Monday

The Newlyweds and the Tank of Gas

Received Monday, July 7, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
What do you think of this? I am a nanny for 4 + years. I have been with this job for 2 years and I have been married for three months. My husband and I live four miles from where I work, so sometimes my husband stops by or we run in to him when we are out or my husband and I run in to the people I work for when we are out on a weekend. The family is always happy to see me and very nice to my husband. I make about $40K a year as a nanny and my husband makes about the same in his blue collar job. He seems to have some issue with that. On Sunday, yesterday, my husband pulled up to the gas station as my male boss was gassing up. My male boss went over and shook my husbands hand, asked about me and then said, "Hey, X, how about I buy you a tank of gas". He popped his credit card in the slot as my husband was arguing and handed him the nozzle. My husband supposedly said, "you shouldn't have done that, thanks". When he came home, he was raging mad. He was yelling at me about being disrespected by my boss. He was screaming "I can buy my own damn gas". He went off saying just because he didn't live in a 7 bedroom house didn't mean he was poor, didn't mean he needed help. He said he was happy with his life and it was a respectable life. I listened to him and I tried to calm him down. When I wouldn't see eye to eye with him on this, he ended the fight by saying, "what do you have a thing for him? Is that why he is buying you gas". He stormed off to bed and I have not spoken to him since. My boss does well for himself but he is very generous and down to earth. He would have said "How about I buy you a tank of gas" had it been his best friend or his sister.
Believe me when I say, both of my employers are really, really nice people. They treat me with respect and incredible generosity. They have gone above and beyond for me and as a result, some of my accomplishments or the things I have, when I reference them I do speak about how I got them, which leads back to my employers. My husband acts like he is fed up with my job and suggests I am too caught up in their life and I should prepare myself because sometime soon, the witch is going to snatch it all away, and then what? Since my marriage, this has become a recurring conversation. My husband and I both come from the same background, have the same education level and make about the same amount of money. I don't understand why he has so much negative attention focused on my employers. I would never entertain the thought of quitting my job. My husband will suggest that I should and that I could make more money working for another family. It is true that with my experience, I could make more money annually, but I doubt the family would be so generous with bonuses and gifts and I sincerely doubt they would be as kind. I have no desire whatsoever to leave this family. My husband told me, 'your loyalty is bizarre'.

34 comments:

mpp said...

I really understand what you're going through, because I've been there.
And as much as I hate to say it because it sounds so bad, but it really is just your Husband's bruised ego/pride/manhood.
I can empathize with what he's saying, but you really need to get him to understand that your Employer's are just super nice, and they meant no "disrespect" - key word here, because that's how he feels.

I am guessing there may have been a time the two of you struggled and now things are better?
Or perhaps you are Newlyweds just starting out?
Your Husband may be a touch insecure.
The cure: Seriously stroke your Husband's ego, and I don't mean that in a patronizing way .... let him know that you appreciate everything he contributes to your Marriage, that he's such a great guy, and you really love him ....
I'm sure you will mean every word.
:)

Good luck! I hope it works .... it did for me.

mom said...

Whoa! I can see why your husband may have felt MILDLY upset, as it is apparently a very big concern for most men that they are a good enough provider for their families. Congratualtions to your husband for at least being the sort of stand up guy who takes that responsibility seriously.

HOWEVER, he seems to have blown this kind gesture WAY out of proportion. It has noting to do with your employer being out of line and everything to do with your husband needing to deal with his own insecurites. If you and your husband are younger than your employers, it is perfectly natural for couples who are a little older to want to do something nice for somebody in the more "starting out" stage of life...buying a meal, tank of gas, etc. I or my husband might have done this same thing without giving it a second thought afterward...or thinking how much we appreciated when people gave us a little break here and there as we started out.

The comments your husband made about you being attracted to him and the extreme anger make me think he has had an insecurity issue with your employers for long before the tank of gas came into play. Is the other man especially attractive, or flirty? Do you mention him often or sing his parises in front of your husband? Is your husband generally a jealous, insecure or controlling type? Or does he place an inordinate amount of value on wealth and material items as "status" symbols? He may be worried about you or he may be insecure in general. We need a better sense of his GENERAL behavior in this regard, and where you think this is coming from, if you can answer any of the above questions.

I would not quit your job. Reassure your husband, within reason, that you are satisfied with him, what he provides, and the life you have together. Beyond that, he needs to deal with this in a more rational, mature way or your life is going ot be really unpleasant and difficult. It will happen any time you are close to somebody, or seem extra happy with anything to do with your life "outside" of him and his control.

UmassSlytherin said...

Everything mom and mpp said I agree with. I will add that I am personally sorry that you have had to deal with this situation. You sound very nice. It's too bad about the yelling and stuff. Good luck and stay strong.

kathleencares said...

I can definitely see where your husband is coming from, but it is a little strange that he got that upset about it. I do think it's inappropriate what your boss did. I'm sure he meant well, but I think it's out of line. Being a man (your boss), he should how much value a lot of men place on being able to take care of themselves and their families financially. He should have known this would be upsetting to your husband.
I would be supportive of your husband's bruised ego but also let him know that his overreaction and his accusations about your feelings for your boss are out of line.

mother Africa said...

great post! thanks very much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I would be more loyal to a nice family rather than a verbally abusive husband!

dcnanny said...

I'm a nanny too, and often times my boyfriend doesn't understand my loyalty to the families I've worked for. He wonders out loud frequently why I don't "demand" more money, even though I have reiterated numerous times that I make a standard salary, and would prefer a job I like with a good salary to a job that is miserable with a huge salary. He doesn't understand just how personal the job of a nanny is, and how one can't handle the logistics of it the same as one can in an office job.

xfileluv said...

Your job as a nanny is quite different than the average job, and it's easy to see how not everyone is going to understand that. Most people don't get involved on the personal level that a nanny does. I mean, you are a huge influence in the raising of this man's children. How many employees can say that?

I look at the tank of gas as a bonus. As in, "Hey, in lieu of cash, let me buy your household a tank of gas." That's $50 this week that won't be coming out of your budget. To your employer, that's just a perk--and a very nice gesture.

And honestly. If you were sleeping with your boss, would he be buying your HUBBY gas? It's not even logical.

Your hubby just needs to adjust to the ways in which your job is different than the average job. He has a bit of maturing to do. As much as gas costs these days, he should be grateful, instead he's complaining. Hopefully that will pass as time goes on.

Anonymous said...

I have to go anon for this. Your husband sounds abusive. If you stay with him this will only get worse, not better. You should leave him before you have children. You cannot change him. Take it from me. I know. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

And this is a nanny sighting how?

V.

Anonymous said...

V-
way to speak up and remove all doubt. You are most definitely un idioto!

Anonymous said...

V
This is PERSPECTIVE and OPINION.
Nobody said it was a nanny sighting.
And yes, this blog helps all people with questions pertaining to nannies, employers and children.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like it is about much more than a tank of gas. Is there any way for you and your husband to sit down with a therapist or clergyman and talk this out? From the outside, your husband seems to be very insecure about himself and your relationship. He really sounds out of line to me, but are you innocently saying things about the family that he thinks are "digs" at him? I think this is a situation that will get much worse unless you fully address it.

I'm a nanny, and I know how involved I get the kid's world. I know my involvement in their lives can seem weird to someone who doesnt' do childcare, so I can see his point to an extent. But it seems the issue is with only THIS family .

Janet English said...

I know the answer to this one- get a new husband! He's an absolute child and to even imply you are having an affair is idiotic!

Anonymous said...

Male pride...newly married male pride...be glad your husband felt so strongly about an inapprpriate (however well-intentioned) gesture on your employer's part. From your husband's point of view, your boss basically pissed on your husband's firehydrant. Yes, your hubby over-reacted, but look at this whole thing from HIS male/new husband/trying to be the hero in YOUR life perspective. Your boss probably meant well, but it was the wrong thing to do (give YOU extra cash for a tank of gas...sure!...but not your husband.) Agree with your husband that it was wrong for your boss to do this, that you understand why he's offended. You won't be working for this family forever but, hopefully, you WILL be with your husband for life. Your employer's wealth and generosity are triggering your husband's insecurity, that's all. I would not classify him as abusive, just a bit insecure. Help him with this!

Anonymous said...

I can totally see where you are coming from BUT as nice as your dad employer is, that was completely insensitive of him to pay for your dh's gas. Of course it makes for an awkward situation and I can see why your dh would be offended. I'd consider trying to do damage control at this point...maybe speak to your employer so something like this doesn't happen again? Maybe your employer could offer a humble apology to your dh (unless this would just fan the flames)?? I completely understand that your employer just wanted to be nice/friendly but this sort of thing borders on stepping over the line

Anonymous said...

Your husband's behavior is what is bizarre. It seems like with the amount of time that you have been at this job, he would know what a kind, generous person your boss seems to be (presuming you dated him for a while before marrying him). But this does sound like a complicated situation. My advice is stick to your guns. I would suggest talking to your boss about this and having him give your hubby a call saying that he meant nothing bad or disrespectful by paying for the gas. I would ask the boss to do that so that your husband knows it is in fact coming from him and not you. Good luck!

mom said...

I would NOT speak to your boss about this! He did something which he imagines was appreciated by both of you. Asking him to APOLIGIZE might really make him think differently of both of you.

Realize it was meant to be kind and be appreciative that soembody thought to do something nice that they thought might help out a couple of newlyweds.

lindalou said...

i think you guys need to go to couples counseling if you want to make it even a year. big trouble ahead...

sprak said...

Oh, if only someone would offer me a tank of gas!! I see, though, that you have a bit of a problem here with your husband and his male pride and perhaps even more of a problem with his jealousy.

Anonymous said...

Your husband sounds insecure because you make the same amount of money as he does. Don't quit your job and don't mention any of this to your boss (other than saying thanks).

Anonymous said...

10:27
I'm sorry, but I disagree that her employer should apologize for doing something nice just because hubby is insecure.
No way! This is his problem, and wifey needs to help him deal with it. I think it would be ungrateful and obnoxious for the nanny to ask her boss to say he was sorry and it would probably make it the last gesture of kindness he ever does for the nannies family.

Anonymous said...

Mom and 11 37 notice that 10 47 never actually said that the boss should apologize..........only explain the situation.

jill said...

sounds like a personal problem

Anonymous said...

12:18
I wasn't talking to 10:47. I addressed 10:27 at the top of my post because that poster DID suggest the boss apologize ....


"Maybe your employer could offer a humble apology to your dh (unless this would just fan the flames)??"
10:27


But thanks just the same .....

Anonymous said...

Can't hubby just think of it as a work bonus? I mean, if your bosses had given you a $50 cash bonus that week-he wouldn't have been upset, right? So, a tank of gas is the same thing.

He needs to get his male ego in check and realize that not everything is about him.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not your job it is with your husband. FOr him to make a remark like that to you shows how immature he is and what low self esteem he has and that is what you need to work on.
He has a jealous streak in him.
You stay in that marriage and you will be hearing those kind of remarks with every job you have.
To tell you the truth your employer was out of line insisting that he fill up your hubys gs tank. It would be ok for him to buy your gas but he really has no relationship your your hubby and it was like saying "here, I make sooo much more than you do let me pay for your gas" so I can see where it may have po'd the hubby.
BUT the hubby went way to far saying what he did to you. The hubby needs to just give you are tank now and then and stay away from the hubby.

Anonymous said...

I meant the emploer needs to give you a tank of gas now and then and stay away from your hubby..sorry

aliana said...

they can fill up my tank !!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband gets like that all the time. but offer him "free" he will not turn it down. Shoot free gas I would be following your employer around

Anonymous said...

OP,

i understand that your husband's pride was hurt by the gas offer. he is comparing himself to your man boss, and all his financial security and ability to "take care" of you.

men get really insecure when they feel they are unable to provide for their wives/families. this has much more to do with his own insecurities than your particular employer.

as long as your hubby is feeling low about money, or feeling small compared to wealthy people like your boss, it doesn't matter who your boss is. switching jobs won't help because the insecurity is still there.

as someone who is young, poor and married i would try extra hard to communicate to my husband the following: 1) that i am proud of him for his hard work 2) that i am happy with what he provides me with financially and 3) that i desire and need him to take care of me, and that he is the only one that can do it.

this is really a relationship issue because your bosses didn't do anything wrong. your husband knows that.

if all else fails, just give him oral - that always makes a guy feel big!

Anonymous said...

3:11
Your comment was extremely obnoxious, and I hate to say it, but you're right! lol

Anonymous said...

It sounds like your hubby has a problem with the fact that he doesn't out-earn you. It's a very outdated and sexist mentality that he needs to work on. There are millions of couples in this country in which women make as much as or more than their husbands/boyfriends. He's only saying you could make more elsewhere as a ply to get you to quit. If you actually did make more money he'd probably have an even worse tantrum than he is having about making the same amount. The problem isn't you or your employer, it's your husband and his insecurities. He needs to work those out for himself. You can offer help or support, sure, but it sounds like he needs a reality check about outdated gender roles.

Anonymous said...

by "ply" I actually meant "ploy"

it's a PLOY to make you quit