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Your Life Or Your Wife: Pick One

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This is something I see quite a lot of and surprisingly, it’s not from just one place. It’s not just, say, a wife asking a husband to sell his favorite game, the one he adored playing, because they will “have no time” with the new baby. It’s not just a performer giving up a career with an award-winning string quartet because he’s touring more than he’s home. Or a husband gets a big new promotion in the city and tells his wife to quit her job – his comes first. Or maybe the wife wants to go back to grad school, but the husband won’t watch the kids.


And time.



Now, I’ll be the first to concede my utter lack of experience here. I have had, to date, one long-term romantic relationship. This is hardly the basis for authoritative criticism.

But still. I can’t help but feel the flaw in this is rather obvious. After all, you don’t need much experience to point out the emperor is naked. The flaw I see is this:

Isn’t this supposed to be an equal setup?

After all, I hardly think I’d have the right to deny my future wife’s dream because it’s inconvenient to me – and vice-versa. I certainly hope she wouldn’t ask me to sell my Star Fleet Battles collection, or make me move from my beloved Gentoo Linux to *shudder* Windows simply because it’s inconvenient to her.

I understand that marriage is about commitment, compromise, and doing what’s best for each other. Sometimes you do have to make sacrifices.

I understand that. I really do.

And I can understand that there are some cases when selling an old favorite is really a non-issue. Maybe he just doesn’t care for it any more. Or maybe asking her to quit her job for a promotion is hardly a loss. Maybe she hates it there and was just working for the extra income – the extra income your new promotion will provide and more.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe you have been dreaming of showing your little one the “coolest game in the world.” You have the whole approach planned out, how you were going to teach kiddo all the rules, and make him/her the best player in the world. Or maybe she really, really, loves her job and it gives her the feeling of accomplishment she so needs and wants.

What causes this? I can’t get my head around either side of this, asking or being asked.

This isn’t what marriage — partnership — is about, is it? It’s about what’s best for both, isn’t it?

Picture this: One business partner tells another, “Hey, I need to move. Drop what you’re doing and finance it for me. Never mind how much the company will lose on it.”

What kind of answer do you think he’d get? Yes? Of course, dear? Or would he be laughed out of the room — and, odds are, given notice?

Isn’t the only reason this happens is that one of the ‘business partners’ has emotional leverage over the other?

What am I missing, guys?

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About Adam V.

  • Vern Halen

    Ouch! I don’t think I wanna touch this one – an excellent commentary, but I figure most people would need about 20 pages to think through it properly.