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Volunteer or Career: When Your Spouse Chimes In

I love my husband, but sometimes I want to smack him! I wrote a post a while ago about my struggle regarding whether I should get a job after our PCS in July. I struggle with this as a wife, mother, and professional. About a week after I wrote that post I decided NOT to get a job. I quickly became involved in multiple volunteer activities and have enjoyed each and every one of them. Plus, I get to go to the gym a few times a week while the kids are in school.

So last night I was balancing the checkbook and paying bills and when I looked at my husband’s LES I was very surprised. Since we now live on post we don’t get BAH, which is a nominal amount of money that is no longer in our pocket. Plus we haven’t sold our house in PA, so that’s another chunk of money we are “missing.” I told my husband what his take-home pay was now and his response was: “You need to get a job.”

My immediate response to that was: “I’ve tried. No one wants to hire me.”

DH: I thought you wanted to work?

Me: I DID! But I decided to volunteer since I can’t get a job. If money is such an issue, I’ll go get whatever I can find that has nothing to do with my heard-earned master’s degree and be miserable.”

DH: That’s not what I meant.

I sat there stewing. I was hurt and angry. Not just with DH, but because I have applied for numerous jobs within my field and I have either been rejected or had no response. Not even an interview. If I could get a part time job, I would be happy. I have no interest in working full time now that I have committed myself to other volunteer activities. For any one out there that has been through this, you know how frustrating job-hunting can be!

Suddenly, my husband asked me about some of my professional qualifications. Then he asked me a few other questions and I realized he was searching for jobs on the internet for me. In theory, this was nice of him. In reality, I felt even more pressured to get a job. He asked about another job he found and I said, “I don’t meet those qualifications. And I said I don’t want to work full time.” He replies with: “FINE! I won’t help you look for jobs!”

Ummmmmmm……. I don’t recall asking for his help!!! (I kept this thought in my head… did not scream it like my emotional brain wanted to).

DH apologized later and said he was fine with my not working. He was worried about money. I told him we have survived on less than his current income in the past and reminded him we have a healthy savings account, if needed. But I was still hurt and frustrated… no longer angry.

So this afternoon I went to the gym to attend the Body Pump class (which I LOVE) and it was canceled. I proceeded to work out any way with great vigor in order to relieve my stress and frustration. It helped. I feel better… but I could sure use a nap!

And I DO love my husband…

About Joan D'Arc

Joan D'Arc has been an Army spouse since 1997. She started her marriage as a geographical bachelorette and experienced her husband's first deployment before their first wedding anniversary. Since then, she has had two beautiful children who amaze her (and frustrate her) every day. Joan fought her way through graduate school and is now a Licensed Social Worker. Joan enjoys volunteering with Soldiers' Angels and giving back to the military community in any way possible. Joan feels very blessed to be an Army spouse and wouldn't trade this life for anything!

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