“I don’t want to be successful.”

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^ Not my boyfriend.

That’s what my boyfriend just told me.

Actually, it went more like this:

“I want to be successful for my family. I don’t want to be successful just for the sake of being successful.”

I got really mad at him and hung up right after that. Without saying I love you.

Yeah, that happens more often than I’d like to admit.

The thing is, I can’t even really explain why I’m upset. Was the thought of hearing a man say “I don’t want to be successful just because” too much for me? Am I really that shallow? Am I worried that not wanting to be successful at work means you have no ambition in life in general? Am I afraid that his seeming ‘lack of drive’ will make him passive for the rest of our lives?But let’s say I did have someone career-driven. Would they be necessarily aggressive? Would they even have time for me and my family? Would I resent them for not spending as much time at home as they did at work?

Just last Friday, TM made a mistake at work and he had to go and fix it. We weren’t supposed to Skype that night. But something happened to where he realized he could, so he came straight home to get on Skype with me. But before he even reached his house, his boss called from work. I picked up Skype to hear him talking to his boss, and it didn’t sound good. I didn’t see his face on the screen for 5 or so minutes. When I finally did, he looked extremely upset. I asked him what was wrong, and he told me that he’d made a mistake and needed to fix it.

So he sat there on his computer, going through his files, his emails, trying to see what went wrong. He called a guy at work and asked him to send him some files he needed. He called his boss back and tried to talk through the issue. It was looking like he’d have to go back to work. All the while I sat there watching, growing steadily more and more upset.

He hung up on his boss, tried to work through it again. Couldn’t find the files he needed. Called his co-worker back; guy’d already left the office. He needed that file. He had to go.

I fell asleep long before he actually left. In fact, I’d hung up on him because I was so upset that he had apparently ‘chosen’ his job over me. He called me back very distressed because he “needed me” to be there for him. So I got back on Skype, but I think I just left my laptop open and didn’t talk to him at all. It didn’t matter; he was busy anyway. By the time I woke up the next morning I realized he’d gone back to work to fix it after all.

This was a pretty rare occurrence. It’s only happened one other time. And I was more upset that he told me he’d have time after all, that I got my hopes up, and that they’d been dashed when it turned out actually he couldn’t spend time with me.

But the reason I was thinking? “If only he hadn’t cared about his damn job so much.”

Which is the exact opposite of what he’s been trying to tell me in this days-long fight we’ve been having. He said it quite explicitly just before. “I don’t want to be successful just for the sake of success. I want to be successful for my family.”

Is that not what he was doing when he went back to work that day? Going to fix his mistake so that he can keep the job he needs to support himself, to support us? And I got mad at him for that. And now I’m getting mad at him because he won’t voluntarily spend all of his free time working til 9 PM instead of coming home to be with me?

What the fuck, me.

What is going on with you??

I don’t know. But if I don’t figure it out soon, we’re going to have some serious problems.

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