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Working From Home Just Might Be the Downfall of Your Marriage

by Andrew Kardon on January 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

man working from homeMy dad always used to say, "If work was supposed to be fun, they wouldn't call it work." Granted, he also was fond of saying, "It's only illegal if you're caught." My point is, that for the most part, people hate going to work.

Enter telecommuting. Suddenly work just got kinda fun. Now you can join in on that conference call while still in your jammy jams. You can blast ABBA all you want without fear of offending your co-workers. You can even have a little "afternoon delight" with the wifey with no one the wiser!

Yes, telecommuting has some serious advantages. But it also can come with a price. It may end up being the worst thing you can do for your marriage.

I've been a writer for as long as I can remember. I'd do some freelance writing here or there, but about five years ago, I quit my 9-to-5 editing job and gave full-time freelancing a shot.

That meant my new office was the guest room. Or rather, the guest room was now my office.

I spent a few years working from home and I can tell you firsthand it definitely has its benefits. But it also has plenty of negatives. I loved seeing my kids come home from preschool. Loved hearing them giggle and pitter-patter down the hallway. And unless you're stepping over hundreds of toys, you just can't beat that commute!

But the bad part of working from home is that it poses the risk of upsetting the work/life balance. If you don't set very strict and clear boundaries from the get-go, your work and personal lives are going to quickly start merging.

Even though you're doing your job, the fact that you're home will make it seem less important. You might start finding yourself doing regular chores around the house, rather than your own work. It won't even be a conscious decision at first. You're home, your wife comes in with groceries, so you'll instinctively take a few minutes to go help her. And it just grows from there.

When the line between both worlds gets blurred, that's when you can start having some real issues. If you don't help out, you feel guilty. If you do help out, you might get annoyed because you really should be working.

There's also the flipside of things. Look at it from your wife's point of view. She may love having you around at first, but chances are, at some point, she'd love the house to herself. She may have to work extra hard to keep the kids quiet on playdates. She may even feel like she's walking on eggshells around you so as not to disturb you.

All of this is to say that over time, these things can start building up. So can the resentment. Toss in a relationship where you're around your wife pretty much 24/7 now and things may start to crack a bit.

That's not to say you can't resolve things. You just need to realize that working at home requires a heckuva lot of ... well, extra work.

Would you want your husband to work from home?

Image via Victor1558/Flickr

Filed Under: living together, marriage


  • the3Rs


    January 5, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I've been working from home full time for 5 years.  I've done a pretty good job maintaining work/life balance and being successful on both fronts.  So far - so good! 

  • Psych...


    January 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM


      I too work from home for the past 5-6 years and loving it ! You need to find the balance and put in the extra effort to make it work. That's all !

  • melissa
    -- Nonmember comment from


    January 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM
    My hubby can work from home but it can be a pain for a couple of reasons you listed. I've got to make sure we are quiet enough and I tend to bother him way more then I should lol.
  • Gretta
    -- Nonmember comment from


    January 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM
    I just started working from home and its definitely tough figuring out the balance.
  • Walki...


    January 5, 2013 at 1:54 PM
    I've been working from home for 5 years now. It started when my dd was diagnosed with low functioning autism and I didn't want her in daycare. Once she was in school I didn't go back because we had ds and I didn't want him in daycare for different reasons. For 5 years I've managed to keep up on my job responsibilities as well as be a full time mom. It can be done successfully however it does take determination and it's very hard work.
  • quinn007


    January 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Yep working from home is not the bed of roses most think it is!  In the 4 years I've done it, my biggest issue is that people just don't think I work that hard since I'm at home so I get no respect-especially co-workers in the office.  I don't know how they think my work gets done what with me sleeping in, watching tv, & eating bonbon's all day-maybe the magic work fairy?  It is a challenge but for me at least the pros outweigh the cons (ah, no more two hour drives through 3 feet of snow!). 

  • KatieW
    -- Nonmember comment from


    January 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM
    My husband has worked at home for 1 year now and we love it! For the first 5 months, we had 3-4 of his co-workers over on a daily basis until our 2nd child was born. For 2 months after our sons birth, it was only a few days per week. Then, 2 months of every day until his employer opened a local office. Now my husband works from home 2-3 days each week, and we have no visitors. Things are easier having my husband around more than when he had an office job.
  • whate...


    January 5, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I LOVE the fact that my husband works from home, running his own business.  I work a strict 9-5 schedule, so I never have to take off work to meet the cable guy/plumber/etc.  He maintains a great work/life balance and always seems to fit in household chores on top of it all.  We love our situation.

  • Aeris...


    January 5, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I would LOVE for my husband to work from home.  If we could find a work from home job for him, we'd do it immediately!

  • kjbug...


    January 5, 2013 at 9:36 PM
    No way lol he would make me crazy.
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