12 Aug
Husband is a Workaholic, Wife is Going Nuts

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband is a workaholic. It’s bad enough he works in a city far enough away to warrant overnight stays 3 times a week, but he also loads on more work so lately he is away 5. He says he does it because he can’t turn down the money. In the meantime, I am home raising our three kids, mostly alone. He prefers I not work, but I am feeling completely trapped and bored out of my skull.

On one hand, shouldn’t I feel lucky I’m not burdened with money worries? On the other, I miss working and when I married, I did NOT plan on having a partner that was so absent. I am lonely as hell. I’ve searched local colleges and universities to brush up on things and get back in the work force, thinking it might just give me the confidence and employment power to leave him.

My question is am I losing my freaking mind? At 43, am I ready to be a single parent to three kids? Do I work on the barely there marriage or move on?

Sincerely,
Married but Lonely

_______________________________________________________________________

Dear Married but Lonely,

Let’s see, you’re raising three kids mostly alone. I’d say chances are high that you are losing your freaking mind. Those rabid monkeys that sometimes resemble human offspring (say, when they finally fall asleep) can drive anyone crazy if left with them 24/7 with no relief.

I suppose it doesn’t hurt to be grateful that you’re free of money worries, but that doesn’t mean you can’t desire more fulfillment in your marriage and life in general. I’m afraid I can’t tell you whether to work on your marriage or leave, although I think when children are involved, spouses should give every effort before calling it quits.

The most obvious, make sure your husband knows how you feel. It’s surprising how mindless they can be when it comes to these things. Men should come with one of those dense fog warnings so we know when they are too thick to see beyond the nose on their face.

Since your husband is working extra nights, make that extra cash work for you. Hire a part-time nanny so you can get some relief with the children. I don’t know about you but just being able to run a half day’s errands all alone saves me from institutional commitment, especially if those errands include a trip to the wine aisle in Target.

And if you aren’t sure you want to return to work, try volunteer work first. You get the benefit of having a purpose outside the home, interaction with other adults, plus setting your own schedule. Perhaps after a stint of volunteer work, you’ll have a better idea if you’re ready to be a single, working mom.

Good luck. This married with children thing is tough. I didn’t plan on having a partner who thinks the biblical story of forty days and forty nights refers to how long men are allowed to stay in the bathroom. I guess life throws us all sorts of curve balls.

Sincerely,
Heather, TMH

8 Responses to “Husband is a Workaholic, Wife is Going Nuts”

08.12.09#1

Comment by LISA5OF5.

I was a single mom of three young boys. It was the Hardest Job I ever had. I was endlessly broke, exhausted and behind on chores 24/7 for years. I constantly felt like my life was on the verge of spinning out of control. I had my job and my kids and no other discernible life outside that. Single parenting is not for wimps.

In spite of all that, I know that leaving my ex was the best thing for my kids and me. I would do it all again, because I know that ultimately the cost staying would have been too high. Whatever security I gave up by leaving, I gained tenfold in peace and self-respect (neither of which pay the rent, by the way). My kids grew up with a mom who was (and is) strong and happy. And I got to raise my kids in an environment that wasn’t toxic.

Bottom line is this:

You can stay or you can leave. Either way, it will cost you something. And whatever it costs you, it’ll cost your kids more. Figure out what you (and they) can’t live without and you’ll know what you need to do.

By the way, I got my happy ending. I’ve been happily remarried for ten years now to a guy who loves me lots.

08.12.09#2

Comment by Katie.

Sings the epic lines :

“I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love… can’t buy my looooveeeee……..”

It’s cliche, I know, but there IS truth to it. I make HALF of what I did a year ago, but the fact that I’m with someone I LOVE and my life is functional in a way that I want makes aaaalllll the difference. I never used to HAVE to coupon clip, or shop second hand, etc etc – but I was effing miserable. No money on EARTH could put me back in that situation.

Ya feelin’ me? 😉

*apologizes for her hippie-ish undertones, there must be something in the water.

08.12.09#3

Comment by Amber in Albuquerque.

Hold on…Target has a WINE AISLE? The volunteer work suggestion was an outstanding one. Get some help with the kids and volunteer somewhere. I used to work for a non-profit (started as a volunteer ended up with a paying job BTW) and I can tell you that they really, really appreciate the help and it is good for your soul. It gets you out of the house, allows you to get back into the ‘workforce’ without the pressure of annual reviews and a hard and fast schedule, and gives you a great way to get out and meet some new friends. I don’t know how old your kids are, but some places will even let you bring one with you if, say, the other two are school age.

Blessings and luck.

08.12.09#4

Comment by Heather.

Amber: My Super Target has an excellent wine aisle. It’s one of the few positives of living where in my town.

08.12.09#5

Comment by Heather.

Ok, I made absolutely no sense and I’m completely sober. That’s sad.

08.12.09#6

Comment by Bradi.

Please ask yourself if this is how you want your life to play out… sometimes ultimatums are necessary. I have too many friends whose marriages ended in divorce with the exact same circumstances!! Please don’t be another statistic. Do more than find work… find your husband first! For your kids, if not for yourself.

08.14.09#7

Comment by Amber in Albuquerque.

@Heather…sad, but made me smile anyway! 🙂

09.01.09#8

Comment by MrsConehead.

Is everybody just being polite? It sounds like this guy has a girlfriend. Though I can’t see that it needs to make that much difference, since he’s not there no matter what the reason. Option A) stay because the bills are paid and the kids are stable. If he’s never there he’s not interfering with your life, so , yeah, volunteer, go back to school, take life drawing classes and even a lover, if your heart can stand it. Option B) Leave, turn your kids lives upside down, be poor and work at a crappy job for barely any pay and be always exhausted, your kids will hate you, and at 43 you may or may not meet the man of your dreams, but when you are exhausted and working all the time the odds aren’t so good and life is NOT like the movies.

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