Making a living is important. But is it more important than your family? Your wife? Your kids? These are questions you may have to ask yourself every once in a while. If your job is affecting the most important relationships in your life, it may be time to look for a new career. Here are seven warning signs to look out for.
1. You spend more time at work than at home
A full-time worker spends 40 hours of his or her week at work; but we all know some jobs require more than that. While it is OK to put in some overtime every once in a while, if you find yourself consistently working 60 hours or more per week, then what is happening with your home life? You may be making enough to cover your physical needs, but what about your emotional needs? Those relationships require time, not money; and if you are sacrificing your time simply to make your boss happy or bring in enough to pay all your bills, then your home relationships are most likely suffering.
2. You do not sleep with your spouse
You may think that sleeping with your spouse shouldn’t matter, but it does make a difference. My husband worked the graveyard shift for over two years and we only slept together on the weekends; and even then it didn’t always happen. My husband was used to being up at the time I was sleeping and he had a hard time staying awake during the day when we wanted to go and have fun as a family. Having opposite schedules was really affecting our relationship. One of us was always tired, and the other always annoyed that we couldn’t go someplace or do something because the other couldn’t stay awake. While not always doable, try to make sure your schedules are similar -- that you are both sleeping at same time, whether it be during the day or during the night.
3. You allow your work to come home with you
When you are home, you should be home. You should be able to give 100 percent of your attention and your time to your family. They do not come to your workplace and ask you a million questions or distract you from doing your job; and the same should be true when you come home. If you are physically there, but not able to emotionally connect with your loved ones, then it is similar to not being there. Leave your work at work.
4. Your job makes you angry and irritable most days of the week
Coming home upset every day from work wreaks havoc on your marriage, especially if you let those emotions affect how you treat your family. While everyone has a bad day once in a while, having a bad day every day is a sign that you may need to find a new line of work. It can be draining on your spouse to continuously have to cheer you up or put up with your grumpiness every day because of what your co-worker said or the assignment your boss gave you. If this is happening to you, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
5. You find yourself connecting better with your co-workers than your spouse
One dangerous thing about spending so much time with people besides your family is that you may develop better relationships with them than with your spouse and kids. You are in the same field of work, meaning you have similar interests, they can relate to work problems and you work together on big projects. If you are working with the opposite sex, and it seems like you have a better connection with him or her than your spouse, take a minute to evaluate what is really going on. Perhaps it’s time to take a vacation to connect more with your spouse.
6. You miss major events in your kids' lives
When your job interferes with the major milestones (or even the little ones), your kids realize there is a problem. You will never get back watching your child’s dance recital, seeing them graduate or just being there for them when their team plays in the championship game. These are the moments that make life meaningful. Make sure your job allows you to take time off, or rearrange schedules so you can personally witness these moments.
7. You let your job be your priority
Having work take precedence over every other aspect of your life is a problem. Your family should be your priority, but if they feel they are not, things could fall apart quickly. Yes, your job is important; yes, it allows you to live a certain way and is required to survive in this world, but if it is taking all your time, energy, effort and patience, it may be time to evaluate what is most important.
If you find even one of these red flags to be true about your work, then take it as a warning that your job might be ruining your marriage. It is easy to blame your spouse for not being more understanding or not having more empathy for your moodiness or late nights, but he or she deserves the best side of you -- not whatever is left over after all your energy goes to work.