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My marriage was in horrible trouble and I made plans to see an old flame but my wife has changed -- now what?
My wife is a physician and she works horrible hours. She has been that way through all of our marriage and before we got married (I know -- you shouldn't try and change someone) and I didn't care that much until we had kids. Now I am the one playing Mr. Mom every day of the week while my wife works. She gets up before I do in the morning (5:30 AM) and she comes home after the kids and I are in bed. She complains constantly that she is exhausted yet she does nothing to help her situation. All of the doctors at her hospital have the same problem. It has really gotten bad since they got a different coder who wants to make the hospital more money and is forcing all the doctors to change their notes so they can bill at higher levels. This requires the doctors to spend endless hours revising old charges and changing all new charges. I understand that everything is not her fault but I have grown to hate going to bed by myself every night and by the morning, I am furious. On weekends, she sleeps in until 3 PM or later to make up for her schedule while I take the kids.
A few months ago, I got a phone call from a woman I had known before I met my wife. I loved her like crazy but she left to get her MBA in the midwest and our long distance relationship fell apart. She called to say that she had gotten a divorce and wanted to know if I was free. I told her I was married with kids and the conversation was awkward and short. But she sent me an e-mail saying she thought I was the one that got away and if my situation ever changed.
A month or so after that phone call, I did not see my wife for almost a week. I was angry at her, my kids and myself for getting involved with a doctor who's priorities are work first and everything else second. I told my wife I was going to do marriage counseling. She has patients booked for six months in advance so she cannot go so I have been going by myself. She got furious about it. She said she does not like working 80 hour weeks but she has to, etc. But when I ask her about her job, her face lights up and she smiles and says how much she likes helping people, etc. I then told her if she does not get home at a reasonable time like normal people, I would end the relationship. I asked her what she would do with the kids if we had joint custody -- would she change her hours? her reply: she would hire baby sitters!!!!!!! The sitters would raise her kids. Even divorced, she would not change.
I was so angry I e-mailed my old girlfriend and explained the situation. She is overseas working until September for a large bank but will be back in September and would like to see me. I was ready to move on. My wife could have her job without me and I would watch the kids when she could not -- after all, I am doing it now.
But during marriage counseling, the therapist gave "us" homework. I told my wife that if she does not change her hours, I will end it. So she did. My wife and I have started to date on Saturday nights and I have seen an entirely different person lately. It has been only 3 weeks but now she mostly gets home by 8:30 PM instead of midnight or later. She is trying to hire more staff to help out, etc. However, my wife has always been a workaholic, even at jobs that did not need her to be that way. Plus, I wake up in the night after going to bed together and find her out on her computer working.
I know divorce is horrible for kids but at the same time, she has always worked late and she was never there until the last couple of weeks. My relationship with my old girlfriend was always a better relationship than the one I have with my wife.
I know I made a commitment and I have stood by it. The first thing the therapist asked me was "is she having an affair?" and the second question was, "are you thinking of breaking up the marriage -- i.e., having an affair?"
Divorce is horrible on kids but I did not get married to be alone every night. I know all the other doctors at her hospital have the same problem so it is not just her but again, I know I could have someone else who is at least there every night. What should I do.
Mostly Alone in Phoenix