Advice: Escaping a Workaholic!


Advice: Escaping a Workaholic!
by eyeranian

This is my advice column. You can submit your questions about relationship, sex, marriage, society or any other topic you want and I will answer from my (Iranian, male, 40's, too few hairs on the head, few too many pounds on the body) most candid but often unique perspective.

“Anonymous” writes: I want to know what you say as an Irani man before I make a decision. I have been married 12 years and have two beautiful kids. My husband is a workaholic and his job is priority. His friends tell him too. He travels for work and sometimes is gone for 3-4 days, sometimes every week for months. I am tired and he will not listen. We have no family in USA and I want to take my kids with me back to Iran. Maybe if he continues when he is traveling. I think I have no choice because what is life here like machine and only work. Should I do it?

Wow! Dear (and I am being very nice) “Anonymous”; if you are thinking of doing what I think you are saying you are, then I have news for you: it’s called kidnapping and it’s illegal! It has nothing to do with what your husband may or may not have done. You don’t live in a tribal 15th century society and unless a court has granted you custodial rights that would allow such a drastic step, you are kidnapping your own children. Finally, and in the event that in your own sick mind it is for their own best benefit or not, that is also irrelevant.

Why am I being so harsh on you? Because by asking me for my opinion, you’ve allowed me to be and now all I can say is how selfish I think you are. Have you considered how this may affect your children? Does your husband have any say, regardless of his work and traveling schedule or possibly other issues he may be burying by drowning himself in work? You say “he will not listen.” But last I checked, listening was an activity most enjoyed when shared. Do you do your own share of listening to him at all or is it his responsibility alone?

I have no reason to defend him as the only introduction of him is based on what you have included in your question. But if after 12 years together the only negative you can say about him is working too much, there must be some redeeming qualities too. Have you forgotten those? Have you forgotten why you married him to begin with? I have a little suggestion; make a list of your husband’s best qualities and put it up on the wall besides your workstation or at home where you see it often.

Maybe then include them on a nice card and have it ready for him when he returns from his next trip. That will be a good time to tell him how concerned you are about his schedule and the way it is affecting your family. One of two things will happen, he will open up and pour out his heart as to why he has been this way or he will crawl back into his secure cave again, too afraid to face the reality. Both cases are a good starting point to initiate the discussion as to why you both need to have a professional guide your conversations and the necessity to see a counselor.

But let me be frank here, with or without a counselor, you need to start accepting some responsibility too. Relationships are hardly ever far from 50-50, regardless of how often those involved see their issues as being 95-5!

As for going to Iran, IF you both try everything in your power to remedy and revive your relationship but it still fails and you both end it with a healthy conclusion, and IF you are granted proper custodial rights to be able to make such decision by the local legal authorities, and IF you are convinced (hopefully be consulting some experts too) that the move, including apparent separation from their father will not cause your children excessive harm, and IF you know you can provide them a better life and future in Iran than what is available to them here, THEN the decision is yours to make. But you are FAR from where you can make such decision.

Good Luck!

ps – my advice above would have similarly applied to a male writer had it been submitted by such!

If you wish to contact me with your own questions or comments, please write to:


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Maybe You Have Too Much Time on Your Hands

by T (not verified) on

Some sisterly advice. I gather from your email that you don't work outside the house. Maybe that is the problem. You're bored and want someone to keep you company.

I suggest you get a job and work, then come home to take care of the house and the kids. That way you and your husband will see eye to eye.

He may be traveling and working his ass off not because he enjoys it but because he has to go make a living for his family (house, car, clothes, keeping up with the Jones' demands)and because he sees no companionship from you.

Why is it that you want to go to Iran. My guess is that you think there are more mehmooni's and more fun there. Instead of thinking what is in the best interest of your kids, you are thinking selfishly. It seems this is all about you. I gather you recently immigrated to the US (probably married your husband for the Green Card) and thought your life will be like one of the American movies you saw on video.
Well, wake up and grew up. You seem to have a good, responsible husband on your hands. Honestly, go get a job and you will in a short time realize how difficult it is to make and save $5,000; and you will then see why your husband is in your words "workaholic". He will see that you are a true companion and not extra weight to carry.


Life is too short!

by Ali reza (not verified) on

Mix work and fun,so we would not end up like the engineer from Toyota in Japan who was a workaholic and was under so much stress to design a new model that he collapsed and died on the job.


Think about it

by My Perspective (not verified) on

First of all let me say that taking your own children with you to Iran while you are still legally married does not constitute a kidnapping in a legal term. For it to be an unlawful kidnapping there has to be a court order against such actions. HOWEVER in a moral sense you would be kidnapping the children. He maybe the worst husband in this world, but he is still their father, which you have not denied that fact. So, denying him his right to see his children by taking them thousands of miles away is ABSOLUTELY the wrong thing to do.

Secondly working hard is neither a crime nor an act that constitutes a break up of a marriage contract. You have not shown testimonial that he is not a good father or a husband other than complaining about his work habit. To be honest, I think you are spoiled. I don’t believe you work outside the house. You have been married for twelve years, so I think your children are about 8 and 10 years old. At that age, in this country, they are old enough where you can get a job, even a part time job would do. Then you can figure out for yourself how hard it is to earn an income in this country, and then you might appreciate your husband’s hard work.

Third, you have been married to this man more than 12 years. In many States, this would be considered a life long commitment, meaning when and if you get a divorce you will be entitled to half of everything you have together, half of community property. That’s any real estate, cars, carpets, saving and checking accounts, any money he hides under the carpet, half of his retirement, and his business, if he is a businessman which sound like he is. On top of that he has to pay for spousal support and child support, which you will most likely get the custody of the children, since he has been an absent parent and you have been the primarily care taker of those children. So, why go to Iran penniless, and crash on your parents, when you can have AT LEAST half of every thing. The life you have together is not his, half of everything is yours. THINK ABOUT IT before you make an irrational decision by moving to Iran.

Fourth, take the advice of eyeranian, Niki, and me and try to make your marriage work.

Niki Tehranchi

Maybe I am reading between the lines

by Niki Tehranchi on

but is the real issue that he "works too hard" or is it one of trust.  Maybe the reason you are so irked is that you do not trust him on these business trips?  Has he given you reason to be suspicious?  Seems like the line of communication has totally broken down between you too and you are enraged at him to the max, if you are thinking of such a drastic measure as take the kids and go.

If the issue really is only "working too hard" and nothing else, well, working too hard is something that husbands (and wives too by the way) do to provide for their family so they can have the best they can offer: house, school, lifetsyle, etc.  I should know, I am married to a workaholic.  And I appreciate him SO MUCH and try to do the best in my power to hold up my end of the deal, here on the homefront.  Although he does not travel often, but he works long hours, including late nights and week-ends that he often does not even get to see his son.  Far from feeling resentful against him, I worry about him and try to alleviate his stress as much as possible.  I am all alone here too, my mom and extended family all in a different country.  I miss their support dearly but I also have very nice in-laws and friends here who help me fill that gap.  So maybe you need to have a network of friends and family to help you and be company to you when hubby is away. Having a part time job, or any type of social activity would be a plus to get you out of that funk you seem to be in.

Although eyeranian spoke very harshly to you, he is right about the fact that you cannot unilaterally take the children abroad. Not only is it morally wrong  but I don't even think airlines allow single parents to take a child on board without a notarized letter from the absent spouse.