How to Accept a Workaholic Husband

Three Parts:Being UnderstandingCommunicatingKeeping the House Comfortable

Does your husband work more than the regular 40-hour work week? Is he late for dinner a couple times a week because he's still working? Does he bring his work home with him? If you answered "yes" to these questions, your husband may well be a workaholic. In this article you will learn how to accept your husband for who he is rather than try to change his ways. You will also gain an appreciation for his work and an understanding of why he pulls the ridiculously long hours that he does.You might also learn how to enhance your relationship even should he maintain his grueling workload.

Part 1
Being Understanding

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    Understand that many men feel it is their duty to provide for their families. This is one of the ways they measure success. If they can provide for their families, then they are succeeding at being a husband and father. This goes back to the hunter-gatherer mentality that human beings associate with the earliest ancestors; modern-day husbands, though hopefully more civilized than the deep-browed people from your elementary school text books, nonetheless show some similarities to their ancient forebears when they feel the need to provide and protect. By working long hours, they feel that they are securing their family's future to enable them to protect against life's dangers and deprivations. Their kids will be able to attend college, their wives will be able to have what they need to help raise the children well, their homes will be secure and comfortable. Such men feel that their mission is to take care of everyone, and they rarely lose sight of that..
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    Understand that your husband's job might be very demanding. He may not be working just to make money. His boss might have unreasonable expectations of his or her employees and pile on the workload with tight deadlines. Unless your husband is a glutton for punishment, this is a very stressful way to work. He might have to work long hours in order to keep (and keep up with) his job. Even though a lot of wives see their husbands as having no faults, your husband might actually be struggling at work. Demanding that he stop working the hours that he does will more than likely cause him to push back and shut you out. If you can't see what he's trying to do, even if he doesn't clearly explain it, he will see this as being disrespected. Maybe he's working a short-term project, and the amount of hours may taper off later. Rather than adding to this burden, try to help him feel better when he is at home.
    • Bring him a hot beverage.
    • Sit up with him.
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    Understand that if your husband is paid by the hour, working longer hours allows him to bring home more money. This is his way of providing for his family. He might not see the fact that he is missing out on precious time with his children. He might not see that you, as his wife, need him around to feel loved. He is working those hours for you and for the family. Unless he takes all of his extra money and spends it on himself and his hobbies, chances are he is just trying to help his family get ahead in life. Maybe he grew up without much food in his house and he remembers how miserable it was and doesn't want his family to be that way. He feels that he is doing what he needs to do in order to stop that from happening.
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    Understand that your husband isn't working all the extra hours to avoid you. He isn't cheating on you. He expects you to be understanding about his work load. He, too, should be understanding as to how that work load may affect you and the rest of your family.

Part 2

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    Communicate with your husband. If the amount of hours your husband is working bothers you, express this to him in a way that he can understand. If he feels like you are challenging his reasons for working so much, you will more than likely not get the outcome of the conversation that you wanted. If you come to him gently and simply ask why he puts in so many hours, he will probably explain it to you. This is when you, as a wife, need to keep an open mind. If he is struggling at work, be supportive of who he is and reassure him in other ways around the house. If he is trying to get ahead in life and you aren't on the verge of starving, remind him that money isn't everything.
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    Find a way to inquire about your "Honey To-Do list." Ask when these items will be accomplished. Rather than saying, "You know, you walk through that front door every day and you still haven't done anything to fix it. It's been sticking all four years that we've been in this house," say: "Honey, I was wondering if you could at some point find the time to rehang the door." And then let it go. Give it a reasonable amount of time to get accomplished. If he still hasn't done anything about it a week, a month, a year later, simply ask, "Do you know when you might get around to rehanging the door?" It may seem odd, but some men literally have to be asked to do something more than once before it registers.
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    Don't nag. He probably has someone at work to do that to him. It is called a boss. You are called a wife. Men view nagging as emasculating and disrespectful. Where women need to feel loved in a relationship, men need to feel respected. Rather than harping on his shortcomings (not putting down the toilet seat, for instance) find things about which to praise him without coming across as condescending.
    • For example, this doesn't work : "You never put the toilet seat down. How many times do I have to remind you to do that. It looks gross when you leave it up since you tend to shed your pubes on the rim. Who does that?" This stands a much better chance: "Honey, thanks for snuggling with me in the middle of the night. It made me feel close to you."
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    Offer to work more yourself. A relationship is all about sacrifice from both partners. Tell him if he wants he can spend more time with the kids while you work more hours at your job. This tactic could pay double dividends: He can take some time off work, and he can also learn some of the challenges of being home without you (and with the kids). .

Part 3
Keeping the House Comfortable

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    Have a clutter free house. Having a clutter-free house helps your husband to feel that coming home is more of a treat than a chore. Even if you only have 15 minutes a day to devote to cleaning the house, use that fifteen minutes like you're sprinting a race. If your house belongs on one of those extreme hoarders' shows, after a couple of weeks of daily, intense 15-minute cleanings, you (and he) will start to see a difference. Soon, you will be able to use that 15 minutes just for upkeep of the clean house. Everyone will feel better. Tension will drop and you will feel as though you have accomplished something major. If you hate cleaning, set a timer and when that timer goes off, stop the drudgery.
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    Keep the kids entertained. Don't have them running around screening when he gets home. Greet him at the door with a nice tumbler of scotch or an ice-cold beer. Take his shoes off for him. Make him feel like he is the king of his castle. Indulge him by listening to his day even if it bores you intensely. It is nice to be listened to, as you know. Give him that respect. It will pay off.
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    Have everyone help with the preparation of supper. Maybe you could set up a taco bar. Have your husband dice tomatoes while you brown the meat. Have the kids grate the cheese or tear the lettuce with their clean, bare hands. Make your husband feel like he is a part of the family rather than just a nightly visitor. This will bolster the relationship between your husband and children. It will be a fun way to make memories, too, even if everyone is tired at the end of the day. The bits of closeness are beneficial to everyone.


  • Be understanding and patient.
  • Don't forget that even when he isn't home he still loves you.

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Categories: Married Life