I love my husband very much but I’m afraid he’s about to ruin his life and our finances. He’s always wanted to be an artist but became an accountant instead. Since he’s been working from home for a month he’s had time to paint and recently announced to me that he would like to quit his job and pursue his dream of painting full time.
I just about lost it. We have two kids and a mortgage. We literally can’t survive without his income. Also, not to be unkind but his art is very abstract. Frankly, I don’t like it. Back in the day, he even applied to several art schools and didn’t get in.
How can I convince him that we can’t afford for him to follow his dream right now? I don’t want to crush his happiness but keeping a roof over our children’s heads comes before a 37-year-old’s painting aspirations.
Signed, Painted into a corner
It’s never easy being the voice of reason or the dream killer but sometimes tough love is required. Was I devastated when my father told me that I would NOT BE running off to New York City after high school to become a soap opera star? Hell yes, my “All My Children” dreams were off the charts but it was the right thing to do.
You need to do the next right thing with your spouse and it’s going to take some finesse. The bottom line is you can support his dreams but with limits. As an adult with family responsibilities it’s not exactly doable for him to just flat out throw caution to the wind and start painting full time BUT you can work out a weekend schedule where he can paint uninterrupted and have his creative freedom.
Because you don’t want your marriage to tank and/or have a spouse who is depressed you should also talk about other career options that are more creative. Maybe it’s not that he loves painting maybe it’s more he hates being an accountant.
I think if you combine being open minded along with being realistic the solution to this quarantine midlife career change can be navigated.
P.S. Keep your opinions about your husband’s paintings to yourself. He never needs to know that you’re not exactly a fan.
If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 😉