My wife and I have been married for 12 years. In the beginning, she was very driven, with a successful career and very confident. She initially pursued me romantically; but over the last three years, our relationship has become challenging. We tried marriage counselling where she admitted that my lack of romantic gestures to keep the flame going compromised her self-esteem.
I was still relatively happy in our marriage but was frustrated by her addictions to social media and marijuana (she’s been a stay-at-home mom for the last five years and gets high two-to-four times per day). I firmly believed this to be the root cause of her unhappiness.
I’m also guilty for enabling her; we both hate cooking and cleaning, so we order in often, and have a regular housecleaner. My wife gets easily annoyed with our young children (four and eight) because she finds them exhausting. She’s taken two solo vacations to “recuperate.” I’ve been a very involved father (due to strategic investments supporting our lifestyle), and truly don’t mind parenting.
While I realize it’s common for partners to feel an imbalance of responsibilities, it’s apparent to both of us that I’ve been shouldering the load. But since the pandemic, and due to global economic crisis, our finances have been strained. I told her that I needed her support financially to maintain our lifestyle. She snapped and told me that I should find full-time employment, which surprised me, since I’ve been the sole breadwinner for the last five years.yoga
It’s been two years, and instead of finding employment, she’s found yoga and Pilates. While I’m genuinely pleased she’s found something that promotes her vitality, it doesn’t change the fact that I need her support financially. I’m getting impatient as my frustration increases that her employment situation has not changed (not even one interview).
As a last resort, I’ve uttered the words divorce, hoping this would be the wake-up call she needed. I even confided this to one of her trusted friends and exposed her addiction in the hopes we could intervene and advise professional therapy. I no longer want to support her lifestyle, and somewhat resent her. It’s clear that her mental issues and addictions will continue to be a problem, but I’m conflicted because I took a vow, and am a man of my word; our children are still young; and I’m not heartless. I still care for her but realize she’s not a life partner.
I’ve grown weary of her and all of her issues. Should I ignore my hesitations, and forge forward with what I’ll know to be a messy divorce? At some point, I have to do what’s best for me, right?
You’ve really shared all. Yes, you have to do what’s best for you, however, I don’t feel that you’ve exhausted all possibilities on breathing new life into your marriage. Your wife was a successful go-getter, then had your first child. From your timeline, I’m assuming she went back to work for a few years before having your second child. She then quit her job, became a stay-at-home mom and accrued a pot habit. Did you ever think your wife may have had some postpartum depression?
From everything you’ve said, I think your wife needs help to deal with whatever she went through five years ago. Part of that therapy will no doubt look at her substance abuse, her lack of confidence and self-esteem, and her basic domestic and parenting skills.
I think your wife needs your support to help her get back to the woman she was before you had children. I’m not saying your marriage will withstand this journey, but at least give her – and it – a fighting chance.
FEEDBACK Regarding the dad dealing with teenage daughter issues (July 4):
Reader – “‘Dad, you’ve got to rise to the challenge’ This is my advice period.
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FEEDBACK Regarding the person “complaining” about their “perfect” life (July 4):
Reader - “Just read about the ‘perfect life’ one person says they have. I have a wonderful sister-in-law and brother-in-law. They’ve been married for 30 plus years. She said they never argue. He tried suicide twice and spent three weeks in a psychiatric ward.
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“They talk and argue now! They’re working on their relationship.
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