For Better or For Worse

Not too long ago, I was reading a post on Rene’s site, Good Enough Mother, and I started thinking. See, this post was part of her series Ask Rene and someone wrote in asking bitching and moaning to her about a job situation with her husband.  The GEM reader ‘s husband lost his job during the financial crisis we’ve all had to weather. Because of his job loss, their finances were decimated and, when he finally got a new job,  it paid significantly less and made him miserable. The reader’s husband was offered a promotion and a significant raise but he would still be doing the job that made him miserable. The GEM reader was consumed with anger at her husband over not taking the promotion. Her anger consumed her to the point that she was afraid her marriage would fall apart.

On the surface, you might think “Suck it up, man. Do what you need to support your family.” But, the job was affecting him so badly that his health was suffering. His weight was up. He was having blood pressure issues. The GEM reader was putting financial niceties above the health and  possibly even the life of her husband.

All I could think was, “You superficial, shallow bitch.” I had absolutely no sympathy for the reader and I was cheering as I read Rene’s response. You see, I’ve been in that reader’s shoes. I was faced with the choice of a more secure financial outlook or my husband’s life. I chose my husband’s life and mental health…and, I’d make the same choice again and again and again.

Despite the fact that Vic is one of the hardest working men I know, we’ve been struggling financially for a long time. Right about the time the national financial crisis happened, Vic suffered an injury that ended his career as a firefighter. To make a long story a bit shorter, his workman’s comp lawyer fucked up royally and our financial stability was devastated. Vic worked for a while as a 911 dispatcher and we thought we found the light at the end of our financial tunnel when Vic was hired as the 911 director in an adjacent town. The first 2  years were good and our finances were finally stabilizing. Vic was damned good at his job. But, because of personnel issues (flaky, micromanaging incompetence in the administration), the job was far more stressful than it should have been. In fact, it was so stressful that Vic’s diabetes spiraled out of control. Even with his insulin and following the diet that he should, Vic couldn’t keep his blood sugar down and readings in the high 200s were not uncommon. Vic and I were seriously afraid that one day he just wouldn’t make it home from the job. We decided he’d step down, take the pay cut, and, hopefully, get a chance to grow old together. I’ve never been as proud of him as I was the day we made that decision. Stepping down went against every fiber of his type-A personality…but, he put the family first.

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I love my old hippy and I’d rather have him around for the next fifty years and struggle a bit financially. Finances can  change. Death can’t. Peace out.

 

4 Responses to For Better or For Worse
  1. Lori Lavender Luz
    February 25, 2013 | 3:05 pm

    I tend to agree with you. If a job saps the life out of you, what good is $$?

    Health and wellness to you and Vic.
    Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Perfect Moment Monday: Arms vs handsMy Profile

  2. Justine
    February 26, 2013 | 2:56 am

    I got an email something to this effect from the Universe this morning. You’re right; there are so many things that don’t matter. And so few that really, really do … that we should hold tight to those ones that do matter. Thank you for this.
    Justine recently posted..You Are HereMy Profile

  3. Bree
    February 26, 2013 | 4:45 am

    I would have to agree as well…..what good is the $$ if you’re not around to enjoy it?!?!

    Happy ICLW #30 🙂
    Bree recently posted..Energy Efficient…My Profile

  4. Mrs. Gamgee
    March 5, 2013 | 11:10 am

    We’ve struggled too in the past few years, but I would so rather have my Beloved in a job he enjoys and finds fulfilling, that maybe pays a little less than have him in a job that is killing him physically and emotionally.
    Mrs. Gamgee recently posted..Twenty Questions… PAIL StyleMy Profile

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