I saw this video the other day, and I was horrified. Here’s the story: A family with a husband, wife, and daughter. The husband was laid off, and hasn’t been able to find work. His wife increased her hours at work to compensate for their lost income. So he’s staying home and caring for the home and their child, and she’s working. Guess what? They both resent the hell out of each other. She has lost respect for him, because he’s not working, and because she doesn’t feel like a woman in this roll. He doesn’t feel like she respects what he does around the house, and wants to be accepted and loved for who he is, not how much money he brings home. She doesn’t feel like he understands what she has given up and how hard she is working, and he feels just about the same.
Whatever happened to teamwork? To being a team in a marriage? To supporting each other, no matter what? To “for better or for worse”? The couple doesn’t sit close to each other, doesn’t sleep in the same bed, and I get the feeling they don’t talk to each other much. I would hate to think that this could be the majority of marriages in America. That so many marriages might be based on such a flimsy foundation, that a change in circumstances could derail their marriage to such a severe extent.
When Ted was out of work, I didn’t think any less of him. I will admit to being a bit jealous when Maya was a baby, and he was home working on his dissertation, and was thus able to spend more time with her than I was. I suspect that at that same time, he was probably jealous of my ability to go to work and focus on my job, rather than the million distractions a baby bring into the equation. But we still loved and supported each other, and we made those decisions together. I respected him for all that he did with Maya, for what an amazing and wonderful father he was to her (and still is, of course). I wish this couple could come to such a place, where they respect each other again, without it having to be so much on her terms of what she expects from him financially.