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What to do when your job is hurting your marriage

Today’s question deals with what to do when your job begins to cause trouble at home. 

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I like my job, but I’m afraid it’s costing me my marriage. My husband and I fight because I’m so tired when I get home I’m not interested in doing the things we used to do before I got the job. He also resents the fact that I bring work home.

Night after night, he tells me I should get an easy job. He wants me to come home and make dinner and watch television — but I don’t want to quit my job.

I’ve tried putting on the brakes at work, but to do my job well, I need to work at least 50 hours a week. I’d like to stay with this company, but I think the only way to do it while keeping my marriage intact would be to work part-time. I’ve asked my boss if I can do that, but he doesn’t take me seriously. How do I talk him into it?

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You need to give your boss a compelling reason for you to work part-time, without giving him an ultimatum. These days, many employees looking for work-life balance seek part-time work. Most make their request based only on their own needs, while others provide their bosses an either/or fait accompli — either you let me work part-time or I have to quit. Neither approach works as well as a proposal showing how your organization benefits if you adopt a 50 to 75 percent schedule.

Here’s what comes to mind: Given your dedication and the intensity of your job, your organization might benefit if you work part-time and supplement another full-time employee who handles part of your current job and other duties neither you nor others in your firm now have time to handle.

If your boss accepts your proposal, he and the organization win. Your company retains a dedicated, hardworking, knowledgeable employee at a reduced salary. You haven’t pushed him into it, you’ve spoken the language that makes others buy in — sometimes called WIIFY, or “what’s in it for you.” You can make your proposal even more alluring by offering to remain reachable on your days off and flexible about your schedule.

The best part of this is you continue enjoying a job you love and you and your husband have your life back.

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Have a question for Lynne? Email her at with subject “SheKnows” and she may answer your question (confidentially) in an upcoming piece on SheKnows.

© 2016, Lynne Curry. Curry is the author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully (AMACOM). You can follow her @lynnecurry10 on Twitter or access her other posts on SheKnows, or

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