The pressures of work can be tough. Meeting deadlines and keeping your boss happy can sap your energy and leave you empty by the time you get home each evening. But, your primary commitment should be to your spouse first and foremost, and then to your children. Working late every night, or bringing work home to tackle in the evenings, can make your spouse feel neglected and invisible. Of course this might have to happen from time to time, on a special project, or say during the launch of new product, but when it becomes the norm your marriage can really start to suffer.
When you get married, you commit your very self to your spouse: mind, body, soul, and spirit. But, in far too many marriages, one person or the other ends up transferring that allegiance to their job and to meeting their boss’s demands instead. If all your time is taken up by working, or thinking about work, what do you have left to give your spouse? Your boss has never vowed to be there for you through sickness and health, for better for worse…till death do you part. Only one person in the world gave you’re their word and that person should never feel that they come second to your job.
Another way a job can put a strain on a marriage is if you decide to “follow your passion”, regardless of how impractical or selfish it may be…and especially without your spouse’s consent. Have you dreamt of being a lifeguard at the beach your whole life? If you have a mortgage and kids to put through college, you may want to put that dream on the shelf. Or have you always wanted to perform comedy on cruise ships? Sorry again…you have people who depend on you. Some dreams are meant to be just that…dreams. Making decisions a single person has the freedom to make, despite the fact that you very much are not single, is a recipe for disaster.
Or perhaps you have a taste for danger. Nope. You can’t get hitched to the love of your life and then spring the idea on her that you want to become a professional skydiving instructor. That’s just not fair. Nor can you let him know that you’ve decided to pursue lion taming. This isn’t what your spouse signed up for when he or she married you. They signed up for a husband or wife who would come home from work in one piece, fully intact and in no clear and present danger of losing a limb, or his or her life! Daydream about danger and stay safe in the meantime.
One’s income, whether too high or too low, can also ruin a marriage. If you’re making significantly more money than your spouse and you rub it in his or her face regularly, you’re just setting the stage for resentment down the line. And if you take a job that underpays you and causes your family to endure a financial strain, that can also be a marriage killer. You and your spouse should always discuss any job offers before they’re accepted to ensure the proposed salary won’t cause marital issues for either spouse.
Also, be sure not to get too buddy buddy with your co-workers. Of course, you need work friends. Any work day goes by faster when you have pals to joke around with amidst the pressures of deadlines and cranky bosses, but when your colleagues take up too much of your non-work time, that’s bad news. Even worse is becoming particularly close to one specific co-worker who you begin to jokingly dub your “work wife” or “work husband”! Not funny. Emotional affairs are not only real things, but also can end up being very damaging things. You may eventually start to confide more in your “work spouse” than your actual one. One thing can lead to another and physical temptations my come into play. Then your “work wife” becomes more than just a silly role someone’s playing. If you’re facing temptation of this kind at work, seriously consider asking for a reassignment or looking for a new job altogether. No job is more important that your marriage!
Sadly, a lot of people have to travel for work. This can also put a huge amount of strain on any marriage, especially if kids are involved. Leaving a spouse at home all week, every week of the year can cause a tremendous strain on both their life, and the health of your marriage. Effectively making your spouse a single parent by traveling throughout the year is something you must be sensitive to. It’s imperative that you offer your husband or wife extra support on the weekends, especially with the kids, to help prevent them from burning out. If traveling often for work is an arrangement that works beautifully for you and your spouse, then by all means, carry on. However, if your marriage starts to suffer, reconsider your job’s demands.
The reality is a job is a job and it should not control your life, nor should it negatively affect your marriage and home life. If you find that your spouse is struggling because of your career choices, it’s time to sit down and decide if it’s worth jeopardizing your marriage or not. Even if you’re earning a huge annual income, always remember that money cannot buy happiness. Regardless of your paycheck, your spouse may not be quite as enthusiastic about your occupation as you are. Yes, you could try marriage counseling before embarking on a job search, but you’ll still be at the same job once your sessions have ended. Your first priority in life should always be your spouse and keeping your marriage a happy one, and a job should never get in the way of that. Make a pro/con list if you have to, but honestly evaluate your priorities and ensure your keeping everything in the right order. Never allow a mere job to ruin your sacred and precious marriage.