Between Selfish and Supportive

 

A few weeks ago, N started a new job. And not just any job. He started the job. It’s a big step up and it’s a wonderful accomplishment and I’m so proud of him.

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But…(you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)

The hours are crazy long – 50-60 hour work weeks. This weekend he worked. Saturday and Sunday. Zero weekending was had by N. Meanwhile at home, Archie and I moped about, watched Harry Potter (and the Chamber of Secrets, in case you were wondering), went to Target (duh), played in the snow, cleaned, watched Beautiful Creatures (surprisingly good), and abused Pinterest (and in case you missed it, my blog resources board is stellar). Selfishly, I missed N the whole time. It’s no surprise that weekends our generally our time. I don’t need as much me time as I got this weekend. I really don’t.

This won’t be the first weekend I spend alone. In fact, it will happen more and more as N works his way up the ladder (so to speak). He’s proving himself. He is sacrificing his time now to be able to provide more financial stability for us in the future. Hell, to provide more stability now.

Right now I feel like I’m walking the line of being selfish and being supportive. We live in a completely regular apartment and aren’t really big spenders. We are content with that. We don’t want a big house. Buying a house isn’t really on the agenda for the next few years. If I never drive anything other than a used Honda, I’ll be a-okay. I’ll never own a handbag that costs more than $100 (I think the most I’ve ever paid is $30). And I’ll never value money over time.

So while I’m proud of him for making these sacrifices now, I jokingly remind him that I loved him when he was poor. That spending time with him is what is important. That when we have kids, I’d rather have him home in time for dinner. I’d rather have him be able to coach soccer and go on family walks and help with bath time.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’d rather have N be around more than be wealthy. I see value in being comfortable financially. In being secure. I’m just not willing to sacrifice life’s precious moments to have “all the best” things in life. Because the best things aren’t luxury cars and McMansions and investments and wealth.

The best thing is that feeling the moment he walks through the front door and your heart leaps out of your chest because you’re just so glad to see him. Because now your dingy little apartment feels so much more like home.

Since I work such amazing hours (11-6), I’m doing my best to be the best “house girlfriend” (ahem, my version of housewife) I can be. I’ve seen all of those blog posts out there “30 days of being a better wife” etc. I’m doing my own version of that. I’m going to do my best to make sure that when he is home that I am recognizing and thanking him for the sacrifices he is making for our future. I’m packing his lunches, ironing his shirts, and taking over more household chores. And the biggest thing? I’m going to try not to nag. Period.  He deserves the very best version of me and that’s what he’s going to get.

How’s that for a mushy start to Monday?

Linking up with Meg

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Today I’m excited to introduce you to Amber from Mr. Thomas and Me.

mr t and me

As someone who will make the leap in the next few years, reading Ambers post called Marriage Isn’t Our Everything was a wonderful and refreshing viewpoint. She was also brave enough to share her recent weight loss and decided that skinny doesn’t feel so good. Amber has a large tattoo on her arm and boldly shared the time when a random stranger told her she “ruined herself.” Amber’s response is the absolute best and most heartfelt explaination for getting a tattoo that I’ve ever read. Want to see more of Amber? You can follow her on Bloglovin or hit her up on Twitter.

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  • Oooh girl, this is my life. Arsen is the biggest workaholic in the world! He works non-stop. Nights, weekend, everything in between. Luckily he works from home about 90% of the time (if he’s not here he’s traveling out of state), so I get to see him in little spurts throughout the day. BUT, sometimes I feel a little lonely and want to be like “put down that laptop and come hang out with meeeee!!!” But I know he’s doing it for our family, so that Grayson has everything he needs out of life, and because he doesn’t ever, ever want to have to worry about money. I’m so thankful for everything he does…but yeah, sometimes it’s easy to feel a little selfish and “woe is me” about it 😉

  • I think as long as N is doing a job that he is passionate about you have to be supportive, even if he isn’t around as often. But if it’s just for money than it’s okay to prioritise your relationship, if that’s what important to you both. My man-love, Sam, had a stellar career movement and acted on some of the biggest and most well respected theatre stages in England. Which is his dream. And it’s amazing. And I can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to see him in Broadway equivalent shows. But that being said I was bummed out how rarely I saw him despite living together. He was working upwards of 60 hour weeks for nearly a year. We didn’t have a weekend together for 9 months. I felt extremely selfish for wanting him around more. But what I had to come to terms with is that his dream is a part of him, and when you’re in it for the long-haul you have to help each other accomplish your dreams. (The age-old relationship stereotyped saying of “so and so helped make me a better person.) It took awhile (and it’s still a bit hard) but you just have to make the most of the time you do have together! All the best, and I can always commiserate with you! xx

  • My boyfriend only has one day a week off, and his number one priority during that day is seeing his daughter (totally understandable). So I resonate with being somewhere between selfish and supportive–because sometimes I just want more than one day. But on the other hand, I hope you’ll find time to recognize the good that comes with the current situation for both of you–like you said: time to do your own projects/work/try new hobbies, financial stability, and most importantly it makes you appreciate that time together so much more. It takes some time to adjust to the new routine, but you’ll make it!

  • Congrats to him on starting that job but I understand where you are coming from! Mark went out on his own this summer and it has definitely been an adjustment but it also gave me some time to stay busy with my activities. It will make the time you have together even more valuable and you can think of fun things to do together! So refreshing to hear someone so grounded…thanks for this honest post!

  • Congrats to him for getting the job! I love your reminder to him that you loved him when he was poor. My husband just started a new job in August and it has him alternating weeks working 6am-6pm or 6pm-6am. One week out of every month he gets 7 days off in a row, but that’s if he doesn’t take the overtime pay. With the snowstorm yesterday he went in for the day shift and was asked to stay overnight and continue on to the day shift today…so 36 straight hours. I found myself feeling sad yesterday. It’s only been 4 months so we are all still getting used to the schedule (and I never know what day of the week it is anymore)…but I totally get what you mean about not needing this much time to yourself. I felt that yesterday. I’ve noticed something different in my husband since he started this new job though, which I’m sure you will see with N. There’s an element of pride (the good kind) that comes with knowing you are providing for your family, and I want to let my husband do that. I too am trying to do the same as you (as best I can anyway, I fail a lot) to be the best me I can give him when he is home.
    Also…Amber is a GEM! Love that girl! So real, funny and relatable.

  • I know exactly how you feel. My husband just started up a new law firm. In fact, today is the official “launch” day and he worked all weekend, including staying up until 5am last night. It’s tough for me because, as a wedding photographer, this is my slow season. After shooting a wedding nearly every weekend from May to November, this is the time of year I actually have a little time off and it’s tough to walk that link between selfish and supportive right now because I want to spend my time off with him! We both run our own businesses and we both have jobs that sometimes (or often) require us to work weekends in addition to the normal M-F week. But even with knowing that this type of schedule comes in waves and isn’t permanent, it’s still hard to adjust. Wishing you and N the best as you navigate this new aspect of the relationship. 🙂

  • LOVE this post!!! There have been quite a few times when my husband’s last minute work schedule has gotten in the way of something I’ve had planned or time I wanted to spend with him and I get really grumpy! Thanks for this perspective and reminding me that I need to be supporting that!

  • I love this so much. Christian is up and coming with his job and I love it and get so excited for him. But, I work a really weird schedule and we barely see each other as it is. He’s just been promoted and I know his hours are going to go up as well so it’s hard not to be selfish and wish he was around more. But, as you mentioned, by doing the work now, you guys are going to be so much more secure when kids do come around! And by that time he’ll also probably be established well so that he does get to stay home more! Wishing you guys the very, very best during this new time! and of course, congrats to N!!

  • This came at such a good time! I’ve been going back and forth in my head with the exact same thoughts lately, and only today I ended up where you are. S loves his job and loves that it helps us to start planning for our future, and my job isn’t to nag or complain. It’s to put on my big girl pants and remember that we’re together, building a life together, and we’re lucky to be able to do that. I’m making more of an effort to actually do something with my me-time as well, so hopefully I’ll stick to it Thank you for this, sending good thoughts your way 🙂

  • My husband and I definitely had a lot of conversations about how much money is worth it when it comes to time spent away from our little family (for my husband). It’s different for everyone, but I think it’s a super great idea to know where each of you stand on it! We have an amount of money we want to earn as a family, and anything over that is great, as long as it doesn’t require additional time at work or traveling for work. It sounds like you’re doing a much better job of being supportive than I ever did, though! I was definitely more selfish than supportive when Tim was working SUPER long hours.

  • Goodness I know exactly how you feel! My husband and I are going through the same thing. He works 12 hours a day then gets home and works on his Master’s degree all night. It’s not fun for any of us. It’s definitely been a huge adjustment for me since I am a “quality time” person but I have learned to just try and stay positive for the fact that he has a good job and is super ambitious. I mean it could be so much worse, he could be out at a bar all night (like some of my friends have to deal with) or doing other irresponsible things so I just try and remain thankful. Just know it for sure get easier!

  • I totally know how you feel. My guy is in the Air Force and just moved to a new base and his job is a little different. He leaves for four days at a time. While he’s gone, his job is easy and he really likes it. I’m happy that he loves his job, but it really sucks not being able to see him for four days at a time.

  • long hours of work in not new in my life. but it works for us for now. i have the same value with you about wealth.

    p.s : and yes, Beautiful Creatures is surprisingly good for me. I like the boy character.

  • These changes are always such a tricky balance between we and me. You’re golden for letting him step out and be a me ahead of the we right now (though the we is benefiting). It’s such a delicate transition that you’ve got to be so brave to take on… You’re doing it amazingly girl and he’s lucky to have you. And you to have him. And his drive and your independence and Archie’s sweet mug.

    Thank you for such a lovely month on your sidebar. Of course, I adored every moment. 🙂

  • For a long time, I worked retail which meant a lot of late nights and a lot of weekends. It was so hard because I felt like I was missing so much time with my husband. who worked the normal 8-5. But I stuck with it and it landed me a job I’m much more happier at. Best wishes that a better job comes along for your guy as well.

  • I can definitely relate. Having a significant other who is a physician means that I sometimes go days without even seeing him. It does make the time that we have together more precious though. And once he works his way up in the company, he may get more free time as a result.

  • Thank you for this post. My boyfriend works extra hours to show his commitment and hard work in hopes to move up in his job. He wants to be able to provide for us in the future, especially when we make that next step. It’s nice to read that I’m not the only one feeling a little selfish at times. 🙂

  • My boyfriend has recently started traveling for work and was gone last month for 9 days in a row! Since we live together it was WAY too much alone time for me, of course I made plans with friends but I was still so glad when he was home.

    Good luck coping with the new work schedule & I love your goal about being a better girlfriend.

  • My husband’s job isn’t a “career” or “vocation”–or whatever term you would use for his life passion and ultimate goal–but it’s a job, a good, stable one–one that means we spent very few nights together for the first year we were marriage (12 hr. night shifts) and very few holidays together, ever. I went to a Valentine’s Day party by myself when we’d just been married 2 months, and I think that was a pretty good introduction to me of what living with his schedule would be like! For me, being supportive means recognizing that if he leaves for work at 6 in the morning and doesn’t get home till 8:30 pm–don’t make extra demands on him for that day. If at all possible, I’ll get the driveway shoveled and I get dinner ready and don’t try to stress him out with super-serious intimate conversations when he’s been out. He does a good job of providing for our family, and that’s worth supporting. I don’t make his job all about “me”–that’s my theory of supporting him.

  • Gaggggggg – but no, I can just tell how much you love him (and him, you) and how much he means to you. Ya lovebirds, too cute!

  • Congrats to him! I know it’s certainly tough but hopefully the balance works out in time.

  • Ugh! Such a conundrum. I am like you where I value quality time over money. I don’t feel like any job is worth sacrificing precious time for family; particularly if those hours are wearing one thin. Personally, I could never work that many hours per week. I’m not built like that!! If you knew it was temporary that’s more manageable but If there really is no end in sight that is very hard. I think it’s fair to be supportive. Being upset about it to him won’t help matters because he is doing it for both of you but communicating about how you feel is of course very important. Weekends with my husband are so important to me too so I’m not sure how I’d handle it if they were snatched away. I guess you gotta try to think of the bigger picture.

  • Congratulations to N!! What an awesome and exciting thing! I love what you wrote here – my situation isn’t quite the same, but my BF definitely works extremely hard to make sure we both have what we want. I also work, but not nearly as many hours as he does and it is sometimes nice to reflect on how I can be more supportive and a better version of myself! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Great post, it really spoke to me on SO many different levels. My boyfriend is always about the next jump on the career ladder and works hard to prove it– where I’ll ALWAYS value time over money and quality time over frivolous items (and if I ever have to give up my 2006 Hyundai Sonata, I’ll probably cry). It’s just the way I was raised- I don’t remember the toys I didn’t get (although, my parents still gave me an amazing childhood) but I’ll ALWAYS remember the boogie boarding at Lake Michigan with my Dad, cookie making Sunday morning with my Mom and days off spent up-north at my grandparent’s cottage. That’s what it’s all about- right?

  • Well hopefully he can put in all these hours now so that when you are married and have kids he doesn’t have to? Hopefully!? If he works hard now and gets to the place he wants in his career then he will have more flexibility in the future. But good for you for wanting to be the best girlfriend to support him. And at least you have an adorable dog to keep you company!! 🙂

  • My husband is in med school, so I can totally relate to this. I wish I could say it gets easier–I don’t think it does. What does happen, though, is you become a stronger version of yourself. You become okay with being alone and you become hecka good at making time count. Cheers to being the best girlfriend ever! xo

  • Amazing outlook you have. It’s very normal for you to be selfish, but then to turn around and be selfless to make his life easy is true love. Best of luck, new jobs can be horrible on the family life.

  • Oh girl, I totally understand! I am going 7-7 during the week and only see my husband for two hours a night and then he works Saturdays, and it’s so hard not to mope around after that. We’ve been intentionally making plans on Saturday night or Sunday morning so we have a date to look forward to- that seems to help. And, making plans with girlfriends! Good luck!

  • So sweet! It’s really hard to make a relationship work when one partner is so much busier than the other. I’m glad that you’re trying hard to make him feel special. You guys are too cute!

  • I know it’s hard, but good for you! I love that you are working to be the best version of you. I have a “house husband” and I can honestly say all I really want is to feel appreciated! It will get easier with time, I promise.

  • This is too sweet. It is hard when they work all of the time. 🙁 Being supportive is important. It won’t always be this way.

  • Trying to find the balance between working hard enough that you can be financially independent and comfortable and not working too much that you don’t enjoy what that independence creates for you is always such a challenge, but it’s certainly more fun to figure out with someone you love. Good luck, I know you’ll figure it out!

  • I hear you loud and clear. Mine just left Saturday for a 9 month deployment and having the house to yourself is just weird. He had the option of not going and getting out early, but he made the decision to go and save up all the extra money he’ll be making. The things we have to give up for money..

  • Super mushy, and super adorable. I feel the same way about my hubby. His job is demanding and I work nights, but since we’ve been together we’ve always made our relationship a priority time-wise. Hopefully you guys will find a good balance! Love you’re cute little blog!
    -Katie

  • That’s such an awesome outlook that you have on life! Tons of people our age would much rather work the long hours just to get a bigger paycheck- but you’re so right, money isn’t everything! Look at it this way- he can bank money now, while you’re young and have no kids, that way he could maybe afford to take an extended amount of time off when you DO have kids! 🙂

  • So my husband is a part time law student {and we both work 40 hours}, and the first semester, I was miserable, and beyond selfish. It took time, and he is going for OUR future, so I know it’s worth it, but sometimes it blows. I totally feel ya!

  • Cat

    I think it’s great you can be so honest about all of this. I feel exactly the same way as you do about these things. For now at least, I’m sure this is very important to him and he will really appreciate all that you are doing to support him and his goals x

  • Jessa

    I know the feeling. My husband works all the time, and I try to be the good wife & be understanding. But sometimes I just want him to be at home spending time with us even though we wouldn’t be doing much of anything. So I understand. if you ever need to talk i’m avaiable..

  • I’ve definitely been where you are before. Except in the reverse I guess. When Pete and I first moved in together he was making quite a bit more but he was gone a LOT. Now, we get to spend so much more time together and I wouldn’t trade that for all of the money in the world. 🙂

  • I know exactly how you feel. I’m extremely supportive of B’s long hours at the office, but at the same time I feel guilty that he works so hard. We’re hoping it pays off for him in the near future!

    Congrats to N!

  • It’s so interesting to me to hear the other side. As a nurse, I work only 3 12s a week but as you can probably imagine, the days I work, we spend 0 time together because I come home, eat, shower and then go straight to bed. If I do one day on, one day off, then two on, that one day off in the middle is completely wasted and then one day after the 2 I had on is wasted as well so that’s 1 day a week we spend together and since I work nights, we usually have a different schedule. That may have just been the most confusing sentence in the world. Anyway, my point is, it’s always interesting for me to hear about his life. He has a whole routine that I have no idea about because I have my own routine. It’s hard to remember that when we first got together, he was the one always at work for the army and away from home for weeks at a time while I spent all my time by myself.

    Now I’m just jabbering! Stay strong girl. The time he’s spending away isn’t forever.

    PS: The beautiful creatures books are AMAZING! I’m doing a review vlog for them this Friday if you want to hear more about them!

  • Congrats to N! It’s great to hear that he is moving up. I am on the opposite side of this right now. I currently am the one working all the time, although I am in a long distance relationship. I work very long days when my boyfriend is not around so that when he is visiting I can leave early and not work on the weekends.

    I know I love when those around me are understanding of time commitment, it makes me feel less stressed so I am sure that N appreciates all you do!

  • This post is adorable, like honestly, SO sweet! And remind me what you do again that you get to work 11-6, I’m SO jealous!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Samantha

    I do this all of the time with Z’s job; being in the army has it’s sacrifices and I tend to complain. A lot. But we love them and will support them and I guess we will learn to adjust, right? Sending hugs!

  • Elizabeth

    Sounds like quality time is your love language. It’s mine, too! Except I’M the one with the ridiculous hours. My husband is so supportive of my crazy job (event planning) that it makes it easier when I come home and he has dinner ready, house picked up, etc. The only time he asks when I’ll be home is if he is planning to cook dinner or make plans with friends and wants to make sure I’m okay with either. You being supportive will make his hectic work life much easier! Good for you, girl!

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