Work is a necessity in our lives. It provides for our needs, and if we're lucky, maybe even some of our wants.
Maybe you enjoy your job. Maybe you don't. Regardless of what you or your spouse do for a living, it's important to keep a proper perspective: Your marriage is more important than your career. It might be worth asking yourself this question: Do you work to live, or live to work?
Here are seven signs your job is slowing killing your marriage.
1. You no longer see the sun ... let alone your spouse
If your job doesn't allow you to soak in enough vitamin D, then chances are pretty high that you're not soaking up enough of your spouse either! Sure, work can have its busy season — but hopefully it balances out through the course of the year. As essential as vitamin D is to your physical health, having time together is equally important to your marriage relationship.
2. Weekends are no different
Remember watching TGIF growing up? The week was over and you could finally forget about the stresses of everyday life and relax for the weekend! Well, it's possible that those days of relaxing over the weekend have been replaced by heading back to the office, working overtime on projects and rushing to meet deadlines. If that sounds familiar, then it will come as no surprise that this kind of schedule can quickly begin to take its toll — on both your body and your marriage.
3. You no longer have time (or energy) for date night
Most jobs are pretty demanding — some mentally and some physically. You or your spouse may be in the routine of coming home from work and simply crashing, completely exhausted. You may use all of your energy during the day and by the time you get home, there's not much left. When the weekend finally rolls around, you're barely running on fumes! This leaves little energy for nurturing your marriage through date nights, which are an important part of strengthening your bond as a couple.
4. You regularly work alone with single members of the opposite sex
While it may not seem like that big of a deal at first, spending a significant amount of time with single members of the opposite sex can certainly impact your marriage, especially when much of that time is alone, one-on-one. It's too easy to become casual, close, overly-friendly and even flirtatious, or to begin sharing in more intimate conversations and developing an emotional attachment. It can quickly become a slippery slope leading to a host of regrets. If this sounds like your current job situation, then make sure to watch yourself and don't become too casual. Remember your spouse, and your devotion and commitment to him or her.
5. You're spending more nights in a hotel than at home with your spouse
Travel can be fun and exciting, and it certainly has its perks (everyone loves those frequent flyer miles and hotel points!). However, it can also take a toll on your marriage. Sure, it can be healthy for your relationship to spend a few days apart from time to time, but frequent or extended time away from your spouse won't help you build the dream marriage you're hoping for. Rather, it will create distance — both physically and emotionally — between the two of you. It will also present a perfect opportunity for temptation to creep in and wreak some serious havoc! If you and your spouse are regularly apart for long periods of time, check out this article on long-distance relationships.
6. You have to cancel important commitments last minute
Trust and commitment are at the foundation of every great marriage. To build and maintain a strong relationship, you must build and maintain trust. It's possible that your job is so demanding at times that you have to drop anything else to attend to "urgent" matters. Maybe you had to "push back" (i.e. cancel) that long weekend getaway, or give away those tickets to the concert you were both looking forward to, or even (gasp!) miss your anniversary dinner plans. If this sounds like you, then your job has gone too far — it's time to take back what is most important.
No one wants to be married to a grump. No one wants to hear constant complaining and whining. All that negativity will rub off on, and infect, the other areas of your (and your spouse's) life. Sure, we all have our bad days from time to time, but those should be the exception. If your job is slowly sucking the life out of you and turning you into your own worst self, then you can guarantee it's also sucking some life out of your marriage! Perhaps it's time to dust off that resume and consider changing things up so you can enjoy the things that truly matter most to you.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.