I have a job I love in management at a new public library in my home town. I don't make a ton, but cost of living is very low and I do earn what I would as a teacher (I'm also qualified for that). Also, the stress is non-existent. I am engaged in the community and really feel that I make a difference on a daily basis. There is one position above me for promotion, which will likely not open up for a long time but would be mine without question due to my long tenure when the vacancy does open. That position does pay well for this area.
My wife moved here after several years of long distance throughout university, largely because we have fantastic family support here that really did make the transition easier. However, my wife is very much an executive type personality and has had a rough time finding a job she enjoys in the area. She did have a job in a call center which covered all of our expenses, but she disliked it so much that she gave it up for other jobs that paid less.
She did eventually find a job she enjoyed in retail management about 45 minutes away, but had her salary cut after her company was purchased. She was then offered a promotion to compensate. This job pays well, but requires her to travel a lot and is covering neither her car nor her gasoline. I expect she will put 100,000 miles a year on her car.
The thing that boggles my mind is that she loves this job (she is a corporate trainer for a subsidy of one of the large cellular companies), even though it keeps her on the road four hours a day and is not sustainable because of travel costs. She is hoping to obtain a raise after she has worked there for a year, and perhaps make the jump to Corporate where she could have a stationary job in one of the metropolitan areas to which she is already traveling.
That is all fine and well, but I would have to give up my position that I love and probably seek employment in a metro school. I'm very much a quiet, small town person. Cities stress me out, and I have heard that those inner city schools have a retention rate for teachers at around 50% at a 3 year mark. I could seek employment in a library, but I would probably first need to obtain a Master's degree, and even then those jobs are highly competitive.
I'm very hesitant to move because of all this. Even if she secures a raise and I were to get a job in my field, cost of living would be much higher, and we would have to seriously look at child care costs when the time comes to start a family. Not to mention that my current job would allow me a flexible enough schedule to pick the children up from school, be home to cook dinner, etc. I am also sure she could obtain a job in her field within reasonable distance and make enough for us to live comfortably where we currently are. I just think she is attracted to the thought of climbing a corporate ladder.
Am I being unreasonable? There seems to be more at risk in leaving than we would potentially gain. I love my wife, but my gut is telling me to stay put.
Let me just say that, since everyone on this site is so concerned about what is / isn't manly, that I believe in all honesty that what would you did is indeed very manly. To be able to look at a situation objectively and measure the overall pros and cons for the whole family (rather than just yourself) and to make a decision that puts you in a non-traditional gender role that is logically sound yet so emotionally volatile takes major balls and I salute you for it.
Thanks for that.
Yes, StaggerLee this is a prime example of how a real man deals with things. Logical and with honourable self sacrifice for the better good. Thanks for sharing this. I respect you for it. You are a good man indeed.
Back to the original post. This may seem somewhat of a dilemma at the moment, however, what I would suggest vsound is thinking about your own personal future employment alternatives. Widen your thinking about that aspect and build upon the thought processes you already have undertaken.
Gather together further thoughts and discuss these with your good lady wife. I wish you luck.
I second this. To even think about what you are willing to give up is in fact very manly. I also would like to second what Stagger Lee said being that Self Sacrifice is a very hard way of life.
To be honest in response to the original poster, I think not being the bread winner is one of the hardest things I would face in my life. My mom is the bread winner of my family and even though my Dad did work and is a vet, my Mom does everything. Her side of the family is highly matriarchal and ones that do have husbands are the breadwinners and the husbands do very little. When I see how hard my Mom works it breaks me to a point because she carries the world, and I know it may be old fashioned but that is a heavy burden. My Dad does pay for things. but these days it's barely enough. So I swore to my mother, not out of ego or envy that the back breaking cross will be on my shoulders. This is why I am glad OP is having this conversation before kids, but I also want him and his wife to leave both egos at the door. Because when kids do come what happens trickles down to them. I don't know the background of the OP's Family so I am not sure if there is a Faith life there. An option that I know in my relationship we would consider is that Full time for each until kids come, then one full time one part time because kids are a full time deal you know.
I just wanted to give everyone an update about what has transpired since I posted this thread and received such great advice from so many of you:
I was curious about the job market for librarians in one of the areas my wife is currently commuting to (she covers two back and forth). I called my friend who is a Director in this area, and in a twist of fate he offered me the same job I have here for actually a little more pay.
This brought on a very serious discussion about what my wife and I both want out of life (advice I received from many of you, as well as my parents). Because my wife would still be traveling, she said I should not take the job as we would come out worse because of cost of living.
To make a long story short, we were able to determine that my wife enjoys the training part of her job rather than the retail end, and we discovered she would love to change her career to Education. We plan for her to obtain her teacher's certification within the year.
As a teacher, she will be able to find employment here. We will most likely build on the family farm, so I will be able to watch after my aging grandparents and, eventually, parents. And I will be able to keep the job I love in the community I love.
I just wanted to thank you all again. This is my first time here and you all proved this community is of the highest caliber.
Genuinely happy for you that things are running in your favor.
This is wonderful. I'm so glad that you have been able to find a mutually acceptable way forward. I wish you every happiness for the future.