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Loving my job is destroying my relationship

HI, I live in Anchorage and am a management consultant and writer. I'm founder of www.bullywhisperer.com™, www.workplacecoachblog.com and www.thegrowthcompany.com. I'm author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully, AMACOM. I author...

My boyfriend hates how much I love my new job

Today we're talking about work interfering with your relationship.

More: I might lose a promotion because my coworkers are threatened by my productivity

Question:

Ever since I got this really great job, my boyfriend has said I’ve become addicted to work. Before this job, I spent all my time with him. We had a great time every weekend. We hung out at bars or friends’ houses every night, or stayed at home watching sports on our flat screen.

Now when I get up in the morning, the first thing I think about is work. At night, I lie awake mulling over work projects. When we’re watching sports at home on the couch, I drag over my iPad and focus on work projects.

I try to cover up my love of work because everyone I know has a negative attitude against workaholics. When my boss gives me assignments that require weekend work, I groan, pretending to be unhappy. Secretly, however, I’m excited because I love my work. When I think about whether I’d rather go out to a bar or complete an assignment, I’m more interested in the work project.

My boyfriend is ticked off all the time. He says it’s no fun when I’m on my iPad while he’s watching sports because I’m not watching with him. We still love each other, but I’m afraid I’ll lose him.

More: How to power through a crisis of confidence at work

Answer:

Your work gives you a sense of accomplishment and likely fulfills other needs such as making you feel important and ensuring your future by progressing your career or earning raises.

Unfortunately, if you prioritize work above connectedness with your guy, you allow work to consume too much of your life. If you want to overturn work’s hold on your life, you need to give more time and attention to your guy – including thinking of him when you first wake in the morning.

Meanwhile, your guy needs to loosen up. If you look up from your iPad during critical plays as you cuddle next to him on the couch, what’s the problem? Does he truly want a life in which he spends every evening at a bar or friends’ houses, or would he like to find something that creates a sense of accomplishment for him?

Your route forward is to decide what you truly want for your life and have an honest conversation with your guy. If you do, you may find work’s pleasures pale in comparison to the rewards you’ll find in a great relationship. At the same time, if your boyfriend can’t allow you to enjoy work as well as him, and if your friends force you to cover up what you enjoy, you may realize they aren’t what you need or want.

More: I'm losing customers because my coworker sabotaged me

© 2016, Lynne Curry. If you have a career questions you’d like Lynne to answer, write her @ lynne@thegrowthcompany.com. Lynne is an executive coach and author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully, AMACOM. You can follow Lynne through her other posts on SheKnows.com, via www.workplacecoachblog.com, www.bullywhisperer.com™ or @lynnecurry10 on Twitter.

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