29 Mar

I apologize ahead of time for the jumbled mess I expect this post to be. I have a lot going through my mind.

Travis is frustrated with my job. It makes me feel like he’s frustrated with me, since I’m the one with the job that is frustrating him.

I don’t handle his frustration well. To me, the things he is frustrated over aren’t that big of a deal. So we have to add a shelf to the garage to store my equipment. So we can’t park the Pathfinder in the garage for 2 days because I need the Sequoia in there, to keep the $50K worth of equipment safe. So what?

The ways we’re different usually complement each other – he’s good at things I’m not good at and vice versa and it works out well for both of us. This is one of those instances, though, that the ways we’re different divide us and cause misunderstandings like there’s no tomorrow. I am not a question asker. Some people are just naturally inquisitive – they look at the sky and instead of saying “The sky is blue,” they ask “Why is the sky blue?” I am the person who states; Travis is the person who asks.

So when circumstances in my job have been different than what we expected – say, having to store equipment at our house or my having to be gone for an entire week for our races or my receiving $3K less than I had originally heard from D – I accept them as fact. I need to have the equipment at our house because I’ll be using it every weekend. I have to be gone for an entire week because they need me on site for race coordination. It’s ok to be paid a little less because money isn’t my priority and I will have a job I like.

I suspect that all of the unexpected things are making the expected things even harder for Travis to bear – things like my being gone most weekends during the summer, my having to work more than 40 hours a week, and my having to be available 24/7. He’s been making little comments here and there since I took this job and I didn’t realize how much or why they were upsetting me until today. He passes them off as jokes or “stating the facts” – but I know him well enough to know that they are neither. He is voicing his frustration indirectly. And because his frustration is caused by my job, I feel like I am the source of his frustration.

Travis told me tonight that he feels like this job is asking for a lot of sacrifices from me and not giving anything back. Just a few minutes ago, he walked into the bedroom and asked if I was working, since he saw me on my laptop. When I don’t exercise one day, it’s because this job is taking over my life. When I don’t cook dinner, it’s because of the job. When I answer the phone at 7 AM, I’m working too hard. When I check email on a Saturday morning, I’m becoming obsessed. When I can’t run an errand one day during normal work hours, the job is too demanding. When I am still working when Travis gets home from class, the job is asking too much. When I have to park the work car in the garage and the Pathfinder has to go on the street, it’s absolutely ridiculous what my job asks of me.

I agree that this job has come with a lot more sacrifices than my previous one. But we knew that before I took the job and I feel like my hands are tied on a lot of this. I guess that is precisely the mentality that is causing this distress between us. I view these changes as necessary to the job – this is what the job is calling for, and therefore, what I have to do. If I want the job, I have to do it this way. Duty calls, so to speak. So when changes come up, I accept them as fact, before consulting Travis – because in my view, these aren’t negotiable. They are what they are. If there is equipment to store in my garage, I will store the equipment in my garage.

Travis, on the other hand, views these changes as negotiable. Everything is negotiable to him. Well, maybe they are when you think to ask questions and dive into specifics on the spot, right at the time the decision is being made. But when you’re like me, and you’ve already agreed to things without asking questions, it’s a little harder to put your foot down. To sum it up, I commit without asking and Travis gets mad.

I can understand why he’s mad, in some ways. He is the man of the household and as much as my feminist girlpower independent rebel wants to come out and say “Screw him, he can get over it, I can make my own freakin’ decisions,” I want to be a godly woman in this situation. I want to submit to my husband and to respect his emotions, because they are real. I can see that my not consulting Travis could feel, to him, like I am disrespecting him and not caring what he thinks about anything. That is totally not my intention. I do care what he thinks – I just haven’t consulted him because I didn’t think there was anything to discuss.

I feel defeated by Travis, by my job, by life. “Ok, you got me to feel like crap. Happy?” I feel like Travis isholding everything he’s frustrated by against me – that he is no longer frustrated by my job – he is frustrated by ME. That when he looks at me, he sees the source of his frustration. That everything I do proves his point. I asked him tonight if he wants me to quit. He hesitated and then said “No” in a tone that said “Of course not, how could you possibly think that?” But I don’t buy it. I think that was a lie.

Which makes me wonder many questions. What is so different about this job than any other? Why does Travis care so much? Is he worried about our marriage? Did he not want me to take the job in the first place? Is he jealous for some reason? Does he not like me traveling? Why are these such big sacrifices for him? Is he scared that I’ll end up working and doing nothing else? Does he not trust me? Is he mad at me for something I don’t know about? Is he bitter at me for accepting the job without talking about it with him again? Why can’t he forgive me for that? What can I do to make things better? Am I unknowingly making things worse?

I do know one thing though – if things in our marriage don’t improve, I will seriously consider quitting this job. I am committed to my husband and he has to be my number 1 priority. Even if I really like this job and think that Travis is being unreasonable, if this causes too much strain on our marriage, the job isn’t worth it.

I also know that without Travis’ support behind me (which I don’t feel like I have right now), being gone and having such weird hours is going to be really hard – perhaps unbearable. I don’t want our marriage to suffer because of this – if I had thought it would when I was offered the job, I would not have accepted it. I thought that a little time apart would be good for me and Travis, since we’ve had oodles of time together since we’ve been married. But if Travis isn’t supportive of this job, it isn’t going to be good for our marriage.

All of this uncertainty, stress and struggle also makes me wonder, if this is the way things are going to be, why did God lead me down this path if this is what was in store for us? Why let me change jobs if this was going to be the result all along? Why this?

To which I know God replies, “Trust Me.”

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