before the DCs came along. I'd rather read or play video games than go out, in general. I've never minded being left on my own- hey, if I'm left on my own, at least I'm not being asked to do something I don't want to do. What's hard is that he works almost every weekend day, so I can't ask him to take the kids so I can get a break. I suspect when the kids get older, I will go back to not minding. And then I will be able to read or play when I want to again.

LellyMcKelly Thu 17-Nov-16 04:44:28

I left too. He just became something else I had to take care on.

80sWaistcoat Thu 17-Nov-16 06:43:23

I think it's very hard for them to change. I think a workaholic will rarely become a balanced person with a good work life balance. They tend to be driven, that's the point really.

I find it v hard as I see work as a means to an end....he sees work as defining him.

Im0gen Thu 17-Nov-16 08:26:46

I was married to a man like like that . His addiction destroyed our marriage. It's not any easier to live with than an addiction to alcohol or drugs , it's just more socially acceptable. He worked every single day of our lives , except our wedding day . He came to the hospital with my when I was in labour then spent the whole time outside on his phone / laptop. He barely made it back into the room to see the children being born .

He worked every single day of our family holidays , often leaving half way through to go back to work.

And doesn't let him kid you that he's doing it for you and the children. My ex had always been like that and he still is. It's not about the job or even the money, it's about their addiction. You didn't cause and you can't control it .

I'm sorry, I wish I could be more positive for you.

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 09:45:25

Yes I work part- time, but I'm limited somewhat by his long hours, and I earn very little compared to him.

I've realised that he's not technically a workaholic reading all your posts. He doesn't thrive on work- the opposite, he is drained and exhausted.

He's very very stressed and feels he has to be available at every moment to keep up with incoming emails from around the world at different times of the day and evening.

There are so many meetings he has no time to get the work done.

He's not motivated by his job - but the outcome still means I'm lonely and family life is a bit lacking.

Respect to you people who have left your other halves, but I don't feel things are at crisis point-yet.

But - I've got no idea what to do next!

Monkeyface26 Thu 17-Nov-16 10:03:34

Your poor stressed-out husband. He's trapped in a job that he doesn't like, working all hours, scared to leave in case he makes things harder. He makes time for his children but not for diy! He sounds like a good man, doing his best.

Are you helping or are you being part of the problem? His job sounds awful and he sounds mentally ground-down by it all. I know it's hard when it seems as though there's nothing left for you but you both sound stuck and something needs to change. It's a cliche to say that the only attitude you can change is your own - but it is true. If he's going to make a change, he's going to need your support.

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 10:11:01

Monkeyface - completely agree and I do a lot of handholding / listening ANYTHING to make it easier. Which is fine, but long- term it's not a good way to live for any of us.

NotTheFordType Thu 17-Nov-16 10:14:09

Can you sit him down and ask him what his future vision is? Where does he see himself in one year, 5 years, 10 years? Because from what you say, he clearly can't sustain this and he's going to end up burned out and possibly killing his career path by having a long period of sickness. (Which shouldn't affect your future prospects, but undeniably does in some industries.)

Do his colleagues all work similar hours? Or is he the only one doing this?

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 10:16:23

I'm genuinely not sure how I can help him further... I'm asking for ideas.

Not sure how I can change my attitude? I'm accepting but it's tough living with disappointment - move and his.

He's working himself into the ground and can't see that he should take a step back. I try to only be positive for him so I don't want to nag him sad

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 10:17:14

Ford - long hours are commonplace. But not everyone also has families...

JennyHolzersGhost Thu 17-Nov-16 10:18:43

He does sound under an unsustainable amount of pressure. Any chance you can step up your hours / career ? How old are the kids ?

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 10:22:06

Kids under 8.

My earning potential is tiny in comparison.

He doesn't have the confidence to get himself recruited to another job. He has the background, skills and experience.

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 10:23:35

Illness would be the only thing that would stop him or get him to slow down. It's ironic.

JennyHolzersGhost Thu 17-Nov-16 10:28:55

Ok so on the one hand he's very stressed but on the other he's choosing not to do anything to mitigate it.
If you feel his actions are incompatible with family life then you have to tell him that, I'm afraid.

If there's little chance of bringing more money in, is there any chance of cutting back financially ? I'm just thinking about ways in which you could reduce any financial pressure he might feel as the main earner. That doesn't address his mental attitude though of course - if he's choosing to work so hard and be miserable about it then I'm not sure what you can do other than making it clear to him how much this is affecting your marriage. Have you had The Talk with him yet?

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 10:32:12

Jenny - you've hit the nail on the head. He's choosing not to do anything about it - but part of that solution is stressful to him as well. It's not that he can't be bothered. He has no energy to look for another post.

We've had the talk - I was very clear that something has to change. I didn't give him an ultimatum though.

Monkeyface26 Thu 17-Nov-16 10:49:57

It really does sound very hard on you both - and it's obviously completely unsustainable. Does he agree with you that it is a significant problem? Would he accept your characterisation of the issue as you have set it out for us, or would there be points of difference in the way he sees things?

EssentialHummus Thu 17-Nov-16 11:04:58

It depends what industry he is in, I suppose, but this sounds a lot like the lawyers I know (speaking as an ex-lawyer). If it's that kind of role, I'd suggest he take literally five minutes to write to two/three good recruiters, attach his CV, explain candidly that he'd like a new role with x criteria, and ask them to get in touch for a chat.

He is making assumptions about what other jobs are out there, by the sounds of things, possibly because he is too tired/stressed to think straight.

killbilly Thu 17-Nov-16 11:40:49

Yes he agrees it's a big problem.

He would say that at his level everybody puts in very long hours. I would argue that those same people don't think about work all of the time and allow themselves some time off to just relax.

I would argue that we don't need the money and he could do a job with less responsibility. A fortunate position I know. I'm not altogether convinced that his pride could take the step down but maybe I'm looking too far into the future.

I think it might be helpful to break down the tasks of finding a new job into small chunks and spoon-feed him all the way. Is that unreasonable I don't know?!

Monkeyface26 Thu 17-Nov-16 12:52:35

It does sound as though he is conflicted - stressed by the responsibilities of his role but also taking some satisfaction from holding such a position and reluctant to relinquish the status it gives. It might help for him to consider what he would want his days to look like if he could control them himself. Would he want to remain in this job if one or two aspects of it changed? Would he need the job to be radically different in order to enjoy it? Or is it that he likes the job but is just worrying that he is not up to it? If he could somehow magically have anything, what would he want? It sounds as though he might not know but I don't think you can get far until he does.

ErnieAndBernie Thu 17-Nov-16 13:40:44

Unfortunately the only person who can do anything about this is him. You cannot change him or his actions. It is an addiction, it's not necessarily that they enjoy it, it's more that they can't step away....
You sound like you have give him all the advice and offers of help that it is possible to give. But unless he takes them, nothing will change.
I'm in the process of of very slowly extracting myself from a near 20 year relationship with my H who is a workaholic. Except we have 2 kids and currently live abroad. I want so desperately to come home. My H will never change and I just can't so this anymore.
I hope for your sake your H can and does change, but I think it will take an earthquake in his world to do it.

Itssosunny Thu 17-Nov-16 14:41:31

I feel neglected as well. I feel like the wife of the Einstein.

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