O my beautiful and amazingly accomplished, bread-winning wife,
I love you and, if there’s one thing I know with any degree of certainty, it’s that you love me, too. We vowed to spend the rest of our lives together and nothing would bring me more joy than to spend eternity by your side.
WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME??
All those times you said it? I thought you were joking!
Maybe you see our relationship as a short-term investment. Like Diddy said, It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. And baby, you make a shitload more Benjamins than me. And that’s the problem.
You see, guys whose wives earn more than them die younger. You may not have read about this enlightening and frightening new study – I know you don’t have time to surf the web, you’re so dedicated to your job – so I’ll sum it up for you: you’re killing me, Smalls!
I will die a marginally, but statistically significant, earlier death than if you made less money than me. Men like me are dying young because of the stress of not living up to society’s idea of masculinity. Sad!
The subjects in the study were all born in the 1930s, so maybe don’t buy that extra life insurance just yet (I’ll totally tank the interview anyway, sucker!). Ideas of what it meant to be a manly man’s man were more limited and limiting back in the good ol’ days. Can you imagine if one of those poor bastards had to explain to his drinking buddies that he couldn’t go bowling because his wife was working and he had to watch the kids? If dudes in the 1950s and ’60s threw shade, I’m sure that guy would have been well-protected from sun damage … no need to worry about skin cancer because he would have died from embarrassment.
Where does that leave us? I’m a stay-at-home dad, who blogs on the side. I will grant you that in our current setup, you’d be hard pressed to earn less than me. I believe I made a whopping 3,500 bucks last year. American. Okay, some of it may have been Canadian. Anyway, you love your job (most of the time) and I wouldn’t trade being a stay-at-home dad for the world (especially when the kids aren’t being little a-holes). Plus, my drinking buddies are all stay-at-home or work-at-home dads. They get it. And my college friends and family get it, too. And you? You get it more than anyone.
This is what we chose. This is what works for us.
Do I get stressed and depressed sometimes? Fuckin’ A, right I do. I may be progressive and liberal and comfortable not conforming with societal expectations, but I’m still a man. I have a hard time talking about my feelings and asking for help and all that other crap that would make me a more balanced person and probably add years to my life. That’s one of the reasons why I have a blog (it’s clearly not the get-rich quick scheme I once imagined it might be). I get to write stuff out and think about it, express my, ugh, emotions. Do I still hide behind sarcasm and humor? Why are you even asking? YOU KNOW WHO YOU MARRIED, WOMAN. And that’s probably why there are times you actually do want to put me in early grave.
But you’re not killing me by killing it at your job. You should definitely keep making way more money than me, lest we all die – hungry, destitute and in the streets. Or worse, at your parents’ house. No pressure!
I love you, honey!!!!
Don’t kill me.
A version of “Bread-Winning Wife” first appeared on Amateur Idiot / Professional Dad. (Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash)
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