Asking For a Friend | Chapter 59
Advice from Babe to Babe
It certainly sounds nice to keep your work-life at work and your personal-life at home—but we all know the real world just doesn’t work that way. Whether it’s relationships or R&R, things bleed over and each side can complicate the other. This week, the gurus tackle tricky situations that blend the home and the office into one sticky problem.
Tell him to get over it and adjust his attitude because what he really shouldn’t be able to deal with is how awesome his significant other is. It’s that simple. Your pay has nothing to do with him (and vice-versa, for that matter) and if his ego can’t handle it, 👋🏻.
Break up with him. If your partner uses your success against you, you deserve better.
Money is hard, and it's harder when there is inequality. I would suggest trying to get to the root of why he can't deal. Does it bring up feelings of inadequacy or stir up concern about equality? If you can identify why, that might help you figure out how to work through it together. (Or you could also choose to move on to someone more comfortable.)
As frustrating as this is—and as tempted as I am to tell you: "Nothing, let him figure that sh*% out. That's not your problem!"—I think there is an opportunity for understanding here. It still stands true, that if he can't deal, that's on him, not you (remember that.) However, what about him makes it so that he can't deal? Is he (1) insecure about his own value; (2) feeling underpaid in his current role; (3) afraid of not being a 50/50 contributor to the relationship; (4) worried you're out of his league romantically, since you provide for yourself financially; or (5) just unaware of his conscious or unconscious bias? If you haven't already, I'd sit down and explore the real reason he "can't deal;" I have a feeling it's deeper than just the fact that you make more than him. Then, you both can take the time to directly address whatever challenge is lying just beneath the surface. If that doesn't work, then I revert back to what I was tempted to say at the beginning. Just make sure you cover all your bases, first.
Without knowing how long you’ve been together, if you live together, etc., remember that it is not your responsibility to reframe someone’s mindset if they solely subscribe to traditional gender roles. With that said, ask him if he’s proud of you and all the work you’ve done to earn your income. If the answer is anything but “Of course,” the man could be harboring toxic jealousy. He could also be frustrated with his own career path or lack of. Encourage him to find what makes him thrive.
He should be supportive of your success. If not because he wants the best for you and your career, at least because he knows that you making more money means the two of you have more money to spend on your shared belongings/life/experiences. Try to convey to him that you bringing in fat stacks should be considered a net gain. In other words, a rising tide lifts all boats.
That being said, there are totally valid reasons he could be unable to deal. Maybe he had an upbringing or some prior life experiences that cause him to feel insecure about money in general or caused him to have a complicated or unhealthy relationship with money. Maybe he is unhappy with his current job and is simply jealous of how happy you are in yours and is bad at communicating or conveying that to you. Try getting to the bottom of those feelings with non-judgmental conversation.
At the end of the day, remind yourself that him wanting to feel needed or be a provider is OK, as long as he supports you. If none of this works, a final resort could be to recognize this as a point of contention in your relationship and try to avoid the topic.
Have a discussion to get to the bottom of why. If it’s simply because he's stuck in the mindset of needing to be a breadwinner, there may be more issues at hand to deal with. Ask lots of questions: Is he fine with you having a long career? What happens if/when you guys have kids one day? If you get some answers you don't like, it may be time to address more concerns than just your bottom line.
Short answer: That is his problem and he needs to deal with those issues. Long answer: You should never dull your shine to make others feel better. You earned that money (whether through hard work, education, or both). He should be supportive of your accomplishments. Those are insecurities attached to his pride. Have a discussion about it. Does he feel like you are doing something to "shove it in his face?" Is his complaint valid, or just insecurities? Does he have a goal to change his financial situation?
Just throw the whole boy away.
Totally! In the beginning, I would try to take a few days of paw-rental leave (use one or two PTO days) to get your pup comfortable and settled. Crate training is magical! If a pup has a place they can call their own, it really helps them feel safe in a new place with new people. Never use the crate as a time-out spot—only positivity towards the crate! But with the crate, I would definitely look for a dog-walking service, whether it’s through an app (like Rover) or a neighbor you trust to let your dog out once a day during lunch. Pups are super adaptable and can fall into routines quite nicely. Be consistent and patient and you’ll have yourself a very happy pup.
Absolutely! I have a dog and work a nine-to-five and travel. I make an effort to make sure she gets exercise in the morning before I go to work or after I get home, and a few days a week I schedule her a dog walker or bring her to doggy day care. It's definitely possible, just might be a bit more expensive.
Yes, yes, yes! There are so many ways to make this work. Here are a few things to consider: (1) Adopting an older dog (at least 2 years old) may help make the early stages a little easier. If you’re not house-training a puppy, the dog won’t need to be relieved every two to three hours, which creates fewer demands on your time. (2) Some breeds are going to fit your lifestyle better than others. Leaving an Australian Shepherd (a breed known for being “velcro dogs” and needing mental stimulation) alone for eight to nine hours a day is going to take its toll on the dog; a Shiba Inu (known for its strong will and independence), for example, may have an easier time being away from its human during the day. (3) If you live in or near a city, research dog-walking services or in-home attendants (Rover is a good place to start, but there may be locally owned services in your neighborhood) and dog daycares (in Seattle we have a ton, like Citydog!, but they’re all over the country, like BARK on PARK, run by one of our babes in Jacksonville). (4) It’s worth asking your boss if the office has a dog policy. Some companies have simply never considered the possibility, but office dogs are shown to lower stress and boost productivity—and yours could just be the first for your workplace. Dogs have the capacity to increase our happiness, and studies show the benefits are even greater for professional women. Take the leap. Your life will be richer for it.
Whether or not pets are compatible with a nine-to-five schedule depends on four things: flexibility, support, energy, and affordability. In terms of flexibility, there are a couple of questions to ask: Will you be able to use your lunch break to go home and let the dog out? Do you live close enough to work where that could even be feasible? If not, how lax is your employer on breaks? An eight-hour workday can easily turn into nine or 10 with added deadlines or a longer commute, and all that time inside and alone is no good for your doggo. Regarding support, do you have a partner, roommate, or family member who is able—and wants—to help take care of the dog while you're at work? Having a second set of hands to help makes it much easier to care for a pup while on the clock. In terms of energy, do you think you'll be able to get up earlier for work so you can walk the dog? Will you have the energy after work to, again, walk the dog and make sure your fur baby also gets social interaction? Because you're missing so much of the day where, presumably, the dog would spend that same time cooped inside, you want to make sure you're able to dedicate time for walks and interactions every day, especially if you get a puppy. Lastly, if you're able to afford it, you can always hire a sitter for your beloved pet. This person could come to your house for an amount of time each day while you're at work and let the dog out, play with the dog, and walk the dog. This is a great way to both take care of your dog while you're at work while simultaneously introducing them to a different face and, thus, giving them that important social interaction all pups love and need. Ultimately, having a nine-to-five job doesn't automatically exclude you from getting a dog, but it's a decision that should be made thoughtfully and reasonably to ensure you're providing a great home for your (hopefully) soon-to-be best friend.
Totally! But be prepared to pay. The last thing you want to do is leave your new BFF in a crate all day. It’s sad for them and can lead to behavioral issues. Research and price out doggy daycares and/or walkers and decide if that’s an expense that works for you and your budget.
The hardest part of balancing a puppy and an office job is the potty situation. Now, there are so many services that can take your dog for a walk, or you can invest in doggy daycare. As they get older some breeds are just fine snoozing all day and save all their energy and bathroom needs for when you get home. Try and take a few days off after your pup comes home to really focus on potty training and the adjustment. Biggest advice: adopt, don’t shop (and invest in carpet cleaner)! A dog has truly changed my life and we have no regrets.
Until Next Week,
—The BWH Advice Gurus
Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds.
Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your workplace-related questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!