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Husband is a workaholic...


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Old 18th February 2018, 1:40 AM   #1
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Husband is a workaholic...

my DH calls himself a workaholic. Summary: his primary responsibility right now- finishing grad school- takes up a lot of time, but he chooses to add many side endeavors because they’re projects that excite him. Problem:He ends up being home maybe an hour at night before bedtime, and on weekends we will spend like 2 hours together per day. We had a trip with my family and he went back after only 24 hours, not because he actually had to be at work/ school but because he wanted to be at home and sit and work uninterrupted. I’m worried we are going to fall out of love if we aren’t spending more time together and if he doesn’t want to spend more time together out of his own free will. He doesn’t see his work ethic as a problem bc he says end goal is to be able to make lots of money & provide for me (right now I’m definitely the breadwinner).

We fight about it, a lot lately. I really want to be able to love and support him but I always get that disappointed feeling in pit of my stomach when I get another Text he’ll be home after 9p bc he wants to stay and finish work. His wish is to feel “unconditionally supported” and says he doesn’t need nearly as much time as me to be happy (I’d be asking for him to come home 7p on weeknights, stop working 4p or so on weekends). Says he loves me so much and I’m always his priority “regardless of how much or little time we spend together.” But I feel we are going to fall out of love when the vast majority of our interactions are him staring at computer screen at home but wanting to hold my hand while he does it. He says he considers it “quality time” if he’s working as long as we are next to each other and cuddling/holding hands. That is his favorite kind of day.

I don’t know if he’ll ever get the message that working this much can actually ruin a relationship and I’m not just “high maintenance” and “require so much attention.” (Case in point? He left that trip after 24 hours while I stayed 2 more days and had lots of fun w family and friends. Not so high maintenance ...)

Last edited by ls333; 18th February 2018 at 1:55 AM..
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Old 18th February 2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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Same thing here. I'll elaborate more, but it does make for a very difficult relationship, especially when they are tuned out (even when around) and focused obsessively on work.

Mine is an academic (so am I, actually, but I'm not that far gone). He cannot "shut it off" even though he has nothing "due", no deadlines, etc. In fact, he's on a fellowship now and he's working more than ever (writing books) and he's really almost never available mentally. It sucks, big time. Some men have this personality. I suspect mine is on the spectrum--utterly brilliant, but unable to multi-task or turn his brain off or focus on the mundane. He fines idyll chatter absolutely nails-on-the-chalkboard-esque. He's not curious about what makes individuals tick, only DWM (in our field--dead white men). Welcome to the club.

I just find other ways to engage socially.
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Old 18th February 2018, 11:35 AM   #3
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Oh wow! We were getting ready to go out so I just skimmed your post and now I've read the second sentence.

Yes--we are both PhDs (from a top institution, if it matters). He cannot turn the stuff off. We met during graduate school. It only gets worse. He's already tenured (early in his career), has produced triple even the stars in the field, etc. He's really unable to participate in anything not intellectual. It's so annoying.

I swear, my vision of him is just pouring in this big bucket of knowledge into his mind, non-stop. All of my friends are academics and none is as bad. He's truly an exception. I hope your partner is not like him. Even when he's cooking or cleaning, he has to be listening to audio books on ontology, etc. It's maddening. It's like, "settle the f down."
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Old 18th February 2018, 11:42 AM   #4
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Hi,
I skimmed through your older posts and see that all your other posts were in 2011 about one man.

Is that the man you are married to now? I ask because his behavior seems very similar to what you are describing in your husband now.

Whether he is or not, here are my suggestions:
(1) Have him read the following article:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...-wife-syndrome
Get him to understand that you won't be screaming for human affection and time forever and eventually you will mentally check out to a point where even you won't be able to force yourself to feel much for him to want to stay in the marriage.

(2) It doesn't sound like you have children from your post. Assuming you are planning on having children with your husband at some point, try to get a glimpse of what that life is going to look like.
Is he going to change? NO. People don't usually change. Is that the kind of father you want your children to grow up with--the kind that buries himself into work, focused only on money and lacking healthy emotional connection and playful time together that children need to grow in a healthy way?

Once the children get added to the picture, how much time will he have for YOU? If all he's able to give you is about an hour each day, then it will be nothing after children are born.

For how long can you live like this?

Take a bit of time researching why people end up in affairs--number one reason for women is they feel emotionally neglected by their husbands. You will not think for a single second that you are capable of "spreading your wings" in the direction of another lover one day, but for how long can live like a emotional corpse?

Marriage is not a contract between two people to support each other financially ONLY. It's more about the human needs and your human needs aren't being met.

Make an appointment with a couple's counselor and make him hear that you are nearing the end unless he is willing to meet your emotional needs.
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Old 18th February 2018, 12:10 PM   #5
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OP, has he always been like this as long as you've known him?

If yes, then that's who he is.

His goal is to make lots of money. He said it. Accept it.

I've seen the results decades down the road when the multi-millionaires retire and get depressed because that workaholic lifestyle that made them their millions is over. They don't know what to do with themselves. But they are rich, no doubt. Then they die and their kids get it all. Pretty cool. They 'provided'. If you're with a guy like that and IDK if you are, it's pretty clear how it will go. About the only thing I've seen interrupt or end it is serious injury or illness that gives them a life-altering experience. Sometimes that changes things. Other times not.
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Old 18th February 2018, 1:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt View Post
Hi,
I skimmed through your older posts and see that all your other posts were in 2011 about one man.

Is that the man you are married to now? I ask because his behavior seems very similar to what you are describing in your husband now.

Whether he is or not, here are my suggestions:
(1) Have him read the following article:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...-wife-syndrome
Get him to understand that you won't be screaming for human affection and time forever and eventually you will mentally check out to a point where even you won't be able to force yourself to feel much for him
So interesting you asked- this is NOT the man from the 2011 posts. Interesting to think whether I have a pattern but I've thought of the 2 as totally different/ my former fiancé was emotionally and physically abusive, really didn't want me to have a successful career, but also was nowhere close to a workaholic and liked tons of family time.
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Old 18th February 2018, 2:30 PM   #7
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if he does not change, what will you do?

I see a man who will end up a catch, so unless you want to spurn him due to short-sightedness, be glad it is your hand he holds, bored for now only...
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Old 18th February 2018, 2:42 PM   #8
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I'm gathering this graduate school is professional school (business or law?--likely business). Graduate school outside of these disciplines doesn't yield lots of money, relatively speaking. One can live very comfortably in certain areas of the country, but not all if he's simply doing a PhD.

I don't know if he's a "catch" just because he may have money (and this was never defined, so, relatively speaking, he may not). Still, it's not worth it. A family member has a great position at google, lives in Menlo Park in a 5 million dollar house, is a workaholic. His wife has every luxury imaginable, but is miserable.


There's a saying in graduate school, "Enjoy these years because it only gets harder/more demanding." In fact, as women, we are advised to have kids during grad school and not after while trying to get tenure/advance our careers.

You have an uphill battle and it's probably better to get our now. Some women can handle relative emotional neglect. Others can't. It doesn't bother me too much because I need much alone time, like to sleep alone, and don't want to be bothered a whole lot. I was raised pretty independently. I still find it annoying, though.
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Old 18th February 2018, 3:00 PM   #9
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I went back and looked at your threads.

I'm guessing there is a history of gaming the system that I'm not aware of? Oh, well.
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Old 18th February 2018, 3:06 PM   #10
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Old 18th February 2018, 4:59 PM   #11
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Some big problems here, not all just work-related. It sounds to me like the biggest problem is that he doesn't listen to your concerns or attempt to compromise at all. The second biggest problem is that he isn't making your relationship a priority in any way - and it's reasonable for you to not be okay with that.

Btw, I'm saying this as the partner of a man who works long hours in a very high stress job. Some sacrifices need to be made, yes. But on the other hand, I wouldn't have stayed if he hadn't done anything he could possibly do to keep the relationship alive. Including saying no to optional but very high paying extra hours, making the most of weekends together, date nights every week, etc.

Is your H at all open to MC?
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Old 19th February 2018, 3:22 PM   #12
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PhDs and family life have a real difficult time coexisting. In my previous life in academia I met very few people who had balanced lives. Most people were either forever single, or married with no kids -in what looked like purely professional partnerships-, or going through divorce #2 or #3. Or, worse, were married for years and both their wives and kids resented them for being so absent in their lives (and the wives staying, looked more like prisoners trapped in the deal).

Not sure what advice to give you. I tried to talk some sense into dear friends who were academic workaholics and hurting their families with their absences (both mental and sometimes physical). But none of them never did anything about it even though they were aware of the issues. All I can do is offer a hug. You might also want to rethink your relationship with this guy (particularly if you don't have kiddos involved in the mix).

Last edited by OneParadox; 19th February 2018 at 5:28 PM..
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Old 19th February 2018, 10:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls333 View Post
my DH calls himself a workaholic. Summary: his primary responsibility right now- finishing grad school- takes up a lot of time, but he chooses to add many side endeavors because they’re projects that excite him. Problem:He ends up being home maybe an hour at night before bedtime, and on weekends we will spend like 2 hours together per day. We had a trip with my family and he went back after only 24 hours, not because he actually had to be at work/ school but because he wanted to be at home and sit and work uninterrupted. I’m worried we are going to fall out of love if we aren’t spending more time together and if he doesn’t want to spend more time together out of his own free will. He doesn’t see his work ethic as a problem bc he says end goal is to be able to make lots of money & provide for me (right now I’m definitely the breadwinner).

We fight about it, a lot lately. I really want to be able to love and support him but I always get that disappointed feeling in pit of my stomach when I get another Text he’ll be home after 9p bc he wants to stay and finish work. His wish is to feel “unconditionally supported” and says he doesn’t need nearly as much time as me to be happy (I’d be asking for him to come home 7p on weeknights, stop working 4p or so on weekends). Says he loves me so much and I’m always his priority “regardless of how much or little time we spend together.” But I feel we are going to fall out of love when the vast majority of our interactions are him staring at computer screen at home but wanting to hold my hand while he does it. He says he considers it “quality time” if he’s working as long as we are next to each other and cuddling/holding hands. That is his favorite kind of day.

I don’t know if he’ll ever get the message that working this much can actually ruin a relationship and I’m not just “high maintenance” and “require so much attention.” (Case in point? He left that trip after 24 hours while I stayed 2 more days and had lots of fun w family and friends. Not so high maintenance ...)
Communicate Communicate Communicate! He's not hearing your concerns only thinking of himself. If he is this selfish with his time now what will you do when there is kids involved? I have a friend whose husband is a doctor and he is the same way. So into his patients, there is not much time for his private life. She has told him until she knows she can depend on him being a father to his children she doesn't want to start their family. That did get him thinking and now he takes off early one night a week for them to go out and enjoy each other. I understand workaholic, I am one, but I know when he feels I am ignoring him we are not going to be happy so I get myself into my family life a little more, but it is a continual battle.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 9:20 PM   #14
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My update this week: DH has cooked for me twice, sat down to eat dinner w me and talked for 45 min\night, and watched TV for 1\2 hour last night. And I called and talked to him yesterday evening while we were both commuting home from work. That’s basically all the interaction we’ve had this week

He found out yesterday there’s an unexpected roadblock in his PhD write-up that will take a bunch more time so it’s crunch time. I get that but he still works on his side projects too… He was just asking if any of my co-workers or friends would be interested in this random project he had an idea for… But I know he he considers them “fun” and “hobbies” rather than work. He will occasionally come out from other room and give me a dozen kisses or so and then go back to work . I should think it’s cute but somehow I am annoyed bc it makes me feel he thinks he can give me so little attention and still “get away with it” and make me happy. His whole “quality over quantity.” Reminds me of how an extended family member has a big birthday going and he’s to attend for as short a time as he can w/o being rude bc it’s right before his paper is due… he calls it “I need to check off a box and go,” and that’s how I’m feeling, if he interacts w me for 1 min an hour he can check off the box of “attention.”

It’s not that he’s in major crunch time for a PhD that’s bothering me- obviously can’t be helped. It’s just that he’s pretty much always a workaholic, so I’m baseline annoyed and now REALLY annoyed bc what am I getting out of this really?
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Old 25th February 2018, 9:54 AM   #15
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Hi Is333, why don't you hive h an ultimatum? Tell him you will give him this much time to realize what is important for your marriage and if he does not accommodate your feelings you have him served. Maybe that will wake him up to the seriousness of the situation. If not, then proceed with the divorce. No point living like this. You'll only end up with ulcers! Warm wishes.
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