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My name is Hiroki and I would just like to ask for your viewpoint on this little matter that I found myself into. I just don't get it, I'm confused, and honestly, I have no idea what's wrong.
I am just at the end of my wits so I would like to have some fresh eyes to look at my present predicament. I just don't know what happened. And I know, if there's someone that can really guide me through this matter, I think that person would be you.
You see, we're at a party hosted by one of our friends. I attended it together with my wife. We were drinking wine and we were just talking about life in general. Our bunch grew up together. We were friends since high school so we all know what we had and what we now have.
A question about success floated in the air and we were to answer. I just can't remember the exact phrasing but basically, the question is asking us if we think we are successful with our lives. We weren't all that rich but I was proud to say that no one is really living in poverty.
I was just promoted to the head of our department and as far as I am concerned, that's already a success that I could really be proud of. We have our own house, my wife and I have 2 separate cars although she mainly uses it for personal trips only because she doesn't work anymore nor she needs to, I can easily provide for all of our needs and wants. Success, right? So when my turn to answer came, I proudly told everyone that I can definitely say that my life was a success. Why not? I have a great wife, I have a good job, and I have such amazing friends.
And of course, I was expecting that my wife will answer the same thing because I believed that we were on the same page, but to my surprise, she couldn't answer straight up and I saw in her eyes that she was genuinely sad at that time. I don't know if it was because of my answer, or because of the question.
I also told her on our drive home that I would really appreciate it if she could consider my success hers as well. I mean, I could not achieve everything I have without her support and help. What do they say again? Behind every great man is an even greater woman. Am I right?
But even my poor attempt to console her didn't do the trick. So, Prof, what did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong? What could I do??
I appreciate your letter that's just full of honesty and humility. Obviously I jest, I hope that you would implore my sense of humor and you wouldn't take offense to my little attempt at sarcasm.
Anyhow, I have read your situation and I must admit that you really dug yourself a great hole there buddy. Also, your story is so complicated that it can be interpreted in different ways. And the interpretation will of course vary from person to person. But allow me to explore some points here.
In one view, your attempt to share and attribute your success to your significant other can be seen as sweet and just outright selfless. I mean, if someone also dedicated their success to me and share it with me, then I would just be so proud and glad.
On the other hand, it can also send a different message than you intend to do so. This can also be seen as a narcissistic behavior and may open you to harsh criticism because it may also mean that you are stripping your partner of her own achievements and it may also be interpreted as you are looking down on her and she may also feel belittled. It might mean that you don't think that she can be successful by herself so you feel the need to share your success with her.
The interpretation will vary based on the person's personality, aspirations, and social upbringing. But of course, what matters most is your intention together with your wife's personal outlook in life and success in particular. And judging from her reactions, she may be looking to be more than just a homemaker or a housewife.
So where did you go wrong? You didn't ask her what she wants. In the end, whether it can be your success alone or your success together will be decided by the two of you. Maybe she wished to have a career of her own, maybe she wants to be a little bit more independent. The most important thing is you know how she envisions success for herself. And if you could support her as much as she has supported you.
Just like any other relationship, communication is always the key. Don't force your ideals upon each other but instead work together and compromise when the need arises.
That's it, elementary isn't it? So have a nice dinner and talk sincerely to one another.
Again, thank you so much for writing. I really appreciate it. I just hope that I was able to shed some light upon your little problem and may your heart be filled with grace.
And another installment was added to the Professor's correspondence. And wow, I can really say that this topic is quite sensitive so it is easily dismissed in the household. This is truer than ever, especially in this day and age where women are so empowered and already tipping the scales of equality on their side.
I want to seek your opinion as well, what do you think about their situation? What's your opinion about the whole matter? What do you think about the guy? What do you think about the woman? What would you do if you were on either side?