It is not a good idea for a wife to work at her husband’s company. Work is the battlefield where men earn their stripes. It is the stage where he earns the money to provide. It is an integral important aspect of his life. If he owns the company, then it is also his domain. It is the last place where he needs a woman to boss him around and to tell him what to do. He is the boss. He may discipline her as he does any other employee, and boy is he going to pay later tonight for humiliating her in front of everybody. Unfortunately very, very few and virtually none of the wives can actually get it right to be just another employee at her husband’s company.
The same applies to children working for their parents, but sometimes to a lesser extent. The wife may not boss her husband around at work, but other personnel know she is the boss’ wife. If she is 5 minutes late and he ignores it, they cry foul. Sometimes she is sweet and nice and hugs him. Men cringe at this. It makes him seem weak and vulnerable, not the boss. Sometimes she thinks and behaves as if she is the boss. She even talks about “our company”. She may be the beneficiary of the profit of that company, but if he is the boss, then it’s not her company. Taking or even just talking co-ownership of his company makes him seem incompetent. It’s deadly. Don’t do it. It is his quest. He leads. Support his quest, share it if you may, but don’t hi-jack it.
One woman complained that her husband volunteered to work extra shifts on weekends. She did not like it because she wanted to spend time with him, but she understood he did this to increase his income. She accepted it. One Sunday afternoon when he had the day off and they enjoyed a snooze, they were interrupted by a call from a female colleague at work, who needed assistance. He had to be the hero at work and if he said no, he would be the anti-hero. She wanted her husband to be her hero and stay with her. She did not want him to be the female colleague’s hero. Now we have a conflict of interests here. This can easily develop into a power game.
If she had insisted he stayed at home, she would have been doing that thing where women tell men what to do. This would have alienated him. He would probably have gone to work, just to prove to her that he is a man who can go where he wants to. And he may have stopped at a pub on the way home, because he wanted to avoid the sulking wife at home. Alternatively she decided to accompany him to work and made him a happy man while he was driving there. Just to remind him where his priorities lay and to show support for his quest. I did not say it is fair, but he was reminded that he had married the best girl in the world. And the female colleague got the message that this was a happily married man.
Often working women give up their jobs to become stay-at-home-Moms. Some of them have the luxury of au pairs and housekeepers who mainly drive the kids around and tend to the house. The women become bored and lonely. They envy the men their exciting lives, surrounded by other intelligent, dynamic people, who dress up in suits in the morning. The women cut their hair in short functionable hairdos and wear ridiculous Capri pants that reach halfway down their calves and flat sandals that show off their pedicures. But they long for the hustle and bustle of working life, of making deals and they resent the high-powered women colleagues or pretty sales reps with their long hair, who cross the paths of their men. The wives do lunch with their equally bored friends, they have their nails done, their eyelines tinted, their eyebrows plucked and they have set appointments at the hairdresser every week.
They frequent coffee shops, chatting to the baristas, ordering designer cup cakes, reading novels or fashion magazines or updating their Facebook, just to escape their homes. (Very few of them actually read the newspapers in these coffee shops.) Eventually they become bored out of their skulls and then they begin to deliberately pick fights with their husbands at night. Just to get his attention and because they envy his power-charged, interesting life. They sabotage the men on their quests by sending them hundreds of emails or smses or whats-apps during the day, demanding his immediate attention to an irrelevant problem. If he does not respond, she throws a tantrum, accuses him of not loving her, or having an affair with a colleague or causes some drama for him to resolve. JUST TO GET HIS ATTENTION.
These women are not aligned with their men’s quests. When I suggest they get a job, they all answer they do not need to work, because the husband supports them or the husband would not approve of it. These are the women who grow emotionally and financially dependent on the man, and then punishes him for it. Having to keep her entertained after a long day on the battlefield drains him. One woman answered: “If he buys me a coffee shop or something, I would not be able to travel so much.” She travelled abroad at least three or four times a year, at his expense, without him. She attended cooking classes in Tuscany. If he was not home by 8pm at night, she chucked the food in the dustbin, because he did not appreciate the effort she made to cook it! If these women refuse to work, why don’t they get involved in charity? the men ask. Why can’t women find something meaningful to do with their lives? the men want to know.
Men appreciate women who have a passion or an interest of their own. It makes the man very nervous when that passion or interest is him. A man does not want a woman’s whole life to revolve around him. It ties him down. It overloads him with expectancies. It is too much. However, once he marries her, he does want her to take care of the household requirements, pick up the mail and do the groceries, collect his prescription medication and dry-cleaning, tend to the kids’ extra curricular activities, send flowers and a birthday card to his mother, take the dog to the vet, need him like a hero and please just maintain her own interest as well. He also wants her undivided attention when he is present. I did not say it’s fair.
A last word on quest: When the three goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite presented the Trojan prince, Paris, with a choice of the throne of Asia and Europe; wisdom and the acclaim of being a great warrior; or the most beautiful woman in the world Helen, to become the love of his life, he chose Helen. The mighty city of Troy was doomed for his choice of love over power and glory, and he was branded a coward among men. When Achilles was given the choice of a long and happy family life or a short life crowned by eternity of glory as the greatest warrior, he chose the latter. That is why men regarded him as a Hero.