His Career is Gone, But Wife is Attracted to Career Guys

Hi there, this is Athol. This is an episode of Ask Athol Anything. If you have a question for me you can send it to AskAtholAnything@gmail.com and it will perhaps become part of the show.

So let’s jump to today’s question. It’s a follow-up question to the earlier episode Stay at Home Dad and Acts of Service. So here’s the question: “What if you can’t figure out what attracted your wife to you in the first place? Or you suspect it was your potential earning power and you got laid low by the recession and your career never recovered.”

Okay, so that’s two questions, but I do have one thought that immediately jumps to mind. You won’t believe how many marriages started struggling in 2008 because of the global recession. I’ve had contact with people all over the world that had a decent high paying job, that took a big hit or got straight up unemployed through no fault of their own. All over the world, there were lots of marriages that I can look back on and I can see 2008 maybe 2009 as a real big crisis point for them. So that’s real.

So, if you can’t quite figure out what attracted your wife to you in the first place, I don’t know how to help you with that, because I don’t know your wife and I would need a much longer back and forth with you. I’d really need a coaching call of some description to figure out what she was particularly attracted to. I’d have to ask a lot more questions.

That being said, let’s run with the thought of maybe it was the earning power because that’s a real thing. There are women who really are attracted to a guy’s career status, his social standing, and part of that is income. That’s their type. That’s their brand of attraction. We all have different brands of attraction, different things we’re particularly interested in in the opposite sex.

So if your wife’s brand of attraction really is social status and you had a high profile career job, and now you’re a stay at home Dad, then yes that’s a real problem. That’s a structural problem. You can be doing great stuff at home, things can be running smoothly, but it’s really not necessarily going to float her boat in terms of how attracted she feels about you.

It’s particularly problematic if she works in a high status career and she’s getting to meet guys of high status with good careers, high paying jobs, because that’s her type. That really is a problem and I think you just have to admit that this is a structural issue. There is no amount of magical thinking that is going to change this. You can’t necessarily just be super alpha, playful, funny, engaging and leading at home and successfully overcome this sort of status defect that you now have. The only solution is finding a way to have some sort of second career. To have some sort of follow up to the life that you had.

Of course that’s incredibly easy for me to say, and I get that the reality is that it’s probably very hard to do. But it’s something that’s probably part of the equation. Anything more that you do over and above being a stay at home Dad is probably for the best. I’m not having any expectation that this is something that you can fix in six weeks. It may require some sort of schooling. It may require a couple years of really grinding away at something, not getting a whole bunch of money in order to be able to get yourself to the place where you can do that. But it’s probably going to be a big piece of the puzzle in terms of really attracting her.

Seeing this is the original questioner asking, who asked the stay at home Dad and Acts of Service. This may be why it’s hard to please her. If she is interested in Acts of Service, what that really means is she’s interested in Acts of Service from a high status guy. Which may be why you doing a whole bunch of Acts of Service is not really working if you are now a low status guy. Or at least a lower status guy than her perception of herself.

So it’s a hard, brutal answer, but the solution may have to be starting some sort of new story arc and really working on a second career. If only to get the hope of some sort of elevated income. But really, what to also take from this is I don’t think it necessarily has to be a super star ultra high performance thing. Something is going to be better than nothing. Something good is going to be better than something, and something great is better than something good, but every little bit helps. At this point we don’t actually know how good you need to be in order to sort of meet that minimum threshold of what she’s looking for.

Like I say though, if this is what she’s into, this is what she’s into. It’s not your fault, it’s not her fault, it’s just the way it is.

So that being said, I think I’m going to leave it there. I’ve really got to have a drink of water or something. I’m getting scratchy, I’m getting over my flu. So anyway, if you have a question for me, AskAtholAnything@gmail.com and until then, like, share, subscribe, comment, all that good internet stuff.

And I will catch you next time.

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