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User Topic: Was the A a part of workaholism?
Kyrie
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Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My fWH got completely obsessed with a massive project at work when his A started with one of his co-workers. He says he never really thought of her as anything more than a colleague until things at work got intense and the pressure was on to produce something that had never been done before. He said she worked hard to make him look good, never challenged him in any way, and became a constant supply of affirmation and support. She told him what he wanted to hear. Then she made it clear that she was available and easy.

The affair played out on biz trips and late hours at the office. There was no courting or wooing - the whole thing was completely wrapped up in work, in this massive, multi-million $ project. Like many WSs, my fWH kept work separate from home. He compartmentalized his work/affair life.

He managed to live this dual life for 15 months, but it took a toll on his health and our M was showing signs of suffering (I didn't have a clue why - I just thought he was obsessed with work.) He had turned into a royal a$$, lacked compassion, was distracted and irritable. Looking back, the period before and during the A, my fWH's personality changed. Not only did I not recognize him, I didn't like him.

Another company tapped him to be their next leader and he saw this as his chance to get out of the nightmare he was in. So he quit the job, quit the affair and we moved. Knowing what I know now, the fact that he did this all on his own is a miracle.

What's interesting is that as soon as he broke from his job, the fog vanished. All feelings for the OW disappeared. All feelings for the project disappeared, too. In fact, once I found out about the A and we would talk about how/why it happened, he found it impossible to talk about it separate from the job. The A was motivated by work, fed by work, and propelled by work. The A was just one expression of this addiction to the work he was doing. In talking about the OW, all he can say is she was critical to the work I was doing, or she was very important to the project. Once he no longer had a connection to the work, the A seemed ridiculous and the OW looked pathetic and unappealing. He now says he's bewildered by the whole thing.

I'm curious if any of you had a similar experience. Was your or your spouse's A wrapped up in work?


Me: BW, 47
WH, 48
Married 24 years, 2 teenagers
2 year/8 month PA with coworker
DDay#1 01.20.12 - found out when diagnosed with STD
Dday#2 04.04.14 - found out the PA lasted over twice as long as he originally disclosed.
Separated for 6 wks. T

Posts: 191 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
Ambergray
♀ Member
Member # 40778
Default  Posted: 1:42 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My FWH's workaholism definitely played a part. The difference in our situation was that he did not work with the OW, but he was in a special project and working very stressfully for a year and she was his escape/coping mechanism from his stressful job. He also switched jobs and came out of the fog on his own and ended the A. When I found out about the A it had already been over for a while. He also acted differently during the A, bad moods, irritable, blamed me for everything wrong in his life. He is totally different now. Even our kids and people he used to work with at the old job tell him he seems happier now. I definitely think his job added to his weakness that led him to the A.


Me-38
WH-38
Dday June 2013

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson


Posts: 86 | Registered: Sep 2013
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 1:44 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But for the end of your story, mine is extremely similar. Work was the vehicle where they met, worked hard together, she filled him full of smoke, told him how his talents were wasted where he was, encouraged him to move in a different directions, etc.

It was hard for me when I would question him about the time he spent at her house, because they were often working. He helped her do her job (she was a step above him) and it was the job he wanted for himself. In many ways, I have often believed this affair was partly him confused over wanting the job vs. wanting her.

Ours didn't have such a tidy end, but his comments now are similar. He's lost the drive to move forward with the company, and gives zero shits about her. He says he never really thought of her as a nice person. He was completely invested for other reasons. Bizarro.

I have to admit though, I have a weird thing happens to me when I am working intently in my busy, stressful time. I will often start to have sex dreams about my male coworkers regardless of age or sexual orientation, lol. It's totally disturbing, but now I "get" that my subconscious just gets confused over the intensity of the work. I often wonder how many people start to take that shit seriously instead of understanding it for what it is.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6347 | Registered: Jan 2011
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:27 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No, not workaholism per se....but think there was energy being directed outside of our M for a while before my wife had her A.

As I go through MC, read books on infidelity, adultery, FOO issues, and marriages....it appears to me a common trait to all.

A M becomes unhealthy and adultery more of an option when either or both spouses turn "away" from each other.

In my case, our M was turning away from each over time.
Partly FOO issues.....ignoring feelings, avoiding conflict, etc. etc.

Partly "life"...having kids, caring for sick family member, nurturing my career, etc etc.

The whole time we were subconsciously thinking "Our M? Oh, yeah, we will tend to that "later"".

Do this for years and adultery becomes more and more a real choice.

It sounds like your husband was no more looking to sleep with another person than my wife was....

That whole turning into an a$$? My wife didn't do that exactly...but there are very specific, very intentional choices made pre-A that we can NOW see lead to her journey to Adultery.

I think she did resist a bit....but shortly after meeting her fAP it was game on. Our lack of "turning towards each other" was the payment on adultery....it weakend my wifes committment over time to remain committed to me and our family.

It happened like a frog boiling in water.....hardly noticeable while it was happening. NOW we can see the burner was on high!

So in your case it was workaholism, in my case it might be kid-centric marriage, in another case it might be excessive attention to hobbies......

I think a real key to healthy M's is to turn towards each other intentionally and regularly.

Doesn't mean you have to do everything together or give up a challenging career....but you do have to have the courage to either say "I would like you to go fishing with me occasionally" or "Please take me to the theater this weekend".

I am still in MC....still trying to figure out what true mature intimacy looks like....but I think keeping track and committed to your priorities is a big player in this.

Short term adjusting priorities is healthy....if a child is sick, they are the priority. If a short duration project at work is career-critical, it is a priority. But both need to be entered into with the full understanding and idea that your relationship with your spouse is paramount.

Thats my opinion anyway.

Kyrie, I so appreciate your posts....I will re-read this one several times and see what you are offering to us....feel like I missed something.....

God be with us.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3580 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
cl131716
♀ Member
Member # 40699
Default  Posted: 5:38 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well, the last OW was a COW. He did tell me once that he was stressed out at work because he wasn't selling many homes and we were barely making ends meet. OW was giving him a lot of attention. Telling him how awesome and amazing he was. I actually found something she posted on his facebook page back in May.
Your such a sweetie cl131716 is very lucky girl.. glad to know you thank you for teaching me all you know so I can be good like you..

He has a constant need for validation, however. Work stressed him out but I don't think workaholism is what really caused his A.


Me BS 31
Him WS 34 Trying4change
Together 3 years, married for one
D-day: 07/23/13 cybersex with COW
D-day: 12/27/13 found out he met and kissed a "friend" in 2011
"A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing."

Posts: 935 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Oklahoma
Kyrie
♀ Member
Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 7:58 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

hi blakesteel, thanks for your comments. Looks like you're learning a lot and I resonate with what you've written, too.

The reason I bring up workaholism is because as far as my fWH is concerned, it was the primary reason the A happened. He was a nobody (his thinking,) child of dysfunction, being elevated and praised by important community leaders and professionals and heralded as the one to usher in something new into the community - something big, expensive, something no one had ever attempted. People were blowing smoke up his ass all the time and it was intoxicating. He prided himself on working 80 hours a week. He was absolutely consumed. And yes, we were struggling with young children, very child centric marriage, M was flat. Definitely a big disconnect happening.

He said he never felt like he was going to work when he left in the morning. And of course, the OW was there waiting for him, ready and willing. But he says going to work wasn't because he got to see her, rather he couldn't get enough of the atmosphere there that made him feel important.

When he quit and we moved away, he changed dramatically with regards to his work life. In retrospect, we both see how he shifted into neutral. He is very good at his job, but he isn't obsessed. Dr. Barbara Killinger's life work on workaholism is very eye opening. She describes my H exactly.

And we're doing really well now. My H is healthy, continues to work through his issues with an IC, and is devoted to me and our kids. The reason I raise this issue is that for him, the A played out within a unique set of circumstances. He was in an environment that massaged his ego and puffed him up - he felt entitled and that he could do no wrong. Neither one of us recognize the person he became during that time.

Now for the sticking point: his business is about to start a major capital campaign. He says that he is a little nervous that he might struggle with balance, with becoming consumed by the work. And if he's nervous, then I am, too.

Workaholism paved the way for his A. His A was completely wrapped up in the work they were doing. He chose to pursue her while he pursued fame and glory -- and he can't separate the two pursuits.

I'm rambling and I guess I'm not really sure what it is I'm thinking. I just was hoping to hear from folks who have some experience with the A being a symptom of an addiction to work. The fact that he can't talk about the A separate from his work seems to add another dimension to our R.


Me: BW, 47
WH, 48
Married 24 years, 2 teenagers
2 year/8 month PA with coworker
DDay#1 01.20.12 - found out when diagnosed with STD
Dday#2 04.04.14 - found out the PA lasted over twice as long as he originally disclosed.
Separated for 6 wks. T

Posts: 191 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
ILINIA
♀ Member
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 11:04 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, I would say workaholism played part. In our case, WH has worked for the same company for over 15 years. The company has grown and there are never enough people for the demand. I used to defend him and his long hours, but that changed. For the past couple of years, I would just say "Yep, he works A LOT. It sucks." His role has become more visible in the company and his hours and travel have steadily increased. He would pride himself that he put in more hours than any of his team and that he was always on top of his email.

Meanwhile at home, he was short with me and the kids. I would ask him to be home at least ONCE a week before 7:00pm and he would never stick to it, as he always too busy or had a meeting, etc. When he was home, he would put the kids to bed which many nights including arguing with them, and then go directly to his laptop and work. He would literally be with us maybe an hour each night. He would logon on weekends as well. It was becoming harder to have him home as he was always stressed and discontent and it was easier and more peaceful when he was gone. I didn't like him either. I remember feeling anxiety when he would finally come home at night. When we fought it was about his schedule and that we were his second priority. I remember when we moved, he was "too busy" and couldn't even take half a day to help. He I would tell him that something had to give or I cannot do this alone anymore. It fell on deaf ears or he would pacify me and say that it will slow down in June or by Christmas or whenever, it never did. It only ramped-up more.

In reality, he was spiraling downwards. He finally had the position and prestige he wanted, but hated it. He was stuck in meetings after meetings and constant barrage of emails. He felt like he was slaving away, being miserable, and doing all this for us and the kids and here I am asking him to get a better life balance, heck, didn't I know who he was at this company, he can't let them down. They needed him! He was disconnecting from us more and more. He wasn't a hero at home, but he could be one at work so why not spend more time where people admired him and told him how fantastic you are?

Can you guess what happened? The 40 year-old senior manager and the 23 year-old chicky that he mentors start complimenting each other left and right. They "get" each other. Their wives and boyfriend don't "understand" their jobs and how "important" they are. And hell, they are both "hot and attractive" and sexually dissatisfied. Yada, yada, yada you all know the crap they tell. She invites him over to her apartment for a lunch quickie and there goes our marriage. Yep, basically it was a one week EA and 45 minutes of PA. I confront the next day. WH hands over chat logs and emails and I restore the texts.

When I asked if he felt it necessary to clear the air, he replied, "No, she knew what she was getting into." This I struggle with, as I am glad he didn't care for her and we didn't have to worry about "lurve", but on the other hand it makes what he did seem so cold, cheap and pathetic. He admits that the A was his rock bottom and the COW was the eager accomplice. He says that when he realized she was willing, he became more obsessed with the idea of an affair. If she hadn't been willing, he would have gravitated to someone else. He had this need to escape and wanted to be in this fantasy-land. He even said he wanted to be like George Clooney and be the mature guy that all the young ladies thought was hot at work. Would you say he was a bit disconnected or maybe entitled or arrogant? Maybe all three? Yep, it is the sad catastrophic tale of mid-life crisis man meets girl with father issues. It is so textbook and cliche that it just KILLS me.

Post A, he changed roles and teams. It has made a huge difference. He's woken up and he is present and invested. He is becoming a healthier person. I would have said we had a good marriage before, but with IC and MC, it is now obvious that WH wasn't able to or didn't know how to have deep connections or intimacy with anyone. He was a loner. Add conflict-avoider, selfish, and having a habit of lying or lying by omission and I had/have one unhealthy husband.

We are 7 months out and doing okay. He is still processing and learning more about himself. I have my legs under me and I becoming me again. I do struggle with how I/we will be able to move forward.

[This message edited by ILINIA at 11:49 PM, January 24th (Friday)]


Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 441 | Registered: Jul 2013
Scubachick
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Member # 39906
Default  Posted: 11:13 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes! My husband is a workaholic. 7 days a week! If he's not at work, he's texting about work or on the phone about work or we're talking about work. His EA was with an employee. The first female he had ever made GM. He's a very shy and private person. The OW is like the male version of my husband. They both work all the time and work is their life. I can see why they hit ot off. We had grown so far apart and were barely communicating. When we did talk it was about business. I resented the business so I hated to hear about it. My eyes would glaze over and every few minutes I would say "uh huh, really". When he promoted her they had to communicate a lot so he eventually started to turn to her about work. She gets him in ways I don't. She liked to talk about his favorite subject, Work. He never would have let her in if it wasn't for work. To make matters worse, his buisness is a family business (partners with his dad) so his FOO issues cross over into it...Causing more stress. His workaholism stems from his FOO issues.

Posts: 631 | Registered: Jul 2013
SBB
♀ Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 11:28 PM, January 24th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Xs IC told him work was his first mistress. I believe he threw himself into work as part of the entitled, wayward mindset life he was heading for. He was an accountant doing data entry, FFS. Not curing cancer.

I'm quite a senior assistant and I've supported many busy executives through enormously difficult and challenging times. There are workaholics who still have their family as their top priority even during times when they can't spend as much time with them as they like. They work like mad all day long and carve out time with their family as much as they can.

Then there are workaholics who faff around chit-chatting for half of the day. Sure they do long hours but lots of time is wasted throughout the day. These are the ones who think they are the priority in their family, not the other way around.

I believe the workaholism is a part of the A - that sense of entitlement, selfishness and detaching from the BS and family is what leads to affairs.


Buzz- The word you are searching for is 'Space-Ranger.'
Woody- The word I'm searching for, I can't say, because there are Pre-school toys here.

Posts: 5527 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Kyrie
♀ Member
Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 12:31 AM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh my gosh, Ilinia, I could have written word for word your response as if it was my own! Isn't that amazing? Check out Dr. Barbara Killinger findings re workaholism. Scubachick, Amber, Rebreather and SBB, thank you for responding - we are definitely talking about the same stuff.

I'm not sure what this information does for me. Am I not as threatened by the A as I would be had it been in a different context? Maybe a little. Or like Ilinia said,

I am glad he didn't care for her and we didn't have to worry about "lurve", but on the other hand it makes what he did seem so cold, cheap and pathetic.

Workaholism is the respectable addiction. No one is going to criticize a guy for working hard and devoting his life to his job. Heck, in this country we encourage it.

My H says that one of the red flags towards the end of the affair was when he was interviewed by a magazine and was asked to describe outside hobbies and other interests outside work, and he didn't have anything! Nothing! That and then later missing an important event for his son because he was so busy working. Too bad that cheating on his wife wasn't a big enough red flag to get his attention, too. He says it was but not like those two events . Such a sad and pathetic time in his life. He was so incredibly messed up. Thank God he is now sober. But I do worry he could relapse.


Me: BW, 47
WH, 48
Married 24 years, 2 teenagers
2 year/8 month PA with coworker
DDay#1 01.20.12 - found out when diagnosed with STD
Dday#2 04.04.14 - found out the PA lasted over twice as long as he originally disclosed.
Separated for 6 wks. T

Posts: 191 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
Hurthalo
♂ Member
Member # 41782
Default  Posted: 12:58 AM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My wife's affair was the result of work; namely, the fact that her and OM were sharing an inbox and doing the job of 3 people together. While this was going on we both finishing Masters degrees off of a night and trying to raise a toddler. We simply took our marriage for granted and made it a low priority.

Coffee breaks turned into lunch breaks, which turned into lunch time runs...next thing you know they were off to make out during runs and after work.

Still absolutely no excuse, but throwing two
people together with a common goal, with both of them spending more time of a day together than with their partners is a very dangerous situation.


Forgive the unforgivable, or bear the unbearable.

Me BS (34) WW (29)
Married 2 years
2y old Daughter
D-Day 05 Nov 13


Posts: 138 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Australia
2yrsblind
♂ Member
Member # 41974
Default  Posted: 1:38 AM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If your unaware of the danger and don't have clear lines its easy to get "caught up" in a work place romance. Several years ago I worked closely with a woman, married woman. All of our conversations were normal non flirty nothing sexual. Yet we started to form a bond. Slowly, conversations turned into what her husband did wrong and how he didn't understand her. Then I would get "work related" texts and calls. Those turned into what you doing. She always texted or called first. Still nothing flirty or sexual. This was 13 or 14 months, during which time I met and started dating my wife.

One day she did something different with her hair and I complimented her on it, which she said "yeah my husband never noticed". The bashing of her husband was now about an hour or two a day. I talked with my wife who was living with me now and she said "be careful with that woman, she has a crush on you". Now having been a BS by my first wife some four years before you would think I would be aware. I wasn't, but now it all made sense. I had been indirectly involved in an EA for some 18 or 19 months. I transfered and cut off contact. She became slightly obsessed. At one point she asked why was I doing this to her, and she had feelings for me.

I did something that, looking back on it was shakey at best. I asked her to lunch. Her face lite up and said sure I would love that. My intentions were noble. At lunch I told her my story of betrayal, the fallout, the heartbreak the lost years after. I asked her is this what you want in your life? And walked away. She never contacted me again and actually resigned her position. Never heard from her again.

Scary part, I was attracted to this woman and not for having met my wife and pointing this out, I could have ended up in a full blown A


The most damaging lies told are those we tell to ourselves--my grandma

Posts: 95 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Midwest USA
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 7:35 AM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for sharing more details Kyrie.

I have taken several tests this past 17 months....wanted to list them and mention one point about them...because I have a tendency to "over achieve " like your husband. I use to think it was all honorable and healthy, but am aware of a dark side of this too.


.Love Languages quiz. Primary love language is Words of a Affirmation . words of affirmation, which is why my no PM female SI members is important to me.

Myers-brigs personality test. I am ENTJ.....drawn to leading by my enthusiastic, willing, orderly, structured , goal oriented, outgoing nature. Would be GREAT except I have trouble saying NO when others need help at work or a new project is conceived and CEO is looking for a volunteer.

DISC personality test. I am an "influencer"....very optimistic, enjoys group projects and motivating people to " join the team ". "Will find themselves in leadership positions and will wonder how they got there".

Spiritual Gifts Test ....."administrator".....God given talent to organize and motivate.

I also took tests that show I have "over achiever and perfectionist tendencies" as well as a large gap between how other people view me and how I view myself.

Okay ..,. Now to my point and the possible tie into your husband.

The list above might appear great on the surface level. But when the person that has those traits has less-than-pure -motives underneath them....they can actually be a path to disconnection.

There are different motivations underneath workaholism.....the affects might be the same (suffering marriage), but treatment for it will need to be varied.

Examples;

If he is working so much to provide for the family....maybe he could find a better paying job or you could ? (Same money, less hours )

If he is working so much because his business is swamped....maybe it's time to hire more employees? (Same production, less hours)

If he is working so much because he needs external validation....maybe counseling is needed to ferret out the root cause if that? ( seek fulfillment in healthy ways)

If he is working so much because he desires true intimacy in his marriage but doesn't know how to get that so he avoids being uncomfortable....maybe he needs to open up to you? (Reduce the fear that holds him back )


Hope I am making sense. I believe I am a mix of all of those and more ! I am choosing differently now in an effort to grow. I still have a strong work ethic and like to work. It's just another "Motivation check" I do now before I act. I am getting out of the rut of how I always did things.

I have seen the results , not as good as I had hoped for.....time to change some inputs .

Co-workers have noticed.....asked me if everything is all right because "you don't volunteer like you use too".

I respond "I'm good, just keeping track of my priorities better ".

It does feel better.....strange at first because of how long I had operated without clear commitment to priorities ....really thought I could do it all and had time to do it all. I don't.

God, wife , our girls, everything else. That is my priority list.

Doesn't mean I don't move them around occasionally.....I still have a rigorous demanding job that will require 18 hour shifts occasionally, still have young daughters with activities that need tended too, but I keep my commitment to check up my motivation and to get back to my priorities regularly.....NOT "when I have time ", which is how I operated before.

What does your husbands priority lust look like? Yours? How big of an influence are you on his list, him in your list?

He may have healthy motivations underneath, I do too....but he may have issues that are needing attention as well. I can more clearly identify most of my motivations now.....and those tests really helped fill in the picture . The results show the good parts.....but also point out my "pitfalls"--that area I need to be cautious of being.


God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:40 AM, January 25th (Saturday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3580 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yep, a burnt out workaholic. Was gone over 14 hours a day. Worked every weekend. No vacation or downtime. Had to prove something to the world and himself, which all stems from Foo.

EVERY conversation we had for 10 year revolved around his work in some way. BTDT. It gets stale after a while. Isn't there a saying about all work makes Jack a dull boy? He was so bitter and nasty to be around, he hated the world and everyone in it.

The worst part was I enabled and encouraged him to work as hard as he did, because I thought it's what he wanted. I wanted anything that would make him happy. I was proud of him. I helped him -- a lot.

He became more and more self-important and I hate that I helped feed that beast. But at the same time being a former workaholic myself I was worried about him and tried to point out that he was going to crash in a hard way.

He did crash -- big time. Now work means nothing to him.

His affair coincided with a promotion, and he wasn't even pleased about that. I thought his odd behavior had something to do with the job change.

Workaholism is the respectable addiction. No one is going to criticize a guy for working hard and devoting his life to his job. Heck, in this country we encourage it.

Exactly!!! All I heard was how great my husband was because he worked all the time. He was a great worker, but a terrible husband.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
ILINIA
♀ Member
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 9:06 AM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Kyrie and Blakesteele: I am re-reading this thread this morning and there are many similarities. I will also take a look at Dr. Killinger's work. Thanks for the recommendation!

I'm pondering the "nobody" child term that was used. WH may be similar in a way. He was raised in an radically religious family. His father was the minister, so he was poor, moved around, saw himself as odd when compared to the other kids, and as an only child so he spent much of his time at church with adults.

He didn't really have friends until high school, but he wasn't really connected with them either. He is extremely intelligent, so he built this wall or defense of "I will show them someday. I will prove to everyone that I am smart, attractive, and successful" attitude.

I think his workaholism covers all of the areas blakesteels mentions:

Provide for his family: He was poor and he was determined his kids would have opportunities that he never had. He wanted to be able to pay for whatever college they wanted to go to.

Business is swamped: His company is growing like crazy, they are always hiring, but there is always more work than people. Even his new position is starting to become really busy. (This is a similar concern with Kyrie, will he be able to manage it? I would say that family has finally become first priority, but will it last?)

He needs external validation: He was visible, successful, and he felt like he finally had the position he deserved.

Avoiding true intimacy: He avoids conflict, so even though he wanted us to have a better relationship, he had no idea how to communicate it to me, so he avoided it.

The only thing missing out the "I will show them" was the feeling sexy/attractive, hence the George Clooney-like fantasy when he was spiraling down. He didn't even go into the A thinking it was relationship, it was purely for ego and escapism. He was so arrogant and shallow in the chats. Oh, and the lies that were told. It is hard to come to terms that IS/WAS my husband.

Today he is embarrassed and humbled by his actions. He says that he wished he could travel back and just slap himself into reality. I don't think he even recognized the a$$hole he became.

Needless to say, we are mending. He is addressing many of these issues in IC, so we are kind of on a "wait and see" approach.

[This message edited by ILINIA at 9:12 AM, January 25th (Saturday)]


Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 441 | Registered: Jul 2013
ILINIA
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Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 9:38 AM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Quick question: Did any of your WH experience ED due to stress? That is another facet in our tale and how it impacted his confidence and influenced the A.

[This message edited by ILINIA at 9:39 AM, January 25th (Saturday)]


Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 441 | Registered: Jul 2013
Scubachick
♀ Member
Member # 39906
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The worst part was I enabled and encouraged him to work as hard as he did, because I thought it's what he wanted. I wanted anything that would make him happy. I was proud of him. I helped him -- a lot.

Me too! I was his biggest enabler. I covered his share of the parenting, housework etc. I made excuses for him on why he wasn't at family functions, school functions, games. I was alone all the time. I refused to ask him to take time off or spend time with me because I didn't want him around unless he really wanted to be there. I didn't call him out on his excuses of not having time to do things. I knew he was under a lot of stress and I didn't want to be the cause of making it worse.


Posts: 631 | Registered: Jul 2013
Kyrie
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Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He didn't even go into the A thinking it was relationship, it was purely for ego and escapism.

Yes, this.
There is a big difference between As that happen at work and As that are intrinsically part of workaholism. For people like my H, the A was an expression of the obsession with work. That's why he continues to say the affair had nothing to do with the who the OW was.

The three traits of workaholism are perfectionism, obsession and narcissism, each feeding the next on a continuum. My H pursued perfection (lots of FOO crap) and he did this to the point that he became obsessed with his wok. But, of course, perfectionism was out of reach, so anxiety developed into obsessive compulsive behavior to offset the pressure to perform. Anxiety only grows as stress continues - so of course, he experienced ED at times and not just with me, but with the AP as well. As he became more obsessed, he became more task oriented and preoccupied with himself. He became narcissistic in the worst way. Killinger says

the narcissistic workaholic spins a web that entangles and snares whoever and whatever he/she attaches to for self aggrandizement and security.
A-ha! Affair with co-worker! His denial of the disaster he was creating helped him to avoid reality. ilinia, you said your H spiraled - well, that's exactly what workaholics do, they spiral out of control until they self destruct.

Often as I read about other people's A stories, I was tempted to lay their experiences over my H's experience. Boy, did this create a lot of additional turmoil in R. Workaholic affairs are very different. He absolutely cannot talk about the OW or the A apart from the work he was doing. In fact, he says the A was more about control than about anything else. He started looking for another job in order to get out 4 months before he ended the A and announced his resignation. Why? Why would you keep the A going if you knew it was devastating everything? He says, I had to control the situation until I could exit safely.

When other people talk about the difficulty in ending the A, it's often tied thoughts of love or the high from being wanted or having some kind of bond with the AP. Not so with my H - he uses the word control. And oh my gosh, he was so OUT of control.


Me: BW, 47
WH, 48
Married 24 years, 2 teenagers
2 year/8 month PA with coworker
DDay#1 01.20.12 - found out when diagnosed with STD
Dday#2 04.04.14 - found out the PA lasted over twice as long as he originally disclosed.
Separated for 6 wks. T

Posts: 191 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
Kyrie
♀ Member
Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 12:41 PM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Exactly, scubachick. My H is so remorseful over what an absent father he was. He's remorseful over how alone and isolated I became in my efforts to manage the home front while he chased after his foolish dream. I've struggled with the notion that I enabled him to the point that he was able to have an affair. If his addiction was to some substance, I doubt I would have been such a willing participant. But how could you not want to support a spouse who is doing important work - work that in turn, pays the bills? We were both out of balance big time.

This is why we are both so devoted to intentional living. My H is a lot like a recovering alcoholic. He will always have to monitor himself, rely on his IC, and revisit his priorities. And I suppose I'm much more interested and willing to enable those behaviors than those that simply make him a harder worker.


Me: BW, 47
WH, 48
Married 24 years, 2 teenagers
2 year/8 month PA with coworker
DDay#1 01.20.12 - found out when diagnosed with STD
Dday#2 04.04.14 - found out the PA lasted over twice as long as he originally disclosed.
Separated for 6 wks. T

Posts: 191 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 2:30 PM, January 25th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Check out Dr. Barbara Killinger findings re workaholism.

We have that book too, just haven't read it yet. Thanks for the reminder Kyrie.

It's funny you mention control and not feelings with the exit. That was a big thing my husband talked about after dday and thinking he had things under control all along or keeping things under control and I pointed out that he had nothing under control for a long time. He'd given all his personal power and control away without even realizing it.

My H is a lot like a recovering alcoholic. He will always have to monitor himself, rely on his IC, and revisit his priorities.

Now when husband hears of people go on and on about the importance of their job he just looks at me and gives me the 'I'm so glad I'm not like that anymore' look. He doesn't ever want to get back to making work a focus or taking on a lot of work.


Growing forward

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