Marriages involving a workaholic are twice as likely to end in divorce, according to a study done by Bryan Robinson, a University of North Carolina researcher and author of Chained to the Desk. In an ABCNews.com story, Robinson makes a distinction between workaholics and hard workers. While workaholics, of course, work more hours than others, he says being a workaholic is also a state of mind: “The workaholic is on the ski slopes dreaming about getting back to work. The hard worker is in the office dreaming about being on the ski slopes.”
The article noted that the stress of a tough economy often leads workaholics to work even more. Among the recommended steps for coping with a workaholic spouse: don’t enable their workaholic tendencies by always rearranging your family’s schedule to accommodate theirs and find mutually enjoyable hobbies you can do together.
Unfortunately, I can relate to this article all too well, especially researcher Bryan Robinson’s comment that “workaholics often feel like they have to be doing something.” That’s me. One coping mechanism that helps me enjoy down time is to put it on my to-do list. That way, even relaxation feels like an accomplishment. Not ideal, I know. But it works for me.