I couldn’t help joining up with Seth and Amber Haines another week for Marriage Letters: My Job–Your Job. It’s a beautiful way to prioritize my marriage, even if I did growl at Dan when I thought he was trying to read the letter over my shoulder. At least I growled with renewed admiration and lovingkindness, right dear?


Dear husband,

Eight years after tossing my graduation cap in the air, and I still want to protest that I did not attend university to earn an MRS degree. I was already weaving my plans for world travel when we met my junior year, but I’m not sure anyone was buying that. Possibly because I couldn’t wait a full eight months before marrying you, and possibly because… well, nobody studies English for the lucrative career opportunities.

All the same, I loved the interplay of words enough to hang my résumé on it, and this year, I’ve traded in a paycheck for one-time contracts with page counts. It’s slow work, but it stirs up sparks, warms me from the inside out.

Your work warms you too. I roam our bedroom-office throughout the day, tracking inspiration from my desk to the rocking chair to our bed, while you remain solid and engaged at your own workspace. It’s hard to drag you to meals sometimes, but I know you remember plenty of nights when I’ve foregone dinner for dialogues. We understand each other in this. You research the latest in biomechanical technology and set up training sessions with clients, and I stare out the window looking for sentences among the olive leaves, and our smiles meet halfway across the room.

Pay scales haven’t changed too much though, and unless I dream up the next Harry Potter, it’s unlikely that my writing will ever pull the same financial weight as your engineering. I confess, I often let the thought that your job is more important than my job (which it is, in a putting food on the table sense) morph into dissatisfaction with myself. How many times now have I wailed to you that I am going to stop writing forevermore and devote the rest of my life to scrubbing the ground you walk on with a toothbrush because at least then I’d be accomplishing something useful? (Yes, our girls come by their dramatic streaks honestly.)

Every one of those times in which I despair at the inferiority of my work, I expect you to sigh in relief that finally I’m going to stop wasting all of our time and then request that I just go ahead and tie your shoes while I’m down there. Every time, though, you exceed my expectations by pulling me up, prying the toothbrush out of my fingers, and offering some way you can help me more than you already do. It kills, in a gorgeous, humbling way.

I guess what I have to say about it all is thank you—for giving equal importance to our jobs despite the income disparity, for making my fulfillment in life your own priority, and especially for letting me display my MRS diploma proudly above my B.A.

It was the best career choice I could have made.



You can read last week’s letter here.

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  1. Oh my goodness, I love this one, too. Sheesh.

    Aren’t all of us English majors just keeping blogs now? Oh mylanta.

    I’m thankful for you and your perspective here, to have a little window in.

  2. Beautifully written. Sounds like y’all chose well. Blessings on your continued journey.

  3. I am so jealous. I many times think everyone here thinks my job is just a fun hobby for me. Oh, look! She is playing around with that teaching thing again! How sweet. But really? Should she be playing when there is LAUNDRY to do??? Hmmmmm?

  4. awwwww, my word. ♥ real love is beautiful and humbling.

  5. Don’t forget, HE took the SAME job as you did when you put those rings on 🙂

  6. Amber – We English majors have to get our word-nerdy kicks somehow, right? (P.S. – “Mylanta”? Love.)

    Brandee – Thanks!

    Megsie – The way you describe that is EXACTLY what goes through my own head regarding writing most of the time. I’m pretty good at projecting it onto other people’s thoughts too, so I’d venture a guess that your family’s more appreciative of your work than they let on. ::hugs::

    Beka – <3

    Liz – I don't think he got the easy end of that deal. 🙂

  7. oh, now this was just sweet! what a beautiful rendition of “why i choose being a wife and mom over any other profession. . . and love it.” and the stuff about the toothbrush and floor–hysterical 🙂 in the best sense of the word, of course, and absolutely nothing neurotic.
    totally enjoyed reading from beginning to end. hope you continue this writing, even though so many other things linger nearby to distract you.

  8. I love the line near the end about your MRS degree and your BA. It made me smile and chuckle and feel a little warm-fuzzy.

  9. Steph – Such a sweet comment! Thanks so much for taking the time to write; it’s so appreciated.

    Erika – You make me smile, oh yes.

    Amanda – Well, in that case… ::dusts off hands::… my work is done. 🙂

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