Are you a workaholic? For the past years, wives complained that their husbands were addicted to work. Some wives even threatened to end the marriage because addiction to work and long hours at the office left no room for companionship and the pursuit of shared pleasures. As for sex -- "too tired" -- "tomorrow" -- were the common excuses. And there was always, almost always, office work to be completed at home.
But not only wives complained, husbands accused their wives of putting the care of children and household chores ahead of them to such a degree that the relationship became sterile, devoid of time together to play, to talk, to hold each other, to make love.
With an increasing number of women working outside of the home, and still having tasks at home, we are hearing more about work addiction on the part of women, with more frequent feelings on the part of men of being rejected and neglected. Men are becoming more involved in helping with house work at home, while the women of the family sit at their computer -- late into the night.
Of course, high-pressure careers often demand long hours, travel, and intense involvement. The troubled economy may demand more involvement to avoid losing one's job.
However, sometimes the investment of excess time and energy is to meet the workaholic's needs, rather than the job's requirements. People addicted to work see themselves as having little option, stating they have to get the job done, or they feel restless or on edge if they are not busy.
What are some motivations that drive some men and women "beyond the call of duty?" Of course, the lure of money -- "making it big" -- is a common motivation -- but even millionaires are often work addicts. There are other motives, of course -- the attempt to deal with low self-esteem, which is bolstered by always being busy. Another not uncommon reason for being addicted to work is the fear of intimacy -- of getting close to someone else.
There is no AA for work addiction. Our culture worships success, money,and power. We admire people who work hard and have contempt (usually hidden) for those who are idle or unemployed. But, as the technological revolution makes us feel more isolated, there is a new surge of interest n seeking connection, spirituality, and meaning in our lives. Couples need to talk (an important aspect of intimacy) to find their individual path to feeling less alone.