Wedding Woes

You need a career or life coach.

Dear Prudence,

My wife and I (both early 40s) have one child and a comfortable lifestyle, but it doesn’t seem like “my” lifestyle. I feel like I went to sleep and woke up in another man’s life. Corporate job, living in the suburbs of a mid-western city. I have never had a strong calling or dream job (I recall when I was about 5 I wanted to be both Jacques Cousteau and a veterinarian, but that didn’t last), so I find it hard to argue against suggestions from my wife. (Moving to the mid-west because of a job offer for her, for example).

My question is, is it fair to argue against something when you don’t have a good alternative? We usually get to the point of my wife saying “well, if you don’t want to do that, what do you want to do?”, to which I have no good answer. She seems content to work corporate jobs and climb the ladder, but I feel like I am dying inside a little bit every day that I spend on 4+ hours on zoom meetings. We used to have vague plans of starting a business and/or moving abroad for a while, but they seem to be easily forgotten when they are just maybe sometime in the future. We have a child coming up to Kindergarten age, so I am not advocating for sub-Saharan Africa or off the beaten path in South America. Any advice for someone who doesn’t know what they want to be when they grow up, but they know this isn’t it?

— Reluctant Suburbanite

Re: You need a career or life coach.

  • I completely understand these feelings.  I've been saying for years that I was bored doing what I was doing.  I told DH all the time I wanted to find a new job, but I didn't do anything about it.  This year was the first time I stated that I wanted to make a change and asked my boss to help me.  I told him I wanted to do more projects (which happened) and get involved in other departments (marketing/business development).  Did I think I wanted to enter management? Not really, but this change is a challenge that I'm willing to accept and will allow me to develop those skills and/or work more closely with those departments.  

    I also talked to my therapist about these feelings too. She was a great and neutral sounding board. 

    But I didn't tell my H we had to change our entire lives by moving away to feel more fulfilled. And I didn't act like I didn't need to make the same level of income to continue to keep our life afloat. 

    Plus, it's so rude to shit on his wife's 'contentment'.  I bet money she has other things outside of her job/career that fulfills her.  Also, maybe your shittiness about your 'station' in life has prevented you from truly seeing her full experience.  It's possible she is OK with where she's at now, but does have desires for something else in the future. But you're so stuck in your own head, she can't tell you that. 

    He sounds like he wants someone to come hand him his 'dream' without doing any work.  That's not how any of it works.  Also, it's time to buck-up and realize that there's no such thing as 'living the dream' 24/7.  Even 'dream' jobs/careers/lives have their sucky shit. 
    charlotte989875STARMOON44short+sassylevioosa
  • Casadena said:
    I feel like my H could have written this. I get that it's hard. Also, grow TF up and stop complaining and do something to figure it out.  Therapy, job coach, life coach, whatever.  Also, your wife may not be as "content climbing the corporate ladder" as you think but may feel like she has no alternative because you don't want to do anything apparently and she wants some sense of stability for your family.  
    Same. For years H didn’t like his job but also said he didn’t know what he wanted to do. But also didn’t do anything to change it. And it infuriated me. Like, okay find your bliss but also we decided together to buy a house and have a kid so how are we paying for those? 

    He needs a therapist and a career coach, probably a vacation, but really - he needs to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. You’re not happy in your job- take the steps to figure out what you do want to so. Don’t like the options your wife is coming up with- instead of thinking about how to argue with her come up with some of your own. 
    Casadenamrsconn23
  • This is what a man writes 6 months before he has an affair.
    mrsconn23charlotte989875levioosaMissKittyDanger
  • This is what a man writes 6 months before he has an affair.
    Super unfair
  • Casadena said:
    This is what a man writes 6 months before he has an affair.
    Super unfair
    Unfair? I think this is classic pre affair behavior. He’s bored with life. He’s vaguely dissatisfied. He won’t take responsibility for that. He’s annoyed at his wife for no reason. He’s screaming out for an affair to liven up his life. 
    mrsconn23
  • Casadena said:
    This is what a man writes 6 months before he has an affair.
    Super unfair
    Unfair? I think this is classic pre affair behavior. He’s bored with life. He’s vaguely dissatisfied. He won’t take responsibility for that. He’s annoyed at his wife for no reason. He’s screaming out for an affair to liven up his life. 
    Yes, not all people who feel this way have an affair. But many people who have an affair use all of these reasons as justification for their behavior.  Also, he's all over the map (going back to his aspirations at 5 years old?!) and won't work with his wife to focus on something that could help improve his satisfaction with life because I'm sure anything they discuss requires more than bare minimum effort on his part.  Persistent nostalgia means you're not present for where you are in the current moment and how you're going to move into the future. 

    Furthermore, starting a business isn't a terrible idea.  However, it's most of the time something you have to do in tandem with your current employment and fit into your life situation.  DH was kicking around starting a business and even had a decent plan going, but the execution of the business would literally take up almost all of our free time.  Then the new job came along and it's been put on hold for now, or forever.  We'll have to see how this goes and if it's feasible with both of us in different positions than we were a month or two ago. 
    Casadena
  • LW needs to talk to someone. Since they never had a calling, they're feeling like they're unfulfilled likely.
    Not always unhappy, but sounds like LW may not have any hobbies
    Casadena
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards