Long post alert... Am really struggling at the moment to know what to do. I feel just so mentally and physically exhausted most of the time, but I think that's just because of the life I lead; working and looking after my family.
I moved from the east coast to Seattle about 9 years ago, when I got offered a decent job. Since then, I've had 2 kids (and we already had a daughter from my wife's 1st marriage). I changed jobs a few years ago, and now have a relatively low stress, but very well paid job.
My wife has struggled a lot over the years. I think she just struggles at life. Everything is hard for her. Working is hard, being a stay at home mom is hard, having to do the stuff you need to do (take kids to appointments, social outings) is hard.
Because of this, I feel my marriage is very one sided. Until the last year, my wife was a stay at home mum (out of choice). in the last 9 months, she's worked 1 or 2 days a week. But either way, I end up doing so much more than her once I'm home (evenings, weekends, holidays...). Most nights I cook dinner (sometimes wife helps sometimes she doesn't). Every night, I tidy up dinner, regardless of who cooked it. I'm usually the one filling and emptying the dishwasher. I often do our supermarket shopping on the weekend, so my wife doesn't have to drag the kids with her. Pretty much every night, I put my kids to bed. They're a bit older now (5 and 8), so it is easier than it used to be, but getting them washed, in their PJs teeth brushed, lights out etc. is still often a long process. My wife helps maybe once or twice a week - but often makes such a big deal out of it that it's easier if she doesn't. My kids have also historically been terrible sleepers (8 yr old having lots of nightmares and anxiety since she was about 2), so until recently, I was up in the night with them anywhere between 3 and 6 nights a week... I would then get up for work 1-2 hours before my kids and wife woke up, yet on those rare weekend occasions where my wife would get up in the morning with my kids, she'd need a nap later in the day to make up for it.
My 8 yr old is super smart, but has bad ADHD and is currently being homeschooled by my wife. - I totally get that this is stressful, particularly with my 5 yr old not starting full time school until start of the next school year. But so many of my days are punctuated by my wife giving me minute by minute text message updates on how terrible things are and what an awful time she's having. Does anybody else get these from their wife? is that normal? I get the venting thing but it's so constant and relentless and negative.
Added to the frustration is that some of the suffering is caused by stuff that could have been avoided (like since my youngest was old enough to whine, my wife has basically given into her when she whines and cries, which just teaches my kid that this is how to get her way - she doesn't do same with me as I don't give in.). As for me, it's as if I'm not allowed to have a bad day, or be tired. Any time I am, I'm made to feel like I've done something terrible.
Any time I point out any of the above, my wife either denies reality (i.e. says she does as much as me) or says I'm keeping records / a tally on her and that's not what marriage is about, or just says "I'll never be good enough for you because your expectations are unreasonable").
Ultimately, what she wants is to move to a small town in Ohio, where her sister (and sister's kids) live and where her parents are planning to move to. We could sell our house here and buy a house mortgage free in Ohio, but while I totally get that family is important, I couldn't keep my job and move to Ohio. It would be almost impossible for me to find a job in that small town, but I could spend a couple + hours a day commuting to f***ing Cleveland. Even then, I doubt I'd be able to get a job anywhere close to what I currently earn, so even mortgage free, I'm not super confident I'd be able to earn enough to support my family of 5 (particularly with soaring healthcare costs)
Seems like every 3-4 months for the last couple of years, my wife throws a child-like hissy fit because I won't say "ok, let's move to Ohio", then says she accepts that it's better here... and then does the same thing a few months later by sending me Ohio house listings. And for what it's worth - she's gone to visit her family 5 or 6 times (including 4 times on her own) since I visited my UK family last, so it's not like she never sees them. On the one hand, I'm struggling with what's more important - being close to family and less well off in a small town in Trump country, with little culture vs. living in a fantastic liberal city, with lots of opportunity, beautiful surroundings, culture and a well paid job.
So - mostly this is just a rant - but would appreciate people's thoughts on priorities on what people think is more important... or any general advice to stop me losing my mind If I didn't love my kids so much and think that my presence is a positive thing in their lives (and them in mine) I'd just say "ok, go take the kids and live in Ohio..."
Am so f***ing relieved we won the European Cup - I needed this in my life! My wife knows how important Liverpool are to me, but hates that I'm a football fan, and she didn't even say good luck / hope Liverpool win or anything like that to me yesterday. Me going to watch the game was just an irritation to her.
So - mostly this is just a rant - but would appreciate people's thoughts on priorities - what is more important -