No Matter What, Work Always Comes Second

couple working
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I've spent a good chunk of my adult life living in New York City, which means that navigating a work/life balance is not exactly my strong suit. We work a lot in the Big Apple, we're pretty much addicted to it. Which is fine (-ish) when you're single, but once you're in a relationship, it can make things pretty bumpy. Workaholism and healthy partnerships don't often mix well together. It basically ends up meaning you're in two separate relationships.

The key is to remember that your relationship comes first, no matter what. Which almost sounds trite to say. But for so many of us, especially in this uber-connected world we live in, it's harder than it sounds. We're taught from a young age to dream about big careers. We're taught to worry and fret over money. We're taught, unfortunately, that our self-worth is often wrapped up in how successful we become. But at the end of the day, that's all meaningless.

Look at it this way, if something really bad happened to you, a serious illness say, would your career take care of you? Would your career give you comfort and compassion and solace? Would your career talk to you when you're stressed out and and in need a kind word to calm you down? In case you aren't certain, the answer is no.

Career success is no replacement for love and connection. It's no replacement for the living, breathing human being who's thrown it all in to be with you. When things get bad, your career is not going to be something you care about. Trust me on this, when you're sitting in a hospital bed, wondering if you're ever going to get better, you won't give a damn about what is printed on your business card. You will, however, be deeply thankful for the loving partner sitting next to you.

When we make those little deals with the devil -- that one late night at the office here, that one cancelled date night there, we slowly train ourselves to think of work as the most important thing. But it isn't. It can't be. It's too ethereal and fleeting. That person lying in bed next to you, that's who comes first. Your job will not give a damn about you. Your partner will. As long as you don't put work before them anyway. Don't sacrifice your relationship for a fancy title and a corner office. It just isn't worth it.

For more guidance, try Lasting, a science-based app backed by The Nest dedicated to improving the health of your marriage or relationship.