So, many people would say that I have a really great life, and for the most part, I can’t argue with that. I have a well-paying career, three healthy teenage kids, and a wife to whom I’ve been married for over 15 years. But lately, say within the past year or so, I’ve become increasingly irritated at my family, to the point where now I would rather sit in my office all day staring at spreadsheets and writing meaningless reports at work than I would spend an evening at home with my wife and kids. My kids aren’t BAD kids, but they cause me enough grief to constantly be pissed off at them. Between lying about completing homework assignments and making flat out stupid decisions that typically end up costing me money, most days I regret ever becoming a father. I know many people would say I don’t know how lucky I am and that I’m a huge asshole for thinking like this, but I can’t help how I feel. I wish I felt differently, but I don’t. I envy fathers who have great relationships with their kids, but I just don’t see that ever happening for me. I am literally (yes, literally) counting down the days until my 15 year old son turns 18 so I am no longer responsible for him by law.
As for my wife, she’s always been really supportive of me. She stuck with me through the hell of grad school and supported me when I was working to get to the point in my career where I could support an entire family on my salary alone. Despite this, I have major regrets of ever getting married and starting the life that we have together now. Don’t get we wrong, I love her. I truly do. But at the same time, I really struggle to keep from wondering what my life could have been like if we’d have never met. Even though I do have a nice salary, we are in major debt due to some huge student loans that we both took out and credit card debt that just keeps piling on. I think my real turning point was when she decided that she was tired of her chosen career field and decided she wanted to be a stay at home mom. Now, she spends most of her time lying in bed binge watching Hulu and Netflix while I’m at work and bitching any time she has to do something for the kids. I could deal with the financial struggles we’re facing if I felt that she truly enjoyed being a stay at home mom, but it seems like she just wants to be a huge couch potato from the best that I can tell.
Even though she spends the majority of her day at home by herself, she still leaves messes for me to clean up daily. I have a thing about clutter, and she knows this (it’s been a sore point with me over the years), but she seems to really enjoy living in a house where papers and other junk is lying all over the place all the time. She could get a piece of junk mail one day and throw it down on the kitchen counter and a month later that same stupid piece of junk mail would be lying on the kitchen counter, in the same spot, never to be opened, until I start to boil and end up getting rid of it myself.
I realize just how stupid and petty all of this sounds, but these feelings continue to get worse all the time. It’s horrible, but sometimes I fantasize of a hypothetical time in the future where my entire family is out of the picture (the kids are grown and moved out and my wife has left me to live her life how she wants) and I am finally getting to experience MY life the way I’ve NEVER gotten to live it. For myself. Not responsible for anyone else. No one to waste my money. No one to clean up after. No one to nag me or tell me what I can or can’t wear, or what I should eat, or how I need to spend my free time. Maybe this is the start of a mid-life crisis, I don’t know, but it sucks and I wish I could figure out if my own perceptions of what my life has become are skewed or if this is really how things are. I hate myself for feeling this way.