My husband was a bit of an a-hole for the first few years of our marriage. Don’t worry. He knows he was.
Hi. This is Jo’s husband. Yes, I was a bit of an a-hole for the first few years of our marriage. I’m sorry.
So I put my decision to give my career up for my husband down to a brain snap of epic proportion because it turned out to be one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made.
Which is why I was so annoyed to read that a household study has stated that men are happier when their partners stay home. Obviously it must have been an anonymous survey because seriously, what man these days would admit to that, let alone really feel that way?
Professor Roger Wilkins from the annual Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia survey told The Australian, “When you look at men’s relationship satisfaction, it’s at at its highest when their wife is not in the workforce. Those traditional gender roles die hard.”
And that’s exactly what my significant other believed in our first, few fragile years. Shame he forgot to tell me about his insane expectations.
When I met my partner I had a career as a young and ambitious breakfast radio announcer with my sights set on world domination, like most twenty-somethings. He seemed to like this. He was ambitious too. He’d been married before and had two sons. Shortly after he met me, he embarked on some pretty adventurous business ventures. I thought of us as being a bit of a power couple. I thought we were such a good match and imagined both of us working and sharing home duties equally, including child raising.
It was midway during my first pregnancy that things started to change.
Here is a helpful video for all working mums called “How to get your kid ready for school in under five minutes!” And…go! Post continues after the video.
I was still working in breakfast radio and planned to take three months off, hire some help, and then get straight back to it. Also my husband was working from home at that stage and because I was normally home between 10am and 11am I thought it would be perfect. He could look after the baby until I got home and then I’d take over.
We really should have discussed this before hand.
I based my fantasy version of our life with baby very differently than he did. I assumed we’d be mutually supportive of each other’s careers and he assumed that when I had the baby I wouldn’t want to work anymore. Because that’s what happened with women, right? It’s biology.
I do shoulder some of the blame here. He is 12 years my senior and had a few outdated ideas. Don’t worry. I’ve fixed him now. But back to the nightmare he and I no longer speak of…
I had the baby and enjoyed my time with him. I also looked forward to returning to work. However, I was having doubts thanks to some very careful seeds that had been planted by my then-husband and some gentle suggestions that perhaps I rethink my plan to return to work.
“You don’t NEED to work,” he’d say over and over again. “I’m earning enough. Don’t you just want to stay home and relax?”