“I don't wish to sound hard but I can sympathize with her viewpoint. Her career was obviously important to her by the way you described her enthusiasm at the Career Day. I can see you were trying to praise her in that post but it was belittling and patronizing ("she can do something she likes and make a little money").”
The post you refer to is rather old. Thank you for being a loyal reader. Yes, I was praising Mrs. Joe and although you may think I was belittling her, I was not.
“The way you suggest that she should feel the same satisfaction from being a mother as to being successful at work highlights your lack of comprehension of your wife's feelings.”
She should not feel the same satisfaction from being a mother. She should feel MORE. Being a mother is the most important job in the world. So no, I cannot comprehend her feelings.
“Suggesting she reduce her hours would only have made her feel worse - it suggests you didn't really see her job as a worthy career and may as well cut it further.”
If my career caused problems with the raising of my kids I would make sacrifices to solve the problems. And by the way I have, more than once.
“She was looking for a way to balance the two and not be made to feel as if she had her priorities wrong.”
I have praised her more than once for trying to balance the two but in my opinion her priorities were wrong. The kids come first, not the career.
“In the same post you sum her up as "Mom and Wife", and you seem to think she should be happy with that. For many women this is not enough; there is clearly more to her that you didn't acknowledge and she wanted to be respected and loved for who she is, not just for being your wife and the mother of your children.”
I knew Mrs. Joe for over ten years before we got engaged. We were engaged for over a year before we got married. We were married for four years before our son was born. I believe I know her well enough to know her career was important to her. I guess my mistake was not knowing the amount would create such a rift.
“The very way you call her "Mrs Joe" indicates that you see her as a part of you, and not a person in her own right. She would have begun to see herself this way too and eventually something obviously snapped.”
Do you read any other blogs, or just mine? Everybody has pet names for their family members.
“It is easy to blame her for the breakdown of your relationship but you must take responsibility for how you treated her and made her feel. You say you wish she had come to you with these feelings - it sounds like she did but you weren't interested as they didn't fit with the "wife and mother" role.”
Maybe you are not the loyal reader I thought you were, because if you were, you would have read the multiple posts that point out my faults as well.
“I'm sorry that you and children are going through a difficult time but perhaps if you look at it from your wife's point of view it may be easier to understand.”
I’m sorry as well. Even looking at it from Mrs. Joe’s point of view, I cannot understand what she has done to me and our children.
“And unfortunately it isn't true that there is always time for a career later - if you wait till your children grow up and leave home and try to start a career at 40 you will find it very difficult. Of course children need their parents, I wouldn't say any different, but why should Mrs. Joe be made to feel selfish and inadequate as a mother for wanting a career?”
She is being selfish because her career is affecting the raising of our kids and she is not addressing it.
“It is important to have a life outside of your house and kids.”
Yes it is and she does. Did you read my pilates post?
"It's also about being independent - not everyone wants to rely on a husband to support them and not everyone likes to live life through their children. It is entirely possible to have a happy, stable family life and a happy and successful work life.”
But what if the happiness isn't there? You don’t ignore your husband’s attempts at addressing it. And you definitely don’t run to another man.
“Obviously I am an outsider and we've only got one side of the story but I don't think Mrs. Joe should be condemned for wanting to be more than "Mrs. Joe".”
There is no condemnation, just a request for balance between home and career that doesn't affect our kids.
“The comment is anonymous because I don’t have a blog and my name is irrelevant to the discussion.”
You should start one. I would love to read more of your opinions.
“Yes, I am in a loving, faithful long-term relationship and no I have never had to go to work or not go to work for my family.”
Then how can you comment on how important it is for one to work?
“My comments were not based on my own experiences as I have not been in this situation; I have been reading this blog for a while (not “jumping on one post”) and have simply interpreted Joe’s telling of the story and read between the lines.”
Please don’t read between the lines. Remember, you know what happens when you assume…
“It sounds very much as if she did try to tell him how she was feeling (they surely wouldn't have ended up at counseling if she’d kept her feelings to herself?) "
I initiated the counseling, not Mrs. Joe. And yes, we did talk about her feelings. The problem was the response from the counselor. She incorrectly directed us in ways that did not help our situation. But how were we to know at the time?
“Mrs. Joe’s affair was very wrong of course but that wasn't the issue discussed in the original post. Just because she eventually cheated doesn't mean we can automatically condemn her every action previously, nor does it mean that Joe is above blame just because nothing he did was as bad.”
I have never condemned her every action and again have taken blame in many ways.
“If he’d really wanted to wish her a happy birthday he would have done so and not posted a petty message designed to appeal for sympathy from the readers of the blog so you could all leave comments telling him what a great guy he is.”
Do you know if the post was the only birthday wish? Please stop assuming. Maybe you have never been in a situation where you look to your friends for comfort. If so, I envy you. And yes, my blog has, at times, turned into an appeal for sympathy. Under the circumstances, I do not regret it in the least.
“It is evident that even now he still doesn't understand where his wife was coming from; she didn't want to “come in out of the rain”, she wanted to be out, to run around, get wet, LIVE.”
If she wants to be selfish and run around in the rain, fine. She can do it on her own time. Unfortunately, Mrs. Joe has two beautiful children who could catch a cold in the meantime.
“It sounds like most of us have been fortunate enough to find someone who wants the same out of life as ourselves but sadly this isn't the case for Joe and his wife.”
I thought I found that someone but I guess I was mistaken. And it seems that a lot of us are in the same boat with the divorce rate at 50%. Please consider yourself lucky.
If you would like to e-mail me and discuss this any further please do. I would rather do it there than on my blog. I look forward to a reply.