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Dear Lola,

As my kids head back to school, I find myself longing for the days of learning. I have a wonderful job in a field that I love, but I just feel like going back to school. I would take classes for pleasure, not with the purpose of earning a higher degree or changing jobs. I talked with my husband and he was adamant that I not do it. He thinks it will distract me from family life and lead to my becoming discontent with the career I have. What should I do? 

Learning in Leeds 

Advice for humans. They need all the help they can get.

Dear Learning in Leeds,

Well, I have to say, this seems like the most simplistic problem I’ve been handed yet. Go back to school.

Alright, the solution is never that simple, I know.

You want to attend school and your husband is adamant, your word not mine, that you not do it. Adamant. I can only think of a few reasons a husband would be adamant their wife not do something. One, it would stretch the family finances to uncomfortable lengths. Two, the time needed for the activity is unreasonable, leaving Miniature Humans and adorable four-legged pets to starve. Three, your husband is insecure. One might also call him ‘un mari égoïste.’

That’s French for a selfish husband. I used The Google to make it sophisticated.

I would imagine if finances were the issue, you would have mentioned that. I factored in that you want to learn for fun, which means you wouldn’t prioritize multiple expensive classes in a single semester. I also reasoned that you would not actually allow pets and Mini Humans to starve while you recite poetry and snap your fingers at a coffeehouse. Those people don’t write in for advice, they create monologues on the topic. Which leaves us with a selfish or insecure husband. I cannot answer which he is, only you can do that. Only you know if you met your husband in college and married immediately, leaving him to worry that you could possibly leave him for another college stud – this one a decade younger in years!

If that is his worry, you’ll have a much bigger discussion on your hands.

I’m actually hoping your husband is having a selfish moment. Maybe he’s adamant about you not going to school because it means he will have to pick up the slack while you enjoy an activity. I cannot deduce any other reason for his firm denial – except that he may be jealous because he’s always wanted to take a modern dance class but he thought you would say no.

Now that’s a conversation to have!


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