My Husband Loves His Job More Than Me

I feel really alone most of the time. After so many years of supporting my husband in his career I have come to the realization  that he loves his job more than he loves me.  Even though he has said on numerous occasions that he only works so hard to make a good living so "I" am taken care of. 

 It seems hard for him to talk with me about our future or our home. However, he expresses himself more when talking about his job.  He never lacks subject matter when he is talking about his 'projects and programs' at work.

He will leave a family get-to-gether  to check on his projects at his jobsite.  He will answer blackberry emails and calls even during "intimate" time between us telling me the calls are about his job.  If it were another woman ithink I could understand all of this! But not his BOSS!!!

He will willingly travel for his job but hesitates when it comes to travelling with the family.  There is no expense too big for his job but family money is always a complaint for him. 

Perhaps I am too jealous, but when he will leave me or our daughter when we are ill to make sure someone at work is taken care of I get the feeling we just are not as important to him as his co-workers, projects or programs.  Maybe I am paranoid or over reactive.  I just think that when he expresses his job with the emotion he should have for his family that things are waaay out of prospective.

I would never put my profession before him.  Even if it were the major source of our income, it could never be as important to me as he is.  Perhaps I am the one out of perspective?  Maybe I am asking too much?  I don't think so.

How wonderful it would be to feel as important to him as his job is.  To be as important as his "crew members" are to him would be fabulous.  Once I thought I was the center of his world.  The reason he came home at night.  The arms that made him feel safe and loved.  Now I only believe that I am the housekeep, the dishwasher, the laundress and occasionally, rarely, the one that gives him the sexual release he needs.

Is there an hope of a  way to be important to him again? 
peanutbrittle peanutbrittle
46-50, F
12 Responses May 28, 2010

Hello again peanutbrittle. I recommend that you develop your own career to the degree that you could support yourself if anything happened to your husband i.e. death, disability, divorce etc.This would accomplish two things for you. Firstly you would understand what it takes to succeed in business or a professional career, in case you don't already know. Secondly it would deprive your husband of the excuse that he works so hard 'all for you' by lessoning the demand that providing for and supporting you puts on his financial resources. You could even suggest that you go away for a holiday together PAID FOR ENTIRELY BY YOU on the condition that he does NO WORK while you're away together. All you will be asking from him is his time and attention. If he is really using his work as an excuse to avoid you he will have to think of another reason which will be difficult to disguise under the circumstances. On the other hand if you find that financially the going is not as easy for you as you thought it would be then it lends credence to your husband's claim that supporting you both is a heavy duty that costs a lot of time and causes worry, hardship, and distress. In that case it may give you a greater appreciation of all that he does for you. There is no other way to know this as long as you continue to live off the fruit of his labor.

My boyfriend does almost the same exact thing when it comes to realizing that he loves his job more than anyone or anything else.

Though we don't necessarily have the exact same issues since he isn't my husband, but we are in a long distant relationship in which at times we visit once every couple of months, text about every day, maybe call every couple of days, which would be nice if he could talk about more than things other than work. I have even suggested it to him a couple of times as on the phone he used to call me just to talk about work for 30 mins and cuts off me off when I'm talking to change the subject back to work.

One time I almost blew up at him because his flight was cancelled for him to go back home, and he was flipping out upset that he wouldn't be able to make it into work that day worrying about his vacation time (has well over 40+ hours), and after calling his boss to say he wasnt sure when he could make it in she told him not to worry that it was a super slow day so to not worry about coming in. Yet afterwards he was trying to find random passengers who were supposed to share his flight to see if they wanted to rent a van and drive to Chigaco to make it to their next flight.
Like was spending 1 more day with me (first time we had seen each other in half a year) that bad over not being able to go to work?
Sometimes I feel like his job is going kill our long distance relationship.

I couldn't have said this any better myself. It could have come from my own lips..
I hate that "I'm doing it for you. To take care of you" it's clearly the excuse of choice, to place the blame at the partners feet, like its your own doing, your fault!?? I know that even if I went out tomorrow and got myself a job and bought in some money, not a thing would change. He's doing this for himself. Not me, he may be working to support us, which of course I am 110% grateful for! but to work like he does is for himself.. Ditching me to pick up a colleague, staying late because he's choosing them over us again (someone else could do the work).
He said "I feel ashamed to come home and say 'Look what I've achieved today!" what he really means is that he feels uncomfortable admitting he's enjoying his work, perversely the stress too, because if instead he comes home and complains about it all it then makes it seem like he's just as miserable as me (and sometimes our son), where as the reality is that he's happy doing what he does, he's enjoying what he does and even though we're miserable he's happy, he's achieving something and so two fingers up to his family. Even I'm struggling to find something positive when he comes home gushing about work, when he does tell me he's done something great I just feel too tired with it all I'm almost tired of hearing about it at all now, it's hard to keep up the pretence that you're happy for someone's achievement that's come at the cost of his family, and more so I just feel angry that I never see him gushing like that over any one of us, when was the last time he was proud of his achievements as a father, or as a partner to me.. Nothing seems to be a patch on his work achievements. I just feel like we're on two separate paths.. So I feel alone, sad, tearful, he comes in all happy about the wonderful day he's had, sees me miserable and then he ends up fed up, then I end up feeling like a burden and so the misery cycle continues and just reaffirms my feeling he's happier at work!

I'm also supposed to feel grateful that he's here this weekend, that for once he's finally chosen to spend time with us rather than work, when I know the fact is work doesn't really need him this weekend, not that he's picked us, it's just settled a little and so by chance he can be at home.. I'm also supposed to be grateful he's not there even more than he already is because 'the other lads are still at work'.. What, the 20-something's with no commitments, no family, no wives, those lads!?! His boss acts likes he's a walking midlife crisis, driving around in his fancy sports car, an ex-wife at home looking after his children while he spends all his time at work or with his younger girlfriend - I'm sure my fiancé wishes he had his bosses life. I sometimes feel as though he's heading there, with us ending up separated and me elsewhere bringing up my son alone.
I'm so tired of his dumbing down every feeling or problem I have, in his mind nothing matters besides work, work takes his energy, his problem solving, his strength.. Most times when I say I'm concerned about something I get the brush off, either because he's got no energy to deal with me or simply because it's not important to him, there for why bother talking about it. I've broken my ipad, ok, not exactly a life altering crisis, but it's important to me, he bought it me as a gift and it's broken and I'm upset about it.. From work by text I get the promise he will look at it, maybe claim for it, then all I really get when he's home is "oh dear". The end. So what do I do.. Leave it probably, like everything else.. The tap in my bathroom needs fixing, the house needs painting, so does the fence, but he doesn't care about any of that, but if it was work he would see it all through until the end - why, because he cares about that. Because work is important to him. The home we live in appears unimportant.. The problems here can drag on until the walls cave in. Our home and the way it looks/functions is something that's important to me, I like it to look nice, we eat here, sleep here, we live the majority of our lives here (well I guess my son and I do!) but because he doesn't get the same enjoyment in making it look nice as I do, then he doesn't care. Yet I've listened for months now about the endless talk about his projects, I try and listend and support as best I can.. Sure I get some money here and there. But it's like here, have this, shut up and let me have fun..
When I ask my father for help with any DIY stuff I get moaned at, "I should be the one doing that" well do it then, no one is stopping you(!) who else is supposed to help me. Maybe I should get to grips with the diy and car mechanics and I really would be doing everything here, get a job and stop being the dogsbody and I wouldn't end anyone again would I..!
Like you, I am the cook, the gardener, the cleaner, the launderer, the counsellor, the shopper.. I do it all myself. It's bloody lonely. I might as well just be a prostitute receiving money here and there just to keep quiet and make his life easier and make him feel better for &'looking after me"' when all I really want is someone who cares about me and my son more than work. I felt I used to have that, not any more.. Well, certainly not when there's an important project on, when the work isn't so demanding he can fit us in a bit more!

I feel you, my husband is a professor and he teaches just five hours a week but he goes to work as soon as he wakes up and comes home just to eat and then goes back to work after dinner and I and our daughter always sleep before he gets home. this makes feel the same way you are feeling especially that home expenses are always a problem for him but work's ones never are. the only different thing for me is that he cares about our intimate life but at the same time he tries to control everything about me.
I believe that you should talk to him about it. if he tries hard enough, it would be worth it even if there was not much outcome since him working on it means that he still cares but somethings in life change us sometimes.
if he shows you that he never changed and you are the reason and that kind of talk, know then that your life is not going to get better but just worse.
I have been suffering since the day I got married, but I am still trying to get used to my life like this where if it does not change or I could not get used to it the way it is, I will have to leave him but the hard thing is that we have a baby together and I always think If I will be ok to be friend with him after divorce but at the same time I think that If I stayed like this hatred between us could grow and then my baby girl will suffer.
so think about carefully, and good luck (:

This is not a fair or balanced relationship at all. You should not have to put up with that.

Just learning this feeling now and I do not like the way I feel at all, and then blame myself for being selfish. Confused? Ya and then some, sad you betcha, pissed off you have no idea! Used i believe so, housekeeper hell thats all i do, do i work no do i sit at home all day alone with a dog and a cat and. Few fish looking out the window at the cold snowy day of minus 35 degrees and think wow im lucky yip i use too now not so much! It sucks its hell i hate it i love him i love us our family but o hate being alone!

Hi peanutbrittle. Men are conditioned from day one to build, construct and provide (ie. Bob the Builder). What is that all about if it is not a sex role stereotype. Many women feel the same as you do without understanding that their men are not really satisfied either. Men often feel isolated and trapped in an aggressive and competitive working environment and only put up with it because they believe that feeding, clothing and housing a family is a way of expressing love. They can feel crushed by the discovery that their women expect more of them. My father never understood that buying a house, car, fridge and washing machine would not be interpreted by my mother as love. And my mother never understood what these things cost until she had to live without them after she divorced him. My older brother and I grew up in an urban war zone because they were unable to resolve their conflicting expectations of each other. Each of them wanted me to take their side against the other but I eventually realized that marriage had been unfair to both of them because each of them had taken on a 'role' that was defined by society and they had never specifically negotiated their own terms of relationship. They both felt cheated and each blamed the other. When they fought a bitter divorce there was no winner. My brother and I each lost a parent and they spent the rest of their lives feeling cheated. AND THEY WERE but not really by each other. They were cheated because they entered an INSTITUTION rather than a relationship and had NO IDEA about establishing their own terms of engagement. That is hard enough to do today. For the generation that saw the bombing of Pearl Harbor it must have been nearly impossible, but some of them managed because some marriages from that generation survived. It is a huge task. They needed to deconstruct their marriage and start a relationship but they didn't know how. They could not give up their expectations of marriage and never understood that they were entirely different. Maybe they were unsuitable for each other. I may never know. It's tragic. We were all cheated by a convention which they found impossible. Sorry this went on for so long. I didn't realize how much I had to say.

Im going through the same situation right now. and it sucks!!..but I think mines even worse because his job owes him 4 paychecks and there always paying him late and he STILL goes in too work. He's a supervisor at a mill and 2 out of of his coworkers quit today and instead of him coming home and spend time with his family he decides too stay and get the production out with just 2 ppl ..Really???...its frustrating how he barely spends time with us. if he's not sleeping he's working and i hate that. why is it though? I've asked him so many time and his anwser is always the same "I need to work to support you guys". but how can he support us when he's not even bringing in money.

i am going through the same situation also and it sucks , my husband and brother just bought a company and ever since he started working there he has not spent one day with me and on top of that i am supporting him , this situation sucks even though he says that he is doing this for the both of us. i believe he is working for free with his brother and it really makes me angry. I hate being alone it sucks.

I also feel your pain. I supported my husband every step of the way and always felt that his job came first, so I asked him the other day and he said yes it does!!! Wow that hurt. 25 years with him and children. It's a sad lonely place for me right now.

I feel your pain. You are not alone.

I know this is an old article, but I am having the same problem. I have been with my bf for 5 years and we are in a long distance relationship but visit each other several times a year. About a year and a half ago he started working for an oil company making really good money. Now, I will not say that he loves the job, actually the job has put a lot of stress on him-- what I will say is he enjoys the challenge that the job brings and he loves the money. But ever since he has started this job he seems to have less and less time for me, even when we visit each other all he does is complain about how stressful his job is. Recently he was promoted to a management position and the hours are even longer and he is under more stress, though he is making about 4 times what he was before and he loves that. We had a vacation planned for the end of this month, he told me he got permission to take the time off, so I also requested 10 days off and bought a swimsuit and clothes for the trip only to have him tell me today that he was going to have to cancel the trip, that there was too much going on at work and the company falls apart without him. He just came to visit me last week and stated to me, "Do you realize how much work I had to do when I came back from visiting you??". So now that my manager has already made out the schedule, I am stuck with time off that I have to waste my own vacation days on. I am becoming frustrated to the point where I think this may be the end of our commitment...I'm tired of it! I realize that work is important, and having money is important, but you should not neglect the people that you love in your life...there has to be room for both a career and loved ones.

I know how you feel, and I am even older than you...just know that you are not alone if that is any comfort ;) I do not have any answers to offer you, but I sure wish that I did.