Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

t/j: Were you the overworked spouse?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Pages: 1 · 2

tryingagain74 posted 9/27/2013 16:34 PM

I was going to post this in general, but I'm more interested in seeing what the S/D population has to say about it:

This discussion came up on another thread. A couple of BSs were saying that they were very overworked in their marriages while their WSs didn't work nearly as hard. They speculated that this environment set the stage for the A (as an aside-- perhaps being "underworked" also speaks to their entitled attitudes).

This was true for me. I had returned to work part-time, and I pretty much took care of everything else (especially anything having to do with the kids). XWH worked from home, could make his own hours, and frequently worked less than the 40 hours he was expected to work unless the boss (who was in a different state) leaned on XWH to get a certain project done.

I'm just curious. We discuss certain patterns of behavior on here and often find that we aren't the only ones who had to deal with that behavior. Another thread talked about how our XWSs were often short-tempered, walked ahead of us, and could be unkind to our kids. That one really resonated with me as it described my XWH perfectly. I'm just wondering if there are other BSs who dealt with that particular dynamic and found that they were overworked in their marriages.

Heal&Deal posted 9/27/2013 18:41 PM

I worked harder in the household and made more money and was carrying his child when he cheated.

Was the pattern in place before I married the guy? Sure. He was entitled and I facilitated. Looking back the setting of the stage is crystal clear. At the time, not so much.

Phoenix1 posted 9/27/2013 19:24 PM


I always worked full time, took care of the house, managed all schedules, took kids to all appointments, helped with ALL homework...

He thought that by him working a full time job that justified him to be too tired to do anything else...

Fast forward to the past year and a half when he was unemployed, I STILL did everything while he spent his time seeking a job (and banging OW and playing happy family with secret new OC). I took on MORE work to keep up with the bills to stay ahead of bankruptcy, and he would get an attitude with me about working so many hours because it "intruded on our private time...," like I was working myself into an early grave because I somehow enjoyed it oh so much!!

h0peless posted 9/27/2013 19:28 PM

I don't think I would say that. We both made close to the same amount of money, we shared in regular household chores, she probably tackled more of the big home improvement projects while I did more of the stuff that needed to be done to keep the house liveable (fixing leaky faucets, etc.) I worked on the cars and kept them on the road and did more to take care of the dogs. More often than not, I was responsible for feeding us.

As far as relationship stuff goes, I definitely did more of the heavy lifting. I planned dates, bought gifts (the last Christmas we were together, she actually bought me something but it was probably the second or third gift she had given me in ten years)and gave her back rubs until she fell asleep every night.

Looking back at the way things were, I was far from perfect but I really did try to make her happy. She complained a lot and took what I did for granted. She was also a serial cheater and had a severe lack of empathy so I think it was just a part of her character to cheat.

Bluebird26 posted 9/27/2013 20:57 PM

Yes absolutely!

I worked a variety of positions that included both fulltime and part time during our marriage.

My ex always had trouble staying employed it was always someone else's fault as to why.

Quite often I was the only one bringing any income into the home.

I was the only one that did any housework, child raising and yard work. We have a special needs child and he is now 11 we have been seeing specialists since he was 2. I can count on one hand how many appointments the ex has attended, even times he wasn't working I still had to take time off work to attend these appointments.

There was always an excuse for him not to do anything. Eventually it just got easier to do it rather than argue, bicker or fight about it.

All the ex seemed to do was eat and sleep and occasionally work. It was always my fault of course.

This gave him ample opportunity to cheat, as I was too busy doing everything else.

Vulcanized posted 9/27/2013 22:07 PM


He was working about 70 hours over 6 days. I was working 25. And working another 40 out of the house (home business); all cleaning, shopping, cooking, pet care, house maintenance, etc.

He would come home, demand back rubs, smoke pot & treat me like I was his mommy.

Spoiled, entitled, yup, all revealed itself w/in the first 3 months. I was too damn stupid to see that it would all lead here.

Housefulloflove posted 9/27/2013 22:39 PM

I did just about everything domestic. ALL of the cleaning, 99% of the cooking, damn near everything kid-related and I worked part time from home. I took full responsibility for our finances since not long after we married(and learned to creatively handle the many ways that he blew the majority of our disposable income). He went to work and came home. That's about it. The only thing I expected from him by the end of our marriage was him earning an income (and even that wasn't necessarily a dealbreaker) and remaining faithful. Apparently that was *still* too much for him to live up to.

We married as teenagers and we both pretty much went from living under our parents to living with each other. I struggled to learn how to take care of a household, babies (had 3 within 3.5 years) and our finances and he....benefited from whatever I learned I guess.

Now that he is on his own for the first time ever, he is struggling horrifically in pretty much every area of life.

He has pretty much proven that he has no idea how money works (I truly don't think he can grasp that when you spend it it is not still there to spend again), he doesn't know how to run a home and seems to have no clue that fatherhood is more than taking your children out once a week and calling to say goodnight. He seems to think that the handful of hours he is with them goes above and beyond the call of duty. He probably feels that way because it's way more than he did when he lived under the same roof as them, as sad as that is.

pointmagnet posted 9/27/2013 22:59 PM

I don't know if I was overworked or not... I fulfilled my role as the breadwinner of the household while my former wife was a stay at home mom...

But as the kids got older and moved away, she got bored and strayed.... I kept going with my job, just working, paying the bills, normal stuff... I was happy but she wasn't...

She eventually got fed up and kicked our youngest son out, so I followed and went with him. And now I live with my two boys (and the oldest's wife) in a nice home about 1000 miles away from the toxic WW. Awesome.

I love my situation. Work a lot - but my office is in my home! I travel for work but mostly it is enjoyable so I am good with it.

WW is alone at her house.


Feeling Consumed posted 9/28/2013 02:42 AM

Yep, I would have to say that I spent a lot more time working than he did. I was new at my job because I was promoted, so I had to work very hard for a couple of years before dday, 70 hour weeks in the beginning (things have settled down for me now) whereas he had been at his job for 20 years and it was so routine for him - he did 40 hours, no more no less. He did help out at home though, but I think a lot of it was because I think he was in his affair already and guilt drove him to help around the house. When he first started his job, he worked 70 hours/week, and I did absolutely everything around the house, including construction! We all walked on eggshells around him because he would be so stressed when he got home from work. Well, when it came time for me to get some understanding because I was working so hard, it wasn't there.

I'm sure he blames me for not paying any attention to him and that's why he had to have an affair. The thing is even when I had free time, he never wanted to do anything!

So bottom line, yes, he was a kind of prince who seemed to always get his way, get waited on, and get babied, even when I was working 70 hour weeks. I do think there is a pattern with waywards - one of the biggest common denominators seems to be self-centeredness due to low self-esteem issues. JMHO though.

sparkysable posted 9/28/2013 06:34 AM

I think the sense of entitlement that these unremorseful WS's have is probably the common denominator.

Sad in AZ posted 9/28/2013 06:59 AM

I can't say that this was the case. We both worked full time, we both worked and played with DS, and we both hated housework .

There were exigent circumstances, too. The X's life-threatening accident made him unable to work/work effectively for a long time. I've lost several jobs and have been unemployed for 3-5 month periods. We had differing opinions on what was appropriate for DS regarding school work. We also worked overlapping shifts for most of our M, so we were only together on the weekends, which we usually spent doing fun things. Like I said, house work was not a priority for us.

Maybe I'm the exception to the rule, but I think you're looking for a correlation that doesn't necessarily exist.

SBB posted 9/28/2013 07:42 AM

I though we were about even, housework/chores wise - we both worked full-time, he worked stupid hours ('worked' should probably be in inverted commas - who the fuck knows what was really going on) the imbalance was in investment in each other and the family.

Ironically he will tell anyone who will listen that he did EVERYTHING because he did the cooking, grocery shopping and half of the laundry. Never had a sleepless night through 2 babies - never needed to clean a thing (TBH I went from fastidious to giving everything a lick an a prayer for the last few years - I don't clean or eat when I'm miserable).

I think there is a connection but it isn't what it appears to be. As he retraced from me, our M and our family he did MORE around the house to martyr himself. I told him many times that I hated how he would do things 'for' me then resent me for it. Everything had a tax.

I no longer felt like we were on the same team. Actually like we were enemies. It was so confusing.

I now know this is classic wayward treatment - most do less and less but the resentment is there, front and centre ie: "you focus on the kids too much and not enough on me." etc.

Valid gripes - absolutely right to voice them. There are things most of us could have/would have done had we known or admitted there was an issue. Wrong to think THAT is why they cheated though. Not even close.

hurtbs posted 9/28/2013 07:54 AM

Absolutely. I worked full time (sometimes more than full time). I did all of the housework. I did all of the errands. I paid all of the bills. If we had to hire a repairman, I did that. If I would ask for his help, he would quickly throw up his hands and claim he didn't know how to do it or that I was "better at it."

In fact, after I left he complained to me that he now had to do all of this on his own without any help (yeah, like I did asshole?).

I have so much more time now, only cooking and cleaning and caring for one! He is still struggling to make his life not a disaster. I get bill collector calls for him frequently.

stronger08 posted 9/28/2013 08:10 AM

Early on in my M I worked a pretty lucrative sales job that afforded us a comfortable life. But it came with the stipulation that I was never home. When not in the office I was out cultivating and/or entertaining clients. I was out by 7:00 am and did not get home till very late in the evening. I basically saw my family on weekends. During that time she did not have to work. She complained and I transferred back to an operations position I held previously. Naturally that cut my income by almost half. As she liked the finer things in life she had to go back to work. We split the household chores but in all honesty she did the lions share. Again she was not happy about that arrangement and wanted change. I had started moving up the ladder in my operations position and once again we were comfortable. But the trade off was working long hours again. Not as bad as the sales job. But 10-12 hour days was the norm. Add another hour of commutation each way and I was gone for 12-14 hours a day. When I got home I was spent and just wanted to eat and go to sleep. As my income rose upward she was able to stay home once again. We had another child and she seemed happy being a SAHM for about 4 years. But yet again she was not happy and wanted to go back to work. She was offered her old job back at the place she worked at prior and wanted to do it. From a financial standpoint it made no sense. Her salary was not that much and when you added up childcare, transportation, clothing and food we were actually losing money. But she swore her salary would increase and it would pay off. A year later her salary was the same and I said to go back to being a SAHM. The burden of her working was causing many issues for us. But she refused and insisted on staying there. The scheduling of everything was a nightmare and I could not keep up with the hours I worked and picking up and dropping off my son. Again I tell her to quit her job as I cant keep doing this. Again she refuses and now she starts working late and having to go out with coworkes. Lots of unaccounted time away from home and bullshit excuses as to why this was happening. I guess you see where this went. A few weeks later I followed her after another bullshit excuse of a business dinner with clients. It was there I saw her and her co-worker OM enjoying a romantic dinner and the confrontation followed. The rest is history

Dreamboat posted 9/28/2013 08:47 AM

I was the one with a solid career whereas he was mostly finding his career. He always worked and sometimes also went to school, but he worked in a lot of different industries trying to find his place.

He started working out of town, against my wishes, before DD was born. That left the entire burden taking care of DD on me. That pissed me off, especially when he started coming home later and later on Friday nights.

He did almost all of the yard work and I did most of the house work. Now I hire someone for the yard work and I still do the house work. The outside does not look as nice as when he kept it, but the lawn guys are a hell of a lot cheaper than he was (meaning, he spent money like it grew on trees).

Anyway, we did share a lot of the burdens of keeping a home and family, but I definitely did more than he did. I think a testament to that is I am still in the same home, I receive no money from him, and I have raised a child who I am very proud of. I struggled at lot in the beginning, but I survived. Meanwhile he is perpetually unemployed, mooches off of others, and has almost no relationship with DD.

chikastuff posted 9/30/2013 11:55 AM

It's hard to say. My ex presented as a very "busy and important" career man. He'd work late and then come home, have dinner, hug our son, and close himself in his home office until or after bedtime. I shouldered the burden of working full time with an hour each way commute, caring for the house, cooking, errands, bills, and caring for our young child. I took on those burdens because his career was important to him, therefore me, and we depended on his salary and bonuses.

After DDay I found out that he wasn't nearly as busy or important as he made me think he was. A friend and coworker of his told me that he was always having to clean up after him and help him finish stuff to meet deadlines. Given that his affairs all started online, I imagine he was effing off all day chatting with women/girls online. When he was home "working" he was either doing work to make up for screwing off at the office all day, or more likely, chatting. His regular business trips were usually paired with meeting rando women from CL/AFF/AM, etc or were get aways for him and his college-aged gf.

So yea, I consider myself to have been the overworked spouse. LOL.

StillLivin posted 9/30/2013 12:27 PM

I did EVERYTHING. At one pooint had 4 teenagers in the house and he did absolutely nothing for the two that were from my side of the family (sister's deployment to Iraq) for the year and a half they were there.
So that's dr appts, dental appts, emergency room visits (all were in contact sports), all the grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, cleaning of the home, landscaping or just plain seasonal yard cleaning, lawn mowing, any and all home maintenance or repair issues, car maintenance on all three vehicles, full time job working approximately 20 hours more than him a week, clothes shopping for him and the kids, helping all the kids with homework as well as maintaining my 3.7 GPA of my own while in school part time, and I was an NCO in the military, so in charge of several soldiers and whatever issues they had.
I was also dealing with a severe autoimmune disease, Diabetes, Hypertension, Hypothyroidism, and several surgeries. I don't know how I managed to do all of that when I was so damn sick.
Him, he came home, watched football, or played football video games, ate from the plate I served him, and went to bed when he was done with football.
Oh, he did get up and take his own plate to the sink. Oh, and sometimes he condescended to go out with all of us for family night....think about 2 - 3 times a month.

realitybites posted 9/30/2013 12:54 PM

I will honestly say my H will go to work. But his whole identity is about his work and he is also one to make himself seem more important then what he is...also gets too involved in his customers lives, meaning he will come home and tell stories about their jobs and their kids and their homes...yet not have anything to say about his own boys or our life. Its as I said his whole identity revolves around other people and their needs.

And he would also work extra hours for no pay...he would TELL me he was making more money but I would not see it in his check. He also likes to tell stories about anyone who is a superior to him and how they did their job wrong or how he could do it better.

Sadly thru the years I would listen to all this bullshit and encourage him to go for the higher job or ask for raises because he "deserved" it. He would get mad at me that I was "demanding" and did not appreciate what he did.

All thru this I was raising the kids, working full time and started to succeed at my work and started making way more money then him.

And then the A happened.

So I won't say he didn't work. I would say work was very unhealthy for him as he takes on that identity and falls back into old habits of doing things for free hoping people will like him more.

Merlin posted 9/30/2013 13:30 PM

The 'overworked spouse' will always have enough subjectivity in it to be a bone of contention. Beyond some pretty objective stuff, the tasks that husband and wife take on are so varied that agreement on who works 'harder' is personal in the end.

Both my ex and I worked. I left earlier, got home later and made 8 times as much money. Yet I always did dishes and cleaned house every weekend. I also did all the normal guy stuff with house repairs, autos and yard. My ex worked, cooked, shopped and did laundry (and got angry if I tried to do any of them) and gal stuff too.

Who worked 'harder'? Hard to say. I thought that it was a team effort. But she thought I was a bum.

She didn't find out what a bum was until we divorced and her unemployed, multiple DUI faux bad boy was her partner.

Thefly559 posted 9/30/2013 14:15 PM

hell yes , i busted my ass for her and my family , she worked for our company in the home office i built ( not paid to build , physically built) she had a cleaning lady ,business credit card , made her own hours , a nanny , i made breakfast before work for the kids and got them up ! I food shopped every weekend, I took out garbage,worked saturday and sunday,i walked her dog before work and after , i let her sleep every weekend late before work and made her and kids breakfast , she didnt work in ten years , she shopped , hung out with her loser friends and lived in the gym! I created a monster! never again will that happen . I did much more than she did for the marraige and that is why she is gone she mistook love for weakness. I think ? sorry i vented some lol

Pages: 1 · 2

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.