Job Hunt Marriage Pain…Does It Have to Be That Way?
My wife’s a lovely lady. You got to meet her. Today we visited the dean at the high school my daughter will attend this fall. Now you have to picture my wife. You get her talking about any one of our three daughters (one of her favorite topics in the world) and she’s on a role. You want details. She has them. You have to realize, she goes way back with these folks.
I wasn’t able to get a word in during today’s meeting, but then again, I was having fun watching and listening to her storytelling. My wife explained how tutoring improved her reading, how her older sister’s getting along since graduating (she attended the same school), and how our oldest one is preparing for her upcoming college graduation. (She graduates in two months. Wow! How time flies.)
When she talks about our girls, she lights up. The storyteller in her unwinds and even though I know how the story turns out (they’re my kids too you know), I can’t get enough of it.
My renewed attitude surprises me. It wasn’t always like this. When we met, my wife’s storytelling made her a super date, an interesting companion and a person I could chitchat with for hours. Next to her eyes and particularly well formed backside, it’s one the things I love most about her.
It was also something that later in our relationship caused me some trouble. It wasn’t so much anything she did. It’s how I opted to respond to it. I remember cringing a bit when she got too conversational. In professional settings like this morning, I’d be concerned about the other person’s time. “Did they have things to do or other meetings to attend?” My response then could be simple impatience, but it could also be cutting her off by steering the conversation towards where it “officially” needed to go. I’d leave her mid-sentence, mid-story, where ever. I definitely her severely unappreciated by this a clueless husband. Not good.
In hindsight, I figured out the problem. I realized the problem had nothing to do with her. It’s that I wanted her to be more like me. Since I, of course, have all the answers, she’d be better off following my example. (I’m fairly gifted in so many ways…right!) I guess you could say I was a sort of arrogant bastard (sorry Mom). Fortunately, I’ve learned a little bit over the years. I’ve mellowed out some and seen that being like me is probably not what I want out of her anyway.
So what’s this have to do with getting a job and keeping your career on track? Well, I have found (maybe you have too) that during my job hunt or when I’ve been less than satisfied with my career, I lack patience. Things I might otherwise appreciate or pleasantly tolerate during less stressful times (like the interesting way she forgets to give me her ATM receipts), don’t seem nearly as endearing.
In a nutshell, the differences that brought us together become the qualities that pull us apart.
I remember a job hunter and his wife whose differences became apparent during his search. He’s a laid back and easygoing. He’s an optimist who brings that disposition to his job hunting. His wife is a bit more intense and results oriented. She was eager to get this job hunt over with soon so they could return to the security of a steady paycheck.
I could feel tension when I spoke with him. I could see her asking him about his job hunt A LOT. “How many contacts did you call today? Did you get return phone calls?” (Guys call that nagging.) The differences in their slants became very apparent.
Now we all have our ways. We come from different places and different upbringings. At some point, our journey intersects with someone else and it’s at that point when we must decide to either accept or not accept them. If we’re marry to someone, we’ve already decided to accept them. It’s a bygone conclusino. It’s in the past. The real job then is to get on with the tough part which is taking actions supporting that decision.
In my example, I had some choices to make. I could be disrespectful in front of others and prevent her from being her true self. I could let her be and quietly simmer inside hoping she’ll someday “come to her senses.” (Take a look at my Love Dare article where I talk about the causes for this inner simmering and angst.)
What I could also decide was to cherish her exactly as she came from the factory. I could be completely and sincerely let her be.
You know what? I can also take another step. I can appreciate, enjoy and even fall in love with her all the more because of her unique individuality and grow in my intimacy with her. This is a very interesting option.
My wife and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. I’m signed up for another 25 and I think she is too. I’m looking forward to the adventure that follows where I can allow her to spread her wings as she wishes to do so and let her become not so much the person I want her to become, but the person her creator wants her to be. I’m sure he has a better plan than than I do.
Hope this helps.