I can not adequately express how horrible it is to be in a marriage where I get ZERO emotional support. This manifests in myriad of ways, and, as much as I hate to take up space to WHINE, I'm going to talk about it.
First of all, my wife is off on this quest to move us out of our home (which we own outright, so our base costs living here, while quite high, are only condo fees and real estate taxes) and out to some suburb or "neighborhood", all in the interest of "making things easier". Since we live ONE BLOCK from the BEST public grade school in the entire city, this quest is also involving figuring out how to get Daughter #1 into some "gifted" or magnet program for when she starts 1st grade in the Fall. This past weekend (due to The Wife deciding that she didn't want to go to a meeting she was supposed to and creating one of her "webs of little lies" to get out of it, which included sending ME and #1 off with the pot-luck dish she was supposed to be bringing since the location "was on our way" back from the Dojo) I had the opportunity to take a 9-block walk ("on our way", my ass) through one of these possible neighborhoods. On that walk I noticed various apartments for rent, and it seemed like the going rate for a small 2-bedroom basement apartment in that area was 3/4 of what we are currently paying for our place (4 bedrooms, 3 baths, laundry, and awesome corner view). Now, she is wanting us to get a house somewhere, so the issue would not be "rent" per se, but we would have likely similar taxes, plus a whole slew of bills that are currently covered by one assessment payment (water, heat, trash, etc., etc., etc.). I'm thinking that at MOST we'd be able to cut our monthly out-put by 1/3, but that's before a car, or likely two. One of the advantages of living where we do is that we do NOT need a car. As I noted, the school where Daughter #1 would be going if we stayed here is one block south of us, and the daycare/kindergarten that Daughter #2 will be starting at next month (and which #1 has gone to for four years) is a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride away. Now, The Wife grew up in the suburbs of Columbus OH, and I think there is some sort of salmon-spawing thing going on here, but for NO rational reason she is all hopped up about us needing a car, which (considering that parking is $200 or more to START the lists of costs involved) is insane. By ANY measure that I can make, our moving to a place in one of the "neighborhoods" or the suburbs would end up costing us at least half again what we are paying for what would be VERY likely much reduced circumstances, and as far as "simplifying", the concept of having to drive the Girls six miles to a magnet school does NOT sound like an improvement to walking them across the street. The ONLY thing that The Wife's quest has logic for is that the PROPERTY that we would likely end up with would be about 1/3 of the price that we could GET from SELLING our current place (which has greatly appreciated in the 10 years we've lived up here). Now, it's one thing to "re-capitalize" (as one of my friends puts it), but the amount that we'd be able to "bank" would NOT be enough to "live off the interest", so the ONLY reason that I can think of her wanting us to "get liquid" is to make it easier for her to grab those funds in a divorce settlement (she has ZERO actual equity interest in our home, all the funds coming from my liquidating my entire portfolio when going into the publishing business).
Now, I have lived in our building (between my old 1-bedroom and our current place) for nearly 21 years, and have lived in the immediate neighborhood for 25 or so years. I have never much WANTED to live anywhere else. This place is my DREAM home, my ideal. I never intended to move, unless I was going out "feet first", so this whole concept is tearing me up.
I have, however, been unable to challenge her on any of this. Why? Because I am a massive FAILURE. I went from a $100k job in 1993 to earning ZERO for the past 9 years. My meeting planning venture (I have had "Certified Meeting Professional" accreditation in the past) completely bombed, never getting more than a spot job here or there, my publishing venture, Eschaton Books, while vaguely still extant, had the chair kicked out from under it (as anybody who's been reading this space knows) by a crooked Distributor which sold through 90% of our stock and never paid us one red cent, and my Network Marketing venture (while still being the best bet I have for ever getting to retire at this point) has been a hard road for me, my having what is probably the absolute worst sort of personality to do that type of business! Needless to say, any objection that I raise against the varioius huge holes in The Wife's plan get met with "Well, what are YOU doing for us???". There is NO "look, I know this stuff has hit you hard", it's all the implied "YOU ARE A FUCKING LOSER AND ARE DRAGGING US DOWN LIKE A STONE!!!!" Just this morning, she was ragging on my ass to finally pull the plug on Eschaton, to which I replied something about not being able to bear losing another part of what "makes me, ME" and she launched into this whole barrage of belittlement, implying that the ONLY thing I should be "being" now was a husband and a father, and, frankly PUSHING for me (with phrases like "well, if you don't LIKE being a husband and a father you had better make that decision NOW!") to somehow say I was looking for a divorce! Frankly, I think I've been doing the best possible job I can under the circumstances to BE a husband and a father ... I spend WAY more time tending to my kids and doing stuff for and with them that 95% of the other dads I know, and I try as hard as she'll let me to be a HUSBAND, although the sexless nature of our relationship over the past six years of so (she has flat-out REFUSED any sexual overtures on my part over that whole time, with the ONE exception of one early morning in May that resulted, miraculously, in the birth of Daughter #2 ... damn those anti-depression drugs!).
Frankly, I suspect that this is all abut the money. I was making a six-figure salary as a P.R. exec when she met me, married me, and up until the car crash in 1993. My 10-week hospitalization was the coup de grace for my family's Public Relations firm, and I was informed, while still bed-ridden in the Rehabiltation Institute, that the company was crippled without me, and that we would be closing as of the end of 1993. Now, at that point in time I was massively burned out from P.R., the last few years there had spiralled down into a "Wonderland" scenario of psychotic clients and long-term business reltationships turning hostile (I had a new contact person at a client which had been with us from the start tell me flat out that "how could we call ourselves creative if we can't figure a way to get Disney to have Mickey Mouse endorse their product FOR FREE"!!! ... what can you say to that, aside from wondering when the hell Lewis Carroll started writing the script to your life?). At that point I could have gone looking for another P.R. job (which, once I was able to WALK again, I'm sure would have been fairly easy), but I just couldn't handle the psychosis of what we had been through any more. I did take the prep class and pass my C.M.P. (Certified Meeting Professional) exam, though, thinking that I could build up that business independently. Unfortunately, one of the key things of killing off the P.R. firm was that the sort of informational meetings/conferences that we excelled at were NOT gettting funded by the companies in our area of expertise, and after a year or so of frustratingly beating empty bushes, I pretty much gave up on the idea of making the Meeting Planning thing work. Now, I had started Eschaton in the spring of 1993, initially as a vehicle to sell my self-published poetry collections, and enjoyed the book design/creation process immensely, so I decided that I would "jump in" to the publishing world with both feet in 1994, when we released 5 titles. Knowing that it would likely take a 5-year "ramp up" to profitablity, I liquidated all my assets and paid off our current place (which we bought in 91). Now, The Wife was NOT happy with this from the start ... although she did not really express it then (but we DID have a huge screaming fight in the Holiday Inn in Alamosa, CO in 1995 when it became CLEAR that she had expected me to be making money on the book biz already, and wanted me to drop it then and there and go back to a "suit job". In retrospect, with the one VERY strong caveat of how much I adore my daughters (who were not yet in the picutre) and can not imagine life without them, 1995 would have been a very good year for a divorce. Instead she got us into some jackass "couples therapy" program which was a total joke, and was only terminated when we finally got pregnant with Daughter #1 (via in-vitro fertilization). Again, in retrospect, The Wife had STRONG resentments about me that early on, and only the coming of the kids was putting a muzzle on it. It was a year later that my accountant introduced me to RSI (now Unicity) as a way to develop a secondary income stream. Unfortunately, he did not anticipate that one of my "goals" when I went into publishing was to TOTALLY wall myself off from contact with all but a small handful of people, and dealing with those only via e-mail and the post! Needless to say, being a total misanthrope who wants NO contact with humanity beyond a small inner circle does NOT translate well to successful Network Marketing, so that has never been the success that I had hoped (although the new systems are turning that around, if slowly in my case). So, The Wife HATES my publishing biz, and has since 1995, she HATES my network marketing biz, and has belittled it from the start. Of course, I have been trying (really, to FUCKING PLEASE HER since I would rather not get back into a "suit job") to get a job again in P.R./meetings for the past two years, but have discovered (as I have endlessly griped about here) that NOBODY wants to hire me. This has led me to my current leap into the I.T. world, stating in March with full-time school, with the hopes of getting a position that will pay better than hauling boxes at U.P.S. or flipping bugers at McDonalds!
What The Wife never appreciated, obviously, was that I was NEVER really "a suit" ... that was a total accident, based on my Mom hiring me out of college while I tried to find a job in Radio or TV ... I would have been MUCH happier going for a doctorate in Archaeology or something similar. Hell, I triple majored in Religion, English, and ART ... I am a POET and a writer, I am (or was, as it's been a long time since I did any "free-standing", i.e., not a book design or something, art) an ARTIST, hell, I'm a freaking Metaphysical MINISTER! I am a FREAK. I am a scruffy wool-headed newage LOON. While I can DO the "corporate thing", it is like swimming in a cesspool to me! Why does The Wife or ANYBODY think I drank a bottle of Gin a day for all those years? Because I was LOVING MY JOB??? The Wife has mentioned that what attracted her to me was that "I was different". Well, DAMN STRAIGHT ... I was Marilyn Manson dressed up as Mr. Corporate Executive ...so why does she want to dump me now? Because I have FAILED. I have become an economic liability and she will do ANYTHING to try to drive me away at this point, since if there is a divorce, she GETS TO CASH IN.
As anybody who's paid any attention to my poems has noticed, there is a lot of "me" being killed off. I'm now thinking that this is a DELIBERATE ploy on the part of The Wife ... she has been systematically identifying "stuff" which is IMPORTANT TO ME and then launches into a campaign to either make me relinquish it (like all the stuff from my old apartment, which is CRAMMED into my office space, since she won't let any of it "into the house") or have it be DESTROYED (such as her current quest to make us move, knowing how much I love my home, no matter HOW inconvenient or expensive it's going to be). Every time I bring up ANY expression of "emotional fragility" (which Gods know I have by the TON), instead of COMFORTING me she launches into another attack, with the whole "you need to decide" thing thrown in ... OH YEAH, THAT'S HELPFUL ... here I am BEGGING for some support so that I CAN get things going in a positive direction and she simply sees vunerablity and sticks in another knife.
Obviously, if it were not for the Girls, this would have played itself out five years or so ago. Right now I can't imagine not being a day-in-day-out father to my daughters, unless I were dead. Unfortunately, Daughter #1 is old enough that she is able to suss out some of what's going on emotionally for me (well, my breaking down crying on the subway every now and again while taking her to and from classes IS a big-assed clue ... one that her mother would typically just exploit to belittle me!) and has been VERY clear (in as much as a 6-year-old can in these matters) that she does NOT want to "lose her Daddy". Frankly (except for leaving them to the unpredictable mercies of their mother), I think they would be MUCH better off if something happened to me. We (again, at The Wife's insistance ... I should have seen something in that) got SERIOIUS new life insurance a few years back ... were I to have an accident, the Girls would at least have money for college, etc., and a lifestyle more or like what I could give them if I were back in a P.R. V.P. job. I really think that The Wife's plan is to make my existence SO miserable that I'll either divorce her and let her walk with all my assets (conveniently tied up in joint property now), or kill myself and so funding the lifestyle she wants to get re-accustomed to. But the words of Daughter #1 haunt me whenever I think of the death option ... I do NOT want to scar them with that, or if I must do that, to find some way to make them eventually understand.
As I've said here before, my poetry is pretty much the ONLY other thing that keeps me in my skin. If I had the archive site all done, all those poems from the past 25 years edited and up there, I'd be "done" and have a different view ... I guess it's "lucky" that I probably have 2-4 years more work (at an hour a day or so) to get that finished.
Man, life sucks.
Well, I seriously doubt that ANYBODY has read this far ... hell, I doubt more than a handful have bothered to click into this ... but I needed to vent. It's pretty damn pitiful that the ONLY "good result" option one has is winning the fucking LOTTERY ... if I had a big enough win I could tell The Wife to shut her fucking mouth, go shopping, and leave me the Hell alone!