Danielle, 35 years old, is an insurance agent for a large organization, and her husband, Frank, 37, runs a computer business. Danielle works up to 60 hours a week and, apart from the time she took to have children, she's never had an extended break from work. She also works hard at being a mom. Before having children, Frank and Danielle had sex four or five times a week.
Danielle and Frank were locked into arguments, usually about money and time constraints. Frank wanted Danielle to cut back on her hours at work, but Danielle felt they wouldn't be able to manage on less money. Danielle had lost all interest in sex. "After I gave birth to Jessie and then Mark, my interest in sex plummeted. Between a full-time career and caring for the kids, the last thing on my mind was sex."
Frank felt he was getting more and more detached from Danielle because she never had any time for him. He told me: "I miss Danny and I miss sex. Danny thinks she has to do everything-work, kids, housework-I wish she'd let go a bit."
I talked at length to Danielle about her priorities in life. We discussed her attitudes to work, her kids, and Frank. She began to realize that time spent at home with Frank and the children would be more valuable to her than money in the bank. As a first step to solving her relationship problems, Danielle decided to cut back on the number of hours she spent at work.