When you’re in a relationship, you want to be able to support each other’s dreams. Unfortunately, that can’t happen all the time. At one point or another, someone is going to have to compromise for the greater good of the partnership.
That’s ultimately what this sort of strange “Am I the A-hole?” post is about. It isn’t very detailed, so I’ll just be over here wildly speculating about the things OP left out. First, she explains that she is the breadwinner of the household she shares with her husband.
She writes, “I have multiple, highly specialized degrees for a niche industry.” She already makes over $200,000 a year, but that salary could keep going up. Meanwhile, her husband has sort of been bouncing around from job to job. Recently, he landed an interview with a company she calls “Organization X.”
He says it’s his dream job “in almost ever imaginable way.” But the problem is this: “It’s paying about $65k a year, which would be fine except his job directly puts my job stability at risk.”
She explains that her company and Organization X are “adversarial, at best.” She writes, “My field is extremely secretive, and if clients discovered my spouse was working for a competitor, I would be permanently tainted. I wouldn’t be able to get a job in the industry forever. I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but I promise you, it is absolutely not.”
My current working theory is that she is in the secret service or some extremely high-level security position, and he’s just been offered a paparazzi job at TMZ. She even kind of offers it as an example in her post. It’s probably wrong, but that’s what I’m thinking right now. Ooh, or maybe she’s like, a CIA agent and he’d be going into regular law enforcement. I don’t know!
The point is, she writes, “If he tapped my car, got into my work devices, he could use that to advance his career, and any trust I have in this field will be gone.” She might trust him not to do that, but her company won’t. And there’s no keeping his job a secret; they will find out.
So she asked her husband to drop out of consideration for the job with Organization X. She explained the risks, and she acknowledged that he has a lot of different options to pursue because of his varied experience. She even offered that he could go back to school or just be unemployed for a while. The point is, he had options.
But her husband wouldn’t hear it. He got extremely angry and called her “selfish.” He continued the process behind her back and was offered the job. Now he wants to accept it. “He says his career needs to take priority and that I wasn’t being a supportive wife,” she writes.
I would challenge him. Why does his career need to take priority over his wife’s? Why? She’s making a ton of money, she’s in a highly specialized field, and he has other options. I would challenge him to tell me to my face why he should be the priority in this situation.
She felt so betrayed and didn’t want to jeopardize her career and more than he already did. So she told her higher ups what’s going on. Then she told her husband that he could decline the job offer “with me watching him physically decline it” or he could accept the job and move out immediately.
She writes, “I would pay for him to stay two weeks at a hotel, and we would begin divorce proceedings.” Her company would even take care of the legal fees. She feels terrible. She loves her husband, but she had to move quickly to preserve her professional reputation. And now she’s wondering if she did the right thing.
Some commenters did think she was basically saying that her job is more important than her husband. But he’s refusing to compromise in this case where he is the only one who has options. I would argue that her husband isn’t showing much love for OP.
“Of course you are prioritizing your career over his!” another commenter writes. “If he takes that job, you HAVE NO CAREER. Everything you’ve struggled to attain is gone in an instant and now you’re dependent upon HIM.” He doesn’t seem to see that or care that he’d be ruining everything she worked so hard for.
“Men aren’t usually the spouse making career sacrifices for the greater good of the couple,” one person wrote. “I don’t know for sure but that could be something he’s struggling with.” He has decided this job offer is worth tearing up their marriage over. That’s entirely on him. I hope he sees the light and agrees not to take the job.