Life Advice



My Husband's Career Is Turning Me Into a Single Parent

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: My husband, "John," and I have been married for eight years, and we have two young children. Recently, he's been working late almost every night and spending weekends at the office. When I ask him about it, he says he's trying to secure a promotion that will benefit our family in the long run.

I've always admired his work ethic and ambition, but I feel like a single parent. Our kids miss him, and I'm lonely and overwhelmed handling everything on my own. I want to support his career, but I'm worried about the toll it's taking on our family. I'm not sure how to bring this up without it sounding like I don't support his goals. -- Basically a Single Parent

Dear Single Parent: It sounds like John has the best interests of your family in mind, which means that, ultimately, you should be making this choice together. Start by expressing how much you admire his work ethic, and then move on to how much he is missed at home, both by you and your children.

It might be worth asking how long this period of late nights and working weekends is expected to last. Does he need to power through for one more month, or will this be the "new normal" once his promotion is secured? Once you have a better idea of his timeline, you can work on carving out some designated family time.

Dear Annie: I am 34 with a 10-year-old son from a previous relationship. My boyfriend is 38. He was raised by a drunk who did a poor job taking care of her kids. He likes to be up all hours of the night and have his music blasting, and it seems like he doesn't care that my son and I are up in the morning for school and whatnot. I feel like I am the only responsible one all the time. I tried to talk to him and explain things. He just tells me I am not thinking of him and his feelings and makes me feel like the bad guy, when all I'm doing is thinking of my son. I feel so lost. -- Help


Dear Help: You are correct that your son should be your No. 1 priority. Explain to your boyfriend that while you care about his feelings, a healthy environment for your son is nonnegotiable. If he continues to disregard your needs, it may be time to reconsider this relationship. You deserve a partner who respects and supports what is best for your family.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to



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