Carol's Story: He's All About Work
Scott, my husband, couldn't talk about anything except his work. It was like he was obsessed, taken over by some alien being. When I married him, he was a pothead. We were fresh out of college, so it was okay and we had a lot of fun. I always knew he was hyper and that's why I was okay with his using some drinking or other things to calm himself. But when his father brought him into his business and Scott opened a new office where we lived, everything became about the business. If we went out to eat at a restaurant, it was to see if it was a good place to take clients. If we vacationed, it was to check out the hotel for a conference. He has endless energy to talk about work and how we're building our nest egg. Our portfolio can get me hours of talk if I want. He's sliced and diced our bills over and over and down to the penny, we've been over our family "plan." But it's really just his plan to do nothing else but focus on money and work. I know those things are important, and I'm glad he's working, but I need more.

Since we had difficulty having kids, we figured we'd take a few years off from worrying about it and I started working in his office. He really wanted me there, and I figured, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I thought at least I'd be a part of the office gossip and issues, and it would bring Scott and me closer. It did give us even more to talk about, but the focus on the business never ended. Everything else in our life is second to work, and it takes up every part of our lives together. He doesn't think about sex anymore. He'll do it with me if I initiate, and it's pretty nice, but I know that if we could just talk about business instead, he'd be just as happy.

I've become very close to a man who's a consultant in our firm. He's older and has been the only one to understand Scott's obsessive personality. He's even spoken to Scott about it. But Scott told me how disgusted he was that this consultant would turn to Scott's personal life. I don't know what to do. Recently, this guy and I started some kissing and it's gotten a little heavier. I told Scott I wanted to quit the business and focus on having kids. Scott got so angry, insisting that now isn't the time. I don't have the heart to tell him that staying in that office isn't going to be good for us. Scott is a really good guy underneath it all. All of his focus on money is just to secure good things for me and our eventual family. I'm holding on to myself, but I don't know what comes next.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., from Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship, by M. Gary Neuman. Copyright ©2010 by M. Gary Neuman.


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