My Husband Makes More Than Me and I’m Okay With That… Most of the Time

I followed my husband to another country for his job. But what about my career?
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I decided I needed a walk. Ten minutes later, after a sweaty, hacking tour of our block I was back on the couch feeling downright sorry for myself. It was about then that things began to unhinge. A brief synopsis of my recent history—I’m thirty-two and three years ago I moved to LA to be with my boyfriend, now-husband, so he could pursue his career. After sorting out my not-so-simple visa issues (we’re both Canadian) I landed a job and cobbled a life for myself. All told, I like LA and my work leaves me time to write, a big plus.

Nonetheless, I struggled (and apparently still do sometimes) with feeling dependent on my man. Suffice to say, I make a pittance of what he does. And on occasion I have felt a little, well, “kept.” Note to self: Strep Throat does not help the bell jar effect.

On Sunday I woke up and had a good cry. And no, I wasn’t watching Grey’s reruns (remember when it used to be foolproof PMS catharsis?). Did I mention I was still popping Vicodin like pez?

Anyhoo, I proceeded to voice all of my marital concerns via BlackBerry Messenger to my best friend. It went like this:

“What if I secretly resent that I moved here for him and that he leads this exciting life of jetting off to shoots while I order more crap from Restoration Hardware for my boss and do dishes? I mean, how is this going to work when we have kids? Which I want to do soon, I’m not getting any younger, and then I’ll be left at home to raise them while he’s off filming Victoria Secret commercials or a reality TV Show about fire-eating, stripper housewives and I’ll be stuck wiping up baby puke!”

“How many days have you been on Vicodin?” she asked

“This is day five. ”

“Those are legitimate concerns,” she agreed. “Let’s talk about them when you feel better.”

I continued with rapid fire thumbs: “It’s just that I’m sitting here looking around thinking what a great interior decorating job I did on my cage. I need a ticket to Spain. I need to hit the road…”

To which my BF responded, “I’m ordering you to open the blinds and lay off the pills.”

Needless to say, the narcissistic neurosis eased up as I emerged from the infection fog and I’m reminded of the importance of perspective, an acetaminophen-free brain, and fresh air. As for whether all of my concerns about being an independent woman have been resolved, well, let’s just say I hope those Victoria Secret commercials afford us a babysitter. But I certainly do better when I remember that we’re building a life together, not competing for most autonomous and well paid. Besides, he’s often expressed that he’d happily play househusband to my career wife one day. Time will tell. If and when, I’ll have to remember to warn him to steer clear of the downers lest I wind up with a Mr. Robinson on my hands.

Emily Southwood is a freelance journalist. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, and blogs at I Married a Pornographer.


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