After work yesterday, I talked with #1 daughter on the phone. She is a good wife and not one to complain about her husband, but she had to mention how he comes home and immediately begins playing online games. He is with people all day and wants to kick back after work and not have to talk or really even think. She is by herself all day, and wants some human interaction.
Men of my generation are more likely to come home and watch sports on TV, but it is the same problem. My husband, overhearing our conversation, said that Son-in-Law was right. A man comes home tired from work, he said, he needs quiet. He enjoys having his wife with him, but he doesn’t necessarily want to interact.
This is, according to James Dobson, the most common complaint among wives.
Women, of course, come home tired from work and cook dinner, but that is an entirely separate complaint.
In any case, I had three suggestions for #1 daughter. The first is to recognize that it isn’t an insult to her that her husband doesn’t always want to take her out or even to talk with her. The second is that she should have her knitting or quilting, so she can sit in the same room with him in companionable silence. The third is that she should go back to work.
Son-in-Law doesn’t want her to work, and my dad agrees that being a Navy wife is a job in and of itself. But Abercrombie has offered her a management position, and I think she should go ahead and take it. She would make some girlfriends, have chances to talk with adults during the day, and might have some fun.
Since she doesn’t need the job to live, she could always quit if she felt like it, or if it makes life unpleasant for Son-in-Law. This is the best way to undertake a job, really. I have always felt pretty relaxed about work, because I have never had any trouble finding work. This could change as I get older, but for now I have no fears.
My husband feels dependent on his job, because it is our source of health insurance. Losing it — even if he found a new job the next day — would mean we would have no insurance for six months or a year. This is customary in his industry. This is why we have to tolerate long layoffs, and why he puts up with his job whether he is enjoying it right then or not.
This is very common. In some areas, too, getting a new job is not so easy as it is where I live. As the Wall Street Journal quaintly put it last week, “Most workers have not participated in the economic recovery.” This is a special, exclusive, Republican kind of economic recovery that doesn’t include working people. Never mind, I am getting too political here.
I am singing a solo in church today. Better go warm up.