LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XV. PLATE TWO: BEING A BREADWINNER (PRODUCING SOCIO-ECONOMIC VIABILITY/CAREERS)
Helene and Frederick have gone through several difficult periods of time during which the breadwinner role had to be redefined in their relationship. When they first met, Frederick was performing in a rock band. He was moderately successful, and this provided him with full time employment and a fulfilling occupation, albeit a poorly paying one. At the time of their meeting, Helene was working as a loan officer at a bank. Frederick found part-time work in a large music store as they built a committed relationship together. Helene continued working, contributing financially to their joint needs. During this period of time, Frederick continued his song-writing ventures, attempting to use these activities to achieve a more lucrative and rewarding position in the local music scene. Helene shifted jobs, becoming a manager of a major apartment complex on the outskirts of the city in which they lived.
As is clearly the case with many married couples, a major change in Frederick and Helene’s economic plate occurred when Helene became pregnant and lost her job. Helene and Frederick were faced with the need for new financial revenues, given that Helene lost her job and the appearance of a third mouth to feed. They decided to move to a city where Frederick previously lived and where several solid job offers were waiting for him: “come back here and play with us . . . .there’s lots of work here . . . we’re just waiting for you to come back and help us put it together.” Helene encouraged this move: “I wasn’t going to be the reason that Frederick gave up music.”
Unfortunately, the musical plans did not materialize, although Frederick did: “. . . put a group together. . . I booked the gigs . . . we had our pictures taken . . . interviews lined up [but] the singer’s girlfriend wanted him to go with her down to Mexico so we had to cancel the whole thing . . . and I had to do something else.” The very next day, Frederick returned to work at a branch of the music store where he had worked before.