My Wife & I Have Dreams That Are Hurting Our Marriage

My wife slaves for 10 hours a day to pay our bills while I sit home, ignore the laundry, and share our life with strangers.

Putting her family's needs above her own sets a good example for our 3-year-old daughter. It demonstrates that sacrifice is noble. However, it also creates tension in the house.

My wife's dream was to produce TV. But cervical cancer at age 20 caused her to drop out of college and into a steady succession of legal clerical jobs to pay her medical bills.

Why should she be the one to give up everything?

Not counting high school jobs, I've never been anything but a journalist -- a skillset that, these days, makes me only slightly more marketable alive than dead.

Because my wife so unflinchingly supports my struggle to continue earning as a writer, I recently made a concession to her. I interviewed for a high-paying position I didn't want that would have forced me to give up this blog and all my other writing.

I didn't get the job. But the thing is, I don't know whether I really would have taken it if I did. You see, I'm setting an example for our daughter, too: If you are lucky enough to figure out what you really want to do in life, never give up on it.

The problem is, I'm not sure if that's a good example anymore.

How do you know when it's time to sacrifice your dream for your relationship and family?

Image by Corey Levitan

love, marriage


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the4m... the4mutts

You know it's time, when your dream is hurting your life. If it's hurting your marriage, or interfering with LIVING to the fullest, you need to reevaluate.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

You have a family to support and you can't do that living on dreams.

Coles... Coles_mom

It comes down to what you and your wife agree on. I'm a stay at home mom and am willing to sacrifice every single luxury to continue that. My husband is one of those guys who keeps up with the Joneses and always wants the latest and greatest toys. Our marriage is a disaster. I haven't even had so much as a haircut in several years because he begrudges me every cent I spend. He wants me to work so he can live a fancy life. I'm willing to be homeless if it means being with my kids all the time. It's just a matter of time until he leaves me for someone else who has a high level job and a trust fund.

nonmember avatar j

I'm like your wife, the one left holding the bag because my spouses dreams also come before our family's needs. You know the only reason your still around is that after weighing out the cost of childcare and alimony its just cheaper and easier to keep you until the kids are older.

Bruic... Bruickson

One of the harshest lessons I've learned in life is that being an adult BLOWS.

nonmember avatar DSH

Maybe the lesson you're teaching your daughter is to let a man take advantage of her and to sacrifice her own dreams for a man.

nonmember avatar Suzanne

Yeah. My first husband was like that. I had to drop out of school to work when my first son was born with medical issues. I spent 10 years working my butt off while he pursued a variety of dreams, none of which panned out (and ignored all housework). I finally got sick if it and left. He's still off farting around feeling very sorry for himself (he was furious when I was no longer willing to support and clean up after him), but I'm in a much better spot with a new husband that's willing to sacrifice to support our family. That's the example that I want for my kids. You don't have to give up your dreams entirely, but once you grow up and have a family they come second to getting off your butt and doing whatever it takes.

cinna... cinnamon.spice

Wow. So your wife works her ass off while you sit at home and do nothing? So you can't have a full time job and do journalism in your free time? You are a pathetic excuse for a man and your wife probably deserves better. I am stuck in the same situation as your wife, only my husband is disabled so he has a legitimate excuse. You are a terrible husband.

nonmember avatar Annoyed

When we found our first son was coming my husband and his best friend had a conversation about two incomes vs. one income and all that jazz. My husband was in the yow income camp while his friend said he wanted his future wife to stay with the kids. 6 years later it's a complete 180. I ended up having complications due to the high stress job I had (Exc. Asst.) and almost lost my son so hubby said enough and I've been at home ever since. The best friend ended up getting married and they are the keep up with the joneses type, up to their ears in debt and can't figure out how we can live with the luxuries we have and not be in debt but when we explain it's because we look for deals and don't buy new things just to buy them. If my kids are in designer names it's cause they are hand me downs not off the rack at neimans. Want an iPad go to Craigslist not best buy. We paid less for the 4 iPads we own than the one they got brand new.

The guy in this article is killing his marriage because he can't seem to let go of the fact his dream is just a dream and it's time to wake up.

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