Carolyn Hax: his wife resents the easy and lucrative work of her husband

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Carolyn Hax is absent. The following is from April 18 and 20, 2008.

Dear Caroline: My wife and I have been married for four years. We share a mortgage, but we have no children or other major debts. My wife works a lot more than me. Her company pays her $100,000 a year, but she is still exhausted. I have a publishing business that pays me $150,000 a year. I’ve been building my business since before we got married and now enjoying the passive income it gives us.

My wife is resentful because she has to work so hard and she sees me backing down. I would love to travel alone once in a while or go on a guy trip, but I get nothing but guilt from him, which in turn makes me angry and resentful. It’s like there’s a constant cycle of resentment because of it.

She remains in her position because there may be potential for advancement and because she likes challenges and responsibilities. She also makes great contacts and likes to work hard. I always told her that if she doesn’t like her job, I support whatever she chooses to do, regardless of her income.

I feel like I am carrying my weight financially (and so is she). Shouldn’t I be enjoying the fruits of my labor without feeling guilty, and shouldn’t she give me the freedom to enjoy it once in a while? She has vacation days that she can use if she wishes. I would need a second job to earn more money, which we don’t need right now. She implies that I am lazy and unmotivated. I do not agree; I built my business through hard work and dynamism. Doesn’t my income matter a lot in this argument?

JL: I guess, but I would make an entirely different point: being “motivated” is seriously overrated.

I’m glad some people are. We all enjoy – in fact, take for granted – the countless fruits of others’ optional 80-hour workweeks.

I simply reject the implication that it is necessary, even desirable, that everyone be led. People who work optional 80-hour weeks certainly enjoy – in fact, take for granted – the fruits of others refusal spend so much time at work.

This cohort doesn’t just include our poets, our volunteers, and the folks who make sure they have nothing more urgent to do than march to their little one’s pace.

These are also people who think that 40 hours is more than enough.

You have a pretty sweet life. Whether you won it or picked it up off the sidewalk is, I think, irrelevant. You are happy with what you have.

If your wife envies your satisfaction, then she must do something to find more of it – with your cooperation, of course. His insistence that you reduce your contentment, taking stress equal to his, of all things, is absurd. An incredibly selfish solution.

Certainly, you don’t mention any way to apply your available quality of life to improving his: household chores, cooking, social planning, to name a few examples. If you don’t, do it. “I support whatever she chooses to do” is not a promise kept only in a few possible futures; it is one to do good on a daily basis.

If you’re already pampering her, however, and a caring, happy, well-paid, supportive spouse isn’t enough to make her happy, then it’s time for both of you to start wondering what that is.

Dear Caroline: My son-in-law is a very bright and articulate young man. But he gestures with his hands when he talks. It may be an accepted style in Italy, but I was always taught that using your hands to help make a point was a show of lazy thinking, and that if an effort was made to choose the appropriate words, the point would be relayed more effectively. How can I suggest that he keep his hands quiet when he speaks without offending him?

– Mother-in-law in a dilemma

Mother-in-law in a dilemma: To me, the definition of lazy thinking is taking something you were taught as a child and then, without questioning its basis, value, accuracy, meaning, or relevance, using it as a weapon against the bright young man your child loves dearly. chose to take home.

Please, in the name of reason, give it a break. From your own description, it’s clear that even if your fears are justified – an “if” of sufficient proportions – it’s about nothing more than his looking less bright than he does in people’s eyes. who share your gloomy view of southern European standards. and/or demonstrative expression. It’s a pretty narrow band of wounds, hardly worth the ill will you’ll generate trying to control a grown man’s behavior – and, not to mention, championing such a critical, finicky, xenophobic and prejudiced cause.

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