Skeeter, you just listed some of the things about him you now recognize that didn't look like red flags, at the time...print this off and save for future reminders?
I should admit that over the course of my marriage to Mr. Late Bloomer/Sex Addict, economics did not remain the way I just described, and re-reading, it sounded like I was saying he contributed nothing. Initially, that was the case. But within 2 years, I quit my 9 to 5 M-F career position to be able to join him on his endless job trips, which took 1-2 weeks a month for 10 months every year plus "off-season" practice events for the upcoming year!
So he soon became the head of household in my little house. I deeply appreciated being financially taken care of for the first time in my life after my parents' divorce had launched me at age 19 into the world with nothing, after I'd divorced a bum I stayed with 13 years through infidelity, then lost the big house I'd built with him, and then afterwards spent years working overtime. Yeah, staying home, fixing my new husband dinner and expressing my gratitude frequently sure felt like "love" to me, by that time in my life. I later realized he didn't look at it the same way, at all. He would have preferred for me to keep knocking down the salary I earned, and let him do his thing on the road...had I been less gullible, or whatever, I'd have kept working, somewhere! Trouble was that working at the grindstone with him phoning it in every night from exotic locations I'd never see, soon had me feeling like I was just a landing pad between his glorious road trips (with strip clubs, etc., I later learned). That feeling was probably the strongest clue I kept getting that there was a major problem between us.
But eventually, he was getting paid almost what our combined incomes had been when we married. And since that job ended, he built a second career that uses his talents but doesn't require travel (one of my post D-Day 1 boundaries we fought over) whereas, partly due to complex betrayal trauma, my age and being out of the workforce years by D-Day 1, I never found another well-paying job. Worked like a dog on the farm, for "love" but no pay, silly me. He did eventually come into his inheritance and invested a good chunk of it to pay off the house mortgage as well as the farm I'd found "to make him happier" after we married. (Because he always disliked my little house, or was otherwise less than happy there...)
So as you can tell, the dynamics really flipped around over a short time after marriage. I become dependent on him financially, and even after D-Day 1, I resisted letting go of the long-coveted "marriage privilege" I felt I'd achieved, as you so aptly have identified, skeeter. I do not underestimate the powerful pull of those kinds of social benefits, for either the man or the woman!
But you know, some of these observations are just "hindsight being 20-20." Because at the time, we faced those discrepancies together, believing we would grow closer rather than farther apart, and all that storybook jazz...and to a certain extent, in my case, that occurred. So I don't want to make it sound like I've always been the Golden Girl whereas he's always been the deadbeat. My saga points to why we have to learn not to long so much for what other folks seem to have. Going into a relationship, that feeling probably blinds us to how a particlar BF ain't really bringing much else into our life, because we want a solid, safe relationship so badly. We already feel we are economically self-sufficient, so if we can just acquire that missing man, all will be great, right?
[This message edited by Superesse at 10:21 PM, November 8th (Sunday)]