Monday, January 30, 2012

Wag Vs. Angie: The Job or Your Lifestyle

Well folks it's Monday... again. Let's skip the cliches about how Monday sucks the life out of us and move on to what's really important. You're here. I couldn't argue with Shane this week. When the topic came through in email I couldn't even bring myself to ask what his stand would be. I don't get to read Shane's posts before I respond so there is a good chance that we might be on the same side. Or maybe just a hair's breadth off to the side of the same side? Either way.... welcome back for a very special episode of Blossom... I mean Wag Vs. Angie

"Your spouse earns most of the money for your family, but he/she is forced to work at a job he/she hates and actually has been a cause of several depressive, near-nervous-breakdown moments in the past. Your spouse has often voiced his/her need to leave this job in order to preserve his sanity. If she were to quit this job, however, it would mean a definite financial hit - so much so that you might have to move into a smaller house / apartment. What do you do?"

Let’s start with the short answer... You encourage your spouse to leave the job.

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When the bills are paid you’re supposed to feel a sense of relief. Sometimes, however, the job is mentally taxing that you wake up in the morning with a headache, you go to bed every night filled with anxiety, and while the doctor tells you that ulcers are caused by bacteria, you’re pretty certain that your stress level has caused a giant hole to be chewed through your stomach. I know this feeling all too well. It will break a person. It’s ugly.

Let’s look at the alternative shall we? You can keep your house as it is, roomy and comfortable. You can continue to live the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to. Everything can stay exactly how it is. While you are being complacent, you can watch your spouse slowly become someone else. If you’ve never suffered from depression or watched what happens to someone who is in the depths of it, let me give you some insight. Their personality changes. Their lust for life dwindles. The person you fell in love with gets balled up and shoved down inside a shell. They might look the same, but the light is gone. When you try to reach out to them, you’re likely to get your hand pushed away if you get a response at all. It’s going to get lonely and cold. Now imagine how it feels for them.

Get a piece of paper and a pen. Now look around your house. Take stock of where you live, what you own, and what you’re spending. Write it down. Now make another column. In that column make a list of the things you love about your spouse, how much they mean to you, and what you would do if you to keep them from hurting. If you find the things in column A outweigh the things in column B, there might be a problem. Your spouses health and well being should always be more important than the size of house you live in.
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I won’t lie... downsizing is hard. Starting over is hard. Being broke is hard. There are a few things that are worse, though. Losing someone you love is worse. Watching someone sink slowly into a funk you can’t bring them out of is worse. Knowing you could have made a difference is worse. Take your pick. Column A or Column B.

So why is it your job to encourage your spouse to quit? Because their sense of responsibility for your happiness and the financial stability of your family won’t allow them to let you down. That is how they see it. It feels like failure. They won’t leave on their own or until it’s too late. 

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