Signs Your Work and Relationship Balance Is Out Of Wack
At some point, everybody thinks the work/life balance thing doesn’t apply to them—that they can somehow be workaholics and be totally happy. And at some point everyone realizes they flew a little too close to the sun, they let their egos get the best of them, they thought they were more than mere mortals and that they actually do need things like close friendships, loving relationships, and social interaction to feel happy and healthy. But even once we know that that doesn’t stop us from sometimes working a bit too hard, and not paying attention to our relationships. It’s easy to let your work/relationship balance be thrown off. It’s a change that sneaks up quickly on you. You take one extra project on here, say yes to one more work trip there, and before you know it, you feel emotionally disconnected from your partner. Here are signs your relationship/work balance is out of whack.
You’ve missed out on big updates
Your partner tells you some very big news! That it turns out happened two weeks ago. You’ve been so busy, he hasn’t found a moment to tell you in two weeks. Every time he tried to tell you, you were consumed with work, or you said you were in a rush and he needed to make it quick. In fact, since this big news, four other things have happened. You’re falling behind on updates at this point.
You haven’t had a real date night in two months
You cannot remember the last time you and your partner had a night when you agreed to not look at clocks. You planned a leisurely dinner, you saw a movie, and you drank all the wine you wanted because you didn’t have some 7 am conference call the next morning (on a weekend). If you aren’t doing this once a month, something’s wrong.
You haven’t had sex in two months
If you aren’t too busy doing work to have sex, you’re too stressed out thinking about work to have sex. You’ve broken the cardinal rule about not bringing your work into the bedroom. Even if you weren’t stressed it wouldn’t matter because, by the time you get home from your late nights at work, your partner is asleep.
You have more groceries at work than at home
You’ve gotten to the point where, when you buy groceries, you take them directly to the office—you eat most of your meals there anyways. You even keep the majority of your workout clothes there, since you typically go straight from work to the gym, and back to work.
You exclusively wear work clothes
It’s been a long time since you’ve worn one of the cute dresses your partner likes, or even wandered around in his t-shirt and some underwear. You are either asleep or in a pantsuit.
You and your partner never go to bed together
Your partner is always asleep by the time you get home, or you’re asleep by the time he gets home because you go to bed at 8 pm to get up for 6 am international work calls. As a matter of fact, you’ve slowly moved into the guest room so as to just not bother your partner with your drastically different sleep schedules.
And you never wake up together
You cannot remember the last time you cuddled together in the morning, had breakfast in bed together, watched cartoons on a Saturday morning or had morning sex. You wake up to an alarm, get immediately in the shower, take breakfast on the road and are out of there. The bed you share with your honey has become strictly utilitarian.
You’re becoming irritable with your partner
He hasn’t even done anything wrong, but you already put up with so many requests and demands at work that you left no space for your partner’s needs. If he so much as asks you to wait ten minutes to eat so you can eat together, you lose it.
Social engagements sound like chores
The moment your partner mentions that the two of you were invited to a birthday party or a Sunday brunch, you feel your skin get hot. You’ve conditioned your brain to think that life is all about work and that socializing is the real work at this point. Things that are meant to be fun just sound like obligations.
Your partner’s friends wonder where you are
Your partner often says things like, “My family was asking about you,” “Our friends really miss you” and “Everybody was wondering where you were…” That means that your partner’s friends and family are beginning to worry that you’re not there for your partner enough.
Your partner has stopped telling you things
You’re not listening anyway, so what’s the point? If you pay attention, you’ll notice that your partner often starts sentences he doesn’t finish. He looks at you, sees you’re in work mode, and abandons his story.
You’re in trouble over chores
Your partner has to do your laundry and your chores. You keep promising you’ll do your partner’s chores in return next week. Of course, you’ve been promising that for half a year now and there’s no way you’ll ever catch up. All in all, your partner is very disappointed in your contribution to the household work.
Your partner is timid when he talks to you
Your partner has started to walk on eggshells around you. He says your name with worry and fear in his voice, never knowing when you’re going to lose it because you’re too on edge from work. When he simply asks to speak to you, it sounds like he’s asking for a tremendous favor.
You respond to his texts lasts
Your partner is the last person to get an email, text or phone response from you. Everybody else (from work) gets a reply, but your partner is stuck calling you and asking, “Did you get my text?” or “Did you see my email.” Your partner has to remind you several times before you remember to reply to him.
If you’re unhappy, your work/relationship balance is almost definitely out of whack. Working a lot just doesn’t make people happy. Cubicles and spreadsheets and laptops do not provide the crucial mood-enhancing hormones that physical affection, laughter, and intimacy do.