Boyfriend’s Job Affects Our Relationship

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost a year known him 10 yrs. He lives in Cleveland, I live in Columbus. He is a workaholic. He travels for his job, I rarely get to see him because all he does is work. His job is in the medical field, he makes a great deal of money which is great because he can have nice things for himself but never can have a social life. The problem is the communication. It is so bad. Yesterday on facebook he commented on his friends status that he is in Vegas for a medical convention. He didn’t even tell me he was going to Vegas. I asked him about it and he told me it was last minute. He apologized and I told him you need to prove to me that you want to be with me and want to move forward. Also, he is wanting me to move in with him, since he is never home I’m not sure if this will work out. He is fighting for me hard considering I have told him maybe we shouldn’t be together and he has said no I will improve. He said he does care and blah blah blah. My friends think he is a flake but I truly do care for this man and do see a future with him regardless of him working all the time or not. Please help!

A. This seems to be more serious than just a communication problem. You and he are not close. You may officially be a couple but you interact more as acquaintances than close companions. His friends know more about his whereabouts than you do.

I’m concerned about the fact that you “see a future with him regardless of him working all the time or not.” It’s like saying “I don’t care if he changes or not, I’m pursuing this relationship anyway.” You shouldn’t be so willing to stay in a relationship, regardless of the circumstances.

Moving in with him will not solve this problem. It could make it worse and create feelings of resentment and disappointment.

It’s important that you see the relationship as it is and not how you wish it would be or hope it would be. “Workaholics” prioritize work over all aspects of their lives. It is a choice that he has made. Your boyfriend has chosen to pay more attention to his career than to your relationship. His actions speak volumes. If he is committed to ensuring the success of your relationship, then it must take priority over his work.

Until he sorts out his priorities, I would strongly advise against moving in with him. You should only move in with him if you’re satisfied with the direction of the relationship. If you continue to struggle with the relationship and how to proceed, consider psychotherapy. Relationship issues are one of the most common reasons people begin therapy. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Apr 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Boyfriend’s Job Affects Our Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/04/11/boyfriends-job-affects-our-relationship/