Question: I am 34 years old, no children, and recently divorced. My question concerns women’s expectations of their husband’s work hours. I have worked in manufacturing for over 10 years, and have worked my way up the ladder to a very decent paying job, especially considering where I live. Yes, I know money is not everything, but I would never give up my job for a relationship. My wife of 4 years left me partly because of how often I worked. I usually only have 1 day off a week, and she increasingly complained I worked too much. She knew going into the marriage that I worked a lot, so it’s not like I sprung a huge surprise on her after we got hitched. She expected me to pay all the bills, even though she worked part-time, but I was OK with that because I could afford to do that, with a little money leftover to spare. I rarely spent money on myself anyways. To make a long story short, she eventually cheated on me with one of her co-workers, leading to our divorce.
I am debating whether I even want to try dating again, and need some advice. If I work 10 to 12 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week, are there SOME women out in the world who are OK being with a guy like this? Or am I being unreasonable, and I should not date at all? Am I being selfish by expecting a woman that is OK with my work schedule? I realize that different people have different needs, and I would suspect that MOST women would like their husbands to be home more often. I am ok with that, and would never attempt to force a relationship based on that assumption. I feel like I have a lot to offer because I consider myself a gentleman, I am financially stable, I am respectful to everyone, I own my house and vehicle, I am fiercely loyal and would never cheat on my spouse, and I won’t even consider having sex with a woman until I know her very well, AND she is 100% comfortable with it. So should I try dating again or just give up?
You seem shocked that your schedule might negatively impact your relationship. Of course it would! You were never around. I’m not surprised she cheated on you BECAUSE YOU WERE NEVER THERE. That doesn’t make it right, of course, but it takes two to tango.You’re as responsible as she is for keeping your relationship together. You can’t expect to be absent from it 75% of the time and still have it thrive.
There are probably some women out there who would be accepting of your schedule, but they’d probably work a similar schedule. But, I mean, at a certain point you would have to re-evaluate your career choice. You want to work twelve hours a day, never see your kids, and have your partner raise them on her own? That’s a pretty tall order. As is working 80 hours a week and rarely seeing your wife. That much time apart can create a very deep divide. Couples need to check in with each other and re-connect from time to time.
I don’t get why these women you date have to be the ones to make concessions. Why is the onus not on you, too? You thought that because you were supporting the two of you that might compensate for you never being around. We want more than an ATM. We want a partner. Instead of working twelve hours a day, try to work ten. Make it a point to try and be home at a reasonable hour once or twice a week so you two can hang out and talk. And have sex. I mean, dude, come on. If you’re working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, that has to wreak havoc on your sex life.
If you’re going to ask a woman to accept your insane work schedule, you need to compromise, too.