Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My afternoon rant. Now the bad part... Wife rant.
I also told her that even if she spends money on expensive items outside our budget, she must understand that we need to earn (and I consequently need to work for) whatever she buys. The context of this was that we had a huge fight last week over her not being sensitive to my feelings of loss when I hesitated her taking a trip to Israel to visit her sick grandmother. Basically, she just assumed I would come up with the money or work to pay for the trip, and I was hurt that she did not acknowledge the many hours *I alone* would have to put in to finance that trip. I was also sad that she didn't even acknowledge that her trip would be a huge financial setback in our plans to save up to start the law firm. She didn't even consider that I was sad about this and it took a fight to get her to acknowledge this.
So on a smaller scale and as recent as this morning, when we took the kids to the zoo on Sunday and she wanted to buy a monkey doll with the zoo's logo, "just so that our child can remember the experience," I told her that I'd rather buy that same monkey doll at Wal*Mart for $10 rather than $30 at the gift shop. Later on as we were leaving, she disappeared and after taking a few minutes to find her, we found her purchasing the monkey doll from the gift shop. "There we go," I thought. "That will cost me around an extra hour of work sitting at my computer in the torturous and boring document review project." I agreed that it was a nice gift, but it wasn't until this morning that I told her that I was upset that she bought the doll after I told her not to. "I wasn't asking for your permission," she barked back. I told her that we are already barely making ends meet even with my project, and that the extra money she spent will force me to work extra time just to dig ourselves out of the hole that the extra $30 purchase. I told her that I wasn't upset about the purchase, but I was upset that she was disregarding the fact that someone (namely, me) will have to work and toil to pay for that extra purchase, and I thought it was insensitive to force me to be the one that has to cover it, especially after I told her that I didn't want her to buy it in the first place.
"Well I want to live a regular life, and regular people buy things," she said. I told her that we are not regular people; that Hashem has not given us a job, but only temporary income, and that we need to respect the money we are given and not waste it on frivolities. On top of that, I need to work to pay for everything she's buying, and I'm not in the mood to kill myself to pay for wasteful purchases that have no value. "Well I'm going to live a regular life," she said.
At that point I lost it. I asked her if she was crazy, and whether she understood that I am the one that needs to pay for everything she buys, and that she cannot live a regular life because we cannot afford to pay for the things she is purchasing. I also told her that I was upset that she didn't acknowledge or pay any sensitivity to the fact that I am the one that has to work to pay for all this, and that I'm not working to pay for a stupid doll!
At that point, I found myself on the verge of tears, and I couldn't hold back my shaky voice. I was about to start crying, so I walked away. I kissed my kids goodbye, and without saying good bye to my wife, once again I walked out of the house and left to my work.
It occurred to me that she was being sarcastic this morning, especially since we had an all-out fight on this very topic just before Shabbos. Although I wasn't sure. I texted her shortly afterwords, "Hi honey, apparently my phone does still have some battery life. I realized after I left that you were joking about" ...and then I left the rest of the e-mail blank because I couldn't think of a way to phrase it, and either way, I wasn't so sure she was joking. To my unsurprise, she didn't write me back.
I hate having this distance between us. I hate not liking her. It hurts every time I think of our fights. I wish she understood what was really going on. I wish she knew how her actions affected our family and our shalom bayis. I wish she was more sensitive to these issues. I'm sure I'll get a "what were you talking about, I always save money" comment from her in a few days when we finally resolve this.
I just wish we were operating from the same place. I wish we were a team, rather than me being the silent supporter of our affairs, obviously no pun intended.