It is so easy to work your life away, forget about your family, your partner and your relationship. People putting work before family is such a common marriage problem that seems to pop up time and time again. It’s ok for a while, your partner will understand that you need to put some time and effort into your career especially if it generates a good income but as time goes on and the ‘W’ word pops up again and again, even if your partner enjoys the benefits of your efforts, all patience fades and the realisation sets in that work is more important!! I used to know a couple who spent most of their life apart. He worked nights and she worked days. She enjoyed spending the money that night shifts generated, loved new clothes, new cars and all the little luxuries a comfortable life style brings but hated her partner being tired when he was at home. They were between a rock and a hard place with him knowing that if he gave up nights bang went the luxuries and more than likely bye bye wife but if he carried on working nights and striving for promotion he was dead in the water anyway. What a choice. Needless to say they never reached a compromise, she wasn’t willing to wait for the promotion and a return to day shifts, so they are no longer married. Working excessively long hours, travelling a lot and constantly leading separate lives is bound to put a strain on your relationship and it has proven to be a real relationship killer, a common marriage problem that is prolific in the ‘career’ society. Just look at the number people that are addicted to long unsociable working hours and then see how many of them are still married. I’ve only ever met a handful of couples who are truly comfortable with, at best, a weekend relationship and these are couples that have learned and are happy to live independent lives. The problem in their relationships will come when the long hours and travelling comes to an end and they have to learn to live with each other 24/7. How many partners spend their whole life at work, rarely seeing their children and having little time for their spouse? Their partners so often feel neglected, crave adult company, and as time goes on, the neglected partner’s cries go on ignored the relationship begins to wither and fade and the couple tend to grow apart. When children are involved it is even more difficult with just one partner having to make sure they are around. That they are the ones there in the mornings and there in the evenings and that they alone have to revolve their whole lives around children and school. Again this pressure on one partner is all too common, a marriage problem that seems to be ignored by spouses who tend to avoid their responsibilities under the misguided understanding that their partners can and are happy to cope. Those early years, when your children are growing up are very special and are years that can never be recaptured. They aren’t years that should just pass you by at your desk under the false impression that next time your child wants you it will be different, you just need to clear this project and then the next and then the next….. It’s never any different. Children struggle with the concept of work being more important than them and what is going on in their lives. They are too young to understand the concept that their parent is just short sighted, perhaps confused as to what should take priority in their lives. Money doesn’t mean much to a child. When work takes over your life, no matter what you best intentions are, if your vision isn’t understand and accepted by your family and they aren’t 100% behind you all of the way they will learn to resent the time you spend at your desk rather than with them. They will feel abandoned, unwanted and unloved. If you want to revolve your life around a work driven environment you must make sure that that your partner has the same all consuming driving ambition. If either one in a relationship feels that work has taken over the family life it is time to sit down and discuss what is important in to you both. Consider the issues, understand the feelings on both sides, think about the children and work out what is best for the individuals, the relationship and the family as a whole.