I am married to a workaholic. He works seven days a week. I have had to schedule our marriage
counseling appointments as late as 9p.m. Even then, he calls and cancels the appointments over half of
the time. I have decided to leave this marriage. Do you have any advice?
Your husband may be "addicted" to work. A marriage counselor is in the position to assess this, however. Work
addiction is the exclusive devotion to work at the expense of any family or social life in the absence of clear
financial need (i.e. wanting to buy a new luxury car is not a clear financial need). Work "addicts" often cling to the
safe organized world of work with its clear goals, rather than involve themselves in relationships where the
boundaries and goals are less clear.
Individuals married to work "addicts" may want to obtain some individual counseling around the issues of being
married to an addict. There may even be support groups in their local area. Spouses of "work addicts" have to
accept the fact that they cannot change the "addict."
The "work addict's" "addiction" to work is probably related to inner needs and conflicts, which the spouse cannot
solve. In counseling, the spouse can then decide if they wish to remain in the marriage and cope, even though the
"addict" may never change, or if they are better off looking for another relationship that may better meet their
Annemarie Infantino Murphy, Ph.D.