I feel like I'm always in competition with my partner's job. He works on the oil rigs and is gone three weeks out of four. It doesn't leave much time for me, not to mention time for errands, paying bills, seeing his family, and life in general. When I say something, he blows up and says I should stop complaining, because I have everything a woman could ever ask for -- and he's right. He pays our rent and all our bills, and I'm able to pursue my dreams because of his financial support. Still, we're just dating with no plans for marriage, and he feels I'm being ungrateful. It is possible to make this work?
If you've been dating a workaholic, you're probably feeling alone, frustrated, and angry. Some experts even liken the experience to that of dating a cheating partner because of the similarities with how people feel in both circumstances. Here are some suggestions for coping when you're dating a workaholic:
Share Perspective When Dating a Workaholic
Ask your partner to imagine they are nearing the end of of their days. What would be the most memorable events of their life? Its doubtful that that list will include such things as, "I made $50,000 more than the year before," or, "I owned the biggest house of all of my friends." For most people, the memorable moments are those spent with other people, connecting, but the same folks forget that it takes an investment of time to create. So after your workaholic partner shares what means the most to them, let them know that you'd like to create more of those moments, together.
Don't Enable an Overworking Partner
Enabling means changing plans to accommodate your partner's work habits, making excuses for them when they are late, postponing activities until they're available, or spending money on things that aren't necessary.
Create Consequences When Dating a Workaholic
If the two of you made plans that got canceled because of your partner's work needs, go to the planned function anyway. Don't sit up waiting for your partner to show up, or nag them into coming; it'll just create resentments and anger between the two of you. Instead, enjoy yourself whether or not your partner attends, and let them know - kindly and with love - what they missed when you do reconnect.
Consider Professional Help With Your Workaholic Partner
If these tips don't change your relationship and you feel the situation is only getting worse, suggest seeing a professional counselor to attempt a remedy that makes everyone happy.