When I got married, I was already established in my career. I was working for a well-known, global non-profit organization. At the time, I thought I would be with this organization for the rest of my career.
Then I met Nate. When we got married, my focus shifted. I wanted to be a great wife and eventually a great mother. I still wanted a career but something changed in me. My career no longer defined me. I started thinking more about what was important and that was my new family. Now, Nate has been my #1 cheerleader encouraging me in all that I do but I knew I wanted more. I also didn’t want my career to ever take precedence over my marriage and family.
I believe Americans focus entirely too much on positions and titles. More than ever, people identify themselves by what they do and the titles they have. They “appear” to have it all together but deep down there’s an emptiness.
Many marriages have been destroyed due to stress at work. Spouses who constantly bring work related issues home to their spouses unknowingly place a weight on their spouse. I find myself carrying my husband’s stress at times and have to constantly remind myself that he has to work through any issues at work. It’s not my responsibility.
A little over a year ago, Nate was working for a company where there was always something going on against him. They got a new boss and this woman tried to cause problems for everyone she didn’t hire. She wanted to remove these people so she could hire her own staff. This created a source of tension and stress every day. This woman was getting on my nerves as she was a constant name mentioned in the household. Needless to say, I was so happy when Nate moved on from that place.
One of the things Nate and I have decided to do to avoid allowing work to put a stress on our marriage is to focus on the purpose of our marriage and our goals. Work-related issues don’t even bother me much anymore because I know there is a greater purpose for me and I need to stay focus on that. We don’t let the minor distractions take us off course. And, you must do the same.
Decide which of these is more relevant to you, your work life or your marriage? It is pretty easy to be hired by another organization but finding another spouse to share your life with is not as easy. Let me be perfectly honest, if I am forced to choose between my job and my family, my family will always be my choice.
Is your relationship being challenged in this area? Are you communicating to your spouse about it? Just yesterday my husband and I had a disagreement that escaladed beyond what it should have. It was about our goals and what we realized (when we calmed down) was that we had not shared our concerns with each other lately. We also hadn’t asked the other person for updates thoughts and feelings about a situation. As a result, we were left to guess and guessing is never good in a marriage. Assumptions never put us in a favorable position with anyone.
We should talk to our spouses about the stress we are facing at work and in life and seek assistance on the best methods to solve it. Nate and I started this when we started dating. We wanted our relationship to be an open book. We committed to investing in our marriage. But, it doesn’t always come easy. We need to be reminded some time to go back to those roots.
Maybe it’s time for you to do the same. Try going back to the beginning. What promises did you make each other. Your marriage should be an open book and you should be able to express yourself freely to your spouse without feeling ashamed, embarrassed or as if your feelings don’t matter.
I want to hear from you! When we share your stories, it helps others get through some very difficult times.
Has a stressful job ever affected your marriage?