This is the journey of one control freak wife and one gentle spirited husband as they seek to balance their

roles in their home
and bring an extra measure of joy to their already happy marriage.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

mountain top highs and valley lows

Whenever you are on a mountain top the view is always spectacular. Unfortunately, the downside is that the only thing left to do is come back down. Most of the time you get to walk back down the path and revisit all the lovely spots you found on the way up.  It is gentle.  Occasionally though you trip on the way back down and tumble all the way to the bottom - bruised and broken.  Even more rarely, you get tossed down the mountain, and all you can do is pray that you don't die.

What led to this dramatic analogy?  Our business and home worlds have collided for the first time since starting dd.  

Wednesday night after Steve got home from his billiards match, he approached me to say that two of his friends had asked him about going on a four day fishing trip next week and that he wanted the time off to go.  "Steve, that is a business question, not a home question. May we please wait to discuss it when we get to work tomorrow?"  "Sure."

Thursday morning came, and we were sitting in the office.  "So, do you think you can do without me next week?"    "We've got a lot of stuff going on this week and next. Some of it is crucial to our business.  Did you forget that G is already scheduled to be off Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week? It's going to be pretty stressful for me already."  [After me, G is probably the most important person in our business in terms of abilities and responsibilities.] "Yeh, I remembered, but I thought you might be able to do without me too."    "I'm just now getting to the point where I'm not being crushed by the anxiety of the last six months, I'm not excited by the prospect of being saddled with trying to take care of all of these crucial business matters and dealing with all of the home stuff by myself."  "It's just that I really wanted to go."   "I understand that, it would have been fun, but there is also the issue of finances. You know we really don't have the money to spare right now."  "Yeh, you're right.  I'll let them know it just isn't good timing right now." 
Prior to dd, I would have just told him no. Although I still had the right and authority to just tell him no, I felt it important to discuss the issue and help him come to the conclusion himself.

If only that was the end of the story, but I have spent the last two days dealing with Steve pouting about it.  I just don't have patience for that.  Two of our children are pouters; I can't stand it with them. I certainly can't stand it with a grown-ass man.  It has affected him as HoH as well.  He's turned back into a non-commital weenie. 

I can't even begin to express just how much it is pissing me off! Although my dad was an abusive parent, he was and is an incredibly hard-working man. A solid work ethic is the one good thing I inherited from him.  Work is something Steve tolerates when he has to.  I have asked him for years to go find a job somewhere else so that I don't have to be his boss, and so all our financial eggs aren't in one basket. It has never happened.  He's always been too insecure.  One of my main reasons for seeking out a dd relationship was because despite the fact that I love my husband fiercely, I was getting tired of feeling like the only adult in the family. I could tell that the pressure was going to either put me in the loony bin, or I was going to end up resenting him to the point of it ruining our relationship. I was so excited to see his development, and now I'm dealing with this crap!

What really makes my blood boil is that I had to recently cancel a trip to the Grand Canyon that I had planned for two years for my 40th birthday.  It was something that was on my bucket list.  However, about a week before the trip some things happened that would have made it incredibly irresponsible of me to go, so I had to cancel.  Was I disappointed? Hell yeah!!!!  Did I pout about it and make the people around me miserable?  Hell no!!!!  Sometimes that is the way life works.  I'm just trusting that God will give me another opportunity down the road.

I would normally chew him out in a situation like this, but that was the old us. So here I sit on the computer at 3:00 in the morning venting to you guys, while I hold my tongue and figure out how J the wife gets her HoH back.  I haven't been spanked or had sex since Tuesday night and three days is a long time for me. J the wife is being neglected because J the boss has apparently tossed Steve down the mountain.  :-(


  1. JW, this is sooo tough! I have had my husband work for me. I just hated it. If you are the boss, you have to make the decisions. That's your job and your responsibility, even if it means saying no to him. It just makes things so very complicated. I think you were smart to try to clearly separate out work issues with home issues, but now it is carrying into the home.

    I wonder of you could talk to him about the work/home conflict in general, the complicated flipped power exchange? Then his change of demeanor after you pointed out that fishing was not an option right now? I don't know, perhaps also how he handled the "no" vs how you handled it with your trip. I think I would want to, might need to, bc I would have a hard time feeling respect for how he is handling himself, as you are right now. TTWD is about standards for behaviors, and both partners have those high standards to live up to. We are never going to be prefect, either of us, but we do need to try to push ourselves and to grow.

    Which brings up another issue. How much do you say about how you feel? Silence is easier, but in the end I usually end up having to say it, bc the feelings come out one way or another, and not saying it does truly eventually erode respect. Honesty is truly not an easy thing. are clearly pretty angry now, and choosing words carefully will be important. Important in terms of not being disrespectful in your delivery, and important in terms of not causing too much hurt. If it were me I would write him an email, wait, edit, and then send. When we were both ready we would talk from there. Sometimes, if issues are tricky, we email back and forth for a bit. I don't know if that would work for you, but it has for us.

    I wish you luck with this and hope it resolves soon! Sara

  2. You did not throw him down the mountain. He's throwing himself down the mountain. You should tell him what you need. Doesn't have to be disrespectul or be an argument. You're adults, so discuss it like adults. Tell him!!!

  3. I'm glad I don't have to deal with this kind of conflicting situation. I don't know how you can handle this being sub to him at home and boss of the same him in the office. It's really important that he should get a different job.

    This kind of thing is one reason I would never split my life up with regard to relationships in this way. I'm the boss at home and no way would I work for my wife, however capable she might be. And I'm not a very dominant man, either. From this post, one could draw the conclusion that he doesn't really relish the job of HoH and is half-hearted about it.

    Sara is trying to be hopeful, and I would be very interested to know how this gets resolved, as resolution of such a situation is something I cannot envisage.

    Sorry this isn't helpful - just counter-venting!

  4. Thank you for your is always helpful.

    Sara and Kelly - I do normally tell him how I feel, but this time I did hold back because I did not want to take the lead in resolving this. Once he turned it into a home problem by being withdrawn and pouty, I felt like it was his job to fix it. He did finally come talk to me this afternoon and apologized for his behavior. We're back on track.

    Malcolm - It is a tough dynamic, but overall it works. Normally, we have a great partnership at the business. It is rare that I have to take the role of boss with him. Even this time I didn't tell him no. The post was an abbreviated version of a lengthy conversation. I laid out the facts and he came to the conclusion that it was a bad idea right now. Even if he was working somewhere else,I still would have dealt with him pouting and being withdrawn at home. He just hasn't figured out how to handle disappointment. Considering he's 42, he may never figure it out. The only reason I wish he worked somewhere else is so all of our finances aren't in one basket. It was a pretty nasty post because the pouting was very irritating to me. Overall he is doing pretty well with being the HoH especially when you consider he has never taken the lead in anything prior to this.