Since yesterday was New Year’s Day, my husband did not go in to his office as is his custom, every Saturday morning. Last night we got into a big argument about all the stuff he is having trouble keeping up with because he’s an independent contractor. He wants me to work for him or help him out in all the details of taxes, accounting, expense accounts, etc. I’d be his administrative assistant or secretary. The business would pay me, but I don’t want to work for him. So he left this morning at 6:30 to go and get his work fix. Here I sit, turning to the internet as I have for about 5 years, for support. Sad, isn’t it?
Work has always been his first interest and his family comes way down the line (this is how I see it). He’s a pretty solitary person in general and having children has been a strain for him in many ways. He’s been prone to sudden outbursts of temper if the kids are too noisy when he’s thinking about work. There was one time when our older son was just a toddler when I seriously thought about packing up the kids and leaving, but with a lot of prayer, the moment passed. He didn’t harm them but his anger was too much for the situation. He holds his emotions in check but then if he is pushed into a corner, he loses control.
Anyway, back to the now…I know that I am bitter and resentful about all the time he has spend working over our marriage. Yes, he makes decent money, but he really would not have had to put in all the hours he has in order to make the same money. Work is everything to him, he has no hobbies and we have no couple friends. Since he lost his faith as a teenager since his parents divorced, it is as if he felt that all he had is hard work to pay back God for deserting him and ignoring his prayers to save his parents. I tell him that his work is his “wife” and we are the “mistress,” and he tells me that there isn’t a competition between work and us. But there has been, and we lose all the time. His father is the same way, he’s almost 80, still working, has nothing else but work, and hubby and his dad have even been partners for the last 4 or so years, which has put a tremendous strain on our family as his father is a narcissist and is extremely difficult to work with (and has done other things within our family to stab us in the back).
So now my husband wants me to work for him/with him. On one hand, as his wife and partner in life, I know it will make him happy and content. He can then concentrate on what he loves, which is his intellectual scientific problems and solutions. On the other hand, by agreeing to handle all the crummy details of having 3 separate companies and traveling out of the country for 2 weeks a month, I am enabling him to spend more of his time doing “fun” stuff while I get stuck doing stuff I never trained for and don’t really enjoy. On the third hand, if I don’t do it, he’ll hire someone to do it and then that will take more money away from the family. I feel doomed to do this even though I dread it. Should I just bear this as a cross? Did you ever know a person that is so overpowering or forceful that eventually he just wears you down until he gets his way? That is my husband. He is not going to stop for anyone or anything, so I feel as if I may as well just go along to get along, since nothing is going to change on his part. But I am sad and bitter because of it.
Last night I really was tempted to pack a bag and leave. He keeps implying that I am just content to sit and do nothing while he works, that I am “comfortable,” even though I have always done everything around the house and for the kids and still do. It is like a one-way thing to him - he is of value as a money producer and I have no value as the main parent of his children. He seems to be saying that I am taking money from him, as if I am using him for his money. This insults me greatly, and as you know from my other thread, our intimate life isn’t so hot right now because of these tensions. We’ve been in counseling but we still have these deep resentments. I think he needs to do therapy about his childhood, he got pretty messed around by his narcissistic father and somewhat flightly, non-demonstrative mother (they were very young when they married). But he’s not interested.
So here I sit, turning to strangers on the internet, at 7 a.m. on a Sunday. I pray and I am trying to forgive him and not carry the resentment, but I am struggling not to want to leave right now. If he sees me as just a loafer after 21 years of marriage, I don’t know what to do about that. It’s killing the love in my heart for him, and the charity I have for the child that he was and the hurt that he’s suffered through his own parents.
5 years ago I started going to Al-Anon after we had a most bizarre experience where my husband was going to buy a resort in Colorado with money we didn’t have (5 million) and in a business we knew nothing about (running a resort), and have me run the business while he kept doing his regular work. When I finally called a halt to it, he called me a “dream-killer,” although from my POV I was being sensible. That is what woke me up to the fact that we see things 180 degrees different. He puts the blame on me for holding him back. I thought he had really lost his mind.
Help. Any and all feedback is welcome. I know I am sinning if I leave. But I just don’t know what to do any more. (and I have no business trying to help others! )