Dear SOS: When we had our first child a year ago we decided, after lots of number-crunching between myself and my husband, that I will stop working and become a stay-at-home mom. The future looked promising. My husband puts in lots of hours at work and he was due for a raise. That was 18 months ago. Unfortunately, my husband’s hours at work aren’t what we’d expected, nor did he get the raise as we had hoped for.
The problem is that to meet our living expenses we need more income. Our options are that I could go back to work but that means we would have to pay for childcare expenses for our son. After doing that we would be no better off financially than we are. Our other option is for my husband to either get a raise or find another job. Few weeks back, my husband was offered a job paying $6 more an hour – that’s $960 more a month in income coming to us! With the new job only draw back was that he would have to travel more. Taking or not taking the job was my husband’s decision. But I was confident he would make the right decision. But he’s decided not to take the job. When I found out I was very angry with him. I believe he hasn’t taken this offer because he’s loyal to his current employers – they’re like a family to him. I told him that he has to put our family first. We have discussed the situation three times and each time I blow up. I just want him to take the job because it makes sense! Any advice?
Why doesn’t he take a better-paying job?
Dear:Why doesn’t he take a better-paying job? A marriage is like a three-legged race. Like a three-legged sporting event, a marriage is a race where the object is to sprint forward while strapped to another person who is impeding your speed, grace, and mobility. In many ways, it’s nice to be strapped to this person, even when he stumbles, and so we have to figure out a way to run the race.
You said that taking this job was his decision to make, and you were “confident he’d make the right one.” This implies that if he made the “wrong” choice – the one you disagreed with – then it wasn’t his decision to make after all. The fact is, you both have a say, but he has more voting power because he’d be the one on the job every day.
You can only tell him, as you put it, what “makes sense” (to you), and what you believe is best for you and your kids. If you push the issue, he may take the job only because it means so much to you, and resent you for it. You’ve discussed this situation few times now. Talk it over again. Perhaps there are other reasons that the job is objectionable to him. If he still doesn’t want this new position, you need to respect his decision. He needs to understand, however, that something must be done to make up for the financial shortfall. Perhaps you or he should look for part-time work. The bottom line is that you must work this out together. It’s the only way to win the race, or at least make it across the finish line.