Engineers are people too! Honestly! Engineers do some things that regular people (i.e. non-engineers) do – just not as often… and usually not the same way, or for the same reason!
One example is in the area of having a balanced lifestyle. Most people want to balance between important areas of their life, such as family, recreation, health, and work. Engineers also want to balance, but their available choices tended to be a little limited.
When he first graduated, your engineer’s life was balanced between “work” and “chaos”. When he’s at work, your engineer understands many of the rules of engagement – his job has always been to solve problems and try not to upset the rest of the staff, and that second priority is optional!
Outside of work, there were few rules, therefore life was chaotic. That’s why engineers tend to work long hours – they are happier while at work and usually have a strong sense of contributing to something worthwhile – even if all his coworkers would question how much of a contribution he actually makes!
Even though you have tried to expand on his perspective of life, he’s nervous about change (and isn’t that another “normal” human trait he’s demonstrating!).
So how do you get him to extend his life balance more towards “chaos”, which is to say everything other than “work”?
Try to simplify everything for him. Many of you may have read a long standing humorous article on married life called “The Rules” in which the first rule is “Only the Woman can know all the rules” and the second is “If the Woman ever suspects that the Man knows all the rules, the Woman is immediately obligated to change one or more at random.”
So here’s what you need to know. If you have only four rules, he will NEVER know them all! So don’t ever change them! If you choose to ignore this critical advice, the result will be that your engineer works an extra hour every day to reduce the extra confusion you’ve generated in the “chaos” side of his life! For those of you saints who have remained married to your engineer for years, this might actually be a blessing, but we’re trying to help the less experienced engineer wives here!
Your engineer uses only one rule outside work – “I must keep my wife happy”. That’s all he needs! Yes, we understand that it would be nice if he had even the slightest clue about how to make this one rule stick.
But, let’s give him credit for wonderful intentions (or a strong practical side that suggests that marrying someone as nice as you – like lightning – is not likely to strike your engineer twice)!
All he really wants from you is to know what he can do that will make you happy.
Tell him, and you’ll get lots of his time, but don’t say we didn’t warn you!