Is your loved one having an affair? No, not a sexual affair with another human. I’m referring to an affair with his job! Yes, some people are bigamists, married to their jobs and their spouses. Is your spouse married to his work?
A work affair can be worse than a physical entanglement with another human. It can be harder to break up with work than with a human lover. An affair with your job can be just as destructive to your marriage and can cost you your life.
Not long ago, I saw a leader of American industry whose job took precedence over all else. Being responsible for a Fortune 500 company’s success is an awesome responsibility. The company demands constant attention, nurturing and stroking the company’s growth. Responding to changing needs. Being a successful corporate leader requires long hours, travel, business meals, and more, leaving no time for self and family.
As in any affair, denial plays a major role. The unfaithful spouse will deny any impropriety, claiming that his/her long hours at work are spent on behalf of his family! He/she claims that he/she works long hours in order to provide financial security for his/her family. He/she claims that, one day, he/she will retire and enjoy his/her family and life.
As a patient, the office bigamist often neglects his health, skipping appointments, running out of medicine, and complaining that there is never time for exercise. Certainly, business lunches and dinner are not amenable to proper eating habits.
Diets and Other Unnatural Acts was partially inspired by just such a corporate giant. Being married to your business may provide for financial success and security, but money without health and family is worthless. Carl was living proof.
Are you married to your work? Is your work an abusive spouse? Does it demand so much of you that there is no time to take care of yourself or others? Or are you a stress junky? A success junky?
Sometimes business demands are not the problem. Sometimes the personal need for success creates stresses that are self-imposed. I’ve written about the two brothers, one whose has “everything” and the other who has “enough.” Both brothers have identical assets, the difference is perspective.
Whether you are a work bigamist or a stress/success junky, it’s time to change your perspective! Money without health is worthless. Over the last 40 years, I have seen many patients sacrifice their health and family relationships in the name of making a living. I have seen many spouses cheat on their loved ones by marrying their businesses. In every case, the only thing the family ever wanted was time with their father/mother/spouse.
Success in your job is important. Success as a spouse and family man/woman is more important. They need not be exclusive of one another. Make your health and your family your primary responsibility. They will be with you long after your business is gone. Don’t wait until your health fails or your family is irreversibly estranged. Remember, the life you save may be your own and that life is important to others.