Posted by: jennifer | 2009-03-12

workaholic husband

Hi Doc
My husband is a workaholic. We run 2 businesses from home and we have customers coming in and out of our house all the time. My husband is neglecting his family but he says that because he works from home he is with his family and that our childen know exactly where he is if they want him. I feel like a single mom as he never comes with us if we go to functions as he is working. His philosophy is that you should sacrifice now and reap the rewards later in life but I feel like he is missing out on his family life. He is a good man and doesn' t drink or smoke and very committed but I feel like his work is his nr 1 priority and his family come last. How do I get him to have a balance in his life?
Thanks for your time

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Working from home has the advantage of no traffic jams on the way from your bed to your desk, but the disadvantage that potentially, unless you draw boundaries effectively, you're always at work. He sounds like a good man, indeed, but maybe scared that without his constant atention, the businesses could fail, and that by devoting himself so excessively to them, he may feel he is doing his best for the family. And I'd guess that these are largely a one-man show, so he may not have a lot of people to whom he can delegate tasks. Discuss his with him ( maybe even in a couple of sessions with a marriage counsellor ) to help find a better balance, and to have himm schedule some quality time with the family, especially on weekends, without feeling that he's neglecting the business either. I agree with Leila, about scheduling at least one week-end day and supper-time every evning, as family time. Customers do not NEED acess 24/7, but come to expect it if that's what you offer and provide.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jane | 2009-03-13

I have one of those husbands as well. Moving the business is not going to help. He will just spend more time there, then the family sees even less of him. " ... reap the rewards later" 
In my case, It is later already! I have adapted to what he has put before me. I live my life and he works. And even though he works 7 days a week, we are not rich! we barely get by.
If you do consider councilling, I hope and pray it works for you.

Reply to Jane
Posted by: Leila | 2009-03-12

First step is to move the business out of the house and into their own premises. The constant interruption of home life by customers is not ideal and by having premises away you/your hubby is able to dictate the hours when he will be available. I understand the harder you work the more successful you will become however, when you have exhausted yourself working all your life you might just discover that you have lost contact with your family. As far as sacrifice goes, he needs to sacrifice some of his working time to spend with the family, even if it is just to have a meal around the table every evening [no tv] but to just sit and talk and then to spend one day of the weekend doing things with the family.

Reply to Leila

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