One of the most well-disguised addictions in our culture is work addiction. Some men turn to work in the same way others turn to vodka or opioids – as an escape. Ultimately, all addictions are forms of self-medications, and just like alcohol and drugs, work can be a way for a man to forget about his troubles at home or avoid a failing relationship.
Conservative estimates place work addiction in America at 10% of the population; however, it is likely much higher than that. One reason that it’s difficult to pin down a number is because work addiction can be perfectly camouflaged. Who can fault a guy for working hard to provide for his family, right? It’s not easy to tell a guy that he’s doing too much of a good thing. But don’t be fooled by the noble-looking façade, work addictions destroy families.
The way to tell if work has become an addiction is if it’s being pursued at the expense of one’s relationships and personal health. If you notice that your buddy is letting his health or marriage fall apart in pursuit of his job then speak up. Be a good wingman and call him out.