I was doing my usual blog hopping when one of my bloggers talked about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. No, not sex (although that is mentioned a teensy tiny bit in her post), but the importance of making time for our spouses. It made me think about how I felt when Del was working those long hectic crazy life threatening hours for our family.
When Del was a manager at GameStop he was literally going into work at 7am and not getting off work until 1-2AM in the morning. The days off he was supposed to have many times didn’t happen because someone would call off, and there was no one else to call to come in. (I understand that is the life of a manager for many places of business in our world today—don’t get me started for the whole problems in our work force issue!) I already mentioned that I was concerned about a possible marital affair that he may have been having for a very short period of time.
During that time in our life though, I literally was feeling like the spirit of our marriage was dying. We weren’t able to stay as connected as we were for the first five years of our marriage. We would try like crazy to schedule time to be together just the two of us, but there really was no time to be had. I literally was juggling the kids so much all day long that from the time they went to bed until 2-3AM I was doing blog work. I would also be doing housework. Del would be so tired he could barely keep his eyes open.
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There was no time to have heart to heart talks. We didn’t have time to really enjoy our sex life at all. With each passing day, I found I was keeping more and more from him because I didn’t want to add to his stress levels. I stopped telling him about the kids and things happening here.
Come to find out he was keeping things from me too. A MAJOR issue, he had a heart attack. He didn’t tell me because he didn’t want me to worry about him even more than I already was. I was furious to say the least that he decided to keep this detail from me.
The whole reason it came out is because his chest pains wouldn’t go away. His stress level couldn’t get regulated while he was working these long hours and not getting the help he needed. It was HORRIBLE. I felt for him each day. I started venting to my in-laws. My father-in-law surprised me and stated that he agreed that things needed to change because Del was missing out on so much, and he could see that things were not working for everyone involved.
He talked it over with Del about gaining our authority and doing team driving again on our own terms this time. That was music to my ears even if it did mean I would be without Del for overnight trips that they may have to take. However, I knew that I’d have Del home with us at least two solid complete days a week to be a family and that is a lot more than what I was getting with him working as a manager at GameStop. Plus it’s also a lot less stressful for him.
It was like pulling teeth to get Del to take the flying leap of faith with me. I had to put my wife foot down, (which I don’t put it down often so it will remain to have a powerful impact when I do it.) I told him flat out that money will NEVER matter to me more than he does. I would rather live in a cardboard box with him than live in a mansion without him.
Immediately after he made his final decision to quit, I could see that we were on the track to gaining the spirit of our marriage back. We were one unit again working on a goal. When he was working for GameStop it literally felt like he was trying to tackle that project 100% on his own, and that was killing me inside. (Especially since I have many years of management under my belt too, and I was itching to take over his job!)
He is now doing a lot better, but there are still days when things don’t go like they should and I have to worry. However, he’s home a lot more and we’re able to spend more time together again. We have our date nights back. We have our family time together again. Most importantly, we have our spirit of connection back in our marriage.
I shared all of this in hopes that if you are the work alcoholic that you will make sure that you include your spouse in your journey. Take the time to spend with them. Talk to them about what you’re dealing with and what you’re up against. If you can break that cycle! You only get one life to live!
If you’re married to a work alcoholic, then I can’t tell you how to fix it per say. However, I can tell you that when I was keeping my home fires burning more, it was really hard for Del to stay away as long. Also make home a place for him to be able to relax.
Has your spirit of marriage remained intact through the years all the time?