When I tell people that my husband, Josh, is trying to make a career out of playing poker, people respond 3 different ways.
- “OMG, that’s so cool! Can I watch him on TV?”
- “Wow, you’re such a great wife for letting him do that.”
- Silence coupled with an “Are you stupid?” look.
Josh has always spoken about poker as if it were “the one who got away.” He played recreationally for a short time in his early twenties (before we met) and fell in love with the game. But push back and criticism from his mom, (ex)girlfriend, and church stopped him from pursuing a career.
After all, is there really a future in poker? And does anyone really want to be associated with degenerates and a life of sin?
For the first 6 and a half years of our relationship, Josh worked tirelessly to provide for us and for our future. We drove each other’s success – regularly clearing 6 figures. We had a beautiful apartment in a big city, nice clothes, the newest tech. We were living the life! But at what cost?
Josh spent 5 of those years working at a national commercial bank. His work was demanding, and his bosses were thankless. He’d come home, everyday, bitching about one thing or another – customers, employees, colleagues, management. He was always stressed, and rarely ever happy. But that did not deter him. He continuously pushed himself to be number one among his colleagues, never settling for anything less. In June 2017, he attended the bank’s pinnacle conference – only the top 1% in the nation were invited. He was fired a week later for coaching an employee through a quiz she had failed 3 times.
It was obvious, at that point, that Josh would not work for corporate America again. All the long days, the time apart, the stress, and the frustration…for what? For his employer to say, “even as a national top performer, your effort and dedication is not enough.” No. Thank. You.
I am not stupid for not asking my husband to find another thankless job. My husband has a job – he works for himself, playing poker. Yes, it’s a risky career. No, the money is not guaranteed. But I trust Josh’s judgement and I know he will not do anything to jeopardize our future.
I am not a great wife for letting my husband pursue a career in poker. I do not let Josh do anything. I am a great wife for encouraging my husband to take a risk and pursue his passion. I am a great wife for believing in his ability.
All I want for Josh is happiness and success. And I will do whatever it takes to help him achieve that.
That means, one day, you will see him on TV.