That being said...being married to Sam is fucking hard fucking work.
Sam finally got a for reals big-boy full-time job. We've been married for 6+ years and finally...he has a job that is equal to mine. He worked hard to get to this point too...got a master's degree and worked as a substitute till an opening came up and was hired full-time at a middle school. I cannot describe to you the elation and relief when he got the job. Finally, after all these years...I'm not carrying the brunt of the breadwinning. Finally, I can relax a little and think of options. We are double-covered for insurance! That's such a luxury this day and age.
I've always dreamt of having a house-cleaner (Sam and I are slobs) and it might actually happen. We bought new kitchen appliances. We could start doing some serious work upgrading this place so that we could move out and maybe get something bigger...with a yard. I was so proud of him...
But Sam managed to fuck it all up.
I noticed he wasn't really taking the teaching-gig seriously. He was planning the night before. Throwing things together with little regard to standards. He was overwhelmed and overly emotional. He would go through boxes of pens from breaking them dealing with the kids. He wasn't doing well.
I noticed...and so did his boss.
Sam was written up at work...and put on a performance plan. He could lose his job if he doesn't improve. He could get fired. Then everything he worked for....everything I waited for...gone.
When he told me...I was both furious at and sad for Sam. I've been written up and I know how it feels to fuck up and sign a paper that says "you could get fired." Its scary as hell. But I was also mad at Sam for not taking things seriously and being so damned irresponsible. What was he thinking?
I called him out on it. Told him that he was dicking around and only put in 60% when he needed to be doing 100%. I pointed out to him what he had been doing wrong and that now our financial livelihood was on the line.
Then he made some comment like, "Can we stop the 'ragging on Sam' conversation." I told him that he asked for my input and I gave it to him. That he wasn't a victim and I wasn't a bully. I told him if he wanted to stop talking to just say that and not make it out that he's a poor put upon man.
I cried. I cried because I was simply being honest with him. If he knew how much I was holding myself back. If he knew I wanted to scream and cuss and tell him what a fucking lazy fucktard he was...he'd be crushed.
He apologized. We strategized. I would go in on a Saturday and help get his classroom in order (something that should have been done months ago) and I'd help him stay on track.
Since then, its been a team effort. Everyone is helping out in their own way. His father watches Lily so Sam and I can work in the classroom...his mother talks to her teacher friends for advice. I clean and organize...I reassure...I review and coach. I call him on the carpet...I am his executive functioning.
His classroom was disorganized...filthy...full of junk and trash. I was shocked and upset that he'd waited so long. I spent hours on pinterest looking up classroom management strategy, lesson plans, organization for classrooms. I sent them to Sam. I bought him lesson plans so that he wouldn't have to re-invent the wheel. Once a week, I meet him at his classroom and bring dinner. Lily, Sam and I eat in the classroom and while Lily watches videos on my phone we do work on the room. Re-papering his boards, putting up new posters and kids work.
I sit with him on Sunday nights because it keeps him focused. The good news is that I am also able to catch up on work from home. I review the core standards and modules and discuss how to ensure he is meeting the standards. We design lesson plans together. I read his teacher's edition book so that we can discuss it and flush out ideas.
He calls me to tell me he had a stressful interaction with his boss and I have a panic attack. He beats himself up...he has no confidence...he cries.
I finally talk to him about medication for ADHD. He is unmoved.
I finally sit next to him a week later and begin to beg and cry. His pride is not more important than our family. Not more important that our daughter's education. Is it more important that me? Our happiness? Our home?
I cried and cried. I've watched him struggle and dick around and fuck up and throw our shared dreams aside. And finally, he agrees to an assessment but not to medication. It is a small victory.
A few days later I cry again. I beg him please don't screw up...please do a good job...please don't throw this away. He cries too.
It was a terrible week. Lots of anxiety and stress. But never any fighting. I never let my resentment or disappointment show. I just get tired sometimes. I just can't smile and cheer from the sidelines all the time.
I can't be his ego and his executive functioning.
He told me the other day that he thinks he needs to see a counselor. That he thinks thoughts that are dark like maybe we'd be better off without him. I have another panic attack. I barely focus during my sessions with my clients. I just think of Sam and how low its gotten.
We talk. We strategize. We have a plan. He'll call the counselor.
The deadline for his plan of improvement is approaching. His anxiety and terror are running high. I volunteer to clean his room again. I volunteer to review his lesson plans. Can I type something up for him? Can I help more?
He acknowledges that I do 1/3 of his work for him. That he appreciates me.
And I think...I am a good wife.
We have a good marriage. We are a team. I want to be mad at him but we have no time for that. We still laugh and joke. We still say I love you at the end of the calls.
I realize that no matter what happens...I'll still be married to Sam. That whatever happens we'll have to deal with it because we are married...for the rest of our lives we are together. So if he succeeds...we celebrate...if he fails...we pick-up the pieces and create another plan and we move on.
I want to talk to my friends about this but they are busy or single. One friend flat out can't stand Sam and doesn't understand how I'm married to him. Both my parents are divorced and terrible at being married.
I have no idea what I'm doing. I just keep trying to be a good wife.
It's my third full-time job. Worker-Mother-Wife.
I think of calling my mother, a born-again christian, and ask her to pray and light a candle.
Then I decide to pray...to what? I have no idea. To the universe. To the powerful force that brought Sam and I together...the powerful nature that sparked life in my womb and sparked it again. I pray to the power that keeps the little heart of my unborn child beating.
Please...please...let us succeed. Please please...I really want a house-cleaner.
Please...I want to be a good wife.