Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Selfish, Selfish, SELFISH!

I'm happy for my wife, yet I'm crying inside.  My wife dropped the idea of visiting her dying grandmother in Israel since my post a number of months ago, but now that her sister and dad just went, she wants to go too.  She does not realize that her sister is married and has a house, no school loans or daycare costs, AND a full-time job where she makes close to $50K/yr, and her sister's husband is in advertising and makes close to $80/yr with full benefits.  We are barely making ends meet on my temporary document review salary which is less than $50K if we're lucky.  I think it is selfish for her to think that we can afford it.

So last night I see her visiting airline sites -- kayak.com, delta.com, etc.  When I was in view of the computer, she lowered the laptop screen so I wouldn't see what she was doing, but I noticed.  Then she told me she was looking for tickets.  When I asked her how she would pay, she said, "I was thinking that we'd figure something out."  By the way, our financial picture is SO DIM that we cannot even pay this month's coming rent or our credit card bills.  This is the second month in a row this has been the case.  I smiled and walked away deciding not to make a fight over it and hoping again that she drops the whole idea of going because we simply cannot afford it.

This morning she calls me all excited telling me that her parents have agreed to pay for her ticket to Israel, and that she would be leaving to Israel tomorrow morning.  My mom consequently has tickets to come visit for a week to see our new baby (which will now be going on the plane with my wife the entire time she is in Israel); she will be arriving tomorrow.  (Now I will have to take off work to pick her up or have her take a taxi to an empty apartment which is disrespectful.)  Initially, the plan was that my mom was coming to help out, but then when she dropped the idea of going to Israel some months ago, my mom booked tickets anyway to make it a vacation.  Now my mom is forced to play babysitter again for a week, and I don't think it is fair to have asked her this again after the changed expectations.

So I got off the phone with her without voicing any disagreements or fights, but I was roaring with flames inside.  I sent her text message #1, "I find it admirable that you are able to pull off this trip" followed around 20 minutes later with text message #2, "I never know why you can achieve goals for you but you can never help achieve goals for us."  She responds, "that seemed rude. do you mean why dont i ask my parents for money for other things that are important to u?"   Horrified that she completely and obliviously misunderstood me, I decided not to start a fight, so I replied, "No. Your just good @getting things done when u put ur mind 2 it. Just wish u'd get me outta here."

In other words, this whole Israel trip thing again sparked my flaming frustration in that my wife only does what is good for her or for the kids.  When it comes to doing good for me, she does the absolute minimum.  This is not the same with me; I treat her well and give her everything she needs -- financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  I also spend time being a good father and a good husband when it comes to the kids and the household chores.

It just makes me so angry and so sad that here I am, stuck in this G-d foresaken document review project which pays net in the low $20's per hour without any benefits, where all internet is completely blocked and where there is nothing for us to do except sit at our computers and work all day and night.  We are forced to take an unpaid lunch break, which kills an hour of each day.  I can't search the web for better jobs.  I can't move forward to grow my law practice.  I can't make or answer phone calls with clients because there is almost no privacy.  I cannot even goof off and surf the web (not like I would).  But here is my wife, at home with two of our kids in daycare each day, at home with our 9-month old who is now crawling.  She does whatever minimum housework she feels like, and whatever else she wants to do, she does.  Sometimes it is laundry, other times it is an outing with one of her friends.  Sometimes she cooks.  I feel like she has no responsibilities other than as a mother and I am furious that she is not helping me get out of this terrible situation that I am in.  I am doing the lawyerly equivalent of flipping burgers at Burger King and I cannot get out of this hellhole of a vacuum of a document review project, and I could use just a little bit of help from someone to give me a lifeline so that I can properly get some footing financially and start my practice.

I feel that she should get a job to help at least save up for us to pay for healthcare or to help me start my law firm or to ease my burdens in supporting our family at $23/hour.  She used to offer that she would help me with the law firm, but she has done almost NOTHING I have asked her to do.  Every time I ask her to do anything, it is a burden and she complains and moans about how much of her free time during the day it will take away from her if she has to do the task I asked her to do.  Then when I tell her again exactly what I need her to do and she agrees to do it, she still doesn't do it.

I set up a law firm e-mail for her weeks ago and I gave her a number of things to do, but she hasn't even logged into her e-mail once!  She pretends to have an interest in my law firm and working for it every time I tell her to get a job, but then she never does anything when I ask her to do it.  She takes ABSOLUTELY NO INITIATIVE in moving it or us forward.

I am so frustrated, and I feel as if as selfish as I am, I got what I deserved in a wife.


Ahuva said...

"I never know why you can achieve goals for you but you can never help achieve goals for us"

Ummm, Zoe, that WAS rude. And mean. She's visiting a dying grandmother-- be happy for her.

" I treat her well and give her everything she needs -- financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically."

How can you say that you're giving her everything she needs financially when you can't pay the rent this month and are looking for her to save you from what you view as a dead-end job? Who are you trying to kid? And as for giving her everything emotionally-- Is immediately putting a damper on things by telling her she never does anything to help you giving her everything she needs emotionally?

She may be a terrible wife, but at least be honest with yourself about what you're doing for your part.

We all get it by now, you two aren't a team. You're not well suited and don't particularly like each other.

She doesn't want to help... and she's going to want to help even less if you insist on trying to make her feel bad because her parents are willing to send her a plane ticket. G-d willing her parents will be willing to help when you two can't make ends meet financially... which is going to happen fairly quickly trying to raise a large family in NYC on <50K/year.

Zoe Strickman said...

Okay... well... If you thought that was bad, I made it 100x worse in my texts which followed those.

Mordechai said...

Zoe, I've been following your blog for a bit. I have to say that if you guys don't get into couples counselling soon, then your only other course of action is to separate. This type of marriage is so bad for your children. You guys both need to put your egos and personal wants and needs aside and think about what is best for your children.

Anonymous said...


It is sadly the same story every entry. YOU GUYS REALLY SHOULD GET COUNSELING or DIVORCE! Those are your ONLY options if you love your children.

Rae Macklyn said...

Zoe, you're seriously in need of broadening your job search...I'm talking nationally like I had to.

Zoe Strickman said...

Been there, done that re: national job search. I'm staying local this time around. Yes, we'll get counseling.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should haven't had so many kids so quickly if you can't handle the stress and requirements of them. As religious as you claim to be, this all is disgusting.

Her grandmother is DYING. You have FOUR KIDS. And you are bitching she isn't playing admin assistant?