Idaho, Iowa, Des Moines
May 20, 2022

How Putting Work Before Relationships Can Be Detrimental in the Long Run

It can be hard to set your priorities in a relationship. Prioritizing your relationship means making your partner’s feelings, hopes, and dreams as important as your own. Relationships work best when it’s a true partnership. Both people give and take. You make compromises and lift each other up.

Putting work before relationships is a recipe for relationship disaster. If you prioritize your career over your relationship, you might not have the latter for very long. Think about how you want to be treated. If your partner went to work early and stayed late on a regular basis, you’d probably be upset that you aren’t getting to spend much time with them.

What does your relationship mean to you? Is work really more important than being with the person you love? If you’re just entering into a new relationship, what do you think the other person feels about you choosing work over them?

It’s great if you love your job. I’m sure your partner is happy that you’ve found a career that lights you up. But you can’t let work be the detriment to your relationship. Because if you keep putting work before relationships, eventually there won’t be a relationship.

putting work before relationships

Signs You’re Putting Work Before Relationships

Picture this – you’re sitting down to dinner with your partner. You’ve just gotten home from work late, and your partner had dinner ready and waiting for you. Instead of talking about their day or even the food, you launch into how your workday was. You can’t stop talking about work or what you have to do tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s room in a relationship to discuss your job and how your career is going. It’s even ok to break down your day and or go over what you need to do tomorrow. But what’s not ok is putting work before relationships.

Your partner cares about you. They want to hear about your day. They also want to tell you about theirs. They want you to appreciate the meal they made for you, the meal that was timed so that it would be ready when you got home at 8:00. The meal they waited several hours for because they wanted to eat with you.

It would be really easy for your partner to come home at a reasonable hour, make dinner for themselves and hang out in front of the TV or go out with friends or go to the gym. But instead, they choose to wait for you because they want to spend time with you. And they don’t want to just talk about work all the time.

Remember your partner, who’s at home waiting for you with dinner on the table. Remember your partner, who turned down plans with a friend to spend time with you, only for you to choose work over quality time. Remember how to set priorities in a relationship. Don’t forget that you’re in a relationship with your partner, not work.

Priorities in a Relationship

Relationships are hard. Sometimes people use work as an escape from having a difficult conversation or being with their partner. If you love your job, it can be hard to stop. But you need to prioritize your relationship over everything else.

Yes, work is important. And when you find something you love, you want to keep doing it. But you also love your partner. What about wanting to spend time with them? If you work too much, you’ll miss out on life.

Quality time with your partner is good for a healthy relationship. It’s not just good, it’s vital. A relationship, no matter how great it was in the beginning, can’t survive if both of you don’t prioritize the other.

Think about how you would feel if the tables were turned. Neglected, unsure of whether your partner wants to be with you, left out, and lonely are some feelings that come to mind. Being a workaholic isn’t a badge of honor. It could be a recipe for a relationship ending. 

Your priority in your relationship should be your partner. Consider their feelings. Ask about their day. Support their hobbies. Encourage them to spend time with friends. Go on date nights or spend time alone together at home.

If your priority is work, it’s going to be hard on the relationship. You could lose your partner. Is your career important enough to jeopardize your relationship? Setting priorities in a relationship is crucial to having a healthy, thriving relationship where both of you feel seen, heard, loved, and listened to.

Having your priorities in a relationship in the right place is essential to a healthy relationship. While it’s important that you like your job and are doing a career you love, it’s even more important to have a healthy relationship that doesn’t involve work.

Think about what’s more important to you – your career or your relationship. You can be passionate about your job, you can work super hard and climb up the ladder, and you can share all of that with your partner. But at the end of the day, all of those things don’t matter if you don’t have your partner by your side.

Therapy Can Help You If You’re Struggling With Putting Work Before Relationships

Not sure how to manage priorities in a relationship? Consider therapy – I can help you work through your challenges and come up with goal-setting strategies to keep you on track to reach your relationship goals.
During our work together, you’ll learn how to set realistic goals and see them through. We’ll come up with coping skills to deal with putting work before relationships and help you step confidently into the world knowing what you’re dealing with and how you can manage it.I’m ready if you are. Reach out today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Meet the author

Danielle Wayne

Danielle is an anxiety therapist. She specializes in helping busy millennials dial down their anxiety and ADHD, so they can perform at their best. Danielle has been featured on Apartment Therapy, SparkPeople, Lifewire, and Now Art World. When Danielle isn't helping her clients, she's playing video games or spending time with her partner and step children.

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