Work, Family, Marriage: Can She Find the Balance?

Dear Vicki: A few weeks ago, my husband James and I arranged childcare for our three children so we could enjoy a romantic dinner out because our relationship is very important to us. Plus, I’d just finished a big project for the accounting firm where I work and James had recently been promoted to manager of his sales department, so we were both looking forward to celebrating. While we were holding hands in our romantic booth, my cell rang. Worried it might be the babysitter, I checked the number and saw that it was a coworker on my project. Thinking something might be wrong and I could fix it then let it go, I picked up the call. This didn’t go over well with James. He said this was our personal time and I should have ignored the call once I knew it wasn’t the sitter. Who’s right? Signed, Right or Wrong?

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Dear Right or Wrong: This is a great example of the significant differences between the elemental personalities and how they react in any given situation. Based on your occupations and behaviors as described in your letter, I’m going to guess that you are a primary Metal personality and your husband is a primary Wood personality. However, I also think you each have a great deal of Earth energy due to the fact that you both value your relationship so much and have chosen to have a family of three children.

In all likelihood, as a Metal person, you probably didn’t see any harm in taking a call to quickly dispense with a problem. But as you found out, your Wood personality husband clearly didn’t like his romantic dinner interrupted by your work. Let’s look at the dynamics at play here to help you better understand what happened, why it happened, and how to avoid this kind of thing going forward.

As a Metal personality, you have the enviable ability of being able to compartmentalize most aspects of your life. When you’re at work, you focus on work. At home, you focus on home. Most Metal people are great at detaching; none of the other elemental personalities can do this as well. So at dinner, it wasn’t hard for you to step out of the romance into work for a brief moment or two, fix the problem, then detach from work and step right back into the romance. Ah, that the rest of us could follow your lead.

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