Wives frequently interrogate themselves and often their husbands: Do I or his job come first in his heart and mind? Much greater blessings flow out of this question: What’s behind the door labeled “US”? The sexes define ‘us’ differently. For this article, husbands favor accomplishing their goals over love. Wives favor love over goals. Immense amounts of female anxiety flow out of that difference.
But it goes deeper. A woman’s inability to handle her own anxieties—the subject for tomorrow’s post—affects the level of trust and respect shown to husband. When husband doesn’t get enough wifely respect and gratitude, his love diminishes, he ignores her, and he turns to his job for self-admiration or another woman for validation.
A woman opens the door of ‘us’ and sees her and him. Her primary objectives aim at making ‘us’ successful, and she expects that he and she can do it. His job takes the back seat in her heart and mind.
Opening the same door, a man sees her, him, and his job, a trifecta. His primary objectives aim at providing and protecting. His job is as essential as either he or her is. It creates the umbrella over ‘us’ under which she can harmonize their relationship. He foresees no success without his job and loses much of his drive toward success if she questions or demeans it. (Wife NEVER has access to husband’s hidden agenda at home, complete agenda at work, and his true feelings about work conditions. Only he is capable of rationally integrating that fur ball of complex pressures into satisfying work and devotion to her and their home.)
Until she complains about his job being more important, he includes job as part of ‘us’. Job tops his perception of her when she pushes him to judge, to consider or question it. It’s not that she isn’t the most important thing in his life. He finds she disrupts his concept of ‘us’ when she pings that she’s not getting enough attention or that his job comes before her. He doesn’t want to and she shouldn’t force him to consider and much less choose (more in next post); he may figure out that she’s not that worthy after all.
When job is included in ‘us’, wife has the everyday appearance of being equal with his job. But the equality only comes when his view prevails of what’s behind the closed door. Two of three people can be relied upon to isolate the third when push comes to shove. Right? Well, husband uses his job to win differences with wife. A wiser wife learns to team up with his job to influence husband. For example, she under spends without complaint. To discourage his overspending, she highlights the blessings of his job instead of the shortcomings or low return for his work effort.
Thus, not the wife’s but the husband’s view of ‘us’ creates a triumvirate, the joint sharing of responsibility, authority, and influence. Couples operate more successfully that way until wife questions the relative importance of job versus her. It comes tomorrow.
I close with this somewhat related tip: If she nags, don’t do it about his job, job habits, or her related deprivations. You’ll see why in tomorrow’s post 1784.