Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 21 May |
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Is your spouse a workaholic? Here’s how to keep that from affecting your marriage


Kaspars Grinvalds - Shutterstock

Dolors Massot - published on 02/21/20

Workaholism is a common problem, but there are several ways to keep it from affecting your relationship.

Life as a couple can be seriously affected when one of the spouses dedicates too much energy to work. It’s not so much about the number of hours one spouse spends at work, since sometimes a family situation demands an extra effort to meet financial obligations, and that can translate into more hours of work. If the couple sees that this is the best option for the children and the whole family, it’s not a problem.

That’s not what we’re talking about. The problem arises when one of the spouses puts work above the life of the couple and the family, not only in their schedule but in their head and heart. That’s when a gap begins to open that needs to be filled before it’s too late.

What we’re talking about is a kind of “workaholism,” in which a person lets their professional activity take over their life, occupying an ever-increasing proportion of their time and energy. If left untreated, workaholism can lead to the stifling of spiritual life, family life, and married life.

What can you do if your partner is a workaholic?

Here are some suggestions to avoid or solve the problem:


When too much energy spent on work is a problem, the couple must find a chance to talk about it. Worrying and fretting in silence doesn’t solve anything.

You need to deal with the issue in a clear and respectful conversation, where both of you can make clear your points of view and the fundamental reasons behind your point of view and your behavior.

2Clearly show each other what the problem is.

This doesn’t mean drawing up a list of grievances, but making clear that your complaint is real. Sometimes people enter the spiral of “workaholism” without realizing it, because they’re passionate about their work and it makes them feel fulfilled or successful. Little by little, their professional life takes over, cutting down their focus on the family and marriage without them realizing it.

You need to help your spouse open his or her eyes to reality and recognize where egoism is a factor. Some things you can point to as evidence include

  • their schedule,
  • any situations in which they have abandoned their shared responsibility at home and with the children,
  • a lack of availability for their spouse and children.

3Establish guidelines you both agree on.

If your spouse has a problem with work addiction, or tends to get carried away with work, set clear guidelines together to help them regain control.

Monkey business images - Shutterstock

4Make a commitment not to use your cell phones during meals.

This way you can have a real and meaningful conversation, and you won’t be interrupted by calls or text messages. Making this time to connect each day is a wonderful way to strengthen your marriage.

5Establish an end time for your daily work.

When that time comes, shut down your computers and turn off your mobile phones.

sport parents
igorstevanovic - Shutterstock
Try to find family activities that you all like.

6Make it easy to stay connected with family life.

As much as possible, try to make your time at home together pleasant for you both. Keep each other informed of family news. Don’t wait for your spouse to ask.

Hquality - Shutterstock

7Take care of little details at home.

It’s hard in such a busy season, but balanced meals, order, and cleanliness are crucial for both of you to feel recharged and take care of yourselves. As much as you can, work toward creating a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere during the time you do get to spend together.


Read more:
How to know if you’re a workaholic


Read more:
How switching work roles with my husband enriched our marriage

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.