Her Highness My Husband’s Wife described at post 1838 how middle-age husbands try to get their wives to get full-time jobs. She wonders what a wife should do when she thinks differently.
Were I a wife in the situation you describe, I would be prepared. At the first hint that it’s coming, hopefully before he suggests it, and especially before he can put forth his arguments, I would pull out my previously prepared list and do the following.
I would sit him down. Standing before him in my gentle, sweet, pleasant, and determined but undetectable attack mode, I would courteously hand him the following list of costs to our marriage if I’m no longer responsible to keep the best castle to which I’m capable. Does he agree that we should pursue a full time job for me? And then I would shut up; let him read. Maybe even stroll off to another room.
My precious husband,
Peering into the future, I have spent a lot of time fitting my abilities into a design of how I could be successful working full time outside the home. We could use the money but at what price to personal satisfaction and marital harmony?
With a doubled workload, I have to have a precise schedule to avoid an unappreciated temperament to which you would be exposed and to ensure the sense of satisfaction that I can do right things as we go along.
You married me for better or for worse. Unlike you I’m only capable of so much and over time have measured my limitations. I guess my limitations make up my ‘worse’.
I know what works. I have figured out what it would take for me to have a full time job. The following is designed to prevent loss of my interest in marital matters.
- Being a primary income earner entitles me to sit down after work, grab beer and clicker, and satisfy myself while preparing for tomorrow’s battles. That style of recovery works for you but I have to find ways for me to recover too. Otherwise, my interest in living wanes when I can’t both wife and mother to my satisfaction.
- Breakfast and dinner will be processed food; heating only required. Or we eat out as long as I’m back home before 8pm on nights before workdays.
- Lunch is not available on weekends as those are my washing and cleaning days.
- Dinner will be done and dishes in the washer before 7pm. Big meals before bed ruin my sleep habits and I’m too tuckered out to work the next day. Without 8 hours sleep, I drown in self-pity, boredom, and marital regret after a half-dozen hours outside our home. I’ve been there and the pressure is too much for this weakling of a female for any extended period of time.
- On workdays I retire from housework at 7pm regardless of what’s not done.
- I go to bed at _pm for 8 hours of sleep regardless of your schedule. I will need the TV removed from our bedroom or separate bedrooms.
- I can’t do night-out when next day is workday.
- I schedule dusting, washing, and light cleaning every weekend, clean more thoroughly once a month, and can’t afford to spend time outside the house such as flower gardening.
- As much as it makes my castle-building spirit smolder, I will save time and energy by not picking up after everyone. Clutter will be normal if I can live with such irresponsibility for this homemaker.
- We’ll have to rearrange our schedules for sharing the driving of kids where they have to go.
- You’ll have to help with grocery shopping and perhaps other errands the sharing of which we can work out.
- I have not yet found a new and particular way for me to fulfill myself with some sort of entertainment. But I’m working on it.
- Other things will be required from you to keep my spirits up. For example, more affection, more appreciation, more humor, more cooperation, more consideration, more uplifting spirit, more fatherly leadership, and more confirmation that I’m precious rather than just a fixture.
I can do it and we can do it. You’re the one to decide if we should or not. I too would like more money coming in. Is it worth it to you to have your wife following a strict schedule that takes away some of your discretion about marital matters?
Your trying-to-be-precious wife,
(his favorite nickname for her)