Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Is Work That Important
The same damn question keeps plaguing my marriage over and over again. "Why do you spend more time at work than you do with me." I admit that I do spend more time in work mode then I do in husband mode but I just don't know any other way to be.
These kids have to know that I am the hammer. They need to fear my power, respect my authority, and trust everything that I tell them. At the same time they should feel they can trust me with their problems, fears, and anything they might want to share. Those are my job duties and building up enough rapport for these kids to trust and fear me like that is not something that's easy to do and I can't accomplish it just working eight to five.
At work I communicate in all different kinds of ways like chit chatting, showing emotion, showing interest, providing feedback, stating how I feel, showing appreciation, listening to both sides, being expressive, being meaningful, and being able to evaluate things without jumping to conclusions. So knowing that I can communicate in all these ways, why is it that when I am asked if the jeans look good on her I stand there dumb founded like I don't even know what jeans are? At work, I am never satisfied with an average performance, but at home I usually am and then I fall asleep.
So why do I not put in the same effort in our relationship, the quick and obvious explanation is that I take my wife for granted and know that she is going to always be there when I need her. In fact, that very sense of security is what I treasure most about our marriage. There are some other reasons why I put more time and effort into my work than I do into my marriage. One of those is that I want to be that man: I am competing against lots of other people for jobs, for raises, for respect and my competitive nature drives me to want to be the best out of all the others. Another one is that to me not working equals weakness: the sociologist Warren Farrell has written that men see that career success is a measure of their personal worth and I want to feel that I have accomplished something with my life.
In closing I am sorry that I do not spend enough time at home or put enough effort into our marriage but it is not because I don't love my wife. It is just because I am driven to be something more than I am now.