If you are in a long-term relationship with a workaholic, you may be at your wits end trying to cope with the various domestic and parental responsibilities you have as a couple by yourself. You may feel abandoned by your mate. Here are some things to consider that will provide direction for you and help you to cope.
Looking At the Motivation
It would be a good idea to think about your mate's possible motivation for working the long hours everyday. Some people take their role as providers very seriously, and are genuinely concerned about making sure the bills get paid while the family attains or maintains a certain style of living.
Some other common motivators could be that the workaholic is addicted to the social atmosphere of their employment, addicted to the work itself, and/or they are using the work as an excuse to evade other parental or marital responsibilities. They could harbor fears or resentment about their family roles due to being raised in a chaotic environment as a child, and to avoid inner conflict or conflict with you, they use work as a shield.
Workaholism could also be related to certain personality traits your mate possesses such as perfectionism, narcissism, impatience and/or compulsiveness. They may have learned controlling behaviors to get ahead and to keep their environment feeling safe.
It could simply be that the person has had to work hard all of their life and doesn't know how to live any other way. They may be so used to multi-tasking that they can't seem to let go of it even on weekends and vacations.
Making Financial Adjustments
If there truly is a financial need for the mate to put in the long hours, it would be wise to cooperate with them as much as possible. There might be adjustments the family could make to help out the main provider so as to allay his or her anxieties about finances.
Some couples and families have resorted to frugality as a lifestyle to avoid debt and cut down on work hours. If the children are in their mid-teens or older, they could also get part-time jobs to take care of some of their needs or wants, and a stay-at-home parent could make extra money working at home, or get a part-time job to help. It may be time for some professional financial or debt management counseling.
Coping With the Psychological and Relationship Problems
If your mate's workaholism is more psychological than financial, you will want to consider marital counseling, at a place like Advantage Psychological Center Inc. A professional could help you and your mate go beyond this presenting problem to get to the underlying issues, and it may be that you and your spouse will also need individual therapy.
If you want to be happier in the meantime, learn to view your situation in a more positive manner. Don't enable your mate by putting your life on hold. Go on and eat your meals at the regular time by yourself or with your children. Plan fun things to do with them and with your friends. If you have gotten in the habit of nagging or getting angry, work on being calm and centered, because the negative behavior only makes you feel depressed and frustrated. It also gives your spouse an excuse to stay longer at work.