First World Problems

There are problems that are unique to the first world. For example, a woman wrote Slate to complain about the fact that her husband busted his ass, made a fortune, and was able to retire before he turned 40:

Dear Prudence,
My husband achieved professional success and wealth early in life. His work involved long hours and lots of stress, and by his 30s he decided that he wanted out. His accumulated wealth could easily support our lifestyle indefinitely, so he retired about 18 months ago, shortly after the birth of our first child. He has not found anything to do in that time! We have an excellent nanny 40 hours a week, and outside those hours my husband is an extremely involved father. We split the domestic duties roughly 50–50, as before, but now I am the only one working and he says he shouldn’t be “penalized” by having extra domestic responsibilities. So he spends the week dicking around (gym, squash, books, movies, etc.). It’s making me crazy with resentment, especially when I come home from a hard day at work. He tells me I should just quit if I don’t like it, and that I shouldn’t worry about being dependent because he’s set up a trust fund for me and our son. But I also think it sets a bad example for our son to see a father who doesn’t have some productive purpose in life. My husband disagrees and says he will be “an excellent corrective to the productionist propaganda schools inflict on kids to make them the unquestioning worker bees the economy demands.” He says he doesn’t care if our son grows up to work hard and that work is a lamentable necessity and it is only “false consciousness” to think otherwise. I’m tired of this devolving into a sociological debate! How can we resolve this?

—Do Something

Having a spouse who struck it big and retired early is a problem many of us would be willing to shoulder the burden of. Seriously, if the biggest complaint you can make is that your husband is so rich that he was able to retire in his 30s then life isn’t that bad. Also, as a response to the woman I would simply note that it appears he’s done quite a damned bit already.