There’s one thing in my marriage that could drive a wedge between my husband and I instantly. That’s money. Not in your typical he makes less than she spends, or, you both racked up too much credit and can’t catch up kind of way. In your “he worries way too much over future unknowns, sacrifices his happiness in the present to do so and his wife is exactly the opposite” kind of way. Everyone wants financial security. No matter what income class you find yourself in, the money will never be enough. You’ll always want more. That’s why they say money is the root of all evil. It’s the worst invention made by humans in the entire existence of life on earth. It’s the cause of all of my husband’s problems and stress. His depression and anxiety, too. Even his moods are directly related to money somehow.
Throughout our relationship, it’s always been me who has suffered through depressive episodes, causing the waves to ripple effect onto all those living with or emotionally close to me. And it’s always been my husband who has stood by struggling to comprehend how I could possibly be lost within a darkness inside myself. Now the roles are similarly reversed, the only difference being that his depression is a secondary affect stemming from his anxiety disorder going off the rails. There’s a known trigger behind what’s going on with him. Money. He wants to be rich. He wants an easier life. He wants to own things, buy things, travel, and just live simply without worrying about being in shut-off status with our utilities or over-drafting our bank account in order to put gas in our vehicle for the week. He hides from the world, embarrassed by his job, his residence, his possessions. Nothing is new enough, nice enough, expensive enough, or fancy enough. Though I completely agree with that last statement, I digress. I’m not letting the fact that we have only what we can afford to have define my happiness. I’ll still stop and say “Cheese” for the camera, even with my low-income neighborhood or hand-me-down furniture in the background, or worse to you yet, my worn out Kmart clearance rack clothing.
Listen up, honey! It’s NOT going to happen for us any different than it is, anytime soon. So, PLEASE, just take the advice of your daughters (and that irritating Elsa) to heart and LET IT GO!!!!
First of all, the grass is never greener on the other side, no matter how much you think it will be. Just because there’s enough money to pay the bills effortlessly and have enough left to play around with afterwards, doesn’t make any non-financially motivated problems disappear. The obsession over money has blinded you to other, more meaningful and purposeful problems going on. The kids need raising, regardless of which lawn we’ve got, if any at all. I may be the stay at home mom who knows them in ways that are so disgusting I’d rather trade you for and get the unknowing back, but I don’t have all the answers for how to handle these hooligans and their individualized shortcomings and hiccups along the path to becoming decent, respectable human beings. Money won’t fix the Dunce’s ADD, Bean’s inability to shut her mouth in class, Tee’s Ten-Ager attitude, nor Stinx’s suburban nudist phase.
Second of all, we’re not in a position that threatens the bare necessities of life. We’ve surpassed that part of our journey. We’re in a position to keep a roof over our heads and pay basic utilities with ease. That’s so much more than many others have. Yeah, many, many more have more than us, but that’s their life, not yours, and certainly not ours. Our life is moving along at it’s own pace and we have what we are meant to have. By now, we all know that we’re born into circumstance by what’s meant to be, not what we deserve. No one can tell me that they haven’t seen that meme on Facebook about how if everyone was a doctor, lawyer, moviestar or CEO….there’d be no one to cook at our restaurants, sell our groceries, stock our stores, make our cars and houses, nor deliver our pizzas.
Thirdly, there’s no one to blame for choices we’ve made in our lives that decided the path for our journey, but us. We didn’t have what it took to push the limitations of our circumstances to rise above and do well for ourselves from that start. It took us awhile and some stubborn, stupid mistakes along the way to meeting each other, plus a few more together, just for good measure and all, before we finally figured out where we were going. It’s going to take time, patience and time. A whole lot of hard work and faith, too. Sometimes, we may need to stop and ask for a little help, too, but we’re well on our way. We can’t fret over what life hasn’t brought us yet. Keeping pace towards a better life of any financial gain, great or small. Even if it’s not going to end in millions of dollars, your life is worth everything that money can’t buy- love, happiness, confidence, and friendship. Whatever experiences from the past have interfered with our success as adults, is done and gone. Nothing can change that. All we can do is trudge ahead with our dreams and our heads held high, pushing until we get to where we’re meant to go.
Oh! If only it were that simple. That easy to get through to you and get you to Let It Go!
Alas, there’s nothing I can do, I know from my own illness, to change the way my husband sees his life right now. It’s a waste of breath trying to getting through to him, because it’s his own mental illness causing the irrationality, not him. He has to work through it himself. If money was the truest source of happiness around, then why do humans still crave relationships, good food, laughter, and other sources of happiness? Because they do. Buying things unconditionally for our children won’t be more meaningful than actually knowing and bonding with their dad in the long run. A family vacation won’t be remembered in any detail outside of it’s location. Having all the toys, gizmos, and gadgets won’t make them mature or kind human beings, nor will it help to secure their future success. Our chance to rise above our circumstance from the start has blown away with the wind leaving us to follow the dusty trail hoping to catch up…. but, our children’s sure hasn’t.
For someone who’s so cultivated in the idea of dying far younger than average age for Caucasian males, my husband is also doing nothing but wasting time away. His desire for a fantabulous life of luxury is driving a wedge into our happiness, tearing apart the family he is maniacally focused on lifting up. So caught up in this need for a different kind of life, the life he has is slipping away. I get that no one wants to work in a physically-draining, mentally-diminishing, machine shop setting for the course of their career, but when that job is a blessing in the life that you have built, than it needs to be viewed as such. There’s so many others who have no jobs at all, wasting away as homelessness becomes a reality for them. We should be so grateful, even if the job sucks, that you have employment enough to keep our roof and utilities.
When I think about defining my happiness in terms of how I live my life, I think, firstly, about those people in my life that I have made meaningful, heartfelt relationships with or those people that I share memories of really happy and fun times with. Secondly, I think about everything presently in my life that I am grateful for and the significance it’s had on my personal growth. And, thirdly, my happiness is defined by every unexpected, unannounced, unprovoked, and entirely irreplaceable or recreateable moment to come. My husband, on the other hand, is lost in all of the things that could or would make him, and his family, happy by his definitions of such, that he can’t provide by his financial means. He will think about the good times we’ve had, but he looks for how much happier it would’ve or could’ve been if there had only been more money available.
It’s draining to live with someone always focused on what isn’t and how it will never be for him. The husband I once knew who always smiled warmly right out of bed has been replaced with a grimacing grumpface. The weight he’s carrying needs to get chucked, freeing him of the black cloud swallowing him in darkness. No matter what he must face before he’s finally had enough, though, I’ll stand by my husband waiting for his white flag to raise, ready to come back into sunshine again. Then, maybe, I can get him to say, “Cheese,” actually cheesing up more for the camera with that contagious grin of his, instead of him blocking the shot with a frown, for fear we don’t look our best because we didn’t pay full price or have a recognizable brand to display.
This post today was brought to you by the lovely, super talented More Than Cheese and Beer as part of her Sunday Confession series. Go check her out and see which other awesome bloggers have linked up as well this week.