Q:
My husband is a workaholic and is never home. When he is home, he is
working around the house. He never talks to me or my daughter anymore.
I don’t even feel like we have a marriage anymore. Really all we do is
sleep in the same bed. What can I do?

A: I
don’t have any magic answers for the turning the workaholic into a
non-workaholic. I will tell you three things, though, that I believe
will help and they are all completely within your control. First, make
the time, however little it is, that he does spend at home wonderful
for him. Don’t nag him about what he isn’t doing. Don’t complain about
all the time he spends working. Don’t punish him for not being the kind
of husband you dream of. After all, if all he gets is negative at home,
why would he want to spend time there?

Secondly,
and this may seem counterintuitive, but praise him and thank him for
all the hard work he does. Let him know you appreciate the effort he is
making for you and his family. If he begins to feel that you appreciate
his efforts, he may begin to feel more warmly toward you and want to be
around you more often.

Finally, you can
reframe the work that your husband does in your own mind. Instead of
thinking of his work as your competition for his time, begin to think
of the work your husband does as the language he uses for saying, “I
love you.” It is true that your husband may work because he loves to
work but also he defines his worth as a man and a husband by how well
he is able to take care of his family. This may not change the reality
of the situation but it will help you to feel better about what is
happening in your life.

Please, let me know how this all works out.

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