A Second Job Pays Unexpected Dividends

Posted: May 31, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , ,

Tonight will be my last night working at Macy’s.  I started the job last summer and didn’t know the significance of it at the time.  I get paid through the summer from my teaching job and I have usually taken summers off.  I’m not motivated by money, and most of the time, I’m not one of those people who works too many hours and doesn’t spend time with his family.

My wife and I haven’t been good with money management for most of our marriage and we used to get ourselves into a lot of debt and then try to figure out a way to get ourselves out.  I have worked as many as three jobs at a time before, and my wife has taken on extra jobs many times, as well. 

It’s one thing to work extra hours or take a second job because you’re saving for a vacation, or trying to get your mortgage paid down.  There’s a built in motivation in that you are looking forward to the end result of your work. It’s quite another to do it because it’s the only way you can keep the creditors off your backs.  In those cases, it’s usually just drudgery and there isn’t necessarily an end in sight.

Here’s the dynamic in all this that I didn’t really understand.  A woman values and needs security from her man.  Financial security is a big part of that, but here’s the important part.  It’s her perception of security that’s important, not the man’s.  If she doesn’t feel secure, she’s not secure.  It’s as simple as that. 

Several times during our marriage, my wife would go out and get a second job because, in her mind, we needed the money.  In my mind, we didn’t.  Of course, as I’ve stated openly and repeatedly in this blog, I tended to be lazy and not deal with problems.  I would look at our finances and say, “No big deal. We’ll be fine.”  My wife would look at them and say, “We need more money to pay the bills.”  She would start going through the classifieds looking for a part-time job, and I would let her.

It wasn’t until quite a while after I got the job at Macy’s this past summer that I found out that my wife carried a great deal of resentment over the fact that she had sometimes worked a second job while I hadn’t.  I didn’t even realize that getting this job was an act of restoration, but she told me later that it meant a great deal to her that I was the one taking that step.  She repeated the affirmation of how much she appreciated the fact that I was willing to take on the extra work several times and it made me very glad that I had done it.

The original plan was that I would work there through the summer, but when school started, I would either quit or finish up soon after.  When school did start and we were back together, I used the fact that she was proud of me and the reality that the separation had messed up our finances to motivate me took stick it out for a while.  It became, “I’ll stay until Thanksgiving,” and then, “I’ll stay through the holidays,” and so on it went.  We used the extra money to pay for travel on the restoration tour, and it really did make some things possible that wouldn’t have been otherwise. 

At the same time, there was the fact that we didn’t really need the money, and more and more, my wife just wanted me home.  I wanted to make sure I stayed long enough to do the things we wanted to do, but not so long that it became a negative aspect of our relationship.  In the end, I decided that with school ending, and this being the summer of restoration, it was time to move on.  We have big plans for this summer culminating on August 6, and we are going to spend the summer together.  It’s time to restore the time we lost last year, and that won’t happen while I’m at work.

  1. Eric R. says:

    I have been following your journey through the restoration tour and am very happy that things are turning out as they have. I enjoyed both you and your wife when we worked together way back when, and I am glad to see the happiness that is coming to your relationship now.

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