My husband and I have been married for only 6 months but we have been together for 7 years. My problem is that my husband is a workaholic. We own a business and have several employees.
My husband makes me feel as if I am second to his job. He worries more about other people their needs before my needs and me. He is more willing to work on our business than on our marriage.
I would like to know how I can confront him about it without offending him and getting into an argument.
Can you please help?
Have you two always worked together? Some couples are able to make the distinction between work and home but other people are not so good at drawing boundaries. For other couples the boundaries are completely blurred and work conversations can take place even in bed. Where do you two fit in?
Have you considered getting another job? It can be difficult to watch your husband pay so much attention to other people on the job. It might be easier if you worked elsewhere then your time at home could really focus on the two of you as a couple.
Do you plan to have children? Have you talked about what changes would need to take place in his schedule if you have a baby?
Ask for one change at a time. And be patient. Workaholics have a hard time changing even when they sincerely want to.
Sit down with your husband and talk calmly with him about your concerns. Don't confront him. Talk reasonably with him. Be sure to tell him that you appreciate how hard he works and the life that he provides for the two of you. Ask him to consider where it would be possible to draw a line. For example, setting a time to be at home each evening and not taking phone calls after a certain hour.
Is there an assistant manager who could be "on call" the nights that your husband is "off duty"? If he needs to work Saturdays, ask him to take one Saturday off each month. Maybe he can also take a day or two half days off during the week.
Start small. Ask for one change at a time. Plan some nice activities for your time together so as to reinforce that this is "play time". And be patient. Workaholics have a hard time changing even when they sincerely want to. It's all too easy for "just one more phone call" to become two more hours at the office. Be flexible. Crises at the office do happen and there will be times when he'll have to stay late.
Dr. Louise Klein