Marien, a 36-year-old Cleveland, Ohio resident, has not worked in a while due to the growing responsibilities at home. She has three children, a dog, and a cat, all of whom she has to take care of, among the other chores that needed to be done.
Her husband Carl has been the breadwinner for several years, working as a foreman in a construction company. The 39-year-old is a firm believer in gender roles, which is why he prefers his wife at home to cook and take care of him.
However, Marien always wanted to work, hoping she would get a sense of fulfillment and success in doing so. But when she remembers the four people she has to feed and care for, the thought of working goes away.
As a housewife, Marien learned to cook well. Her whole family adored her dishes, and guests who came over always requested to take some home. Although she was skilled at the craft, the mother-of-three did not take pride in cooking well.
Marien believed cooking was a skill that every woman should know, making her just like other stay-at-home women. Years passed quickly, and Marien’s children grew up.
Her three kids all went off to college, leaving her alone at home. One evening, as Carl arrived, Marien casually asked if she could look for a job. She was serving him dinner when Carll replied:
“Work? Why? I earn normally. We have enough money, and you already work so much at home. Why do you have to work somewhere else?”
Marien explained that she had grown sad and lonely while their children were attending college. She had no one to talk to during the day as her husband was at work from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Because Carl loved his wife, he agreed and allowed her to work. Marien informed her husband that a nearby restaurant had an opening and that she would apply later today.
As time passed, Carl continued to work in the construction company while his wife worked in the restaurant. She enjoyed her work every day and was loved by her colleagues. After years of doing well, Marien was promoted to chef.
The promotion made her so happy, especially knowing that her salary would be tripled. Marien hurried home that evening to share the good news with her husband, who celebrated with her. However, his happiness turned into sadness once he learned of her raised salary.
“That’s more than what I earn,” he said. “Yes, dear, but that’s good. We can save more money for the holidays and go on vacations!” she replied. Carl just smiled, but deep down, he was upset.
Carl changed his sweet ways from then on. He was often sad and had a short temper. He even criticized Marien’s cooking and said it was not as good as before. Marien quickly noticed her husband’s change and tried to deal with it. However, after Carl raised his voice one evening, she snapped.
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked. “You’re not normal. It’s all because I earn more, right?” Carl had a long pause before saying, “Yes, it’s exactly that! I’ve been working all my life and now I earn less than you.”
It’s unfair! What kind of man am I if my wife brings more money home?” he asked. Marien understood that her husband’s ego was damaged because of their salary differences. To help, she asked Carl how she could make him happy.
He told his wife to quit her job, but she refused, saying it made her happy. The pair went to bed on bad terms, but the following day, Marien came home and told her husband that she solved the problem.
She then showed Carl her new employment contract that had her salary exactly one dollar lower than his. “Did you ask for a reduction in your salary?” he asked. “The boss looked at me like I was crazy, but yes. You know I’d do anything for you,” she replied.
You’re really crazy, but I love you!” Carl said while hugging his wife. Things returned to normal after with both Carl and Marien happy.
Do you think Marien did the right thing? Do you think that a man must earn more than his wife?
For another good read, find out what happened between a couple and why the wife left her husband after grabbing his position at work