I knew before we were married that my husband was a workaholic.
When we started dating in high school, he was already holding down two jobs, playing football, and still passing his classes. This was actually something I found very attractive. He was hard-working, dependable, and even at 17, could hold down two jobs. I watched him go to college full-time and work-full time. It was amazing watching him accomplish so much and he worked his butt off to do it. I didn’t see the negative parts of this until much later in our relationship.
Being the wife of a workaholic means I am alone a lot. He goes into work early and stays late. He works weekends and even when he is home, he is still trying to work. Pulling him away for anything is difficult. It isn’t that he doesn’t love his family, but he has this amazing drive to be the best. For me and my children, this means we are without him most of the time. I very rarely have any adult time and I spend a lot of time by myself.
This also means that the majority of child care, house cleaning, cooking, and everything in between falls on my shoulders. I do it all and most of it goes unrecognized. I spend my days cleaning, cooking, taking care of kids, helping with homework, and doing laundry. There is nobody to ever see what I’ve done. Most of the time the work I do is seen as less important or not important at all. I even have people tell me how lucky I am to get to stay home. If somebody actually had to live my life, I am sure they wouldn’t say this
Being a wife of a workaholic also means our life revolves around my husband’s job. This means his job comes before any employment I have ever had, and when there’s a sick kid, a doctor’s appointment, or a meeting at school, I am the one who takes care of it. I was a middle school teacher for 10 years, and my job constantly suffered because of my role as the wife of a workaholic. My job was always less important. I constantly had to call in. I constantly had to leave work early. I was always the teacher who couldn’t volunteer at the dances or the after school events. Not because I didn’t want to help but because my husband’s job was number one. A few months ago, my husband was offered a job that required us to move and so we moved. Since the move I have not returned to work and at some point I probably will but between the four children (two of which have autism), I feel like my role needs to be at home to keep up.
Being the wife of a workaholic is absolutely exhausting. I rarely have help around the house or with the kids but here’s the thing: I love my husband. I support my husband and I want to see him do well. My husband is an amazing man who has overcome many odds to get where he is at today. Despite the hardships that come with being the wife of a workaholic, I choose to do it.
I want my husband to know I am here for him to fill in the gaps when he can’t. I am here for him to cook, clean, and do his laundry. I am here to make sure he has lunch and to save him when he locks his keys in his car. I am here to be his proofreader when he needs to send out an important email or to look at his PowerPoints before a big presentation. I am here through all of the work trips, bad days, and everything in between.
I have his back, no matter what. This is what I signed up for and I am here for better or for worse.