My Relationship With A Workaholic.


I went out with someone for 18 months who was a workaholic and I want to share what I learnt for anyone else who is in the same situation, we'd talked about getting married.

She worked as a store manager and always worked hard and quite long hours, but we still had a great relationship for the first half of the relationship. Then the second half of the relationship she got another job at a much larger store further away with more responsibility and lots of stress. Before she took the new job, which was her existing role in a different store, we talked about it, I said "are you sure you want to do it, becuase you already work long hours in a smaller store", she said "yes, I want a new challenge", she already worked 12 hour days in this previous job. In the new job she worked 12 hour days (even though she was scheduled to work 8) + more for travelling. Sometimes she didn’t get home until 9.30pm and may have to be up at 5am the next morning for another shift working until 5pm that night.

For six months she really worked 6 days a week - 70-80 hour weeks. Despite this she only was paid for 35 hours, approx $39k dollars. On her one day off she was shattered and was keen to do all of her chores, washing, tidying, etc. Leaving less / little time for us.

If I saw her when she got home at 9.30pm – obviously she would be really tired.
If I saw her on another day when she’d been up at 5am, she would be really tired again on the night.

After a couple of months in her new job, I sat her down and very calmly and in a non-needy way said that I was concerned about the number of hours she was working and that I started to feel single the last few months. I said I loved her lots and I was concerned about the affect on her health, etc. She got upset and said she didn’t want to lose me. I was very careful how I did this, as I know she went out previously with someone who tried to control her – and she told me previously she would never stand for this again. She told me after that I had said it and approached it in a really nice way.

A few nights later she wanted to talk again, & said that she’d been thinking and:-

i) She would rather know now, if I didn’t want to go out with someone who worked shifts.


ii) She would see me more, but I would just want sex when she is tired.

I just calmly said that it wasn’t that I didn’t want to go out with someone who worked shifts (she worked shifts the first 6 months and it was no problem), I said it was the number of hours she was working. I said that obviously sex should a compromise – we had been having a lot less sex anyway, because she was always exhausted. (I know now, she was basically in denial - trait of any addict).

Then over the next 3 months, she got more exhausted. She started taking phone calls on her personal mobile phone about work on her (ONLY) day off and before or after her shifts started. If she needed to go the doctors or dentists she would leave it a matter of weeks until her work schedule allowed it. If she had a weeks annual leave, she'd end up going back to work early and cancelling some days.

She rarely saw her friends. On her day off, she didn’t seem to be able to relax with me and was snappy. She told me she was stressed because she didn't have time to visit her parents or other family - this is because on the days she worked, she didn't do anything else, because she was exhausted.

She did go out with her friend to a bar for a drink one night. Her friend went to the toilet and she fell asleep on the chair whilst she was gone – this is how tired she was.

A week before the relationship ended, she said she was stressed with work, etc. and said she just wanted a week to herself to get her head right at work, she said really she felt she needed time off sick from work, but didn’t want to take it. I said yes, no problem, and that I understood the effects of stress, etc. She said that she started to realise the effect it was having on her & her health and was considering asking take a lower position at work.

I gave her advice all week on the phone, about stress, etc. The night before she was going to speak to her manager, for the first time in the relationship I lost my cool, I wanted her to be in the full picture when she spoke to her manager, so I said: if in a few months, you feel that you want to work these hours, and that’s what you want in your life (i.e. to work extremely hard, potentially make yourself ill), then I couldn’t see it working between us – I said it over the phone as well. I said it calmly but had no way of keeping it in. I totally regret dealing with it like this - and told her this after as well.

When she came to see me next, she said she hadn’t talked to her manager about taking a step down, mainly because what I’d said to her. She said she realised that she needed to be independent in her life and that 'you can only rely on yourself in this world'.

A few weeks later she told me that it wasn’t going to work between us and she thought she saw us more as friends. She said to me ‘I f****** love my job’. I was totally gutted because I still loved her - its getting easier now though. She said I was one of the nicest people she ever went out with.

At times it still confuses me. I am sure I started to become needy somewhat in the end, however, it's very difficult not to want the person even more when you are barely seeing them. I've since heard she's seeing someone else now (which gutted me). I'm trying my best to move one now. Good luck to anyone who has dealt with or is dealing with a similar situation.

dan1234a dan1234a
31-35, M
Jun 25, 2012