Are You Married To Your Job?

The Brainstorm nerds are in for a treat this weekend as we’re off up to hull for a wedding celebration! Many congratulations to our Head Nerd’s Mum and her soon-to-be spouse on such a great occasion! We wish you all the best.

married-to-the-job-680x380So all these travel arrangements and thoughts on holy matrimony have inspired us for this week’s blog. It’s all well and good when you meet the love of your life and live happily ever after, however, what if you’re in that handful of people who love their work more than their partner? Or what if you’re married to someone who spends more time at the office than home with you? So this week we’re going to tell you how to spot signs if you really are married to your work, and how to deal with it if your partner is instead!

insecurechilEveryone is different; for some the idea of a life built to keep others out is a frightening concept, while to others it’s an imperative. One of the most basic explanations of the phenomenon of being ‘married to your work’ is the avoidance of intimacy, often as an unconscious act stemming from early childhood and unhappy emotional experiences. Compulsive behaviours- even those that appear to have little to do with relationships, such as job dedication- are a great way to duck anxiety-provoking emotional experiences (in other words, getting close to others). Research suggests people who felt insecure as children often finds this carries over to adulthood and masks itself in avoidant behaviours such as being a ‘work-a-holic’.


There are 5 key indicators to look out for if you think you are becoming a work-a-holic.

  1. Any small talk turns into work talk. You may once have been the life of the party, but your inability to contribute to non-career discussions means you’re often left out.
  2. Your job is your hobby. Being married to the job leaves little time for anything else, and your 9-5 quickly fills up all the other hours in the day. Get a life!
  3. Phantom vibration syndrome is actually a thing! It’s one of the leading symptoms of those suffering from a struggling job marriage! It’s the mysterious feeling you get where you think your phone is going off in your pocket, only to find there are no notifications whatsoever.
  4. Sleep is just overtime in disguise. If you eat, sleep and dream about work, you’re in trouble. Midnight brainstorms and early morning emails are signs you’ve become too attached to your job.
  5. When your personal time means email time, even when you’re snuggling down with a movie and your partner. Your time out of the office should be your chance to unwind and switch off, not to constantly be on guard to swat those spam emails away.


Unknown-2So what happens when your partner’s job comes before you? If he or she tends to cancel family events and social dates to meet deadlines, work more than 45 hours a week, and sometimes even lose contacts with other friends outside of work, what do you do? People with this type of driven work ethic and personality often use work to define themselves and to increase their self-esteem. But prioritising work over a partnership can be a relationship nightmare waiting to happen. It has a way of making partners feeling marginalised and ignored and can lead to mega family dysfunction. So what do you do if this is starting to happen to you?


  1. Signal your needs, let them know how you feel when their mind is constantly focussed on work and suggest time out for the both of you.
  2. couple-working-outListen to your partner, remember ever relationship has two perspectives. Try to find out why your partner works the way they do.
  3. Less is more. Help him or her to work maybe half an hour or an hour less each day.
  4. Try to have fun and find some interests you both share outside of work. Make sure you stick to these plans too.
  5. Learn how to use the time when you’re not with your partner to have fun and enjoy yourself. This will make your time apart feel more rewarding and enjoyable. You’ll probably feel less resentment towards your partner too.

Probably the most important thing to remember if you feel your significant other is married to his or her job, is to communicate with each other, make sure you listen to their reasons and explain your feelings. Remember this behaviour often stems from early childhood and therefore can be difficult to change overnight.