This is me and my boyfriend a few years ago... We don't take pictures together very often.
We've been together for 6 years. I was 19 and he was 23 when we met online. We've been together through most of my college years and through some big "adulting" moments.
Now, my boyfriend is coming out of retirement.
In winter 2013, my boyfriend left his job at a pre-owned car dealership. So many weeks working 12-hour days with maybe 1 day off in seven, he came home with just $100 in his pocket. It was nuts.
By then, I was out of school and making enough to cover our bills. It was worth it to me to have him home and I was cool with giving him space to figure out what he wanted to spend his life doing.
Well, being out of work (after 10 years working in factories and then the dealership), he started having anxiety issues. We ended up in the emergency room three times in one week before we learned he had anxiety. He's had to avoid movie theaters, public transportation and even the gym, all of which trigger panic attacks.
And he wasn't entirely productive with his new time freedom. He talked about writing and wrote maybe 10 days out of the two years he's been out of work.
I've felt a tremendous amount of pride about the fact that I was able to bring him home from a really crappy paycheck at the dealership, but eventually, I started wishing he had his own money.
I believe in masculine/feminine energies and I don't think his masculine was served by me being the breadwinner. This might not seem like the most progressive view on the subject, but I believe that two people in a partnership both earning their own money while pursuing something more meaningful is the ideal partnership and the most empowering for both.
Though with some financial struggles along the way, we have survived as I experienced growing pains in my business.
He did drive Uber for a month last summer, which we borrowed my dad's truck for and now our current car is too old to do that with.
I've been telling him that going back to work, particularly the part where you have somewhere you have to be five days a week could provide a helpful structure that brings him back to good health.
It took the pressure of a loan from my dad to motivate him to go back to work. Today he heads off to his first day delivering pizzas.
Let me be clear: My business covers the bills and provides for fun stuff beyond that. I'm very close to my financial goals. But still, we took the loan from my dad and I'm grateful for the healthy pressure it put on Chris.
I've seen so many entrepreneurs talk about retiring their husbands as a goal, and it's a great one!
It's OK to want to retire your guy from a crap job.
It's OK if your guy really loves his work and has no ambition to "retire."
It's OK to want your guy to work, even if he's not lit up about the work.
I keep telling Chris that this won't be a forever thing, and I mean that. He actually wants to go back to driving Uber because he can set the schedule and still do things he enjoys deeply like playing video games. I would LOVE to see him do that. Time freedom is something I aspire to for both of us.
I don't believe you need to do something you hate just because it pays. But I do believe in doing what you can to make your life a little easier while you build toward your dreams.
In fact, it's something I've been living for the past few months. On Monday, I'll tell you how I've been living that reality and why. It's the story I've held back from sharing because I fear that it makes me look unsuccessful, but sometimes the most successful people do what's needed.