Chapter 5: The Pivotal Role Of Circumstance Part 5
In the previous post, we met Alan who loved his work and enjoyed the logn hours because he felt aligned with the company and was making a difference. Then, Alan described his family life. “I would go home, have dinner, and then the CEO would call me to re-hash strategy.” (This was in the pre-internet dark ages of the mid-90s.) “The CEO later asked if my divorce was from job stress. It wasn’t. I was working hard, but that is not what caused marriage to crumble.”
I pressed a bit, because I was skeptical when he said “no.” Here it was, the “work ruined my marriage” story. But life is a bit more complicated; it was other things
And after interviewing several people who also worked long hours and then got divorced, I actually think the opposite was true. In my opinion, he was working long hours because he was in an unhappy marriage.
Let me be clear – I am not saying that everyone who is putting long hours in at work is doing so because they are in a troubled relationship. I used to work very long hours, and while it put a strain on my family, I don’t think it ever jeopardized the marriage. But what I am saying is that it is worth some reflection as to why one would choose to work over spending time with your family. Sometimes in times of stress, work can be a haven, especially when things are going well.