I work for a small (15 person) niche IT consulting company. I have become regularly requested by our clients and I am a top performer at my company, which in turn has brought in healthy profits for the owner. My wife also works for the same company. She has off-and-on health problems and has had difficulty holding a traditional job. Shortly after my joining, my boss offered her very flexible employment to manage the back end of the company (HR, managing clients, answering phone calls/emails, running the day-to-day stuff) and she has really enjoying having this role and it has fit perfectly with her health needs.
Our 15 consultants are scattered across North America and we just fly to our clients. And the boss has practically moved from Phoenix to LA because he can interface (golf) with clients more easily there. So it really has become a nebulous, virtual company. My wife sees the boss maybe one day a month and I see him briefly every 6-8 months, like most of the consultants. There isn't much of a workplace environment to speak of.
My job also requires an extreme amount of travel and I have become burned out. Recently, a client offered me a very competitive job offer and I decided to take it. When I broke the news to my current boss, he was very dismayed and threatened that if I left he would also unceremoniously fire my wife. He said he expects me on a plane to my next client on Sunday or my wife will be unemployed on Monday. (The implication being I have until Sunday to decide and getting on the plane means I gave in to his threat, otherwise we are both fired on Monday)
I feel my relationship is irrevocably destroyed between my current boss and his company and I might as well help my wife start looking for something new. She has suffered from long unemployment bouts and this has just been so perfect for her and had given her a new self-worth. I am now feeling a hesitation to leave just for her sake. I am also slightly skeptical of my boss's threat, since the company has been doing so well recently he has really ramped his lifestyle up and according to my wife, he spends most of his days playing golf with prospective new clients and she does ALL the business management. He would really have no clue what was going on if it was just dumped in his lap.
I have yet to tell my wife about the encounter and I wondering if there is a best course here. Right now I am feeling inclined to entirely divorce myself from the company and help my wife prepare for another 8 year job search.
It may take 8 years because my wife suffers from unpredictable extreme headaches after an epilepsy surgery she had when she was 22. Every previous employer could not deal with her inability to guarantee her presence on a given schedule. She always works her 40, making up missed time in the evenings or weekends. The virtual nature of our company helps too because she can put off an email or returning a phone call for a couple of hours. Larger companies have rigid HR policies that don't allow for such random absences. She is smart (suma cum laude) and capable, she just can't guarantee her availability at any given time. What can I do to reconcile this situation? Ideally, my wife will keep her job and I will take the new job offer.