Countdown – less than three months until Jake and I get hitched! The invitations are in production now and should be here in two weeks. This is really happening! But, this isn’t about that. It’s actually just a quick something that Jake said to me the other day that I wanted to get your take on.
Jake said that while he tells me sometimes (not frequently, but not infrequently either) how important it is that I support his decisions. Whenever he is stressed about something, he always asks if he has my support. Sometimes this is emotional, like when he was scared to leave his job to start his own company. Sometimes it is financial – now that he doesn’t make a salary, sometimes he can’t predict his income and isn’t sure he’ll get paid by a client in time to pay one of our bills. Whatever he asks for, I always give it, of course!
But…he says that I never really tell him that I need his support.
Which I don’t think is strictly true – I ask his advice about things all the time, or tell him that I need a hug after a rough day. When I moved to his city to live with him and had no job, I was a complete basket case and needed both financial and emotional support for about three months until I started working. But then, that was four years ago.
Lately, he’s right. I don’t really come to him for support very often (maybe a tenth as often as he comes to me). I have a job that I do well, where everyone loves me, and for that I receive a predictable paycheck and fantastic benefits. The woman who had my job before me had it over 30 years, so it’s a stable job as well. I have a budget that enables me to pay all my bills (though it’s a stretch sometime). Meanwhile, he is winding down his involvement with the startup that he left his job for and starting another (one of the partners in the first startup was too difficult to work with, but it was her company originally so it’s complicated). He is owed thousands of dollars in backpay that his clients either haven’t gotten around to giving him or are trying to get him to write off.
In short, he has taken a lot of risks in the past year, and I have been holding steady. Which was the agreement – that we both shouldn’t change our whole lives up at once, and that if there was something adventurous I wanted to do/change about my life, I could do so once he was steady-as-she-goes with his new business. But does this dynamic affect his perception of himself as a man and provider?
On the one hand, I feel kind of like it’s important for a woman to make her man feel needed. On the other hand, he is so busy/stressed with his new company that I would feel bad putting an emotional burden on him when it’s not even necessary. I honestly don’t have any stress in my life right now, and he has TONS of it. In fact, it’s so unequal that I feel guilty, like I can’t even mention how stable and happy everything is on my end. Plus, every time I have asked him recently to help me with something (usually a wedding-related task, these days), it ends up taking five times longer and being half as good than it would have if I’d just done it myself.
What’s a girl to do? Insight into the male psyche appreciated!