An acquaintance recently confided something personal to a small group of us. This conversation came about from a discussion on commuting -- How some of us don't miss it one bit (me!) and how his was almost 4 hrs a day! He gets to ride in a luxury car but still, it is just short of 4 hrs! And when he has to travel for business, it is significantly more.
Chatting with a group of women vs men tends to illicit deeper questions and discussions. So I asked how was it impacting his family life and marriage?
He is in an "OK" marriage. His wife wanted to move so they moved ("happy wife, happy life") and now is complaining she never sees him. It didn't dawn on her that he'd be away longer until they actually moved??? She has it in her mind that because he is an "executive", he can leave whenever he wants and he just isn't doing so (choosing work over family). Whereas he didn't get to be where he is in the organization from working less.
She has proclaimed she will never work again and is spending money to the tune of about 45 - 50K/yr on stuff. To be fair, he is looking to upgrade his car to one that is in the 6 digits fairly soon. It seems like they are goading each other on financially (maybe to get back at each other?) instead of tackling the real issues of loneliness (both), couple's teamwork (purpose), health and future planning.
Then the D word came out (not from us). The long commute gives him a lot of time to think about the concept of divorce. And the financial consequences of paying child and spousal support for a long time. He's going to stay put. Doesn't feel he has any choice. You could have heard a pin drop, we were so silent. The amount of sadness emanating from him was thick.
For a guy to open up like that, to a small group of women he didn't know all that well, you know things are really eating away at him. Later confirmed he had been developing health issues from all the stress.
I hope just having people listen helped because there really weren't anything any of us could do for him.