Workaholics come in many forms, but it generally is not a curable condition, unless the workaholic tendency is tied to a one-time project only. Since workaholics tend to dive head first into solving puzzles, you probably saw signs of this trait early in your relationship. However, you likely saw these traits as strengths when you first met your spouse. But over time, the shine of what first appeared to be a driven, focused person capable of getting anything done wears off and you are left feeling like you play second fiddle to his or her work. The truth is workaholics get fed by their work it is generally a controlled environment, where more work equals more rewards. At work, there is often is a clearer equation for attaboys or attagirls than can be found at home.
Most workaholics prioritize goals and accomplishments above relationships. If you place relationships above all else, that makes you the glue of the relationship. You may need to make the first move.
First, identify what needs of yours are not being met. Most workaholics like clearly defined paths to success and they are not afraid to work hard for it. So map out for your spouse what actions they could take to help support your needs in the relationship.
Don’t worry if you struggle identifying what your needs are. This is easier said than done, but there are some great tools out there to help. Needs Quiz Once you identify your needs, you will feel more empowered to discuss them with your spouse or take independent action to get them met.
From your list of needs, identify which ones you might be able to satisfy yourself or with friends or family, and then highlight the needs you would like your spouse to support. Help them understand how you feel when these needs are not met.
All of us have the right to ask to have our needs met in a relationship, and your partner also has the right to say “Yes, I can do that for you” or “No, I’m sorry I can’t do that for you.”
If your spouse agrees to meet your needs, build conversations and activities around how you would like your needs met. Also use this conversation as an opportunity to learn about what your spouse’s needs are and how you can meet them in turn.
If you partner can’t meet your needs, it is now up to you to explore options of how you might get that need satisfied outside of the relationship. For example, if you are lonely because your spouse works late, you could make plans with friends, take a night class or start a hobby you’ve always wanted to try.
We all only get so many days to enjoy, and when your needs are met there will be a lot more enjoyable days in your future.