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Is Your Work Ruining Your Relationship?

I’m worried about my best friend. All she ever seems to do is work, besides eating and sleeping. It’s crazy, and we often wonder if a relationship would actually have the chance to thrive, assuming a great guy comes along.

It reminds me of a post I read nine years ago, where the writer complained about working such long hours at her first job, that she spent very little time at home.

Like my best friend, she did love the job, but some days she worked so late that she would get home, take a shower and go straight to bed. She didn’t talk to anyone—not her mother, and not even her roommate. She just wanted peace and quiet…and her bed. Have you ever been there?

I went through a phase like this recently, where I knew I was spending too little time with my husband and son, but had no choice. Quiet, hesitant requests for bedtime stories, baths, massages and movie time, were met with equally quiet noes, laden with guilt. There was just too much work and not enough time for the relationships that mattered.

The writer of the post I read almost a decade ago considered herself lucky not to be dating anyone at the time; she didn’t think she ever would have been able to see him! In fact, she was sure she would have been a horrible girlfriend, like my BFF fears she will be if a relationship comes along now.

Fortunately for her, she put in the time, paid her dues, and moved up to a better job with not as many hours. The long work days were behind her, but she still had friends, who held such jobs. Even worse, there seemed to be no way out for many of them; some people have to deal with this for the rest of their career.

This doesn’t affect women alone, obviously. Some brides are shocked to realize how much time they’ll be spending without their new husband, thanks to long hours away, at work. I remember a media production job I held when I was single. We used to work late, and sometimes overnight. One time, we spent 3 days in the studio. I wondered then how the wives of our male colleagues managed, with their husbands away so often, and for so long. And I wondered how the guys themselves felt, having no choice but to neglect the people they loved.

A lot of people are in this situation today, and many relationships are deteriorating because of time-consuming jobs.

This isn’t one of those times where I have a few solutions to share; there’s no one size fits all. For me, I found a less time-consuming but equally fulfilling side hustle, which now allows me to choose projects for my main gig that I enjoy and can handle without undue stress. However, I’m aware that I could do this because I’m self-employed, and that many are stuck in this place with no apparent way out.

Do you have a time-consuming job? Do you ever feel like your stress levels or long hours are hurting your relationship? Or making it impossible to have one? How do you balance it to make it work? Please share in the comments.

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Joy Ehonwa

Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

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