My husband is a major workaholic. We've been married 23 years and it seems to get progressively 'worse' the longer we have been married. He owns his own business (accounting, tax and finance) and often goes into the office 7 days a week. Not unusual for him to work until 11pm or later a few times a week. When he's at home, pretty much all he talks about is work or the economy.Though when we're socializing with others, he can converse about other topics. Because he is a solo practitioner, he relies on me heavily as his only confidante about issues with staff and clients. Fortunately, I have the background to understand most of what he's saying though I have to admit I get tired of hearing about it. At home, he pretty much watches the news or Bloomberg non-stop or is working around the house. I can't get him interested in other shows.
It occurred to me recently that he really 'thrives' on being super-busy and stressed. There is not a day that goes by when he doesn't say he's way behind at work. He has a large client base and does quite well financially. I've noticed over the years that at home he is very grumpy but when he calls me from work throughout the day, he seems almost happy. He does relax on vacation and we usually have a good time.
When we did martial counseling the psychologist said he was a classic perfectionist with OCD tendencies. He is so much a Type A that if he dropped dead from a heart attack tomorrow, it wouldn't surprise me in the least (though he looks extremely fit for a man of 52 years. He doesn't exercise, he's just naturally thin).
I, on the other hand, am very much a Type B. I am very good about pacing myself and not taking on so much I feel stressed for extended periods of time but I get done what needs to be done in a timely manner. My favorite place to be is at home, puttering around, not doing much. Light cleaning, reading, surfing the internet are my activities of choice on a free Saturday (though I do get to the gym a few times a week).
So you can see, we are at nearly opposite ends of the spectrum. I've come to terms with it. Took me a long time to understand that you can't change another person. Since I'm an introvert by nature, I really don't mind spending so much time alone (empty nest). I work part-time in a professional job so I get lots of time around other people as well as a sense of accomplishment. I do feel guilty at times because he works so hard but I also know that it's not about me, it's what he would do regardless of who he was married to. Because I am so not a Type A, I have a hard time understanding why someone would operate that way (putting oneself under constant stress) but I've recently realized that he actually really loves the pressure though he claims not to (if that makes sense).
I'm really just curious if anyone else is in this boat? If so, how do you feel about it? Do you have any strategies that you use to encourage your spouse relax at home? Does living with a workaholic make you feel like a slacker?