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.
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.
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!!
This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet
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.
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.
Best thing I gained in my divorce - my freedom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Obladi oblada life goes on...."
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.
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.
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.
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.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid
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.
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.
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.
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.
Her: WW/57 Me: BS/63 24yrs M
3 great kids, now 22, 20, 17 b,b,g
D-Day 8/14/08, D 1/13/11