My CEO Wife Doesn't Support My Career

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My wife is the CEO for a medium-size company. I’m very proud of her and her accomplishments. She is great at everything she sets out to do.

I’m a geo bachelor, but we live only about three hours from each other. If there is anything going on at my wife’s job that I can show support for her, I do it without hesitation. I want to show everyone that we are a team and that she has support from her husband.

Here’s the problem: My wife does not reciprocate the same thing for me.

I know this is not the same military of the early days where wives are supposed to participate and host functions wearing white gloves, but I believe that some of those expectations still exist.

My wife would never do anything like that because she is very independent. It frustrates me to no end because she won’t even try to participate or show her support for my career in any way.

She won’t have anything to do with the family readiness. Not anything. She could at least have her name, number and email on the list, but she says she doesn’t want anyone to ask her to do anything or expect her to either. 

In other words, she doesn’t even have any words of encouragement for a younger spouse. She doesn’t realize she could be a mentor for so many people.

I’m starting to wonder if she is being selfish. When I try to talk to her about the way I feel, she becomes defensive and refuses to come and visit me on the weekends.

I think my wife looks down on all military wives. It’s like being a wife is a dirty word. I have given her the utmost respect as a woman and a wife.

A while back, she did come to a small party on base. We were bidding farewell to a female Navy captain. I was shocked at my wife’s behavior. She was poking fun at other spouses who attended. She mocked and called them "Stepford Wives."

I was appalled at her and I don’t understand where this behavior is coming from. I’m getting promoted in November, and she said that I will have to pay someone to cater the food because there's no way she will prepare food for an event and look like “hired help."

I’m trying not to let my ego get in the way.  I don’t care that she earns more income than I do because it’s less pressure and stress for me, in my opinion. I am wondering if I married a woman who wants to be a wife or if she just wanted to be married for status.

You get what I mean? No, I didn’t marry her to cook clean, or to be barefoot and pregnant, but I certainly didn’t marry her so she could put me down and disrespect me.  

My wife acts like other people are beneath her and that she is better. My mother’s words are haunting me. My mother said,  “She doesn’t love you and she doesn’t want to be a wife.”

Now I’m wondering.

Sincerely,
Who Wears The Pants?

Dear Pants,

I don’t want to add fuel to the fire. However, I don’t think your wife respects you or your profession.

I applaud her efforts and her accomplishments as a CEO. However, there is something very special, very honorable and unique about people who choose to serve our country.

It appears that you have many dynamics happening in your marriage right now. This could be the beginning of the end. There are red flags everywhere.

Things could change and get better, but I don’t think you can fix it alone. You really need to see an experienced marriage therapist or marital counselor.

I get the impression that you are both talking “at” each other and not “to” each other. This is why the situation seems to be getting worse, and now you are wondering whether you married the wrong person and for the wrong reasons.

Because of this, you need someone who can coach the both of you about communicating on these very important concerns.

Please allow me to give you some quick insight. Your wife is a CEO and, again, that’s great. Tell her I said “You Go, Girl!”

Your wife is independent and that’s good. I was taught to have the same values by all of the great women in my life. My point is that you were attracted to her for those reasons -- e.g. her independence, being a self-starter. 

Before you married her, you knew she didn’t like to cook or clean and does not like hosting events because she feels like it will make her look subservient, right? You knew she “puts herself first -- at all costs.” You knew she is selfish, right?

But you married her anyway, knowing you wanted just the opposite. My question is, why did you do this? Did you think you could change her?

Listen, I’m not saying your wife is right or wrong for putting her career first. However, I caution people when they meet someone who shows traits they don't like but marry them anyway.

I don’t think you will be able to change her, but again try marital counseling before you make a decision to end it. Stay in touch and let me know how it goes.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.

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