Choosing Between Job and Partner

Do you have to pick between your job and your partner?

In these hard economic times people are putting more into their work life and their marriages are suffering. Hopefully you didn’t enter your relationship expecting it to be temporary but a lot of people treat their marriage as if it was a short term position. How do you keep your marriage healthy when the job intrudes?

Your career needs development and nurturing, so does your marriage. The same skills we use to further our career can be used to improve our relationships. Keeping your job skills up to par, working to improve your work relationships may be important but is your home relationship any less important? Do you have the skills to maintain your marriage?

Just because you have a job does not mean you are set for life. Over time that job may go away no matter what you do. Your company can downsize, lay you off or go out of business. Despite that, many people make their job the primary focus of their existence. They stay late at work go in early and generally wear themselves out expecting that if they work hard on the job the job will take care of them. In this modern world expecting to put in a life of work at one place so that you can have the life you want when you retire is becoming a very risky proposition.

Putting your effort into your relationship has its risks. You may be able to put in fewer hours at work. Do setting limits on your work hours really make you less productive? People who have happy relationships a t home report being more productive not less when at work.

Sure you might really try to work on the relationship and still your marriage could fail. But which is the bigger risk?

What happens to your relationship when you are missing in action for extended periods of time? Keeping your relationship thriving requires effort also.

Consider that the unemployment rate in most areas has been around ten percent at the time when the divorce rate is 50%.  Are you risking the happiness of your relationship because you are choosing your job over your family?

The idea that working furiously, sacrificing yourself and your family will bring you financial security is an illusion. Time after time I have seen people give their job their all only to have the company fail and then they lose everything.

It is unhealthy to become so invested in your work or your company that you sacrifice your relationship, your health or your peace of mind trying to win at a losing cause.

Many a man has sat in my office talking about the failure of his relationship and the loss of his job. Most people find a way to make sense of the job loss, they retrain, change professions or relocate, and eventually they find work or a source of income again. Most realize that putting in more time and hours at a troubled company would not have changed the outcome.

What men tell me more often is that they wish they had spent more time with their families. They see now that giving the family more things did not make up for not being there.

Many a man’s greatest regret is that did not spend enough time with their family and they missed out on being a part of their children’s lives. They regret sacrificing their relationship for a job that gave them money but then let them down emotionally.

What we learn from this is not that you should slack off at work or forget about starting that company of your own. When you are at work give it your all. Just be sure to keep your home life and your work life in balance and develop your relationships at home along with the ones you nurture at work.

If the time you need to put in a work is compromising your relationships at home – is there any amount of money that can compensate for the loss of a partner and family?

For more on our counseling and therapy services in Fresno California see the David Miller Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist page at

Besides the posts here on you will find over a thousand other posts on the topics of mental healthsubstance use disorderslife coaching and life hacks on our sister blog

For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is here at A list of books I have read and can recommend is at

One thought on “Choosing Between Job and Partner

  1. Pingback: Does putting your job first really work? | counselorssoapbox

Comments are closed.