Ask Amy: A Marriage Plus a Bakery

By Amy Dickinson | March 16th, 2021

Is one spouse's decision the other one's responsibility?

Woman at the bakery in front of bread

Dear Amy: My wife wants to change careers and open a bakery. I know she will be successful, because she is successful in everything she has ever done. My issue is that she expects me to work there as well.

She told me I could, “Clean pans, bus tables and take out the trash.”

Amy, I have a home-based business and vowed years ago that I would never again work in restaurants unless (my) financial need dictated it.

I cannot see myself taking out the trash or washing pans just because my wife wants to be a full-time baker.

The only time I even hinted at the fact that I didn’t want to work there, she called me lazy and unsupportive (I typically work about 15 or 20 hours a week.)

How can I tell her that I don’t want to be involved in the day-to-day operation of her new business, and at the same time convey that I support her fully?

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

– Hurtin’ Husband

Dear Hurtin’: While getting relatives to work in the family business is a time-tested recipe for success, compelling a spouse to take out your business’ trash is a less-than-savory ingredient in a marriage.

Would you accuse your wife of being lazy or unsupportive if she didn’t want to sweep your office floor or tote your mass mailing to the post office for you?

I suggest you tell your wife that while you won’t be working at her business, you’d be happy to help her strategize and develop a business plan that doesn’t involve you being her (trash) bag man.

However, seeing as how you keep a less than part-time work schedule – you absolutely must pick up any slack – and trash – at home.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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