Unsupportive Spouse: Losing Family, Job and Identity.
Eight months ago our daughter entered our life it was a transformational experience redefining a lot of what it meant to be me.
Another defining feature is my career.
I have generally been a career oriented individual, these last two years successfully building up a 10million USD, with a team of 50, in annual revenue business on behalf of a corporation in China.
Typically, my wife ignores my needs or doesn’t want to listen to me when our daughter is upset.
My daughters crying always takes precedents, so it can be challenging to have a long conversation with my partner.
I have read many posts around web saying men in such a position should just “suck it up”.
It’s hard when you are carrying everything, work long stressful days, and come home to a place where your needs are ignored.
I was recently told that a strategy has begun to be implemented in order to dismantle my work team and for me to be ultimately fired.
Rumors had been flying around me for sometime, making it sometimes painful to be at work.
But this action came as a huge blow to me all the same.
While I will likely be terminated soon, I still have to report to work on a daily basis in order to protect my family’s financial interest.
I called my wife to talk to her about it.
My daughter was a little upset in the background, not even crying.
My wife then went on to say “our daughter’s upset, can we talk about this when you get home?” Truth be told we both knew I was going to be home in 10 minutes, but I really needed someone there for me.
I told her “I guess my problem is not very important.
” She hung up.
In the cab ride home I tried to lick my wounds, my heart continuing to sink with each passing second.
Feeling betrayed by my company, abandoned by my wife, and still left to ensure that I would be able to provide for my family.
I also felt that I was losing my identity.
Being a high level leader is lonely as is.
After arriving home, we had a stern conversation that turned into a vicious argument.
We argue on a weekly basis.
But this was the worst.
I heard things from her mouth that were so hurtful and said things weren’t great either.
At what point in time do my needs become important? I love my wife, but I am thinking it’s time to give up.
Thank you so much for your time in responding. I do love her, and that's important. We tend to fight about similar issues, though not the same issue (Child raring, responsibilities, my role in the family) and I decided to do something radical yesterday, after yet another argument. I don’t know if this is the right approach or not. But when we had settled down I invited my wife to sit down and write a list about the things we feel that we are missing in our lives and how changes can be made on both of our parts to fix it. Things like quantifying the number of hours a day that she just needs a break from child care and I take over 100%. Or for her to listen to me when things are critically important. Distribution of housework. I always hated the idea formalizing these things on paper, because as much as I love managing businesses I didn’t want that sort of structure to enter our everyday life. After coming to an agreement, we posted the list on the wall and signed it. We’ll test it out and see if it works. At the very least, going through the process gave us a better understanding of what the other is feeling. I feel more focused and positive, but we’ll see if it actually can help us maintain an awareness of each other’s needs. Next step I think is going to be working on the way we fight about things. Again, a heartfelt thanks for your ear and time.
Hi RAB-China, I can really feel your pain in this post. I really do. If you feel that you have problems in your marriage, it is important to establish in your own mind whether or not these problems are the normal inevitable struggles which occur in every marriaghie, or whether they are over and above the normal struggles. One way of gauging this is by asking yourself if there has been any progress over time. Do you still fight about the same things all the time without reaching any solution? Or have you solved some issues, moved on and are now dealing with different issues? Another important question is whether there is a willingness in both husband and wife to deal with issues, or is there a one-sided attempt to address the problems in your marriage. From what you have written is that you feel left out and unimportant. This is really damaging as it is leading to a lot of buildup resentment; you already feel left out and being the one who is working too hard (even financially) in the marriage. Even your partner is at fault for treating you so, but she may have her own stresses, responsibilities and reasons. Marriage needs to be worked on together, and right from the beginning. Were you always there for her when she needed you? What do you think is your role in causing all this to happen? Before you call it quits, or whatever it is you decide, you need to honestly think of how you both got here at this stage in your marriage. Remember, it takes two to tango. Since you have admitted that you love your wife, there is still hope that things can turn around completely. Go sit with her, take her hand and express your heart out; ask her what is troubling her. If need be, even go to a counselor who can spot the problems in your marriage and help you fix it. I really hope this helps. Please ask more questions, if you must, or share if you have any other concerns.