There are plenty of careers like this or worse. In my field it is hard to find anyone who hasn’t had a divorce. I was blinded by the income partly because I could provide very well for the woman that I loved and with whom I was sharing my life. In the end I lost the only reason I went through all that bullshit. However, now that I am divorced and alone there is no real reason to stop. I do have a very nice career and a very comfortable existence. I paid far too much for it but I did pay for it and it’s mine along with all the toys and comforts I coveted and worked so hard for.
There is a lot of “I” in the above paragraph. The word “love” only shows up once. I realized far far too late how self centered I was (am). I worked far too hard and neglected my relationships because I liked to feel that I was providing for my wife. It made me feel good even after my wife had more than enough and only wanted to be with the man she still loved. I started to succeed. I started to become respected in my field. That made me so very proud. I was respected. I was validated. I had worth. I had the sort of income I longed for when I was poor and hungry. I could buy myself toys. People called me “Mr. Brokentoys” and meant it. I could take my wife out to my favorite restaurants. I could buy a car for each of us so I didn’t have to drive her everywhere. She could drive herself… alone.
She started to get unhappy. The man that she loved so very much started spending more and more time away. Did he still love her? Yes, they had been literally hungry and lived week to week wondering if they would make the next one but that was long ago. They had enough. They could finally be secure safe and happy… but they weren’t. He was never around. Because he was gone so long and his hours were so demanding he insisted that she not work and have a career because it would be inconvenient for him to. Besides, she couldn’t make nearly enough for it to be worth the hassle. She had to sit around alone with no job of her own being handed an allowance like a child from someone who clearly didn’t love her anymore.
I was doing great. I missed my wife but all of what I was doing was “for us”. She didn’t even have to work. Work sucks. I felt so good that I was so successful that she didn’t have to. But she wasn’t happy. What the hell? I’ve worked my ass off and she isn’t happy? It made no sense. I was happy. I had nice toys, the latest and greatest laptop, top of the line smartphone, a nice car. I give her all of those toys and more. She is even more unhappy. That ungrateful bitch.
The rest of the story is too painful for me to write. The cycle continued with each of us resenting the other more and more until every thing that really mattered was gone.
She is now on her own with a substantially lower income since she never had the chance to develop any marketable skills. As for me, I still have my oh so precious career. I now hate it. I hate it for the instrument of destruction it became but I don’t blame it. I know who to blame.
I am disgusted with myself and the career that I paid far too much for. I would happily quit. The toys and comforts mean nothing. The wine tastes like ash and the fillet might as well be a turd so I stopped indulging myself. I eat rice and beans because it reminds myself of a much happier time when I had someone that l loved and loved me back and had hope for better days.
Still I go on. I wake up every fucking day, square my shoulders, and go do a job that I hate almost as much as I hate myself. But now, finally, I don’t do it for me. Now I actually do it for her.
She went back to college. She has a kickass degree and career plan. She loves it. She is so happy, actually happy. She made chancellor’s list. She has a job. It isn’t highly paid but she is doing well there and is valued and respected. She is doing so well and I am so proud of her and what she is accomplishing.
She is able to focus on the future because I am helping her with the present. I keep the wolf at her door fat and lazy. If she finds herself caught in the storm I make it fucking rain. I keep at it because the woman who I abandoned and who I will love until the day that I die needs me.
In a few short years she won’t and I can finally rest.
There are things you shouldn’t give a fuck about and there are things to which you should give every single fuck you have.
Pursue your future. Follow your dreams. Become whatever you want to become.
I can tell you one thing though. You do not want to become me. You don’t.
A very long time ago I was sitting on a broken down bed in a shit hole of an apartment and my wife and I were eating “pasta parmesan”, a feast composed of spaghetti, that sawdust that some people call parmesan, and country crock margarine. The winter olympics were on and we were watching figure skating. It was fucking freezing and we were huddled under a pile of blankets. We had full bellies and my wife loved figure skating and we sat there watching that little television set that we were able to buy with some of my Desert Storm money with delight.
It was the happiest moment of my life.
I would give every single thing I own to go back and be there again.