15 ways your job is destroying your marriage

Your job can easily start to affect your personal life.

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Your job can easily start to affect your personal life.
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Gpointstudio/Getty Images

  • Working long hours and throwing yourself fully into your career can end up hurting your marriage.
  • Your spouse can easily get frustrated, annoyed, or hurt by your over-commitment to your job.
  • Here are 15 ways your job could be causing you to put a strain on your marriage.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Maybe you’re a workaholic and spend 80 hours a week at the office. Perhaps you come home every night wanting to complain about your micromanaging boss or annoying coworkers. Whatever the culprit, our careers often affect our personal relationships – and in extreme cases, they can even ruin marriages.

“Because we spend the majority of our waking hours Monday through Friday at the office, our jobs tend to easily spill into our personal lives,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, leadership coach, and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”

“And it’s natural, for instance, to come home wanting to vent,” she says, “but this kind of thing can wear thin on your partner over time, as they may feel helpless.”

She says that frequently bringing the office into your personal life can be stressful for both of you, and it’s important to know if your job is affecting your marriage.

“You want to recognize red flags early that your work is impacting your marriage, so you aren’t blindsided by your spouse before it’s too late to make any changes,” adds Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage.”

Here are 15 ways your job is ruining your marriage:


Putting work priorities ahead of your relationship

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A woman working late.
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Hero Images/Getty Images

If you find yourself opting out of activities you would normally engage in with your spouse, such as going to a movie, visiting friends or just enjoying time together, you could be placing undue pressure on the relationship, Taylor says.


Being too tired from work to spend time with your spouse

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A man yawning.
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Matt Cardy/Getty Images

If work is sucking all of your energy out of you, your partner will be affected and take note.


Constantly turning to your spouse as your career therapist

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A stressed-out couple looking at a phone.
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ArtOfPhotos/Shutterstock

If you find yourself constantly seeking advice from your spouse on your next “move” at work, you could be hurting your marriage, Taylor says.


Consuming your life and all your conversations

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A woman bored on a date.
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Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

If you literally have nothing to talk about with your spouse other than work, then this is a bad sign.

“If you have trouble compartmentalizing work and personal life, you likely will go into discussions about people and projects without even realizing,” Taylor says.

It’s a habit that you have to make a conscious effort to kick.


Arriving late to important personal events or frequently cancel because of work

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A man looking at his watch running late.
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Shutterstock

This can create a slow build-up of resentment from your spouse and create the impression you are choosing your work intentionally over your personal commitments, says Kerr.


Preventing your spouse from talking about their day

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An unhappy couple out to dinner.
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WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

If your spouse feels that they’re taking the brunt of your office worries, then they may withdraw and seem unusually quiet, not wanting to add to the drama, Taylor says. “Or, they may feel that sharing their own struggles is futile, because the topic will ultimately bounce back to your office dilemmas.”


Having less patience with your spouse, and vice versa

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A man with his face in his hands.
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Allan Rotgers/flickr

If your spouse if starting to resent your work, then they may not always open up about it because they want to be supportive of you – but the resentment might manifest itself in other areas, such as being less patient or more irritable, Kerr says.


Not having the energy to socialize

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A woman falling asleep in a restaurant.
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flickr/Craige Moore

If you’re beginning to feel that your mind is in some far-off place, then your spouse probably detects it.

“If you’re preoccupied with work once you get home, or even into the weekend, you may feel that you need to keep to yourself,” says Taylor. “You may deprive yourself of normal social activities with your partner.”


Arguing more with your spouse

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A couple arguing.
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Shutterstock

If you are carrying home stress with you from the office, then you may become more irritable and end up taking it out on your partner in totally unrelated areas, Kerr says.


Arguing about new things

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A couple arguing.
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Getty Images

If there’s some sort of change to your work life – maybe a new role, a new boss, a new salary – and you’re suddenly fighting with your spouse about things you never argued about before, it’s probably no coincidence.


Spending little time with your spouse because you’re always busy with work

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A man busy at work on the phone.
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Hero Images/Getty Images

If you’re staying at the office later at night, going in on weekends more frequently, or bringing work home with you more and more, then these things will likely cut into the personal time that you’d normally spend with your partner. And, chances are, this will strain the relationship.


Noticing he or she doesn’t listen to you when you speak anymore

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A bored woman.
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fizkes/Shutterstock

A spouse who’s sick of hearing about you “feeling trapped” at work or that you were admonished again might offer less eye contact or keep busy with another activity as you speak to mitigate the stress, says Taylor.


Starting to making more sacrifices to make everyone happy

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A person waking up in bed.
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Flickr/Loren Kerns

Are you getting up two hours earlier each morning so you can come home earlier at night? Are you giving up personal hobbies or exercise in order to achieve your personal and work goals? This may eventually cause you to break.


Realizing that you are happier at work than you are at home, and feel more engaged with your work colleagues than with your spouse

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A woman stressed out at home.
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Unsplash / Xavier Sotomayor

If you look forward to the end of the weekend or even stay an extra day away on your business trip because you realize it’s easier or less stressful to be at work than to be at home, you’ve got a problem on your hands.


Causing your spouse to use sarcasm to convey their true feelings

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A fighting couple.
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Gleb Leonov/Strelka Institute/Flickr

If your partner says things like “I wonder if the children will recognize you when you’re back from this trip?” then it may be a sign that they’re fed up.