Question #28: Have you ever experienced something wonderful and you worried how it might affect your spouse? Or your spouse did not share in your happiness or felt left out as a result? How did you handle it?
I don't know that I had an experience that exactly goes with the way the question was worded, but I'll tell you the story of what came to mind.
About 4-5 years ago I was sent to a national conference by my employer. It was 3 days long and I had to attend one session after another and then I was to report back what strategies we could implement to make our overall program better. The conference was held in Charleston SC. I LOVE it there, although this was the middle of July, I was still very excited to go. My employer agreed that I could take my husband if I paid for the lodging. So while I went to sessions all day long, my husband went fishing. On the final day of the conference, they were giving away free registration to the big, huge national conference in Denver.
I won it! I was in shock. I'm one of those people who never gets picked for stuff, and I won this expensive conference. I could see my role at work being intensified through this and all the benefits that would come with it. I was so excited! Plus, I'd never been to Colorado and was doubly excited to see the sights. I thought I could take my husband again with me and we would have a great time.
I'm sure you can see where this is going. He couldn't have cared less. The first thing he said....the FIRST thing.... do we have to pay lodging and transportation? I said yes, the "free" part only covered the cost of the conference itself, which was quite a bit. They were going to have people famous to my field there and you get meals and materials. He simply said we can't afford that, and started talking about the fishing he did that day.
Talk about feeling deflated! No congratulations for winning, of course it wasn't like it took skill, but come on! No, well let's see what kind of deal we can get, nothing. He actually forgot all about it by the time we went out to get dinner! Plus, it was right around our anniversary so I was thinking that would be our present to each other...the "fun" part of that trip. You would think that I would have gotten mad....especially if you knew me....but I was hurt more than anything. Like I wasn't worth it or something.
I didn't give up. When we got back home I did research on flights and hotels and really found a pretty good deal. When I presented my findings to my husband and explained exactly how we could afford it and that it was not really that expensive at all, he barley even looked at me. He just said that we shouldn't spend the money, and went back to work on his computer.
So I had to go back to my employer and explain while yes, I won us a representation at this great conference, I couldn't go. There were no funds at work for lodging and transportation, they almost never pay for that kind of thing. My boss was disappointed, and while he was excited about what I learned at the SC conference and I got to present it, after a few months I wasn't asked to do anything else like that again. I got a great evaluation on my work and presentations, so why not? Just because I couldn't afford a trip? Then on top of it, though we tried, they said the certificate was non-transferrable, so not even someone else who could afford the transportation could go. Maybe that's why...because such a great opportunity was lost because of me.
I buried my feelings about this and went on with my life and career as best I could. Now of course, I'm no longer working due to my health. So how long would I have "stayed on top" of the training heap at my workplace? Maybe two years? That last year at work I was just a few steps above worthless, in my opinion. So if I look at it rationally, even though it wasn't a ton of money, we did save that expense of something that wouldn't have benefitted anyone for very long. So I guess it's a good thing. I still would have liked to have seen Denver! And I wish I would have gotten a better explanation from my husband. But we are not promised a perfect and smooth life are we? And in the broad scheme of things, I really don't have anything to complain about!
Until Next Time.....