Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Will You Work While I Take a Break?

Why is it that when I tell A that I’m completely sick of work and want to take a break, he is all supportive? To the extent of saying that he’ll take care of me financially while I'm not working, will cut down on his own expenses so I can have ALL his extra money (just leave him enough to pay his EMIs & a little bit for his personal expenses :) Which makes me go all ‘awwwwwww...’ over him and this tremendous wave of love & affection for him washes over me :P

But when I tell him that I intend to take a 6-month break when I get married, his reaction goes something like this: “You want to quit working & be dependent on your husband? You women have it so easy in life! You can happily quit your jobs when you get married & expect your husband to take care of you! But does anyone care to ask the husband if he wants to take a break too? Would you support your husband if he decides to quit his job?”

To which I reply, “Of course, I will. If I wish to quit my job & expect him to take care of me financially, it’s only fair that I support him if he wants to do the same.”

But I don’t think my argument cuts much ice with him :) The man has issues with any kind of convention, so he’s OK with me taking a break b/c I’m sick of working but not with me quitting just b/c I know I have a husband who'll take care of me.

And though it’s funny because he has contradictory reactions to the same action, i.e. taking a break from work, it also got me thinking.

We (women) are so conditioned to think of the man as the primary breadwinner that it’s almost unimaginable to think of him as being unemployed for even a short span of time. We expect men to work non-stop their entire lives, while we’re OK with taking an extended break from work ourselves. And while I say that I’ll support my man if he decides to take a break, I don’t know how I’ll deal with it if it actually happens. While I will definitely support him financially (if I have a job, that is :), will I do it gladly? Will I be able to appreciate his need to take a break just as I would mine? Or will there be a thousand questions in my mind about how we’ll we able to maintain our lifestyle, travel & do the other things we wish to do that cost money?

What about you? Especially if you’re a woman, how would you react if your husband told you he wants to take a break from work?


Moonshine said...

Thats a tough call. Yes, its easier for women to take a break .. because thats how its been conventionally..though i would die of guilt.. also in most equations, men would be the primary contributor to income! SO it is tough yes.. but you would find that men are also more conditioned to think like that.. the amount i crib about work and A does.. i keep saying i am bored, stressed, frustrated etc etc.. and he would be undergoing the same stress levels but just does not complain.

I dont think there is anything wrong in dependence.. it is the idling away of an active mind which is the problem.

Scarlett said...

@Moonshine - I'm somehow not comfortable being financially dependent on another person. I want to be able to take care of myself financially at all times. But I also crave an extended break from work. And if my husband/partner told me that he wanted to take a long break, I think I'd be worried. I'd support him in all probability, but I'd worry every single day. Come to think of it, it's quite a selfish thought, isn't expect the poor guy to work non-stop while we (women) take a break whenever we feel like?