I work at a government institution… and through hard work I have been able to get ahead to the point of becoming the supervisor of a department. My wife… has told me that I should resign this position and go back to being a clerk, since I’ve had to work on some occasions until late at night….

She said that if I didn’t resign, she would not allocate the money for me to continue with my thesis, since she handles all our money as per our mutual agreement. That put me between a rock and a hard place, and I had to do what she said.

Dear Friend,

The only reason you give for your wife’s opposition to your promotion is the increase in your working hours. You don’t say it, but she must think that you need to spend more time at home with her and any children that you have. She may also think that the extra hours and responsibilities will bring too much stress, especially since at the same time you are working on your thesis.

However, in spite of those two good reasons, your wife is confused regarding the difference between power and authority. When the two of you decided that she would handle the money and pay the bills, you gave her the power to act on your behalf in financial transactions and, consequently, she probably writes the checks and handles the bank accounts. This does not mean that you gave up the authority to make decisions about family money. So even though your wife is using the power you gave her to threaten that she will withhold funds for your thesis if you don’t do what she says, she does not have the authority to make that decision alone.

Your wife is acting as a dictator who has seized the authority to control you without your permission. Because you love her, you have given in to her demands, but now you feel an ugly bitterness inside that will only grow larger.

The two of you should decide together how your money should be spent. The decision about whether you should keep your supervisory job should be made together as well, but since it is your career and your future, your wife should respect your wishes after she has given her input. (If it were her job, it would be her decision after considering your input.) If your wife will not consent to joint decision-making, then you need to see a professional counselor immediately to preserve your marriage.

The Apostle Paul taught that when Jesus rose from the dead, God the Father gave Him power and authority far above every other power and authority of this world, then, now, and for eternity.(1) Because Jesus has that power and authority, we can trust Him to be bigger and greater than our most difficult problems. Pray together with your wife and ask God to give both of you wisdom in all the decisions that must be made.

We wish you well,

1 Eph 1:21