The BIG Payback

If you have ever had more than three jobs in your life you can probably recall one where the pay didn’t quite match the workload. You may have found yourself in an entry level position where you had been busting your behind trying to hit some unrealistic targets set by a manager who has never spent more than 20 minutes in your area, much less worked that role. Day after day you clocked in and gave it your best effort until one week you were worked so hard that you went home in a daze thinking to yourself “damn, they tried to kill me today.” If that wasn’t bad enough, payday came and when you saw your check you almost fell out. It was then that you decided maybe it would be a good idea to get a bucket and a squeegee because your take home pay after taxes was just about the same. At least you could set your own hours.

The only thing worse than getting paid poorly for working your butt off is not getting paid at all. So what does this have to do with marriage? Everything. Many of you have shared with me that there are times in your marriage when you feel like you are contributing all that you have and you aren’t getting squat in return. Working for free. I know what that feels like and it sucks. All kinds of thoughts run through your head like “hell if she ain’t doing this then I ain’t doing that.” Or “forget her, I’ll just gone ahead and do me.” Lastly, my favorite is “Well, if she ain’t gonna wear that sexy wonder woman outfit to bed at least three times a week then I’m gonna just stop putting gas in her car when she forgets, yeah we’ll see who needs a hero then.”

Seriously though, we all want to feel like our efforts are appreciated and when we are compensated in some form that makes our desire to continue to work even stronger. As we continue we will explore ways to get a raise.

40 hour work week

If you have a 9-5 then you can appreciate that you hours are set and that your predictable schedule affords you the option to plan other stuff around your work schedule because it never changes. That’s great for those who are only looking to do what is required. Nothing more, nothing less. If it didn’t get done by 4:45 on Friday, Hey! How about well see you Monday and pick up where we left off? This regiment is cool as long as you are simply maintaining a specific pace. The problem with this is that it is rigid and inflexible. This strategy may be necessary for your job but it flies in the face of your relationship. How? I’ll tell you how. Every relationship has a natural rhythm to it and you tend to have a routine which is good for the sake of predictability, however the strength of your routine can also become a weakness in your relationship. As people we are supposed to grow and have experiences that will mature us and strengthen our bonds to those whom we are close to. Choosing to only do the bare minimum in your marriage in order to avoid conflict sets you up to only receive the bare minimum compensation.

Who wants some overtime?

If your experience in the workforce was anything like mine then you know about the double-edged dichotomy that is overtime. It allows you to stack some extra cash so you can get ahead on a few bills or make a larger than normal purchase possible. Overtime was indeed a blessing in many situations, except for the times when I worked for the phone company back in the day and they would screw up your weekend by calling everybody back for a Saturday shift. I was planning on shifting my butt from the couch to the love seat on Saturday whilst watching football. I’ve learned that the “overtime principle” can apply in our pursuits of excellence as husbands. Consider this, if you’ve been playing it safe the whole time, what has that gotten you? A basic and very typical payout. This reality could be summed up like this “everything is cool or we straight.” Ya’ll may not be miserable but there sure as hell aint nothing to jump up and click your heels about either. This isn’t what you signed up for. So I challenge you to figure where the overtime opportunities are in your relationship and pursue them without waiting on permission or her to tell you what they are. Trust me, a woman loves to see a man in action.

What do I have to do to get a raise and a promotion?

There is no substitute for hard work they say. And THEY is absolute right. In some cases you can plot your own path at a job if you can not only demonstrate mastery in your current role, but also express the aptitude and desire to do something more complex within the organization. If all these things line up right and the organization has a need for an infusion of new talent then you can get a promotion with more money, benefits and some of those unspoken perks that aren’t posted online like first dibs on the donuts when they come into the office or two hour lunches where nobody questions where the hell you’ve been. The same can apply in your marriage. Here’s how you do it.

Your organization is your marriage. The weaknesses and challenges in your relationship are your opportunities to for overtime. If you put in the work and be efficient with your efforts to improve the areas that need it and enhance the other areas that are already in good shape then you will have boosted productivity by doing things with each other besides arguing or being dismissive towards each other. You also have cut operating cost because now she’s not blowing off steam at the mall and you’re not at your 3rd happy hour this week which saves money or at least diverts it to another area of the relationship where it could be better used. So think about it, increased revenue and lowered cost! Somebody get this man a corner office immediately!

So there is your promotion to a level where your wife has a higher regard and respect for you which in turn makes her want to “apply herself” in areas where she could improve so that you both can do something very beautiful in each other’s life. Truth be told, if we as men tackle our baggage and learn how to be more efficient with our efforts then a lot of the ambient static you have in your relationship will progressively disappear and you’ll look up one day at your queen and realize that neither one of you has thrown any cookware at the other in over 8 months.

Love well,

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