How Working Too Much Can Impact Your Relationship
Everyone has to work, but some of us take things a little more seriously than others. There is nothing wrong with making your career the priority in your life, but if that is the case, be prepared for it to impact your relationships. Being overworked and stressed out by deadlines isn’t good for anyone’s mental health, especially if you are in a loving relationship. As the old saying goes, “work to live, don’t live to work.” That is unless your job is incredible and you love it. Then go your hardest.
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is something we all strive to achieve, but things don’t always pan out that way. The average American works 40-60 hours per week, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to spend with your partner when you factor in sleeping, spending time with your kids, and looking after yourself. In saying that, the impact work has on your relationship varies from person to person.
A 2015 study found that people who focus on their careers and put in the extra hours actually have healthy relationships with their partners. They understand that working long hours is not ideal, but the rewards at the end are. These people also prioritize the time they spend with their loved ones and make the most of the small window they can be together.
While the results are positive, not everyone who is a workaholic is able to enjoy a stable romantic relationship. Focusing on work too much can cause you to neglect your partner and put a strain on the relationship. If you are burning the candle at both ends, you might only see your partner when you both get up in the morning, which is not conducive to a healthy relationship.
10 Signs You Are Working Too Much
It is not always easy to tell if you are overworked or just having a tough couple of weeks in the office. To help you discover whether you are working too much or not, we have come up with 10 signs that demonstrate how working too much may be affecting your relationship.
1. You Are Avoiding Talking With Your Partner
Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, so if you find yourself not talking with your significant other on a regular basis you may be in trouble. This can especially become clear if you manage to get out of work early and you get home and instead of talking with your spouse about her day, you grab a beer and head to the study. If you find your conversations only revolve around bills or the kids, things aren’t looking good.
Conversely, if your partner is the one not talking it maybe be because she feels neglected by you. If you are spending all your time at work and not paying her any attention, this will have a negative impact on her and the way she treats you.
If neither of you is talking then you are both ignoring your responsibilities in the relationship and that is a big warning sign that work is becoming a problem. You need to be willing to take the time to sit down and talk and express your emotions, no matter how shit your day at the office was.
2. Your Partner Asks You To Work Less
If your lover is telling you that you are working too much, then you are probably working too much. If she is expressing concerns about your work/life balance or your lack of affection being shown, you might need to reassess how long you spend at the office. This is especially true if she is giving you ultimatums. If your partner tells you that you need to work less or the relationship is over, you better listen. She has obviously been feeling underappreciated and is not comfortable with the current situation of your partnership.
Try talking to your boss about working less or making sure you finish at the same time every day. Your partner needs to know you are trying to work less so you can spend more time together. Even if you still end up coming home later a few nights a week, if she can see you are putting in the effort and attempting to make positive changes, she will appreciate what you are doing.
3. You Are Always Tired After Work
Work is tiring, but if the first thing you want to do when you get home is sleep, you might be overdoing it. Work can be mentally and emotionally draining and really suck the life out of you. If you find you have no energy to entertain your partner you might need to reconsider your work life. This is especially evident if your girlfriend wants sex and you say you are too tired. Men rarely knock back a chance to get jiggy with it, so if this is you, it is time to speak with your boss and reduce your hours.
4. You Have a Poor Attitude
Following on from the last point, being constantly tired can also impact your attitude. If you have little energy when you get home and your partner starts talking about the bills and what you are doing on the weekend, it is quite easy to become annoyed and take this out on her. This can be tenfold if you work with a boss you don’t get on with or have co-workers that are toxic.
If you have negative energy at work and bring it home with you, it is sure to cause problems in your relationship. While your partner will happily listen to your problems and try and help out, if all you do is slag off your boss or talk about work, it will eventually wear thin with her and lead to greater breakdowns in the relationship.
5. You Are Always Stressed
While having a bad attitude can bring the vibe down, so can being stressed. If you are always thinking about work, figuring out how to impress your boss, or stressing about deadlines, it can cause you to become agitated and negatively impact your attitude. This will seep into your relationship and play out when interacting with your partner. You may begin to take out all your frustrations on her and put an unnecessary strain on the relationship.
6. You Put Work Before Your Relationship
If you find yourself preferring to stay back at work or heading into the office on the weekend rather than spending time with your partner, your might need to rethink your relationship. You probably have deeper problems in your relationship if you would rather work, but it also could be that you are so focused on a project or deal that you have prioritized over your relationship. This is a big red flag and something you need to address sooner rather than later.
7. You Are Always Late To Events
Showing up fashionably late is not a good look. If you have planned to meet your wife or partner for dinner at eight o’clock, be there at eight o’clock. She has made the effort to be on time so it is only fair you do the same. If you start being consistently late to events, or worse, cancel plans because of work, this is a clear sign you are spending too much time at the office.
8. You Argue With Your Partner More Than Usual
Every relationship goes through a few rough patches, but if you find that you are always arguing since you’ve started working more, that could be the reason why. As already mentioned, if you are stressed or have a poor attitude, this can cause you to become more argumentative. Even the smallest things might set you off and soon you will find you and your partner engaged in a screaming match about leaving your pants on the floor.
9. You Never See Your Partner
This is a huge sign that your work life has taken over. If you are like passing ships in the night and barely cross paths, it is easy to understand why your relationship could be in trouble. Working late and then getting up early to start the next day without barely speaking a word to your lover is not the way to have a successful relationship. You need to find ways to be more flexible so you can spend quality time together.
10. You Enjoy Being at Work More Than Home
If your time at the office is more enjoyable than spending your nights at home with your partner, you have a serious problem. When you become obsessed with work and devote all your time to it, being at home can often feel strange. You might have inadvertently created a toxic atmosphere at home, so work feels like a much safer space. If this is the case you really need to get professional help to make sure you and your partner can rekindle your relationship.
What You Can Do To Fix This
So you have read through the above signs and realized work is consuming your life. What do you do now? It is actually much easier than you might think. You don’t have to quit your job or make drastic changes to your work life. Have an open and honest conversation with the boss about your expectations at work and what you think you can manage.
Also, talk things over with your partner and get their opinion. As they are the ones dealing with you on a day-to-day basis, what they say counts. If you still need a few pointers, below are seven top tips for fixing a relationship affected by working too much.
1. Talk With Your Partner
The first thing you need to do is chat with your partner and get their thoughts on things. There is no doubt working too much has made an impact on them, so understand how they feel and talk with them about ways you can compromise on your work. Ask them what they need from you and do it. Maybe this means you only stay late once a week instead of every other night. Or maybe you can work from home for a few days so you can be around your partner. However you decide to balance your work/life situation, make sure your partner is part of that decision.
2. Work Less
The most obvious thing you can do is work less. Of course, this is not always an option for some. If you can’t get your boss to reduce your hours, make sure you always leave on time. Don’t take work home with you on the weekend. Separate your work life from your personal life. While overtime happens now and then, try and limit the number of extra hours you work in a week.
3. Leave Work at Work
Depending on your job, you might have to be accessible outside of work hours, but don’t start replying to emails or making phone calls while at home that can be done at work. When people know you can be reached they won’t hesitate to call you whenever a problem arises.
Talk to your boss about having some boundaries so you aren’t expected to be working on weekends when you are spending time with your partner. Also, make sure you aren’t staying back when you don’t have to be.
3. Change Out of Your Work Clothes as Soon as You Get Home
This might seem like a strange thing to do, but it helps you make a clear definition between work and home. By getting out of your suit and putting on your everyday comfortable clothes you feel like you are away from the office. This is only a small ritual but it is a great way to separate your personal life from work.
4. Vent To Your Partner for No More Than Ten Minutes
Get it all out of your system by venting to your partner Do this for a short amount of time so you can spend the rest of your evening engaged with your partner and family.
As career expert Wendi Weiner told The Ladders, “If you find that your negativity about work is bleeding into your personal life, set aside ten minutes to vent to your partner, and then clear out the energy to focus on the good things happening in your personal life Venting about the day may be very necessary to clear your mind and shift your attitude focus. But, don’t allow the ten minutes of venting to become ten hours.”
5. Get Your Eight Hours Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for all aspects of your life. The less tired you are, the less likely you are to be stressed or affected by what happens at work. This way you will feel refreshed in the morning and more likely to leave work at work. Your partner will appreciate you being more attentive and engaged as opposed to you being too tired to talk.
It also means you will be well rested for work and ready to tackle the day. The more with it you are at work the more you can get accomplished and the less you have to take home with you.
6. Plan Date Nights and Stick To Them
A good way to detach from work is to organize regular date nights with your partner. Hire a babysitter (if you have kids), get dressed up, and wine and dine each other at a fancy reastuanrt. If that is too much effort, grab some local takeaway and veg out on the couch chatting about everything but work. This is a good way to separate work and home life and shows your partner you put your relationship before work.
7. Start a New Hobby
Having a distraction from work is a good way to forget about it. Picking up a new hobby is a great way to go about this. The possibilities are endless. You could start gardening, pick up a book, learn to play the guitar or even start studying again. What’s even better is taking up a hobby with your partner. This way you can enjoy each other’s company while forgetting work.
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