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Should I Quit Job to Spend Time With My Husband?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I recently married the man of my dreams. Everything between us is perfect. However, there's thing that is causing our relationship to struggle: our jobs.

He is enlisted in the Navy, and I work at a car dealership in sales. I started my job shortly after he came home from A-School.

We discussed the job change before I even accepted the position, but I think it's just become too much for us to handle. With his schedule of underways and his deployment looming, I’m still working 60+ hours a week.

Since I've started at my employer, my husband and I have become more distant. Although we live together, it seems as if we see each other for only a few hours on Thursdays and Sundays. That's if he's even home.

He often likes to plan to go out with the guys on Friday and Saturday nights, not even inviting me (since it's a workday). He doesn't come home until the next morning.

I've stressed to him that we need more time alone together. I think he should try to go out once a month, maybe twice, and spend the rest of the time home.

It goes in one ear and out the other. He simply states that even though he works with these guys, it's not hangout time for them. I completely understand that, but he has a wife at home that he barely sees.

I've considered leaving my place of employment after our housing allowance comes in, and finding work that doesn't require so many hours. I'm not sure if that would fix our situation. We've talked about it, but he doesn't seem to think much would change.

I know he's irritated that when we first were together, I would cook, clean and work. But now that I work 9 a.m.-9 p.m., that doesn't happen. I think that this job is just adding too much stress to our lives, when the stress from the Navy is already enough.

I guess what I'm asking is do you think that if I leave my field of employment that it would help my husband and me reconnect, and have a healthier relationship?

Sincerely,
Overworked

Dear Overworked,

It sounds like you got married and now everything has changed. Some of this is normal, but it does sound like you are working a lot of hours for anyone.

Honestly, I think you should do what you have to do to save your marriage. It won’t take long before distance and time has caused a great gap in your marriage, especially since you are newly married.

You have to give your husband and you a chance to build strong bonds with each other. Like you said in your letter, with sea duty, trainings and deployments, you will experience a lot of separations.

It’s not too late to turn things around. One of my professors in a family systems class once told us, “If one person in the system changes, the entire system will change.”

In other words, if you do some changing, your husband will too.

Let me explain further. I’m not saying that saving your marriage is your burden to carry alone -- absolutely not. Furthermore, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work or have a career because you can definitely have one.

However, according to your letter it sounds like your finances won’t suffer much if you leave this position. Before you resign, I think you should speak with your manager and discuss the possibility of decreasing your hours or moving to a different position with fewer hours.

If this doesn’t work, then I would resign and find employment that would be more conducive to you and your husband.

I think it’s very important to keep the intimacy and romance in your marriage. If not, your marriage could quickly become “boring hum drum,” and you don’t want that. Let me know what happens.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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