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Life... Work and etc....

firestorm

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Dec 4, 2008
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#1
So, we have a history of over sharing around here, right?

I've continued to go up and down with work, with my boss being the primary problem. I've gotten better at managing the stress, but she has gotten so much worse. I finally filed a grievance yesterday. It got the impression they have been waiting and/or hoping for that. They started an investigation immediately. I suspect she'll be gone within 2 months. I'm supposed to take over when she leaves, but this dept is so fucked up. I'd have to fill the position of Manager and Network Admin simultaneously.

Then life at home.... Achieving the middle class dream hasn't fixed anything. It would seem I've been living in ignorance, feeling we just needed one more piece of the puzzle, and we'd be happy. And then just one more. We're out. We have her dream house, and live very well. We're not rich, but certainly well off. I have a shit load of toys. I have my car, and my truck. Two amazing children.

Anybody remember when she joined IOIAP? That didn't last long. There's been lots of clues along the way. We're so very different. I've been dwelling on all this since early December. I realized neither of us really wanted anything for Christmas. And then I was also talking about going on a rather spontaneous road trip, that I thought sounded like a lot of fun. No plan; just a few destinations, and wing the rest. She had absolutely no interest in such a trip. That's when I realized I wasn't even thinking of her coming with; I assumed she wouldn't be with me. I managed to marry someone who not only isn't all "WOO HOO" when I drive fast, she rather hates when I drive aggressive. And she loves that I love the car, but she herself doesn't care for it. But it wasn't just the car... She feels it's irresponsible. Of course, after I opened up the wounds, she changed her mind and decide she was open to the idea.

I don't know if I should get into all that here. I have only two people I've talked to about all this, aside from my therapist.
 

Wirehed

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#2
Hey, congrats on hopefully getting your stressful boss out of your hair though. I mean, hopefully.
Sorry about the other heavy stuff and I hope you can work that out. It's totally cool to have different hobbies, and it's important to do things you all enjoy together too.
 

EM3

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#3
I have to agree with what Wire said. The wife and I had different hobbies and interests but we managed to meet in the middle and have common ground. We had a couple of friends that used to have common ground and both were workaholics and the common interests fell by the wayside. After a very rocky patch and couples counseling they are doing 1000 times better.

I know what it is like to work for a bad boss. No matter how good the day or job was the boss still ruined it for me. They just about ran me off. The same goes for the secretary at one point but I am here and they are both gone.

I commend you on going to therapy. That is something I probably should be doing after all the stuff I have been through the last couple of years. With the job and possible promotion just look at the positives and negatives and see if you could live with the additional responsibilities and talk to other folks in managemt if you can to get their honest opinion.

I always thought money would bring me happiness but I was wrong. Now I didn't get rich when my wife passed away but there was enough to pay off bills, the house and even the new car even though I am still making a house payment and car payment to reestablish my credit and with some left over to put back in case of emergencies. I am even getting her retirement checks. I would give it all back and take back the bills 10 fold to have her back.

What this labored post boils down to is find out what makes you and her happy together and do it and it's ok if you don't spend all your time together.

I hope it all works out for you.
 
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firestorm

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#4
I met with the HR manager this morning. She assures me things will get better. Part of what disturbed me the most is the fact that our new director came in, and said our department is light and needs more people. And our boss said no; she can't handle the people she has now. She's an idiot. If she can't manage more people, and change her management style to accommodate more people, she needs to go. The HR Manager thanked me over and over again. She's been hoping for this for years, and said she felt like she hit pay dirt when she read my email. It helps validate complaints that a coworker put in.

My wife and I have been ambivalent for over 5 years. It's like living with a roommate, and she often snores. We've always had issues, but the one "big one" has never been a concern for her. Intimacy has always lacked, but it has become practically non-existent as a symptom of all the other problems. Throw in the rest, and I don't feel I can do it anymore. We're very independent. We just do our own things, and nothing together. She's fairly introverted, and likes to spend every evening just relaxing. I'm tired to being stuck in the house. Just going for walks and bike rides isn't enough for me. We like the same music, but LOVE different music. We don't watch movies together. We don't watch shows together. We don't read the same books. She bought season tickets to the local minor league baseball team. I love baseball, the game, but I'm not an avid follower. One or two games if fine, especially with beer. Her buying season tickets, when I really had no interest, really ticked me off. In 10 months, I still can't come up with a single thing we have in common, outside of the kids, politics, and such. 22 years together, and I don't know a single fantasy of hers. Not a single one.

I realized what really held us together before kids was our circle of friends. That's LONG gone. Everybody either had their own kids, got divorced, and/or moved away. We're integrated with a new group, but I don't have a true friend in the whole lot. I get along with them just fine, but I'm not one of them. The only thing we have in common is beer.

I still struggle with depression and anxiety, and she finally admitted to me that she just ignores me. Over the years, we'd have smaller talks (we don't have all out fights) and she'd say I was biting her head off. Yet she can never point out examples, even on the same day. I've told her she can't keep pressing me on something she cannot define nor point out. There have been numerous occasions where I have absolutely no idea what she is talking about. But she assumes that, if I'm in a bad mood, I must be mad at her. That's not the case, or at least wasn't the case. Whatever. I've come to the conclusion that we're simply too different. She doesn't understand me. I don't understand her. We have almost nothing in common. We simply make a great team as a household and as parents. That's simply not enough for me.

When I first talked about leaving, her immediate reaction was, "I'm ruined! This doesn't work without you!" She checked, and found that we would have to sell the house. That's the very first thing she did. From my point of view, she doesn't want to lose the perfect partner in the household.
 

EM3

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#5
I work as a Rehabilitation Counselor for people with mental and physical disabilities plus office manager of about 9 people. So indiviaidual counseling of this nature is kind of out of my arena. But here is what I do know. Without communication and a 3rd neutral party to be there I dont see how this is going to work. I hope I am wrong. What I am suggesting is couples counseling. Communication, honest and trust are all part of the foundation of a relationship. Think back when you all first started dating, got engaged and got married what drew you to each other? What were some of your common interests and could you start doing some of these things again. The couple I was talking about earlier used couples therapy to get over his affair and are still together and just bought a new house. Now this didnt happen overnight and required hard work by both of them. Tracy and I just about lost them as friends over this because he and I came to blows one night. Friends come and go. Almost all of mine are gone since Tracy passed since I dont teach. I have had 2 close ones stick by me and that stings a lot but I am optimistic that things will get better. It's tough when you are socially isolated. I think a lot of it boils down to how bad do you all want it to work. But then again what do I know.
 

firestorm

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#6
Thanks for your advice, and sorry for your loss and troubles. I hope things improve for you.

We actually started with couple's therapy. Things only got worse.

The problem is, I don't recall a time things truly were great. I've thought about it endlessly. The first 9 months were great, then I moved to Chicago with her. After that, one thing after another made me feel I was in too deep to leave. I paid rent while she went to law school. How could I leave? And I thought things were hard because of the stress of law school, and having no money. Then I thought it was the move to Michigan and the bar exam.

Things were good for a few years, from about 2001 to 2004. We had a great circle of friends, and I believe that's what bridged the gap at that time. Her and I otherwise still didn't have anything in common. For a while, we played monkey ball and Mario party on the GameCube together, but it was a carry over from the group.

I honestly can't find a connection. The last show we watched together was Big Bang Theory, and that was years ago now. She didn't watch a movie with me in the home theater until May, well after starting couple's therapy. 17 months after getting the fancy seating. She didn't care what I put on. She didn't bother to cuddle up. She didn't bother to stay awake.

If I stay up late, she goes to bed early. If I go to bed early, she stays up late. We talked about it, but she seems to think she needs my approval to stay up late, when I intended to point out a symptom. She avoids intimacy to an extreme, and rules evolved to an absurd degree. It started with no pursuing her right when she got home. Then she needed more time to chill. Then not right when we went to bed, which turned into her falling asleep, and me getting pissed off. No spooning. That just leads to things. So for the past 5 years, we've barely touched each other, and it was rare the 10 years before that. Honestly, it's always been pretty rare. I always hoped stress would ease, and she'd be happy enough at home, that she'd open up and reveal that she's been holding back. But she's not. She has her dream home, and has no answers.

Probably already into tmi, but... I'll just say that she didn't notice my grooming habits for 5 years. Very hard to miss what I was doing, if she even gave just a glance. FIVE YEARS.

Seriously... Nothing in common. This is a great house, but not my house. None of my wants were met, except having a bigger garage. And it's so far from big enough. We don't know our neighbors, so I don't know why we had to be in a fucking neighborhood. I wanted land, but no, gotta have neighbors. Why? Yes, I have room for a dedicated home theater, but it's not a dedicated room. It doesn't have a walkout basement. There's no trees, the yard too small. I compromised too easily. Wouldn't been worth it if she changed, but that's my mistake. What I was wishing for just isn't there.

We're pretty good at traveling together, and site seeing, but that's it. Even there, I'm disappointed every single time. When we were in Mexico, I thought she'd let loose. Nope. We were intimate twice in five days.

She lets me do what I want, and generally lets me buy what I want. But all these toys are just shit.

I think of things I've overlooked, because she's not interested. Such as Wasteland Weekend. She let me skip Roadkill Nights (legal Street racing), because I didn't want to go alone and I knew she didn't want to go. I said it, and she didn't dispute it. She doesn't want to ride across the country in the trans am. I don't care what she says now, she said it sounded terribly uncomfortable in November.

I'm tired of being invisible. I feel greatly appreciated as a partner; as a care giver, provider, father, handyman, mechanic. But as a husband, or even a friend, I don't feel it. And everything I've said for 10 months has fallen on deaf ears, misunderstood, or met with excuses.

I probably sound like a real asshole, but I don't see either of us changing. I believe that's the issue. We want different things, and that's fine, but it means we're mismatched.
 

EM3

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#7
Things will get better for me but it takes time. Thanks for your concern but to be honest you need to concentrate on yourself now. You have given me a lot to digest so let me do that for a bit and get back to you. I was out taking care of some things that revolve around her death and the parents house. I didnt want you to thank I was just leaving you out to dry. Anyone else care to chime in?

No I get what your saying. The wife and I had our good times and bad times just like any other couple. When I used to work with school kids and I mean high school seniors and they would come to me and tell me they were getting married I would tell them you are too young. I always got a WTF look from them. I 'd say you have no idea what you are in for. I would explain to them how a relationship was a partnership with give and take. They would mostly say I know it's 50 50 and I would laugh. I would try to explain how it was a sliding scale that would tip to a 90 10 at times and I always got met with a blank stare. As you know someone will give more and others will take more and the roles should reverse at times. I told them for one person to always give 90 percent was pure BS. You can only do that for so long before you feel tired, unappreciated and used. I have known a couple of other couples that stayed together for the kids sake and one made it to the kids graduated high school and another 2 couples didnt. The details of one is enough to rip your heart out and I will spare everyone the details. I guess you just need to have a good old fashioned "come to jesus meetings" or a "front porch discussion". That country folks are so well known for. These things can be hard, stressful, tearful and everything else you can think of all rolled into one. Without communication there isn't much there to be honest. It sounds like some hard talks and decisions are in order.

Now with all that being said let me remind you that I am not a couples counselor. I am a 50 year old male that within the span of 15 months lost a mom and a wife andI take care of an aging father with multiple health issues. I am speaking only from life experience and observations based on what I have seen, done or wished I would have done. I am getting older and appreciate frankness and honest even if it stings. So take this for what its worth.
 
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firestorm

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#8
Thanks for all your thoughts EM3. I hope you know I truly appreciate you taking the time!

We're taking things one day at a time right now. We met with a new counselor yesterday, but even that was a SNAFU. She was upset, and sent me a bunch of long messages on Facebook messenger, which started and ended with saying we'll try counseling one more time. Hell, I thought we were done. She said she made an appointment via the website and would let me know when it was confirmed. Her idea of letting me know was apparently simply forwarding me the confirmation email. She later said she thought we should take a few days and really talk about things. We never did. We fought more last weekend. Then Monday, I suddenly see this fucking appointment on the calendar. I simply didn't see the email. And this is just how shit goes. So many things are like getting information about youth soccer games from an acquaintance.

I don't see a future; she does. We'll see. I just know, I've invested my entire self for so long, and right now, I can't help but feel resentful. Finding out that she also thought about divorce 5 years ago only made it worse. It would've been much easier before buying this damn house. Even since December, she is having trouble understanding what I'm saying and feeling. We're definitely making progress in terms of talking. I believe so anyway. I don't know that it's leading toward saving our marriage, but hopefully regardless of the outcome, it leads to resolution.

It probably sounds pathetic and selfish, but I don't know if I can stay with someone that was so okay with being intimate just 10 times per year; she thought that was "pretty good". I really mean to say, I feel we are simply so very different, and do not mean to indicate she's wrong. It's just that I'd put myself at more of a 10 times per week person, honestly. And that's led to a lot of hurt and resentment. I'm a relatively attractive guy, but to be married to someone who barely looks at you fucking hurts. To be on a weekend away, and have her ask, "When did you start shaving?" five years after the fact... that was devastating. It all really makes me feel like an asshole, but I believe I need to be honest with myself. I know, TMI.

And so the other gaps feel bigger than they probably really are. Regardless, I don't see anything when we have no common interests or passions. Then she's so intolerant of my depression... whether it comes out as regression, aggression, sadness, frustration... She is still mostly ignoring me. She asks if I'm okay, but there's something about the way she asks and approaches me that pisses me off.. And since I can't explain it, she just gets angry back. I've told her I need more physical contact from the beginning, and she's taken that as momentary hugs and kisses in the kitchen. She sits on the other side of the room. I'm so fucking tired of being invisible at home, when we're out with friends, and when she's making decisions about the kids. There's been improvements, but I don't know. She agrees we've become like roommates. We're barely friends. We're ALWAYS okay. I'm not okay with being simply okay anymore.

Work is really why I'm burned out right now, but it will be worth it. We're being audited right now, and it is pretty clear that my boss will be out of here soon. He and I spoke pretty plainly yesterday, and it was already clear to him before he talked to me that it is myself and another coworker carrying my boss through. And it's clear to him what effect her toxic personality has had on me. And the goal is to make this a place I'm happy to come to. So it will be worth it.
 

Wirehed

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#9
Sorry about your struggles Firestorm. I've got no advice, and it looks like you're doing everything you can. I hope you guys figure things out, separately if that's what it takes, because that's ok too. You deserve the life you want to have.

At least your work is moving toward something in your favor.

Best wishes friend.
 

firestorm

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#10
Thank you. I do feel I'm doing everything I can, and mostly just venting. I don't really have anybody to talk to about this, aside from one close friend and my therapist. Things will improve. I've pushed for changes everywhere in my life. The balls are in the air. We'll see where they fall. I know I'm crabbing a lot, but while I'm struggling with the process, I'm optimistic for once in my life.
 

EM3

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#11
I understand the intimacy thing. Quick story ...my sister in law was married and her first husband didnt have sex with her...i mean like 4 times in a year. I told the wife he was insane and there was something wrong and I told her the same thing. I wont go into all the details. I don't know I have heard of people that really aren't intimate but I just dont get it.

I swear to me it sounds like a she is in a business arrangement and not a marriage. It almost sounds like a meeting needs to be scheduled and go into negotiations with what is expected by each party. I swear I cant figure it out sorry man I am stumped. People dont understand depression and how bad it can affect someone. I know I have it from time to time but mine are usually small bouts and Tracy usually could snap me out of them especially in winter. Now with her gone this fall and winter is going to be a fucking bitch to say the least. I have an appointment Monday with my physician who is a former student of hers to take about this and my diabetes. I have had a few people suggest counseling and I may check into it. I want to try to do everything on my own and that is me just being stubborn as hell. I admire you for being open. I have 2 folks that know what I am going though and only 1 of them truly knows how F'ed up I am by all this. Anyway people that dont know what folks are going through have no idea how bad it can be when you pair a sour relationship with a bad working environment. You can put on a face for public and they will believe it. I would be suprised if anyone here would judge you for anything you post except maybe Iggy (kidding you fucker). We are here for you and if you need to vent post here and PM or email me.
 

firestorm

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#12
I'll keep working on things. I'm stubborn as hell too, but solo therapy has done wonders for me. She has given me tools to control my anxiety. She described me as being at a 7 out of 10 as far as stress and anxiety on a good day, so any little thing could shoot me up to a 10, and then I'm just a complete ass. She's taught me to consider how interactions were meant vs. how I react. I may react with frustration and anger, but the other person likely did not intend to do that to me. What felt as an insult, may just be them being an idiot. Communication has been a big focus. I had to consider the moments I get angry and frustrated, and whether I ever communicated those feelings in some attempt to mitigate repeated episodes. She's also helped me find and define what is actually troubling me, so that I may address them; particularly my boss. And of course, she's helped me realize I deserve to make myself a priority, and that I'm only human and entitled to my mistakes and such.

Today, one of the things that came up about our big fight almost two weeks ago is whether I'm a jerk or she simply communicates in a way that annoys me. I have so much resentment, I can't rule out me being an asshole. I don't remember acting like a jerk, but she said she asked if I was okay, and I shot her a venomous look. I don't know. I really don't know. There's definitely a serious communication problem still.