%% This trope is about workaholics' relationships suffering because of their work.
%% All examples of people who are simply {{Workaholic}}s need to go to that page.
[[quoteright:259:[[Webcomic/KevinAndKell http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marriedtothejob.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:259:Keep in mind, it doesn't have to be quite this [[LiteralMetaphor literal]].]]

->'''Leo:''' This is the most important thing I'll ever do, Jenny. I have to do it well.\\
'''Jenny:''' It's not more important than your marriage.\\
'''Leo:''' ...It is more important than my marriage, right now. These few years while I'm doing this, yes, it's more important than my marriage.
-->-- ''Series/TheWestWing''

When a character's devotion to their career is such that it begins to seriously affect their ability to hold any kind of relationship outside of it. Perhaps they're spending too many hours at the office and not enough with the wife and kids, perhaps they've scheduled a business meeting at the same time as little Sally's birthday party or Tommy's athletics day, or perhaps their work is leading them into some very dark or dangerous situations. Either way, their spouse or partner isn't very happy with them, and is quick to let them know it.

This trope is one of the key reasons why EverybodyIsSingle, why many characters find it difficult to make a relationship last [[GirlOfTheWeek longer than a week]], and [[DysfunctionJunction is one of the key causes of TV Divorce]]. As such, it's a major source of angst and relationship tension. This trope usually comes in one of two forms.

'''The Character is a Workaholic'''. In some cases, this concern is justified -- the character genuinely is spending too much time at work and is neglecting their other relationships and commitments, and the complaining spouse is genuinely in the right to call them out on it. This is particularly the case if the character has a career that, whilst it may be important, is not going to result in any fatalities or the Collapse of Western Civilization if they take a break now and then. In these cases, the character might be neglecting their significant others and relationships out of a genuine desire to provide the best for their families, having completely missed the point that it'd probably be better for their families in the long run if they actually spend some time with them now and again. On the other hand, they might just be too obsessed with their career and the perks, privileges and powers they have, and have forgotten what's important in life. Or because they're simply a {{workaholic}}. If it's a happy story, then the character will gradually realize that they're focusing on the wrong things and resolve to make amends and spend more time with their loved ones. In a DownerEnding, the character will typically put in an insane amount of effort for a big promotion/raise/transfer/etc. at work, then actually get it, but [[LonelyAtTheTop lose everyone who was important to them in the process]] and quickly discover that whatever they wanted [[WantingIsBetterThanHaving wasn't all it was cracked up to be]].

'''The Character Performs a Job That is Just That Important'''. More often than not, the complaining spouse's position is a little less clear-cut and righteous. While they might have a good point about their loved one's spending too much time at work having a negative impact on their marriage/relationship, the fact is that their loved one does a job that '''is''' demanding and their partner really does need to put in all that time at work in order to effectively do their job. This is TruthInTelevision, especially if the job is a profession that involves saving human lives, like a police officer, firefighter, paramedic, doctor, heart surgeon, and more, in which case people really ''do'' need to work long hours, be on call 24-7, and/or expose themselves to dangerous situations, and lives genuinely ''can'' be lost if they aren't attentive to their work to a high degree, even if this means they have to neglect their relationships or families. In these situations (whether the writer intended it or not), the complaining spouse may come across as selfish, whiny and unfairly demanding, especially if it should have been obvious from the start of the relationship that their loved one's job was going to demand a large portion of their time.

A TruthInTelevision, as a common complaint these days is that the pursuit of success in climbing the career ladder is causing more people to work longer hours with less time to spend with their loved ones.

This is particularly common among military personnel, police detectives, secret agents and doctors. Architects also seem prone to this trope (and usually fall into the first category) for some reason.

An interesting aspect whenever this is brought up in fiction is that nobody ever seems to direct the blame to the one thing largely responsible for this plight: mismanagement. If a character is spending too much time at their job, it usually means a mis-allocation of resources or manpower on a managerial level. Yet nobody ever approaches the supervisors and managers, even though they are the ones who might actually be able do something for the character suffering from this.

See also {{Salaryman}}, {{Workaholic}}, TheChainsOfCommanding, and WhenYouComingHomeDad. Contrast the CrusadingWidower, who loses his family through more violent means.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/AkagamiNoShirayukihime'' Kiki is concerned that the man she intends to propose to might turn her down due to his dedication to his job. [[spoiler: She's right. Mitsuhide even says he had never considered marriage until her position as a noble made it necessary for her to find a spouse and after thinking about it decided that he'll probably ''never'' get married as he wants no distractions from his job as Zen's knight and protector.]] Kiki herself isn't very excited at the prospect of marriage and would probably prefer to remain a knight and aide but as the future head of an important noble house she can't.
* The title character of ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa'' he's so married to football that boy-and-girl relationships are the rarest element to be found around him; considering this a {{Shounen}} genre, it's not very strange. Subverted slightly when he confesses his love to [[VictoriousChildhoodFriend Sanae]]. Then he goes to Brazil and marries the job again, so that his girlfriend has to follow him there, love-struck and almost in tears before they finally get married for real.
* Lloyd Asplund from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' is a BunnyEarsLawyer who is wholly dedicated to the construction, maintenance, and development of the [[HumongousMecha Z-01 Lancelot]] to the point where he doesn't even acknowledge his fiancée-via-ArrangedMarriage as a romantic interest. He certainly doesn't seem to be interested in love, and his carefree attitude suggests that it isn't by lack of time. He probably simply doesn't care.
* L from ''Manga/DeathNote''. Because of his line of work, he is perpetually in danger and so doesn't get out very much. He also lacks charisma. Both of these factors mean that not only does L have no canon romantic relationships, but also no real friendships, either.
** Soichiro in [[Series/DeathNote the TV drama]] is frequently away from home to his job. This puts a strain on his relationship with his son Light, who must act as a parental figure to Sayu, which is amplified by Soichiro's absence during [[spoiler: Sachiko's death ten years prior.]]
* Sousuke Sagara from ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'' is completely and totally [[NoSocialSkills socially inept]] because of living his whole life as a soldier. One time, Kaname and Tessa hold a little bingo and concert party for soldiers to unwind, and Sousuke is shown very uncomfortable, showing disapproval of them relaxing on the job. It's only in ''The Second Raid'' that he even begins to consider the possibility of a life and a future with Kaname outside of the job -- and that's only after [[CoolBigSis Mao]] asks him about his plans for his future and then criticizes him sharply when his only answer is "follow orders."
** His mentor Kalinin is implied to be as well. By reading between the lines of [[FailedASpotCheck his nostalgia]], it is apparent his wife was rather unhappy about his sense of priorities.
* ''Manga/HatarakiMan'': Hiroko dedicates almost all of her time to work, which causes the breakup between her and her boyfriend, who is also a workaholic.
%%* Hibari of ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''.
* ''Anime/KotetsuJeeg'': Hiroshi Shiba did not know why his father was always working and barely talked to his family, and after several years, he decided he did not care about it or his father. When he learnt his reasons, he kind of forgave Prof. Shiba, but his mother still called her husband on it.
* In the ''Manga/LivingGame'' manga, Tokiko's husband spends all of his time at the office or away on business trips, leaving her to complain to the main characters. In fact, his devoted (male) assistant Komada is referred to at one point as a second 'wife'.
* Fate of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', whose job as an [[SpacePolice Enforcer]] requires her to travel around space most of the time. In the [[FourthWallMailSlot Megami Sound Stages]], she laments the fact that she can't spend as much time as she wants with her adopted children Erio and Caro, and in ''[[SpinOffspring ViVid]]'', she was away so often that she was the ''last'' person to hear about her other adopted daughter Vivio's [[OlderAlterEgo Adult Form]] (Nanoha kinda forgot to mention that little detail to her).
** The problem persists in the 2nd Mother's Day one-shot, when Vivio teases Fate about how often she is absent from her life (prompting Fate to angst that Vivio will no longer consider her one of her mothers), such as when she canceled a parental visit day for school due to [[SpacePolice her Enforcer duties]] but still notes that she's her mother and dear to her.
** Subaru, in the Movie Sound stage, laments not being able to see her family very often due to her job in the [[EmergencyServices rescue team]] almost constantly having her on duty, but Teana reassures her that they're still her family, noting Fate as being close to her family in spite of where her job takes her.
** Fate's adoptive brother, Chrono, being an Admiral who commands a ship like his mother once did, is noted in the Sound Stages as being away from his children fairly often.
** Mostly averted however with Lindy. With her only son stationed on her ship, Work and Home are pretty much one and the same for her. Even so, she always tries to make time for Chrono (and later Fate after adopting her) as a mother as well as commander.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': TheProfessor Gennosuke Yumi spends most part of the time working in the Photonic Energy Research Laboratory or traveling to meet with other scientists. He is a widower, and his daughter Sayaka practically has to twist his arm to force him to go home and have supper. Although she never called him out on it, many times she felt neglected and regretted not only that she was motherless, but her father was too busy to be there for her when she needed him. It may be sort of justified since her Prof. Yumi was trying to save the world. Juzo Kabuto is another example: he hired a maid to take care of their grandsons because he was barely at home (due to be building Mazinger-Z).
** ''Anime/GreatMazinger'': Kenzo Kabuto was even worse in that sense. He devoted several years of his life to building HumongousMecha to save the world, and training kids to pilot them. The result was his two biological children not even knowing he was alive -long story- and his adoptive son's huge issues never were addressed.
* ''Anime/{{Monster}}'': Both Doctor Tenma and Detective Lunge are so devoted to their careers that they have no social life outside their jobs. In Tenma's case it's less noticeable because he has a great social life ''on'' the job -- [[MessianicArchetype he cares for his patients so much that he uses his spare time on them as well]]. Lunge's obsessiveness drives his wife and daughter away, and it only gets worse when he decides to put himself into the mind of the man he's chasing (Tenma), who was TheUnfavorite and willfully isolated himself from his family.
** Lunge really brings it to the point of being horrific as he not only does lose his family but nearly gets fired from the very job he's married to due to his obsession.
** Criminal psychologist Dr. Gillen is another example, as his introductory scene has him explain that his wife left him because he listened more to his 20,000 tapes of observations on and quotes from criminals than he did to her.
** This is probably meant as an ironic contrast to Johann who manages to balance his job (spreading chaos and convincing Tenma the world deserves it) and forming relationships.
* Shogun Yoshimune in ''Manga/{{Ooku}}: The Inner Chambers'' may enjoy sex and have children, but make no mistake, she's too busy ruling a nation to bother with emotional attachments. When she's thinking about the country even during relaxing baths, hunting, and ''childbirth'', it's clear she's this trope.
* Implied, in ''Manga/SailorMoon'' , with pretty much all the Sailor Senshi aside for Usagi, with some making it clear:
** [[SchoolgirlLesbian Haruka and Michiru]] are clearly in love with each other since the start, but refused to act on it until they completed their mission against the Death Busters and they had (apparently) no reason to be Sailor Senshi anymore (when they ''do'' find out their mission had not ended, they graduate to BattleCouple);
** The manga version of Rei had [[TheFirstCutIsTheDeepest already sworn off men for unrelated reasons]], but when tempted with the prospective of abandoning her duty and finding love she did not exitate into ''burning down temptation and temptor''. She later appeared to ''have'' found love, but as it was [[LesYay Minako]] it didn't get in the way of her duty in the slightest;
** The Sailor Star Lights make clear they value their mission to find their princess above everything else, with the anime having Yaten berating Minako ([[{{Irony}} this series' poster child for the trope]]) when it appeared she was about to put her dream of being an idol over her duty;
** As said above, Minako is the clearest example, as in all continuities she puts it well above her dream to be an idol and her love life: in the anime, where the element is at its lightest, an episode showing her choosing her duty over her love life and another having her placing her duty over the dream of being an idol (the above incident where Yaten berated her. Turns out, Minako not only just wanted to see if she had the ability to pull it off ''after'' all dangers had passed, but she ''asked Usagi for permission before trying''); in the live action (the one continuity where she ''is'' an idol) at one point she came close to ''reject her identity as Minako Aino'' to better accomplish her duty (and it's hinted that [[spoiler:her dedication ''literally'' killed her, both by putting off the surgery for her terminal illness until her body couldn't take the surgery and by ''causing it in first place'' by working too much]]; and in the manga, her first kill was ''the boy she was crushing on'' (turned out it was a youma), and later killed [[spoiler: ''her true love'']] upon learning he was from the Dark Kingdom, and even stated she had not need for men and that they were in the way of her duty (in a scene filled with ShipTease between her and Rei, the one possible love who would ''never'' get in the way of her duty).
* ''Manga/SensualTrigger'' has this in chapter 2, where Akira considers his work more important than his girlfriend, Rariko. This makes her upset, but by the end of the chapter, they start working together.
* ''Anime/ShinkonGattaiGodannar'': Both Goh Saruwatari and his "wife" Anna Aoi. His mother-in-law, Dr. Kiriko Aoi (Anna's mother), also happens to be his boss.
* In ''Manga/ToLoveRu'' is the reason because Rito and Mikan parents rarely make apparitions in the series. Their dad lives in his own apartment/studio where he does his work as a mangaka while their mom normally working overseas (once in a while she returns home to check up on the family).
* Both Kaiser and Asuka of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' use the "in love with dueling" line to let down attempted suitors.
* Sosuke's dad Koichi in ''Anime/PonyoOnTheCliffByTheSea'' is a fisherman who spends most of the time away at sea and gets his wife Lisa plenty mad at him when he has to stay out a few more days. The family is intentionally analogous to the family of director Creator/HayaoMiyazaki, who suffered from the same problem; the RealitySubtext of the film is an apology to his son Goro.
* ''GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'': Not even the prospect of a lesbian threesome can distract the Major from Laughing Man research.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/AstroCity'':
** [[TheCape Samaritan]] is so devoted to helping others that he barely has time to sleep or maintain a civilian identity. His idea of a good day is one where he manages to get ''nearly'' a minute of flight time. In a later comic, the entire superhero community teams up to pick up the slack so that Samaritan and Winged Victory can have an evening free to go on a date, without feeling duty-bound to interrupt it to save civilians or fight villains.
** Winged Victory prefers to stay in her transformed superpowered form all the time, possibly because it's a refuge from her original frail form. She can't even recall the last time she visited her mother, noting only that it's been years.
** Quarrel effectively has this, as part of her deconstruction of a BadassNormal. She constantly realizes that she's outranked in a world of super-powered beings, armored villains, aliens, and gods, and compensates for it with '''lots''' of training — to the point where she cannot sustain any sort of normal relationship because of the commitments required.
* Franchise/{{Batman}} uses this as an excuse at times. His other go to excuse is ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies
** Made explicit in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman''. When Alfred talks to Bruce's latest stood-up-date (Selina Kyle), she asks if Bruce is actually married. "Only to his work..."
** Harvey Dent in ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' struggles with his marriage because of the many demands of his job as District Attorney, in addition to his own mental problems. At the end, it's revealed that his wife Gilda [[spoiler: may have been the serial killer who has been killing off members of the mob]] in order to help Harvey so that he "wouldn't have to work so much" and they could be together.
* Mayor Mitchell Hundred of ''ComicBook/ExMachina'' avoids long-term relationships and dismisses questions about his sexuality as irrelevant to his job. This leads to a lot of in-universe speculation, but he still avoids giving a definite answer.
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': Dredd has no life whatsoever outside of his responsibilities and duties as a Judge. Even when other Judges may recognize a perp or victim as a celebrity personality from a vidshow, Dredd will not, nor would he care if he did. Dredd is [[CelibateHero celibate]] and doesn't even celebrate his own birthday -- not even when the Chief Judge and his closest associates at Justice Dept. get him a cake and gifts. The closest thing Dredd has to engaging in a leisure activity is reading the Book of Law. However, he does try to make time for his niece Vienna when she needs it.
* The title character of ''ComicBook/{{Plutona}}'' is dedicated to her superhero job for ethical reasons and to her day job for financial ones. She spends almost no time with her own teenage daughter, forcing her mother to care for the grandchild instead.
* You could say that Franchise/{{Superman}} and Lois Lane are both HappilyMarried To The Job. Heh. There was, however, a period when Lois broke off the engagement because she couldn't handle being married to Superman, and wasn't sure Superman ''should'' be married when he had a world to protect. She said she tried thinking of it as like being married to a fire-fighter or a policeman... but even they can take days off. She came to terms with the situation eventually.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', this leads to conflict between Rorschach's psychologist and the psychologist's wife, when the more [[{{Squick}} Squicky]] aspects of Rorschach's backstory began to influence the shrink too.
* It was quite a staple in [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] superhero comics, used as an excuse to delay an otherwise inevitable progression of a romance where secret-identity issues did not apply, such as within a team of superheroes. Take this example from ''ComicBook/XMen'' #9 (1965): [[ComicBook/JeanGrey Marvel Girl]] telekinetically holds ice-cubes to ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}' bruised head and thinks:
--> Oh Scott! My heart just breaks when I see you so pale, so shaken! If only I could comfort you with my arms ... my lips ... but I know I mustn't! As our acting leader, you've no time for thoughts of ... romance!

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* In ''ComicStrip/DykesToWatchOutFor'', Sydney, whilst researching polyamory, has the epiphany that she ''is'' in a polyamorous relationship already--her work is her primary relationship, while Mo is 'the other woman'. This also happens with Clarice and Toni, with Clarice's job as a lawyer almost immediately put a strain on the relationship.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/DoingItRightThisTime'': Ritsuko was so engrossed in her work and her scientific research, and so driven to differentiate herself from her mother, than all her relationships prior Gendo had failed after a few months.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': After his mother's death, Ritsuko became Shinji's caretaker and kind of step-mother. However she was too busy with her job to raise him properly. As a result of it, Shinji barely saw his father's girlfriend and he does not really like her.
* ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'': Ritsuko was and still remains devoted to her job, especially when the story begins, since all of her cats died of starvation while she was in custody for her sabotage of the Dummy Plug and she therefore really does not have much of a reason to go home to her apartment on a regular basis any more. It drove a wedge between her and Misato before, and regularly threatens to do so again.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Storks}}'', Nate's parents are both in the realty business and constantly on the phone with their employees and/or clients, even promising to be on-call during Christmas at one point. Once Nate has mailed the storks a letter asking for a baby brother, they start to grow out of this and genuinely bond with their son.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/AddamsFamilyValues'', Debbie "Black Widow" Jellinsky says she killed her first husband, a heart surgeon, because he was so often late home due to emergency operations. But then, she was ''insane''.
* Creator/AkiraKurosawa's ''Film/TheBadSleepWell'' is all about the moral implications of this trope. Given the choice between family and business, the film's [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Corrupt Corporate Executives]] choose the business every single time.
* The movie ''Film/{{Click}}'' is about this; upon receiving the universal remote that allows him to 'fast forward' through his life, the character is initially delighted to be able to skip through the unnecessary things in his life to get his work done. Unfortunately, he quickly realizes that he's fast-forwarding the wrong things and the rewind button doesn't work... Well, it does, but it doesn't involve TimeTravel, merely allowing him to play back the stuff he missed with no option to change it.
* ''Film/TheCobweb'': Stewart is the head doctor at a mental health clinic. His focus on his work to the exclusion of all other things starts to seriously damage his relationship with his wife Karen, who rightly feels neglected.
* ''Film/DieHard''. The stereotype of the 'workaholic cop and frustrated wife' was curiously inverted, however, as at the beginning of the first movie police officer John [=McClane=]'s complaint was that the devotion his ''wife'' had to her job was killing their marriage.
* ''Film/TheFamilyMan'': In Jack's original life, he didn't really have anything outside of his job as a high-level Wall Street executive. He even spends Christmas Night alone because he [[LonelyAtTheTop doesn't have anywhere to go]]. His boss plays this straight too, though he proudly claims that it's because he's simply a heartless bastard.
* In ''Film/FreedomWriters'', Ms. Gruwell is accused of this by her husband, until [[spoiler: he asks for a divorce]]. By the end, she is still committed to teaching, and happy as a result.
* In ''Film/{{Heat}}'', though on opposite sides of the law, among the things Vincent Hanna and Neil [=McCauley=] have in common is that they are completely focused on their careers on their respective sides of the law to the almost complete exclusion of anything else. For Hanna, this means in the span of his entire police career, he's burned through two marriages and is currently on the downward slope of a third; for Neil, this means that he has absolutely nothing even resembling a personal life.
* Walter and Hildy are both married to their newspaper jobs in ''Film/HisGirlFriday,'' though Hildy is trying to get out of it. Walter sets her up with one last story in an attempt to get her to come back to the paper.
* Nicholas Angel of ''Film/HotFuzz'' has this as his defining trait. It's why his ex-girlfriend Janine broke up with him.
-->'''Nicholas:''' Wasn't too long ago we talked about getting married.\\
'''Janine:''' You're already married to the force.
* Tony Stark and Pepper Potts became the OfficialCouple in ''Film/IronMan2'' and Tony promised to her that he would retired from his job as Iron Man and destroyed all his suits at the end of [[Film/IronMan3 the third movie]]. The events of ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' says otherwise and as expected, [[spoiler:''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' confirmed that Pepper left him]].
* ''[[Film/KonTiki2012 Kon-Tiki]]'': Thor Heyerdahl's devotion to exploration and adventure at the expense of his wife and children leads his wife Viv to divorce him. His triumphant arrival in Polynesia after a 5,000-mile journey on a raft is accompanied by a Dear John letter from Viv announcing that she's leaving.
* In ''Film/KramerVsKramer'', Ted is so married to his job that he barely notices when his wife tells him she's leaving him, and when Ted has to take his kid to school the next day, he doesn't know what grade the boy is in.
* The main character of ''Life Stinks'', a businessman named Goddard Bolt, once mentioned he was married to a woman who complained he was too obsessed with money.
* In the film ''Film/TheMarryingKind'', Chet works the night shift a lot and Florence complains about this, but he explains that he worked for the benefit of her and the kids.
* In ''Film/ThePrestige'' both main characters suffer from this. Robert Angier even says out loud that he doesn't care about his deceased wife, but it pales in comparison to Alfred Borden's dedication, a lifelong trick in which [[spoiler:two identical twins literally switch places from time to time; always being either Borden or Fallon]], all so a certain magic trick's mystery is never figured out by anyone. This also results in a failed marriage for Borden, leading the wife to commit suicide.
* Franchise/StarWars franchise: This is what happened to the Skywalker twins, as Leia's marriage to Han suffered because she was more committed to the New Republic, and Luke rebuilding the Jedi Order precluded ever having a family of his own.
* It was implied in ''Film/{{Taken}}'' that this was a contributing factor of Bryan's divorce, although he did retire early to spend more time with his daughter.
* In ''Film/WomanOfTheYear,'' Tess and Sam's marriage suffers largely because Tess doesn't cut back on her extremely demanding work schedule after they are married, or even after Tess agrees to care for a [[WarRefugees War Refugee]] child.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': Sam Vimes a textbook example. He's constantly running off on his wife, Lady Sybil, often in the middle of meals, to pursue justice and the people who evade it. In ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant,'' he's so preoccupied with the central mystery that it takes the entire book before he realizes that [[spoiler:Sybil is pregnant]].
** Also [[InvertedTrope inverted]] in the same book, when Sybil accidentally discovers the location of a secret room in the embassy while measuring the floors for carpets:
--->'''Sam:''' I don't want to sound impatient, dear, but [[ThisIsNoTimeForKnitting is this a carpet moment?]]
--->'''Sybil:''' Just stop thinking like a husband and start listening like a copper, will you?
** Vimes does his best to defy this trope in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' where he makes it his duty to return home in time to read "Where's My Cow?" to his son, no matter what else job-related might occupy his attention at the time.
** Averted by Sergeant Colon. The fact that he works at night, and his wife works during the day saved his marriage.
* ''Literature/KurtWallander'': Kurt is divorced and has only an on-off relationship with his Latvian girlfriend.
* In the ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' series, most aviators are married to the job, if only because the bond they share with their dragons means that any spouse would play second fiddle (to say nothing of having to live near a dragon covert and seeing them less than possibly even a Navy man). There's no prohibition against it, but wise aviators won't subject anyone to it.
* Scrooge's fiancée Belle in ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' leaves him when she realizes he cares more about making money than he cares about her. They were once "both poor and content to be so," but now, she says, if he were single he would never choose a penniless girl like her -- and though he tries to deny it, his expression shows that he knows it's true.
* In the ''Literature/FloraSegunda'' novels of Ysabeau Wilce, Buck isn't so much married to her job as Commanding General of the Califan Army as she is its whipping girl.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series, Hari Seldon's friend and colleague Yugo Amaryl was only interested in developing psychohistory. He never married, didn't know any people aside from his colleagues and died early from overwork.
* Used tragically in ''Aldarion and Erendis'' in ''Literature/{{Unfinished Tales|of Numenor and Middleearth}}''. Aldarion is the Crown Prince of Númenor and is always sailing to Middle-Earth for long periods of time. This eventually breaks down his marriage with Erendis who influences their daughter Ancalimë to dislike men.
* Marcia Overstrand in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' is this, having virtually no life outside of her work as the [=ExtraOrdinary=] Wizard.
* In the early novels of Creator/JackMcDevitt's ''Literature/PriscillaHutchins'' series, Hutch finds being an Academy pilot a serious obstacle to long-term relationships. It's not that she doesn't want a relationship. Things just don't ever seem to work out. She's even contemplated quitting, or moving to a desk job, but somehow, that never seems to happen.
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Lydia's life begins and ends with the military; she's estranged from her only family, rarely sees her only friend, and the possibility that her soliders will reject her leadership sends her into a breakdown.
* One recurring character in the novels by Patrick Robinson is an Admiral whose secretary/girlfriend refuses to marry him because she understands that he's married to his work. She finally accepts his proposal after he announces his retirement.
* Part of the reason that Stacey's parents, Ed and Maureen, divorce in ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub''. Maureen accuses Ed of being married to the job; Ed counters that he ''has'' to be in order to support Maureen's shopping habits.
* A recurring theme in the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series is that all Heralds are so devoted to Duty (and to their [[BondCreatures Companions]]) that there is really no way to have an exclusive romantic bond with another person unless that other is a Herald as well and can understand.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes repeatedly states that he can't possibly become emotionally involved with a woman because love would compromise his ability to be an ideal reasoning machine. Of course, he does end up developing at least one emotional attachment in his friendship with Watson, probably against his own intentions. He is also shown to have a close relationship with his older brother.
* ''Literature/OneNationUnderJupiter'': Diagoras considers his work "better than any woman."
* Victor Henry is married to his naval career in ''Literature/TheWindsOfWarAndWarAndRemembrance''. This ruins his marriage. Sympathy is still with him -- saving the world from Nazis would be a wee bit distracting.
* ''Literaure/AtlasShrugged'': Hank Rearden regularly puts in eighteen hour days at his company and barely interacts with his family. This being Creator/AynRand, this is unambiguously a sign of virtue in Readern, and his family are at fault for not acknowledging his greatness. The fact his wife is a [[WetBlanketWife wet blanket]] who [[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland hates sex]] doesn't help.
** This is true of most of the good characters in Rand's novel, as they can't conceive of any kind of life other than making money for its own sake.
* Captain John Rumford in ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'' invokes this to himself when considering a closer relationship with his love interest, the Spanish noblewoman Maria. He convinces himself that he cannot marry with a new war on the horizon; not only does his work need all his attention, it will also be very ''dangerous'' work if/when war does come.
* ''Literature/NimsIsland'': Jack's love of science leads him to leave his daughter Nim alone on a deserted island during typhoon season while he goes on a research trip.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Series/{{Selfie}}'', Henry Higgs is this, being a {{Workaholic}} who doesn't seem that interested in women. When meeting an ex-girlfriend, she says she moved on one she realized he'd never care about her the way he cared about work.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Chloe's relationship with Jimmy is seriously strained by her work with Clark and the Justice League -- crosses with KeepingSecretsSucks.
* Liz Lemon in ''Series/ThirtyRock''.
** Jack; although he eventually settles down, this is repeatedly brought up as an obstacle to his relationships, and Kenneth once inadvertently makes him question his priorities by complimenting him on his large number of birthday presents from colleagues and the "big empty house" he has to keep them in. When he has a NearDeathExperience, he reflects on his life and takes away the message that [[SubvertedTrope he should have worked more]], since it's clearly the only thing he's good at.
* Captain Kirk in ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' is often said to be "married" to the Enterprise.
** In "Elaan of Troyius", Kirk is dosed with a kind of love potion and falls head-over-heels for the titular Elaan. He is grief stricken when she leaves for her ArrangedMarriage. Dr. [=McCoy=] comes up with an antidote for the love potion, but Kirk ''doesn't need it,'' because the Enterprise is his real true love.
** Hilariously parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where Shatner is forced to read from a bad fan script:
--> Shatner: Alas, my ship, whom I love like a woman, is damaged.
* In the first season of ''Series/TwentyFour'' it was mentioned that Jack and Terri Bauer's marriage was strained because Jack Bauer spent too much time at work and would often spend months at a time away from home.
** And in season 7, President Taylor put her duty to her country over her family and [[spoiler:sent her daughter to prison for ordering a hit on Jonas Hodges]], which was a direct cause of [[spoiler:her subsequent divorce from her husband]].
* Leo [=McGarry=]'s divorce in ''Series/TheWestWing'' was a direct result of this trope, as demonstrated in the page quote, and it's implied that Toby Ziegler's marriage ended because of his duties in the White House as well. It's also suggested, however, the devotion required and long hours spent working at the White House took their toll on ''all'' the characters and their relationships to some degree, as almost all of them barring the President and the First Lady were either single or divorced.\\\
Something of a TruthInTelevision, with one possibly significant note; many observers have noted that in RealLife few of the people who hold the positions in the White House that the characters hold remain in them for as ''long'' as the characters hold them, with one of the reasons being this trope; working at the White House for so long tends to result in burn-out.
* In ''Series/{{Numb3rs}}'', this seems to be true for just about everyone. David Sinclair and Colby Granger seem to consider this a badge of honor, or at least an excuse why they aren't in relationships, and Nikki is insulted when they imply she isn't her married to her job.
* Hugh Abbot on ''Series/TheThickOfIt'' doesn't see his family much. Considering what his only distraction is, one supposes he really doesn't do much beside work. He's not happy about it.
** [[MagnificentBastard Malcolm Tucker]] shucked off anything approximating a life in order to be good at his job, but it's never mentioned or dwelled on until the final episode, when he gives a TearJerker of a monologue while [[spoiler:handing it off to Olly]].
* On ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', Michael has this problem. His wife is dead, but he's always worried about neglecting his son because he spends so much time trying to save the family business.
** And the ironic thing is, most of the family (save for Buster, Tobias, and Mabel) are a bunch of [[{{Jerkass}} selfish jerks]] who don't even realize the trouble he goes through to help them.
* On ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' Bailey's husband Tucker divorced her because she's spending too much time at the hospital, you know, saving lives. {{Jerkass}}. Technically, though, ''she'' divorced him, after he gave her an ultimatum: him or the job. In her mind, once a marriage has reached a point of ultimatums, it's time to end it.
* Franchise/StargateVerse:
** In ''Series/StargateSG1'', this led to O'Neill's divorce, Landry's divorce and estrangement from his daughter, indirectly led to the death of Jacob Carter's wife and directly led to the estrangement from his son. In the case of O'Neill it's indirectly responsible, as the marriage also fell apart [[OutlivingOnesOffspring because of the tragic death of their son]], who accidentally shot himself with Jack's gun. Jack was also retired at the time it fell apart, though it's possible that his wife recognised that Jack was likely pretending he didn't want to go back to military life for her sake, when it was what he really desired.
** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', coming in with the military variety from "Outcast". In the day off episode "Sunday," it's established that Sheppard is divorced. In "Outcast," we learn that the frequent phone calls in the middle of the night, the inability to tell her where he was or what he was doing, and the constant worry that she'd get the 'We regret to inform you' knock on the door drove the marriage apart.
** In ''Series/StargateUniverse'', his devotion to his career (and [[YourCheatingHeart his affair]] with T.J.) lead to the breakdown of Colonel Young's marriage. "Human" reveals that Dr Rush regrets letting his workaholic tendencies keep him from spending wife with his terminally ill wife during her final days, yet copes with his loss by throwing himself even deeper into it. Later, his obsession with ''Destiny'' leads him to be the person onboard most dedicated to completing it's mission, even if he has to do it alone.
* In ''Series/CriminalMinds'', SSA Aaron Hotchner eventually loses his wife, Haley, and young son, Jack, to this when Haley divorces him in s3. (A FunnyAneurysmMoment occurs in the Season 1 episode, 'Unfinished Business', as Hotch notes that "divorce is not uncommon in the BAU.") Fortunately for Jack's sake, he's able to strike a better balance between work and fatherhood after [[spoiler: Haley's death]] in s5, although his obsessive commitment to his job persists.
** All the team fit this trope, probably because the BAU seems to be [[OddlySmallOrganization woefully understaffed]].
** SSA David Rossi has three ex-wives, though only the first two were because of the job (the third was a drunken Vegas wedding which was quickly corrected once they sobered up). His first wife, Caroline, left him because he was gone constantly. He left his second wife, Hayden, because they were both married to the job; he wanted to pursue his FBI career, whereas she was a diplomat in France and unwilling to sacrifice her work for his.
* Dr. Claire Saunders in ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' sometimes sleeps in her office, all so she could properly monitor and take care of the "Dolls."
** [[spoiler:Although this is actually because she herself is a Doll, Whiskey.]]
* John Winchester in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' was too busy hunting as a result of his wife's death in the hands of a demon. Hunters in general tend to avoid long-term relationships due to the inherent danger in the job, the constant travel, and the tendency for their loved ones to get StuffedIntoTheFridge. In particular, Dean's inability to maintain a stable family life with Lisa and Ben was a small subplot in season 6.
* ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'': An occupational hazard for the detectives (and some of the lawyers) on all of the series.
* Gibbs from ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', who has reportedly been married (and divorced) three times [[spoiler: not including his deceased first wife.]]
** A suspect who happened to be a psychology expert identified Abby as married to her job as well.
** As well as, you know, everyone. Do they even have homes? And beds that they actually sleep in, other than their desks?
*** Gibbs doesn't sleep in a bed in ''his own house''. He sleeps on the couch.
* A number of ''Series/BabylonFive'' characters may qualify, but Dr. Franklin is the most obvious. In an variation, part of the reason why Mollari is so devoted to his work is because it requires him to be on a space station seventy-five light years away from his wives, who he can't stand (and the feeling is mutual -- each match was an ArrangedMarriage that neither party was involved in setting up).
* Catherine Willows of ''Series/{{CSI}}'': though she divorced her husband for several reasons of which this was likely one of them, it's still a recurring source of drama between her and daughter Lindsey.
** Grissom was also this, until he married Sara-who was the trope to a point as well. Catherine once told Grissom to "take his head out of his micoscope" once in a while, and Grissom told Sara to get a life outside the lab in the first couple of seasons. Now they've married each other.
* Mac Taylor on ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' became this after his wife died on 9/11. It's often extremely difficult for his colleagues to drag him away for some actual sleep. It lessens, however, as he meets and courts Christine in seasons 8 and 9, and one presumes he'll get even better with marrying her.
* ''Series/TheCloser'': Fairly common amongst Major Crimes officers. Provenza and Pope both have had multiple divorces. Brenda has had one, and her devotion to the job strains her relationship with her boyfriend/fiancé/husband over the course of the series.
-->'''Provenza:''' I have a civil service job, and the only way that I am going to leave the Los Angeles police department is if I get shot, have a heart attack, and then you run me over. After which I will consider a disability position.\\
'''Pope:''' But you really still haven't told me why.\\
'''Provenza:''' When why my first wife and I divorced, I agreed to split my pension with her from the day I retire. I'll be damned if she gets a nickel.\\
'''Pope:''' That... I understand.
* On ''Series/{{MASH}}'' Hawkeye's complete devotion to his career as a doctor is the reason given for his inability to make relationships last. He finds it easier to remain single and sleep with a different GirlOfTheWeek each ep (there are hints that this was the case even before he was drafted into the army).
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', episode "P.C."
** When Olivia Benson was asked if she was a lesbian (her answer, "No", made plenty of Alex/Olivia shippers pissed), Elliot teases her that it would explain why she has had such rotten luck with men. Her reply is this trope, word for word.
** Also, in her first episode with Casey Novak, she explains that being married to the job, particularly their job, screws with ''everyone'''s love lives, and then proceeds to list them.
** Stabler loses his family for a while because of this trope. He manages to get them back and maintain a pretty healthy relationship, mostly because his wife Kathy accepts his second marriage. She even jokingly refers to Olivia as his "work wife".
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Terri views Will is this, though her point (and her sanity) are arguable.
* Holmes in ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' explains to Watson that that's what he is (having [[MistakenForGay misinterpreted Watson's line]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments of questioning somewhat]]).
* The usual gender roles of this trope are switched in ''Series/NoOrdinaryFamily'', in which it's the mother who is a job-fixated {{workaholic}} who is never around and the father who's a bit pissed about it. However, during one argument, the mother does rather bitterly point out that working eighty hours a week to support her family wasn't exactly how she imagined living her life either.
* In ''Series/BlueBloods'', the Reagan family are this to different levels:
** Jamie Reagan's first fiancée Sydney Davenport breaks up with him because he is too dedicated to being a cop and he is unwilling/unable to talk to her about what he does.
** Danny seems to be happily married even though he tends to get obsessive about some of his cases. On a few occasions, Danny also schedules himself for a lot of extra tours when he and Linda are going through financial difficulties.
** Frank is a justified case, since he's the police commissioner and has to play both the legal and political aspects of the NYPD.
* In the first season, Series/{{House}}'s "marriage" is pointed out by a patient, who is himself "married" to his job as a musician.
-->'''John Henry Giles:''' I know that look. I know that empty ring finger. You don't save someone who doesn't want to be saved unless you have something... anything. One thing. The reason other people have wives and families is that they don't have that one thing that hits them that hard and that true. I've got my music; you've got... this.
* Captain Blackadder from ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth''. He's married to the army. The book of King's regulations is his Mistress. Possibly with the Harrods lingerie catalogue discreetly tucked between the pages.
* Detective Beckett on ''Series/{{Castle}}'' gets obsessive about her job, although she does find time for a life outside of it. This becomes a form of CharacterDevelopment thanks to the fact that earlier seasons see her frequently depicted as intensely focussed on her job (although less-than-pleased about it) and later seasons see her come out of her shell a bit more. It's hinted that it's a result of hanging around with Castle.
* The titular character of ''Series/{{Bones}}''.
* Kate from ''Series/FairlyLegal'', whose devotion to her work partially caused the break-up of her marriage.
* Dr. Jacqueline Wade on ''Series/StElsewhere'' has her eleven-year marriage to husband Robert end because of this trope.
* Cmdr. Ed Straker from ''Series/{{UFO}}'' destroyed his marriage over building and maintaining SHADO.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' is this trope. Mulder is obsessed with his work, so much so that he can't even fathom a relationship or even many friendships outside of it. His one goal in life is to expose the Truth and find out what happened to his sister. Scully starts off with somewhat of a personal life and even goes on a date in the first season, but eventually becomes just as entangled in the work as Mulder. This ''is'' somewhat of a JustifiedTrope, however. The MythArc cases aren't something that can easily be left in the office each night, and the line between work and personal life is obliterated. Especially when Mulder and Scully start getting abducted, their apartments are bugged, and are almost murdered several times in their own homes. Scully once acknowledges this self-destructive lifestyle in season six, asking Mulder if he ever just wanted to "get out of the damn car and live something approaching a normal life?" Mulder's reply? "This is a normal life." Also, work/personal life get even more entangled when [[spoiler: their son becomes the first gested human/alien hybrid, and thus all of the BigBad villians from their work would like to kidnap him and/or kill him.]]
* In ''Series/ColdCase'', this leads to Vera and Stillman's divorces. This is also another reason why several of Lily's relationships fail.
* On ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', it's revealed that Bennet, when he first started working for the Company, had been so ruthless on his missions that the Company all but ordered him to get married and build a family life to temper down his ruthlessness. This may also be the reason that he was given custody of baby Claire when the Company saved her from a fire.
* The Australian miniseries ''Series/BridesOfChrist'', which was about nuns.
* In ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', the final episode has Sam Malone come to the realisation that for all the women he's [[TheCasanova been involved with]] over the years, his true love and the one he'll always come back to is ''Cheers'' herself.
* Carrie and Saul in ''Series/{{Homeland}}'' are almost religiously devoted to their CIA work. The closest thing to a relationship Carrie has is with [[spoiler: the man she suspected of being a double agent]], while Saul's actual marriage is severely strained by his job. "It's my AchillesHeel. Every time they call me, I go."
* DI Hardy implies this about himself in ''Series/{{Broadchurch}}''. When his partner asks him about the reason for the divorce, he says it was "the job" and talks about how difficult it is to stay married as a cop. [[spoiler: The reason for the divorce was in fact the job, but not in the way Hardy implies. His wife was also a cop, and Hardy found out that she was having an affair when she went to celebrate with her lover after finding critical evidence in a murder case and allowed the evidence to be compromised.]]
* Heavily implied in ''Series/{{Monk}}'' with Captain Stottlemeyer.
** His second marriage, to Karen[[note]]It's revealed in "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man" that Leland was married once before his marriage to Karen, but it was annulled after just a week[[/note]] is on the rocks throughout the first three seasons, culminating in his divorce in season 4. It's implied that Leland sometimes sleeps at his office.
** In the start of season five, Stottlemeyer does pick up a girlfriend in the form of suave realtor Linda Fusco, but it doesn't last. The first reason is that Stottlemeyer's police duties means that their dates are frequently interrupted, postponed, or cancelled completely, to the point in "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan," Linda has to "buy" Stottlemeyer at a BachelorAuction to secure a date with him, which of course gets interrupted by him making a EurekaMoment in a murder case, forcing him to ditch her to save Monk and Marci Maven from a killer. And then Monk and Natalie expose her as a murderer.
** His third marriage, to Trudy "T.K." Jensen, doesn't seem to suffer from this trope.
** Natalie also observes this about Stottlemeyer in ''Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu''. When she and Monk happen to notice Stottlemeyer sitting in his car outside Monk's apartment, Natalie notes that he's in his SFPD issue-Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor:
--->''Here's something odd I've noticed about cops: They drive around all day in black-and-white and unmarked Crown Victorias, the standard vehicle used by law enforcement agencies nationwide[[note]]Well, it was when the book was published in 2007. The Ford Crown Victoria was ditched with the Ford Taurus becoming the new 'standard' Ford police car model in 2011. Police departments also use a lot of [=SUV=]s.[[/note]]. So you'd think that when they bought their own cars, they'd want something entirely different, something less big, boxy, and official. But no. They don't feel comfortable in "civilian" cars. They want to be cops at home, too. Which may be why divorce rates among cops are so high. Perhaps if they ditched their Crown Vics, they would less likely be ditched themselves.''
** In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," when Joe Christie is giving Monk the background on all the Mega-Mart employees, he describes the shift manager as the "by-the-book, married-to-the-job" type employee.
* ''Series/NashBridges'': Mentions from here and there, conveniently recounted in "Live Shot", put Nash family-matters-wise to have left really poor impression on his ex-wives. Lisa has 'A' for "anniversaries missed due to all the work" in the "laundry list", Kelly remembers there being a week when she's seen him for mere 5 minutes between his days-long working marathons. In "Aloha, Nash", he barely cleans up one final case in time before his flight for the Hawaii trip, the first vacation in twenty years of service. In "Downtime", Betina tries to remove Nash for the time being by using the right as a superior officer to force Nash to go on paid vacation for all the accumulated period of time (it would total over 10 months).
* As ''soon'' as [[Series/TheFlash2014 Barry Allen]] gets a girlfriend, it's complicated by the constant phone calls he gets from the people at S.T.A.R. Labs asking him to save someone. On his first date, he's able to take care of things in a heartbeat and be back before she notices. But the [[CoitusInterruptus second date]]... she's upset. [[RuleOfThree Then when he tries to apologize...]]
* Walter White in ''Series/BreakingBad''. He's married to his crystal meth empire, which gradually drives his family apart as Skyler is drawn into it, and moreso when Hank, Marie, and eventually Walt Jr. find out. For instance, Walt ends up missing the birth of his daughter Holly because he has to honor a timed delivery of 38 pounds of meth to Gus Fring.
* In ''Series/WithoutATrace'', this is one of the two reasons why Jack Malone ended up divorced in Season 3 (the other is sleeping with his co-worker Samantha) and lost custody of his two daughters.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Robin is a career-focused, workaholic reporter and had no intention of settling down. This explains why she doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship. However, her meeting with Ted changed it and she started dating him except they broke up due to wanting different things and for Robin, it’s her career. HistoryRepeats when she dated and married [[spoiler:Barney]] and in the series finale, they got divorced due to her work. It also prevented her from seeing her friends.
* {{Discussed}} in a July 2016 episode of ''Series/RealTimeWithBillMaher'', right down to the trope name. Bill argues that, thanks to the advancements in technology that allow work to be done anytime/anywhere, the boundaries between one's work life and one's personal life are eliminated, thereby making both unhealthy.
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': Many of the agents were like this from the start, most notably Coulson and May. This is pretty standard for secret agents. After the events of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', however, anyone who wasn't married to the job left. Some became mercenaries, some joined HYDRA ([[spoiler:or revealed they were HYDRA all along]]), some joined the private sector, and others just surrendered to the local government. Everyone who stayed became dedicated one hundred percent to S.H.I.E.L.D. and its ideals, since remaining with the organization was technically an act of terrorism. Those few agents who still had family had to cut off all ties.
* ''Series/Daredevil2015'': Matt Murdock views his nighttime crimefighting as Daredevil as Type 2 of this. Foggy doesn't see it that way and views it as Matt having a suicidal death wish.
* ''Series/IronFist2017'': Ward and Joy Meachum are essentially married to their jobs at Rand Enterprises because Harold Meachum tied their inheritance to working at the company after his death [[spoiler:and resurrection by the Hand]].
* ''Series/TheWire'': Jimmy [=McNulty=] is very much married to his work as a Baltimore City ''poh''-leece. The very empty state of his apartment is symbolic of how little a life he has outside his police work. In season 3, Lester even deconstructs [=McNulty=] with a premonitory "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgTRPjHVrFE Get a life speech]]" that even [=McNulty=] finds [[ActuallyPrettyFunny amusing]].
-->'''Lester:''' How do you think it all ends? A parade? A gold watch? '''A shining Jimmy [=McNulty=] Day moment''', when you bring in a case sooooo sweet everybody gets together and says, "''Aw, shit! He was right all along. Should've listened to the man.''"? The job will not save you, Jimmy. It won't make you whole, it won't fill your ass up.
** In season 4, [=McNulty=] makes some effort to break this trope, demoting himself down to patrol work in the Western District (away from the rigorously demanding work of the Major Crimes Unit), cutting back on his drinking and getting into a relationship with Beadie Russell, the Port Authority cop from the Sobotka detail of season 2.

* "Good Company" by Music/{{Queen}} is about a man whose wife and friends leave him once he becomes [[{{Workaholic}} obsessed with his profession]].
-->I hardly noticed Sally
-->As we parted company
-->All through the years
-->In the end it appears
-->There was never really anyone but me.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/LowKi never stops looking for others places to work and has admitted that five hours a day spent training don't leave much time for "relationships". He also routinely criticized peers he thought didn't make enough sacrifice for the business.
* UsefulNotes/StraightEdge pro wrestler Wrestling/CMPunk claims his only addiction is competition, an addiction that turned him into an insomniac through his one track dedication to pro wrestling... and that was before he started working for [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} a company]] that demanded 300 days a year on the road from him and he became obsessed with getting the main event spot of Wrestling/WrestleMania. Unlike most examples, Punk [[ReallyGetsAround doesn't have much trouble getting girlfriends]]. ''Keeping'' them is his problem.
* Wrestling/KennyOmega [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHlUF5oEO5U&feature=youtu.be&t=6m24s is so dedicated to accomplishing his wrestling goals]] that he doesn't have time to "search for a wife or a boyfriend," but starting a family is something he'd want to do after fulfilling his wrestling goals.

* In ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'' Roger claims that Mark has deliberately married his job, and Mark...doesn't really deny it. He does offer a defense, though: SurvivorGuilt, stemming from being one of the few of his circle of friends without HIV/AIDS. From the song "Goodbye, Love":
--> '''Roger:''' "Mark has got his work." They say Mark lives for his work, and Mark's in love with his work. Mark ''hides'' in his work.\\
'''Mark:''' From what?\\
'''Roger:''' From facing your failure, facing your loneliness, facing the fact you live a lie. Yes, you live a lie, tell you why: you're always preaching not to be numb, when that's how you thrive. You pretend to create and observe when you really detach from feeling alive.\\
'''Mark:''' Perhaps it's because I'm the one of us to survive.
* In ''Theatre/LadyInTheDark'', Charley accuses Liza of being married to her desk.
* In ''Theatre/TheAddingMachine'', Zero is so attached to the menial job he's held for twenty-five years that he still wants to go on adding figures even after he dies.
* In ''The Ladies in the Corridor'' by Creator/DorothyParker and Armand d'Usseau, Lulu Ames tells her daughter-in-law about how her late husband was so in love with his business that he "slept with it three or four times a week": he had a bed in his office. He was so "unfaithful" to her that she had made up her mind to divorce him before he fell ill. "Oh, no, Betsy," she adds with a little laugh, "there wasn't anybody else. There just wasn't any Elliott."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Alisa from ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonIslandOfHappiness'', and eventually ''[[VideoGame/HarvestMoonSunshineIslands Sunshine Islands]]'', is basically a nun. She has an EnsembleDarkHorse status, and Marvelous just teases you in the latter by giving you [[RelationshipValues heart events]]. She turns you down though. Subverted in ''[[VideoGame/HarvestMoonTheTaleOfTwoTowns The Tale of Two Towns]]'': Alisa initially rejects your proposal because of her being a priestess, [[spoiler: but the Harvest Goddess appears and convinces her that it's okay to get married.]] You [[spoiler:can't have kids, however]].
* [[spoiler: Hiro]] is always working in ''VisualNovel/EfAFairyTaleOfTheTwo''. [[spoiler: His eventual girlfriend, Miyako, gets upset when he can't take a short break to go on a trip with her like he promised earlier. Of course, he outright states that his relationship is more important that his job so]] it's downplayed.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' deconstructs this with the Protagonist's uncle, [[DaChief Ryotaro Dojima]]. While he doesn't have a wife [[spoiler:anymore]], he ''does'' have a young daughter, and because he spends so much time at work because of the serial murder case [[spoiler:along with trying to find the guy who ran over his wife]], he worries that he doesn't know how to raise Nanako properly. After undergoing CharacterDevelopment by spending time with the protagonist, he admits that he's a coward, and he strives to be there for Nanako more, even if he's a busy man whose job tends to intrude on his time at inopportune moments.
* One of the excuses Max uses in ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam & Max]]'' to turn down Mama Bosco.
-->'''Max:''' I'm married to my career.\\
'''Sam:''' They had the ceremony in Canada because it's legal there.
* Keldorn from ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' ''2'' is utterly dedicated to his duties as a Paladin of the Order of the Radiant Heart. So much so that he spends months at a time away from his family, to the point that his [[AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder wife seeks comfort in the arms of another man]]. Even his own ''daughters'' are distant with him and prefer their mother's new paramour who at least spends time with them. His Personal Quest determines how he deals with this unhappy situation.
** Cernd from the same game is just as bad -- no, he's worse. His wife left him rather than tell him she was pregnant because she didn't want him to try and fail raising a child, the evil wizard who murdered Cernd's wife and who is about to sacrifice Cernd's son ''calls him out as a lousy dad'', and, according to his epilogue at the end of "Throne of Bhaal", [[spoiler: Cernd continues neglecting his son in favor of his job and winds up turning him into an anti-nature crusader who sacrifices his own life to kill Cernd.]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** Samara in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. She was married with children once, but when she became a Justicar (her people's equivalent of a KnightErrant) in order to hunt down a serial killer [[spoiler:(who is one of her three daughters)]], she gave up all ties to her old life. If you play a Paragon Shepard (of either gender) and try to romance her, she will eventually ask you not to make her choose between the code and you. Renegade Shepard is too TriggerHappy for her to even consider it.
** Shepard cements this over the course of the second and third games. In the third game, Jacob, a former squadmate, even states his belief that he can't picture Shepard being anywhere but in command of the ''Normandy'', since it's clear it will always be their first love.
-->'''Shepard:''' Doesn't mean I don't want to say "to hell with it" sometimes.\\
'''Jacob:''' But you ''won't''. You ''can't''.
** A borderline case, when asked if she has family, Dr. Karin Chakwas says she's married with the Alliance and that all its members are her children.
* Cave Johnson in ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' mentions that his aide Caroline is "married to science." [[spoiler:It's this workaholic tendency that allows [=GLaDOS=] to withstand the euphoric reaction to successful testing becoming less effective, noted otherwise to be "unbearable".]]
* Carl Schiff, a psychopath and boss fight in ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'', is absolutely devoted to finishing his routes. Not even a mall full of zombies and serial killers will stop him, though they do manage to make him a few minutes late. This makes him extremely upset, and when he finds out the man who he thinks is behind the outbreak (you), he pulls out a shotgun and starts throwing bombs. It doesn't help that the hero accidentally throws a bomb into his mail cart, rendering finishing the route impossible.
-->'''Carl''': ''(pumps shotgun)'' [[PreassKickingOneLiner You will NOT bring down]] [[SeriousBusiness MY POSTAL SERVICE!]]
** Before him, Steven in the first game refuses to leave his store as the zombies swarm on it, determined to protect it and its goods from looters and vandals.
--->'''Steven:''' I... do not allow vandalism... IN MY STOOOOOOOOOOOOORE! ''NOT ON MY WATCH!''
* Knuckles from ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' has complained about his boring life guarding the Master Emerald, but he takes his duty extremely seriously.
** He did eventually figure out a way around it: rather than protecting the emeralds all the time (something impossible for one person to do; he needs to sleep, after all), he simply does what he wants. When the emeralds inevitably get stolen, he simply tracks down whoever took them, gets them back, and then goes back to doing what he wants.
* Aveline from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' -- at first, anyway. After her husband Wesley dies, she throws herself into her job as guardswoman (and later Guard Captain) so fully that, when she ''does'' end up developing feelings for another man (Guardsman Donnic), she has no clue what to do. Her personal sidequest involves [[MatchmakerQuest attempting to get them together despite Aveline's lack of romantic skills]]. To say that Hawke has his/her job cut out for him/her is an understatement.
** Cullen describes ''himself'' this way in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. He's mobbed by admirers at the Winter Palace ball, and among other questions, they ask if he's married. Unless he's in a romance with the Inquisitor, he deflects the question by saying that "I'm married to my work." (It doesn't deter them.)
* This is part of the reason why Johnny and Sonya's relationship is heavily strained in ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX''. Johnny accuses Sonya of caring about her job more than her own family and how she never spends any time with him or their daughter, Cassie. Sonya retorts that she had responsibilities to uphold (both of them are in the Special Forces tasked with protecting the Earth from Outworld and Netherealm invaders) while Johnny counters that Sonya used to care about her family in the past and he leaves it at that as he walks out.
* Some characters attempt to flirt with Pallegina from ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'', and she dismisses them by saying her love and loyalty are only for her country, the Vailian Republics, and her oaths as a paladin of the Frermàs mes Canc Suolias. This is even the reason she's AmbiguouslyGay in a work unafraid of showing openly gay and bisexual characters: she seems to reject propositions from men more easily than she does from women, but ultimately avoids relationships entirely.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/TheMostPopularGirlsInSchool'': Subverted with Mrs. Zales; she hates taking days off her workweek, but she also enjoys vigorous sex with her husband Jack.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'', a feline friend of Kell's, Aby, is [[LiteralMetaphor literally married to her job]]. They had a wedding and everything. The 'marriage' is complete with an anniversary gift (a new sign for her shop) and concern that she might be cheating on it (by making supplemental income on [[VideoGame/SecondLife Ninth Life]]). (And apparently franchises are their equivalent of children).
** This has become downplayed in recent years, since she became romantically linked with Mark Meadowvole, a MOUSCAR driver. And the literal part may be coming to an end as of 2018 [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2018/kk0505.html after Aby proposed to Mark]] so he could adopt his orphaned nephew, Tyler.
-->'''Mark:''' But Aby! You're married to your career!
-->'''Aby:''' My career would understand.
* Todo in ''Webcomic/CityOfReality'', as AV discovered during an attempted date.
* Mordecai Heller from ''Webcomic/{{Lackadaisy}}''.
* [[DragonWithAnAgenda Redcloak]], from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. When his [[spoiler: little brother sets him up on a blind date, Redcloak, despite being pretty obviously interested, bails at the last second to go recruit for The Plan]].
* Invoked but subverted in ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}''. When Zeta realises Artie is attracted to ANTONIO SMITH, FORENSIC LINGUIST! (before Artie himself has even realised he's gay) she tells him "It'll never work, honey, he's married to grammar" before adding as an afterthought "And actually married."

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'', Princess Carolyn is absolutely dedicated to her job as a Hollywoo talent agent. So dedicated, in fact, that a shot in Season 2 shows her smartphone wishing her a happy 40th birthday while she's pulling an all-nighter at work. This also extends to her personal life; in a flashback to 2007, Princess Carolyn said she wanted to get married, have kids, and settle down. Later in life, she's done none of these things. Even the one seemingly-good relationship she has in Season 4 gets ruined when [[spoiler:she has a miscarriage. Her fifth one, as she reveals to her boyfriend]]. All of this takes a heavy toll on her emotional state.
* On ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb,'' WordOfGod says this is why they resisted ExecutiveMeddling to give [[EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi Perry]] a girlfriend.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'': The title character is very devoted to his job at the Krusty Krab. So devoted, in fact, that when he is forced to take a break in "Bummer Vacation," he [[spoiler:goes ''nuts'']].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': When Bart claims that he has a girlfriend, Groundskeeper Willy proclaims that he does too. She's a... [[GirlfriendInCanada bikini model. From Sweden]]. Yep. Right after Bart leaves [[spoiler: she comes out of his shack and asks him to come to bed, to which he replies that she shouldn't try to compete with his job, because she'll never win.]]
* [[WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand Buzz Lightyear's]] first and greatest love will always be to Star Command and the fight against evil.
* On ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold,'' [[AnIcePerson Ice]] expresses a crush on ComicBook/{{Aquaman}}, only for [[PlayingWithFire Fire]] to point out that he's married. For [[CloudCuckooLander some reason]], Ice interprets her to mean this trope. (To be fair, his ADayInTheLimelight episode implies that that's sort of true too.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', Alfred has said this about Bruce on two occasions. In one episode, where Bruce has to cancel a blind date and sends Alfred to apologize, the date asks if Bruce is married. Alfred replies, "Yes... To his work." In another episode, Selina Kyle sighs and asks Alfred if Bruce Wayne is married. Alfred replies, "Only to his job, Miss Kyle."
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' has Sam's father paying him a visit and offering to spend quality time with Sam and his friends. Unfortunately, everywhere the group goes, Sam's father is always on his cellphone conducting business calls instead of having fun with the kids, much to Sam's dismay. [[CharacterDevelopment Eventually]], Sam and his dad reconcile and decide to dedicate a day to just bonding as father and son; the next time Sam's father gets a call, he simply tosses the ringing phone in the trunk of the car and they laugh it off.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As shown by this [[http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/784/Another-Long-Winded-Explanation-of-Various-Things list]] of projects, Creator/BrandonSanderson definitely counts.
%%* [[Music/OzzyOsbourne Ozzy]] and Sharon Osbourne. Ozzy's ex-manager, Don Arden, happened to be Sharon's dad. Now he was Ozzy's father-in-law too.
* In an unusually literal form of this trope, [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor Queen Elizabeth I]] declared herself 'married to the kingdom' and never married, laying claim to the moniker 'the Virgin Queen'.
* The widow of Meiji revolutionary Katsura Kogoro supposedly lamented: "I may be his wife, but Japan is his mistress."
* In Jung Chang's autobiographical novel ''Literature/WildSwans'', it's described that in China, in the early times of the Communist regime, it was explicitly required for Party officers (like her father) to put their jobs before their families.
* Drill sergeants have markedly higher divorce rates, especially in Combat Arms [=OSUTs=], which are much longer, more intensive and stressful than Basic Training. Due to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act of 1982, the wife will get half of all pay, pension and benefits in the case of divorce unless found guilty of adultery, so some D.I.s who fear they'll be unable to hold onto their marriage will attempt to catch their spouse cheating, putting additional strain on the relationship.
* Renaissance-era Venice had a symbolic form of this. When a new Doge was installed, he would take part in a ritual where he would throw a wedding band into the bay. The ritual symbolized Venice's eternal link with commerce: the Doge, as representative of Venice, was wedded to the sea, which brought trade to Venice.
* Working at companies like [[http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Google-Reviews-E9079.htm Google]] and [[http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Facebook-Reviews-E40772.htm Facebook]].
* One of the "Ten Commandments" of the TheMafia is "Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty -- even if your wife is about to give birth."
* This is expected in Japanese business culture, especially for the {{Salaryman}}. This was one of the reasons why the JapanTakesOverTheWorld trope was so prevalent in TheEighties. This trope is one of the main reasons for the negative population growth in Japan. [[CaptainObvious Turns out when you never really see your wife you can't have kids]].
* This also appears to be the case in American business culture, as the U.S. has no mandatory paid days off, and American workers take fewer days off compared with people in the rest of the world.
* As the ''West Wing'' entry above noted, many White House positions see high turnover rates because the stress tends to lead to job burnout. The trope even applies to the President:
** UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson hardly ever even saw his young daughters during his days as Senate Majority Leader, and only after he suffered a heart attack in 1955 did he begin to recognize that his life “was so lopsided as to be ridiculous … [and that] there was something else besides my job.”
** While UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter occasionally carved out time to play with his youngest child, Amy, he was an absentee dad to his three sons, Jack, Chip and Jeff.
** [[https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/06/19/obamas-most-unusual-legacy-being-a-good-dad/?tid=sm_fb Heavily averted with]] UsefulNotes/BarackObama.
* Creator/JDSalinger's children report he that was much more invested in his fictional families than his actual one.
* Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU project and the free software movement, has elected to never marry or have children since he it would distract him from his work to promote software freedom.