My Husband Won't Support My Dreams
Life is complicated. Thank goodness there are experts to help us untangle some of the vexing issues that, well, vex us on a daily basis. The Mouthy Housewives are here to help, three times a week. Today, the Housewives answer an exclusive BlogHerMoms question!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband is in the Army, and is currently living 1,800 miles away from me while he trains for his upcoming deployment. He's been gone almost a year, and we have one more to go. I know he's homesick and stressed, and I know being away from the kids is hard for him, but we've been having an issue lately I'm not sure how to handle.
I've been in the process of chasing a dream and starting my own business over the last year. It's been slow, tedious work, but I'm finally getting liftoff and gaining momentum. I've gotten a couple unexpected steps up lately, and each time I call and excitedly tell him about the good news, he pisses all over my joy. He'll get skeptical and cynical, and ask about the worst-case scenario, and offer a halfhearted, "Uh…well, congratulations…" It's heartbreaking.
At the same time, he gets upset because I'll post on Facebook and tell my friends before I call him. He works wonky hours, and I can't always reach him, and sometimes, good news just won't wait. I love him to death, but I just cannot handle his cynicism anymore, especially while I'm on the brink of doing something amazing and need his support and encouragement. I feel like I've spent our marriage following him around, supporting his career, and now that I'm about to embark on my own, he can't offer me the same encouragement. It makes me feel small and unimportant.
No Wind Beneath My Wings
Dear No Wind Beneath My Wings,
Clearly your problem is that you are way too motivated. I mean, it isn't enough for you to raise your kids and manage your house on your own while your husband is away? You have to go off and start a successful business!? My god, you are probably coming up with ways to fight terrorism while you fold laundry.
If you just loafed around, eating candy corns while watching "Bob Newhart" reruns, then you wouldn't be in this pickle, would you? Plus, all this "chasing a dream" nonsense is making us Mouthy Housewives look very lazy indeed and that is not something we take lightly.
But since you seem so intent on reaching your full potential, I'm going to try to help you. Have you expressed any of this upset to your husband? Because my husband is many things… a wonderful father, a huge sports fan, a lover of chicken but he has never, in 10 years together, been able to guess what I'm thinking. Men are not wired to pick up on subtle clues like deep, dramatic sighs or eye rolling over the phone.
Tell him clearly: "This dream is important to me. I need your support and encouragement. I feel like you are always knocking me down. I'm so excited about this business and I need you to be excited too. Can you do that for me?"
See how he reacts. If he still doesn't get it, make him watch Beaches and then sing Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" until he begs you to stop. That should do it.
I would also suggest that you start or join some kind of women's business networking group where you can connect with other entrepreneurs. This could be a good place to get the kind of support you need, as well as ideas to take your business further.
I can tell from your email that there is nothing small or unimportant about you. So go out there and kick some business butt. Just remember to send a small portion of your riches to The Mouthy Housewives so we can continue our slovenly ways.
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