Category Archives: money

the burdens we carry

It isn’t often that I feel helpless or useless. It isn’t often that I feel like a burden, either.

(My post today is ironic when compared to the last, but I guess that just goes to show how the tides can change for someone who is bipolar.)

It is amazing how someone can seem so calm and unworried on the surface, but be a ball of stress within. It can be even more amazing when someone shows you that anxiety and cracks the facade that they keep at all other times.

My husband is a remarkably strong man. He works without complaint to be the sole provider of our family, but I never realized until yesterday how much that eats at him. He has an amazing amount of ambition, but that ambition may be more of a burden than a gift.

And this is where I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is so much that he wants for our lives, but there is nothing that I can really do to help at this point. Yesterday we talked about everything, and he said that he had a lot of goals to meet before we reach 30. The first and largest stressor right now is finding a new job closer to his parents. He misses his family, and if we move closer to the East Coast, we will be able to be a bigger help to his parents. There is so much more that he wants, too. He wants to buy a house, he wants to be at the top of his career, he wants to be settled and secure with everything we need and want. That leaves five years, and he is worried that he won’t meet his goals.

“How can I help?” I asked, “What can I do to take some of this from your shoulders?” I asked if I should find a way to go back to work, but he said that it was all on him.

I have to ask myself if I am part of the problem. Did I give the impression that I need all those things? Did I put those burdens on him? That makes me sick to my stomach with guilt. I never imagined myself as a materialistic person, but a materialistic person is the exact kind that would add those types of hardships on their loved one.

Maybe there is something to this. But who can blame us for wanting to own our home? Who can blame us for wanting to stop making someone else rich by paying their mortgage plus some? Who can blame us for wanting the same regular goals of most people?

I don’t know how I can help my husband. I am a student, I have a 4 year old still at home, and daycare just isn’t worth the cost. Working on an opposite schedule than him seems like it would only drive a wedge between us. Honestly, I won’t be worth a damn until I can finish with my business degree and start a lucrative business, and that is a big MAYBE. Even then, I will have a boatload of student debt to pay off.

I wish that I could skip 4 years in the future, when my debt is paid and my cafe is open. I want to take those burdens from him. I want to become successful so that he doesn’t feel like it all rides on him. Is this so wrong?

This is where the different sides of me collide in an all out war. Part of me is shallow and wants all of those nice things for us, and the other part of me is absolutely disgusted. I want to be that progressive person that wastes little, wants little, and finds happiness with what they have. I want my children to be appreciative of all they have and realize that they are richer than they know. So, where is the happy medium?

I know that accumulating things will not bring us happiness, but I do think that it might bring us comfort. Without the stress of daily life, without having to worry about bills getting paid and food bought, we may be able to enjoy the little things more.

I am still at a loss for how I can help now. Maybe the answer lies in budgeting like crazy or becoming a coupon fanatic. Maybe having a little more in savings will ease his troubles.

I have to do something, because I feel like I am the root of the problem. Though I rarely spend money on myself, there are always things that I want for the family. I have become materialistic, and it adds to the burdens he carries. I don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to be that wife.

(Luis Quiles)

Adulthood feels like an obsession with money. Need it for everything in American life. Don’t have enough of it. Need to get more of it.

How do I help carry his burdens without becoming a slave to money?

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