Marriage issues after 4 years
Long story short. Met in NYC. She has family there. We moved out from NYC after a few months because my job training ended and then a new job a few hours away. We now live a short plane ride away from my family.
My wife has a congenital issue causing infertility, we've tried IVF with her twice, both failed. Ended up having a child through surrogacy. We've tried twice since our first child was born to conceive a 2nd through surrogacy, both failed. Most recent attempt 3 weeks ago. She wants to conceive on her own, most IVF clinics now turn her away, may have found a new one that is willing to work her out of state.
She lost her father about 3 months ago unexpectedly (separated from her mother). She was not close with him having issues. They spoke minimally over email a few times per year. Her sister maintained contact with there father. I was unable to go with her to the wedding because of work obligations.
Our 2nd move together was to a small town in the south. It was a good job for me, but she was unhappy there. So we found another job in the same state and moved about 10 months ago now. Now she wants me to quit my job again and find a new job, but this time back in NYC and only in Manhattan. Says its the only place she's happy living. For me finding a job there is very very difficult. And the few jobs that exist tend to take advantage of people and are not stable long term opportunities. Its also one of the few places I have 0 interest in working, living and raising our child. Tried to compromise by finding someone in the area to get her closer to her family (if I could find such a job), but she wants in Manhattan and nothing else. Never mind that I'd be leaving a busy job with great pay to take on as much work for 1/2 the pay for the "privilege" of working in NYC. I like my work, but I also feel like I should get paid accordingly for the time and effort I put in.
We are stuck where we are for the next few years. If I quit 2 jobs in a year, its going to leave a black mark on my record and probably limit what future jobs I may get. Plus, I've invested a lot of time and effort to show my work and expertise with my current employer to where I'd get a part ownership and money I couldn't get elsewhere.
She also wanted out of our apartment. I wasn't ready to get into a house, especially after all the fertility related stuff we've had to pay for. But she hated renting, etc. So I broke down and we bought a house 4 months ago. Now she's unhappy with that. Issues with the back yard, reliable help, etc.
Furnishing the house was an issue because of funds from the house purchase and the surrogacy. We had bought a sofa special order. They ended up losing one of the sections and told us we'd have to wait another 3-4 months to get our sofa. We wanted that piece before adding others. Ended up canceling that order because of it. I haven't said no to anything, I upped what we'd be willing to spend on the first sofa order to give her what she wants.
Family - My wife is starting to have panic attacks about spending time with my family. My family tends to stay with us when they visit and us with them when we visit. Just like we do with her family. She seems to think that my mother "bullys" her and insults her all the time. Never known my mother to do such things and is generally pretty well liked by everyone. So now I'm in the position of doing a family holiday alone with my child or not visiting my parents anymore. We have a family trip with my parents to Central America soon that is getting her really worked up. My wife tends to read a lot into comments and can be overly sensitive.
I've always been clear to her that I never wanted to be in NYC from when the time we were dating. We both talked about how hard it is to raise a child in NYC. I've also told her how hard it was in my field in the north east. particularly in NYC. NYC is probably the worst place for my field in the US. When I looked for a job there, I called in all contacts I had and still wasn't able to find anything. Friend who live in NYC, commute out to Florida, NC and Illinois to work for weeks at a time. They can't find jobs in NYC. But none of those friends have children.
When we first moved from NYC it was at the same time my wife miscarried a 2nd time. It was devastating to her. To both of us. She wanted to move back to NYC then. It was a horrible 4-5 months. I was close to leaving her then (something she does not know). But when she started to turn the corner, things got better. People advised me to wait it out. Things had improved for the most part since we started up again with trying to have a 2nd child which also corresponds with our last move. She's been miserable since then. Everything has been drama. High peaks and drops with little things. Its exhausting. I'm exhausted.
Another thing had changed is that she went off of her prozac last April when she wanted to try to have another child herself. She had been on it because she became clinically depressed after her last miscarriage.
So basically, over the last 4 years: I've quit 1 job to get her into a better city (not saying its a great one, but it has everything). We've done Surrogacy 3x and 2 IVF attempts. Purchased a house. I'm on the verge of canceling thanksgiving with my family because of her. Don't have time to fly out to her family to visit.
She says I'm the cause of a lot of her misery. That I took her away from her family and the one place she's every been happy. That because I work a busy job and have to work 1 weekend a month, that I leave her alone during that time. That she's lonely. We've tried and have made a few friends since the move. Tried to get involved with the local religious community. I've tried to go with her of late, but she always throws a tantrum before we are supposed to go.
That she she said ok to a lot of our choices because it would make me happy. She followed me to the first job because it would help us complete the surrogacy, pay back her mom for a loan. Now that the loan is paid off (from her father's inheritance), she sees no point and not moving back to where she wants to be. That she's tried to watch what she spent because of me (she had about 20k in CC debt when we got married. I've paid it off). She's tired of watching what she spends and feels like I'm overlooking her. I haven't mentioned anything about anything she buys in over 2 years.
She wants me to limit contact with my parents, but knows it will never happen. But she's upset that I won't.
At this point, if I try and make her happy again. I need to give up a great paying job and move back to the one place I can't find a job to raise my child in a place I think is horrible. Tired of uprooting our lives. Tired of worrying about everything because of her.
In her eyes, she's done nothing wrong. I've created all these issues.
I can only remember her being really happy just once and that was after our child was born. Other times, its just unhappiness and complaining about everything.
If we didn't have the child, I'm not sure how much more of this complaining, fights, etc I could deal with. I don't like going home anymore. I go because I want to spend time with my child. I don't like having to tip toe around with my family like I'm doing something wrong.
I've asked her to see someone again she could talk to. She's been suffering from insomnia. I feel like she would benefit from professional help and being medicated again. She didn't like counseling the first time and she refuses to do it again.
You need to share your life with someone who is on your page and shares your values and standards. Going by your post, your wife
has voiced to you why she is unhappy but then you have basically bent over backwards for her, only to have her restrict your life to keep her 'happy' in her misery. When your home life becomes a battle field and you don't look forward to going home, then your relationship is failing. If you contemplated leaving her in the past, then you were, relatively speaking, making decisions to get out then.
When it comes to professional help, she alone has to realize and understand the benefits of it and if it's failed in the past and has made her reluctant to go back to give it another go, then you are wasting your time even thinking about it.
You need to be happy and your child needs you to be happy. You need to be in a relationship where support goes both ways. Instead, you are in a no win situation where you have compromised and chopped and changed your plans to make your wife happy but her demands will never stop unless she makes a move to support you where you can both regain your happiness together. If she's not prepared to contribute to your marriage to make a happy home, then you alone are trying to achieve it and you won't succeed in doing it alone. Just as it takes two people to make a marriage, it ultimately, takes two people to wreck it and end it.
Your wife's understandably devastated at that point and that resulted in you being close to LEAVING HER?
Sir, never mind the entire, practically non-stop run of devastating-to-the-core traumas, shocks, disappointments, betrayals and upheavals your wife's had to go through, one straight after the other for god knows how many years and, to all intents and purposes, through no fault of her own. Me, I'm more interested in the fact any loving, emotionally supportive husband could/would even THINK of picking a time like this, i.e. WHEN HER FATHER'S BARELY COLD IN THE GROUND AND WITH HER NTH PERSONAL FAILURE JUST RECENTLY FLUNG IN HER FACE to come on here and basically WHINGE about her like she's somehow perpetrator to your poor, little, innocent, bystander victim - her just being DIFFICULT AND UNREASONABLE in not putting your needs over her greater ones - for what it could be said to reveal about the type of man you are and WHY your wife, quote, mainly blames/resents you.
I know you and she technically experienced all of that together but, let's be real here: compared to HER, you were just a PASSENGER.
I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and NOT blowdry your face off, in assuming all of that was mainly exhaustion talking. But it can't account for ALL of it. So let's make a list (in no particular order) of, courtesy of you, what LITTLE we already know above and beyond normal life's sh*t like sofa retailers letting you down and see if we can grow a bit of bloody human understanding and EMPATHY, shall we? Or, failing that, maybe even its lesser bed-fellow of SYMPATHY?
If not, I suggest you take *yourself* back to the shop. Frankly.
1. Already a child of divorced and evidently very bitter parents, has issues in abundance both recent and pre-dating that whole uncontrollably traumatic episode.
2. Has to relocate for the sake of your new career, from everyone and everything she knows and is familiar with.
3. Finds out that, as a woman with typical biological capabilites that most take for granted, she's (her perception) wrong... sub-standard...a lemon... a factory conveyorbelt dud that should have been binned... No bog-standard, automatically attained motherly joy for HER, oh no!
4. Undergoes the very traumatic process known as IVF.
7. Willingly, for the sake of you and she, puts herself through IVF A SECOND TIME.
8. Has to go throught nigh-on a year of having her nose rubbed in her intrinsic, fundamental inadequacy by watching another woman grow your - YOUR - baby in her fully-functional oven.
9. As per point 5, attempts to do it AGAIN.
10. AND REPEAT!
11. Has to re-locate (and forego making any actual friendships) AGAIN for your and your career's sake.
12. Having been deprived of a (- yet again, supposed automatic right -) normal, healthy, enjoyable daughter-father relationship, DESPITE HER (no doubt fertile) SIBLING WASN'T, the bugger goes and snuffs it, leaving all those highly painful questions, not just unanswered but UNANSWERABLE... FOREVER AND EVER AMEN!
13. Meanwhile, tries desperately to deal with the still-amassing, hugely negative emotional impacts mostly (or is that wholly?) in complete physical and psychological solitude, whilst you're out, working (don't deny it) VERY LONG HOURS. To wit: "I was unable to go with her to the wedding because of work obligations." ('Unable' my arse. ANY decent, reasonable-minded employer makes allowances for births, deaths and weddings.)
14. EITHER ends up over-sensitive or is simply sensitive enough to detect an altogether perfectly common issue coming through in your mother's dealings with her, the woman who is her mother-in-law and the grandmother of your offspring now and into the (unhopeful) future WHENEVER YOU'RE NOT LOOKING OR LISTENING, to the point where your poor, already put-upon wife feels unwelcome and stops being able to face being around her... just because it's your mother ergo "impossible". (Oh yeah? Actual saint, is she? With everyone else she knows and whom 'likes her' having likewise 'let her and her fantasised-about horizon down', have they?)
Isn't it funny how it's 'we, we, we' until it comes to relaying personal impact and sufferance. Then, suddenly, it's all 'me, me, ME'. Der nasty lady made me MOVE HOUSE. Then move house AGAIN. Der nasty lady is trying to make me have to give up my big, fat desk and salary (and swanky car).
Aw. Poor you.
Me, even ignoring that sickening barrelful of egotism you call an opening post, I'm just trying to comprehend HOW YOUR WIFE ISN'T SWINGING FROM THE RAFTERS YET! SHE MUST BE MADE OF TITANIUM! But I'm not SURPRISED her body was too DefCon-ed to feel it safe ENOUGH to reproduce even under the aid of fertility treatment. So, courtesy of those IVF *businesses* (ker-ching, ker-ching!"), let's add 'Point 15. FINANCIALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY EXPLOITED' to her mix, shall we?
And what is it she asks for in return that you so bitterly and whingily begrudge her? Not to be made to live in places that don't suit her, whether due to the demands of your job or pure mistakes on her part under all this collective duress in her endeavour to 'self-medicate', and instead that the pair of you move back to the ONE PLACE IN WHICH SHE WAS RELATIVELY HAPPY RATHER THAN NON-STOP MISERABLE, but which would mean less spondoolichs and public status and pandering to preference for you?
Yeah, whadda cow.
Plus, NOWHERE do you state that she's routinely taking her woes out on you when she so easily could do!
Apparently, according to your and that above self-representation, you don't even know you're born! THINK ON. And enough of the pathetic excuses, whilst I'm at it. No company owner and associated staff worth working for and hearing the reasons behind all that quite minimal chopping and changing (all things considered), would fail to admire and place GREAT value - even merely from a business human investment point-of-view - on the MATURE AND INTELLIGENT quality called [wait for it]
Furthermore, if NYC were so prospects-poor in whatever direct or associative industry you're so intent on remaining in then I fail to appreciate why the city has yet to shut up shop!
"For better, for worse, in sickness and in health...". Stop making your wife's seriously handicapped attempts at alone helping herself and her long-running poor quality of life all about money and status in terms of your self-furthering, and stop trying to throw your wallet at every emotional problem that comes your way in addition to what already sits there long unattended to. Try instead getting your priorities straight and being a pigging shoulder to lean on - as per the marital contract! And if you can't do that then at least take 30 minutes out of your busy schedule to book a regular counsellor for the pair of you.
It's called Emotional Support, one of the great marital requisites - which you should try some time or at least NOT self-undermine via a very whingy, self-centred, self-obsessed opening post. PARTICULARLY as - in case you hadn't noticed - your wife has already begun taking surreptitious little steps away from you and all that sail in you. (Gosh, those of us with a bit of human understanding wonder why on earth she'd want to do THAT.)
What do you want - a soulmate or a careers back-room member, nanny, cook, cleaner and bottle-washer? And tell me which you reckon will be the one holding your hand if/when you undergo chemo and/or are lain on your deathbed?
(She married her father, didn't she.)
If you had given her the husbandly support she NEEDED (and STILL needs) - including (as it should be) giving your loyalty to her over your mother and career, at least in terms of CONSIDERING whether there's any truth in the saying 'no smoke without fire' and paying credence to evidence called PANIC ATTACKS, NO LESS! - then maybe she wouldn't BE so intent on playing this locational version of Goldilocks in her pursuit of mere contentedness. Ever thought about that one, Einstein?
PS: "I was close to leaving her then (something she does not know)". Oh, I'm sure Miss Super-Sensitive does, actually (so let's call that trauma number 16, shall we?). Don't kid yourself. Either piss in *proper* husbandly fashion or get off the pot. ... in which case: "I'm on the verge of canceling thanksgiving with my family": GOOD IDEA!
Anyway, NYC is not the only fruit. So I suggest you, she and the counsellor set about trying to identify what out of its many characteristics are the things that she finds so pleasing to her (and whether you could commute daily to work or weekend-ly to the family home). Busyness thus constant distraction, I shouldn't wonder.
You've been very focused on building your career, which I'm going to assume, is to support your family, correct? And your wife had supported you through this, correct? Both are commendable.
But have you lost focus on what is most important in life? It isn't your paycheck. It's the life you work for.
Your wife has gone through a lot, and yes you have as well, BUT you've still gained. You've built your career. Sounds like she's lossed a lot including herself.
Your wife's support in your career up til this point should not be overshadowed by her requests for a happier life. And, you should listen to her and find a way to understand.
Do you have a hard time with empathy and compassion? You might. And you may not realize it. It's very common in many men. It's something that can cause that gap between men and women understanding each other.
She is, according to you, suffering from depression and anxiety. Understandably so. Would counseling help her? It wouldn't hurt.
But rather than wait for her, I truly suggest you seek counseling for yourself. If she doesn't want to, possibly due to her anxiety, then you do it. Do it for yourself and for her. Find help for yourself to understand her better, help give you the tools you need to be the husband she needs and the husband I'm sure you want to be. Show her that counseling is nothing to fear.
If you are one to listen to audio books, I would suggest doing so. There are quite a few great books that can possibly help you gain a better understanding of your wife and the difference between the way a man thinks and feels and a woman. I have a few suggestions if you're interested.
Be your wife's biggest supporter. Do it without needing it in return. Love her without expection. Love her because she needs to be loved and because you care, not just when she can do something for you.
Don't fear going home today, look forward to it. Maybe make a decision today to go home and just hug her and tell her how much you love her. Ease her mind by assuring her you will find a way to make this all work. Don't mention why you fear it couldn't, assure her that you will find a way to take care of her the way she needs because she's worth it. Explain you don't have all the answers of 'how' just yet, but that you are dedicated to figure it out. This is a small act that can help your wife gain a feeling of protection and comfort.