My husband always compares me to his friend's wife and calls her the ideal wife.

 


My husband always compares me to his friend's wife and calls her the ideal wife.

My husband and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary, but have been together since we were both juniors in college. We also have a 4 year old daughter together. 

After we graduated college we moved to San Francisco because he was a computer science major and wanted to work in big tech, while I was an anthropology and English grad and did Teach for America.

While I understand my job isn't as lucrative as his, all those years we lived together before marriage I always prided myself on paying all my personal expenses out of my own account and taking care of all the household logistics to make up for only paying 1/4 of the rent of our apartment.


However, the man my husband was back then was supportive about my goals and didn't ever make me feel like we had to keep score about who contributed what or who was entitled to what as a result.


I have great admiration for my husband and recognize that he is an extremely talented software engineer who came from nothing. However, the way he has been acting recently has definitely made me question if this is still the same man I married. 

My husband was working for a very large corporation and getting good raises but a friend of his asked him to become a technical cofounder for a business idea.,

I encouraged him. We moved to a pretty cramped apartment, went through our savings, and I defended him when people would say " all they really have is an idea." 

My husband and his partner were rejected by dozens upon dozens of investors, had to let employees go because they couldn't afford salaries, dealt with the fact that every business hopeful in town was basically willing to betray them to get ahead. 

At one point his cofounder moved into our apartment because his wife was divorcing him, saying she was sick of him never having time for her.

Finally the business started taking off and we had put off marriage and kids because he said he wanted to be able to support a family. After that, he proposed and I was happy to sign a prenup, especially since I assumed I would continue to work. 

Right before the birth of our daughter, however, his company decided to move their main headquarters to Tennessee for business reasons and so we moved there. Right after the move, I gave birth and that is when things started to change.

He was big in the entrepreneurial circles there and took up horseback riding and golfing. Through that he started meeting new friends who were in their successful men in their late thirties who were outwardly conservative but also lived the fast life.

I did not like a lot of them because they would say really rude things about women sometimes and generally were pretty dismissive of others' feelings when push comes to shove.

Around that time, his cofounder, and probably the friend he spends the most time with, before and now, decided he was sick of having short term relationships and decided to get married this year. His wife is 23 years old to his 40 ( almost 41), and one month after having their son she was back in a bikini looking better than she did pre baby. 

Let's just call her Anna. Anna stopped working when she began dating his friend and basically posts about how much she admires her husband everyday. She also fights a lot of his battles for him, basically arguing with others on his behalf when her husband feels slighted and will blast these arguments out on social media.

Whenever we socialize with them, I always catch him looking at them with a wistful look in his eyes, before looking at me with a lot of scorn and resentment. He has been coming home late for the past year and these late night disappearing acts have only increased. 

He will stink of booze when he finally lays down next to me. His comparisons of me to his friend's wife have now started in earnest. He will criticize my career saying that being basically a librarian is boring, that I don't earn that much, plus asks why I cannot be like his friend's wife Anna who just does secretarial work for free for her husband and devotes her time to figuring out how he can make more money from his investments and such. 

He calls it my " annoying working mom" routine even though I am the one who does all the childcare and housework. He will complain that I cannot just drop everything at work to go on an impromptu two hour workout with him because he usually can leave work whenever he wants, and whenever his friend wants to do something spontaneous his wife Anna will drop everything to go with him.

He has gone from an average build to working out all the time and decided to get botox and veneers he didn't need. He encouraged me to get fillers and botox to stop my eyebrows from raising, saying even if I get too much it is better than wrinkles and will wear off. He got mad when I didn't, saying Anna knows a good doctor, works out every day, and got a tummy tuck.

Whenever we fight now, he goes straight for the jugular and will point out that his single friends are having a better life than he does. He tried to hold our prenup over my head saying that we weren't at the ten year mark so I'd barely get anything. 

He calls Anna the ideal wife and wants me to hire a nanny and maid so that I could be as energetic as her. All throughout this, he claimed to be a completely faithful husband which I doubted.

I read every mid life crisis book available basically and tried everything. I planned date nights, went on 5am workouts with him, used up all my vacation time to be there for him, but my efforts were reciprocated with criticism. He would say I could not keep up with him, that I looked tired all the time, etc. Finally, I followed him and caught him going to a strip club. 

His only explanation was that Anna lets her husband go to strip clubs and does threesomes with him and tried to turn this into convincing me that cheating was ok and I should participate when he wants it.

I am so disgusted with him and I consulted with a divorce lawyer. She looked over our prenup and says that in her experience spouses sometimes use things like 10 year clauses to justify them nitpicking everything. Like a " what have you done for me recently?" type of thing. 

And that it will probably get worse since we are approaching ten years and he may be thinking about whether or not to divorce me. She predicted that he would be a " high conflict" ex but asked me if I thought he would try to divorce me before the 10 years are up.

I honestly do not know and really am afraid of what this would do to our daughter. I keep hoping this is a midlife crisis he will apologize for and forget, but I am so miserable right now. He has an ideal of an ideal wife and I am fail to measure up. What do I do?