Somewhere in my upbringing and also from what I’ve observed in general around me, I expected I would have a husband who worked nine to five and stayed in the same job through several sets of long service leave.
So for 30 or so years of marriage, he has jumped from job to job, to being “self employed”, to studying, to house-hubanding, to writing the Great Australian novel and many other pursuits. Meanwhile I have diligently worked away at whatever job I happened to have to help keep the home fires burning.
If my expectation was that I would be the primary earner, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Instead I had it in my head that it was up to the husband to do this – as the majority of husbands tend to do and this has led to a lot of disgruntlement on my part. We have always managed to pay the bills and have a home and raise our children and have an occasional holiday, so there is no reason for me to be bothered, other than unmet expectation #2.
As we head to another job ending for my husband in a few weeks I can let the disappointment in my expectation of a working husband continue to bother me, or I can be grateful I have a job and can contribute and we can share the journey (and the housework). We can support each other (which is easier to do if one person isn’t simmering with resentment at unmet expectations) and face the future together and wait to see what new opportunity presents itself – my husband is quick to point out that something does tend to turn up sooner or later.