It’s natural to be ambitious in wanting to have a successful career to provide for your family. Still, when your work life pours into your home and into your marriage, it has the potential to ruin your union.

Experts say professionals are spending 40 to 60 hours a week at work and less time with their spouses. Bringing the office home can be stressful for both parties, and it’s essential to know if your job is affecting your marriage. Here are some signs your job may be destroying your marriage.

You can’t find a balance.

Sometimes it can seem like work is a newborn baby that requires 24/7, around the clock care to be happy. It’s so easy to allow work to pour into your personal life, but when you struggle to create a healthy work-life balance, one area may be more neglected than the other, and that includes your marriage. The more time you are spending on work, the less time you have to tend to your marriage. This can leave your spouse feeling neglected, unappreciated, or invisible. Your spouse wants to feel seen by you, and when your focus seems elsewhere, this has the potential to stir up resentment. Prioritize your spouse and make sure they know that they are far more important than what’s going on at work.

Conversations seem to always revolve around work.

Your spouse is not your career therapist. If you don’t have anything else to talk about with your spouse other than work, this is very concerning. If you struggle with keeping your work and personal life separate, it’s easy to get caught up in continually discussing it. When your spouse becomes sick of hearing you talk about work, you’ll notice that they tune you out when you start conversations about it. Often times you won’t even realize how much you talk about work, but it’s a habit you have to kick to save your marriage.

You are arguing more with your spouse.

If the stressors from work are being brought home, this can keep you on edge and make you more irritable. The unfortunate part of this is often times you will take it out on your spouse. This will lead to more arguments between the two of you and turn your home into a war zone. You may also find yourself arguing with your spouse about things you’ve never discussed before.

You never see each other.

Having a crazy work schedule that keeps you away from your home is an easy way to disconnect from your spouse. Having conflicting schedules that cause you to go days or weeks without seeing your spouse is a significant problem, but it’s one that can be easily fixed. You have to be committed to making time to spend with your spouse, and this will involve looking for ways to incorporate quality time within your schedules. Both parties have to be willing to be flexible about their schedules for this to work.

You would rather spend more time at work than with your spouse.

If you are relieved when the weekends end or look for any excuse to extend business trips because you’d rather be at work than at home, this is a sign of a more significant issue. Home and your spouse should be your safe haven. It should be your peace after a long day, and if you would rather be at work, this can send a hurtful message to your spouse.

You forget about important dates and events.

When you start to forget about important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, family gatherings, dance recitals, and little league games, you show your spouse and family that your mind is consumed with other matters. Missing multiple special occasions will quickly put you in the dog house with your spouse, but it can also cause serious marital problems.

You are too tired from work to spend time with your spouse.

When work sucks all of the life out of you, it can be hard to come home with enough energy to spend time with your spouse. It’s understandable to be exhausted from a long workday, but when every day becomes a long workday, you’ll find that you’re spending less time engaging at home with your spouse. Not only will this cause resentment, but it can also cause your spouse to look at you as unreliable because they will always expect you to be too tired from work. The excuse of being tired can become old very fast, so finding ways to make your workdays less exhausting is highly recommended.

No marriage is perfect, and neither are you or your spouse. Jobs ruin marriages because people allow it to, but that doesn’t have to be the case for your marriage. Your career carries considerable influence over your life, and if you aren’t unable to balance that influence with your marriage, your marriage will suffer greatly.

Because so much of your time can become consumed by work, you must be intentional with how you navigate through balancing work and your marriage. Understand the importance of creating boundaries when it comes to work and be proactive in the steps you take to ensure it doesn’t come home with you. Things you can do to help with this include finding some ways to decompress from the day before you walk into your home, embracing your spouse before you do anything else when you get home, and unplugging from electronic devices like your cell phone or computer. It would also be useful to keep your spouse in the loop of any extended work hours or trips that may be taking away from the time that you spend together. When your spouse sees that you are making efforts to prioritize your marriage, they will become more understanding and willing to be more patient with you.

No matter how busy or important your work is, your spouse should never feel like it’s more important than they are. Your spouse deserves the best of you and not just leftovers after a long day of work.

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