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IT and Divorce? 943

Posted by Cliff
from the career-hazards dept.
frank_tudor asks: "I am graduate student and work as a web developer. I am also getting a divorce and I have a son caught in the middle. I believe my profession had a part in it. For my graduate thesis I am writing a paper about Dads who work in the computer industry, divorce and custody. I think our industry causes a high rate of divorce but I need some help from the Slashdot community. My questions are: How many of you computer Dads have also gone through divorce and have retained either half or full custody of your children? Do you think your job had something to do with it? What were some of your hardest challenges and are your kids happy?"
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IT and Divorce?

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  • Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:49PM (#16426377)
    IT didn't cause your divorce. Stop trying to look for external causes when they were internal. My Dad worked in IT and my parents are still married, nearly 40 years now.
  • Bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:49PM (#16426383) Journal
    Aren't you worried that, in light of your personal life issues, this thesis might come across a little...I dunno...biased? Just a tad?
  • Poor social skills (Score:1, Insightful)

    by AEton (654737) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:50PM (#16426425)
    People who self-select a career in information technology tend to have poor social skills.

    Think about it.
  • Are you serious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nasor (690345) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:51PM (#16426433)
    Are you seriously planning to use responses here as "data" for a graduate-level academic thesis?
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:51PM (#16426441)
    I know! My one anecdotal case is more than enough to completely invalidate yours!
  • A few points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ellem (147712) * <ellem52@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:52PM (#16426467) Homepage Journal
    1) Ask /. is now officially worthless
    2) Your thesis is horribly flawed
    3) Your wife is leaving you because you whine too much
  • by Illserve (56215) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:53PM (#16426477)
    Surely you can't discount the fact that IT workers are drawn from a different portion of the population which makes it difficult if not impossible to prove that there is a causative factor?

    It sounds like an interesting topic, but be careful with overstating the implications of your correlational results.

  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ucklak (755284) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:54PM (#16426493)
    Exactly. The writing is there: good student, good employee, horrible spouse. You can't do it all. You have to choose what is important to you and don't you ever put your children second.
  • That depends... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GmAz (916505) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:54PM (#16426505) Journal
    Do you bring your work home with you? Is your hobby computers and does it take most up of your free time? Do you commute to work and end up getting home late every night? I work in an IT possition as well and though my marriage is a good one...I could probably play computer games less. Well, mainly one...World of Warcraft. I have taken it easy lately on it since I do have a 6 month old baby girl...but if computers have taken over your life, trust me...its not the IT Industry ruining your marriage...its you. People with the same fascination with cars or fishing or hunting. If those hobbies take over their lives, their personal life is affected. Doctors have the same problem. They work long hours and end up with bad personal lives.
  • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:55PM (#16426517)
    ... I just want you to know that I'm sorry that you and your family are in this situation. It's painful for everybody, and I feel for you.
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:55PM (#16426519)
    For my graduate thesis I am writing a paper about Dads who work in the computer industry, divorce and custody. I think our industry causes a high rate of divorce but I need some help from the Slashdot community.

    I realize this may come across as a cheap shot but...

    If you're writing a graduate level paper, shouldn't you actually do some, you know, statistical analysis to support your core hypothesis rather than go with, "I have a feeling and asked some other nerds."?

    You're far more likely to get results with, "Statistics show that while divorce is at n%, n+y% of male IT workers experience divorce. This thesis looks at prime causes for that y% and performs a statistical breakdown of their effects." than "I got divorced, I work in IT, it sucked. This paper's about how I'm pretty sure IT made it happen. I asked some other nerds what they think."
  • by Agent Green (231202) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:57PM (#16426569)
    Not sure if any of the data you have here is going to be significant ... and since this _is_ slashdot, I doubt highly that you could use it as a reference on a graduate thesis. Personally, I've been married for 3 years and have a son, which I'm sure outcasts me in the group. But, I digress.

    I have a couple friends that have been divorced, though they are from different professions. In those cases, the job wasn't the crowning gem in the divorce itself ... far from it. Here are some traits I observed which one side, the other, or both had in those cases: personality conflicts, lack of communication skills, unwillingness to communicate, unwillingness to listen, self-absorption leading to the exclusion of the other, disjoint financial strategies, unfair domestic workload balance, ho-hum disregard for the children. I never saw a particular job or anything actually interfere.

    Where I'm at now in my mid-30s, most of the guys I work with are married and have been for quite some time. There are very few divorcees and the people I know are very loyal to their partners and their families. I'd have to say that here in IT, those of us who are married are a pretty fun, stable bunch.

    I think you need to stop blaming your career for your divorce and do a little more soul searching.
  • by javabandit (464204) on Friday October 13, 2006 @01:59PM (#16426605)
    Marriage is hard. Its a lot of work. If you aren't willing to give up on your child, then why give up on your marriage? I wish people valued marriage half as much as they valued their relationship to their children.

    I've seen divorcees willing to move to other states, pay lots of money, adjust their schedules, adjust their lifestyles... all just to be with their kids. Spouses should do the same thing. Its all a matter of priority. Marriage just doesn't mean as much anymore.

    These days, people divorce because they argue too much. Or because "the spice" is gone. Or because they don't like arguing about money. Or because the in-laws hate each other. Or because wife gained some weight and doesn't look good enough anymore. Get over it. Man up and deal with it and treat the marriage with the importance it deserves.

    I've been married for eight years now and I have a child. Some of that married time has been REALLY hard. But I treat my marriage like my child. It would take a LOT for me to give up on my child. Same for my marriage.

    Its all about priorities.
  • Scapegoat? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JLavezzo (161308) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:00PM (#16426625) Homepage
    I'm married with two happy children. I know several people who have gotten divorced and have shared custody of children. None are IT professionals.

    The high instance of divorce in the US is much more related to materialism, disconnectedness (also called "independence") and ideas of "self", attitudes towards relationships and the myth of satisfaction than any scapegoat, popular (homosexuality) or unpopular (IT professionals).

    I always tell my single friends that finding a spouse and marriage is more about being the right person than finding the right person.

    Good luck on your thesis. I hope it's well researched and well received. Obviously there's more to it than you could put in an "Ask Slashdot."
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smilindog2000 (907665) <bill@billrocks.org> on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:01PM (#16426631) Homepage
    "don't you ever put your children second."

    Actually, I think many marriage councilors recommend never putting your spouse second. Second is exactly where the kids belong. It's kind of like when the oxygen masks on an airplane pop-out. You put on your own mask before helping others. You can't help anyone if you pass out. The same is true with family. It's hard to help the kids if you're getting divorced.

    I started a company in NC in 2000 with my wife. We already had a 6-month old baby, and a couple years later we had another. I worked like heck, ignoring the family, until one day my wife declared, "This isn't a marriage. You've got to either choose work or our family." I chose the family, and yes, things at work do suffer somewhat as a result. However, I'd be no good to anyone if my family broke up.

    My personal goal is now to work no more than 45 hours/week on average. I'm getting there, but it's hard.
  • IT and Divorce (Score:5, Insightful)

    by doomicon (5310) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:02PM (#16426677) Homepage Journal
    I've been in IT for some years now. I went through a divorce. Was my profession responsible, no. I have a wonderful son and share custody 50/50.

    I worked at a startup for 1 year, during that year I rarely if ever saw my family. Did that job contribute to my divorce? No, because I decided to quit that job, and find another (That year surely didn't help my relationship, however it wasn't the catalyst to the failure of the marriage).

    Divorce can be a horribly emotional experience, we often soul search to find out "what went wrong, what could've I done differently". Sometimes, you just got to sit back.. take a deep breath, and just realize it didn't work out. Regardless of whether she cheated, you cheated, you were away working all the time, she wasn't a good wife, and the myriad of other reasons, nothing can change the present situation... so...

    Best advice, Keep your cool and move forward. If you feel the job's a problem start looking for a new one.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:03PM (#16426695)
    Yes, well, marriage counselors are in the business of marriages. That doesn't make them right about putting children second. Sex, marriage, etc, the whole point of it all is reproduction of the species, aka children. They are the most important aspect, because if you raise them right, you'll benefit society.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:04PM (#16426719)
    The expectations of today's academics have been lowered greatly. A B.S. (B.A. = Junior High?) is relative to a high school diploma years ago. Most master's degree programs are targeted toward the inept. The single place where the expectations are at a reasonable level is in the Ph.D. programs. Even that has gone downhill. This sort of biased research has no place in the academic world and should not sufficient to warrant any sort of graduate degree. There are always exceptions, as I've seen a B.S. Honors thesis of higher quality than any M.S. thesis and it was better than some Ph.D. thesis work. If you want to judge a school's/department's graduate program, look at the quality of the thesis papers they have approved.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:04PM (#16426727)
    Oh, I don't know... maybe some of us are capable of satisfying our wives ourselves and would prefer not to be married to sluts?

    Just a wild guess.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:05PM (#16426745) Homepage Journal
    any job is the same

    There is some truth to this. Nearly any coporate job demands long hours and tough working conditions, all so you can make a few extra bucks. Having both spouses working only exasperates the difficulties in spending time together. In a good relationship, both of you should naturally have a clear idea of what each other is up to. There's no need to give each other the first degree, or hang off each other. Just spending time together, talking a lot, and doing the things that couples do can go a long way toward saving the marriage. Unfortunately, this takes a LOT of effort, isn't very easy, and requires the commitment from both sides.

    Having kids only puts more demands on your time. They need just as much of your time as your spouse does. That time, however, does NOT replace the alone time you need with your spouse! Just because you both spend time with your kid doesn't mean that you don't still need intimate time (physical, emotional, and otherwise) with each other. Just something to keep in mind.

    BTW, check out my current sig for a geeky way to give your kids "daddy time". ;)
  • by TheFlyingGoat (161967) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:05PM (#16426751) Homepage Journal
    Anyone that works long hours is going to have a hard time maintaining their relationship. It really has nothing to do with the industry itself, but instead is a result of people neglecting their relationship to spend more time at work or on their computer. I've gone through that myself, with my wife and I going through a separation before I realized that I needed to spend more time with her and less time on the computer. Same goes for mechanics, engineers, managerial staff, etc. Leave your work at work and spend some time with your wife.
  • Re:In my situation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:05PM (#16426753) Homepage Journal
    These are all issues you should have thought about before having unprotected sex. What will happen to your son if something tragic happens to his mom?
  • by jamesbulman (103594) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:05PM (#16426759) Homepage
    I was in a relationship for eight and half years with my ex. We'd bought a house together nine months earlier and I thought things were okay. Yes, I'd been working *a lot*, like nearly every weekend for the last three months. She'd got a promotion which took her out of town a few nights a week, I didn't mind, she'd been really supportive of my career in the early days and I figured it was me returning the favour.

    I came home one Sunday evening and she announced she'd met someone else and she was leaving me. She'd known him for a month and was in love with him, she still loved me but she wasn't *in love* with me. WTF?! No it's not up for discussion, I'm moving out. So I got fifteen minutes notice that my relationship was over.

    I knew that we'd been distant but I'd resolved that I was going to put the effort into our relationship as soon as this project was delivered.

    Have you figured out the moral yet?
  • by fl!ptop (902193) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:06PM (#16426761) Journal

    and in this order of importance:

    1) family - you need me to work during my kid's/wife's birthday party? too bad.

    2) faith - you need me to work on saturday night/sunday morning/holy day of obligation? sorry.

    3) home - my pipes burst and my basement is full of water. i'm not coming in today.....(or i'll be in late)

    4) work - i'm ready, lay it on me.

    the key is to manage your time - you can meet a deadline *and* keep your private life if you're organized and diligent.

  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:06PM (#16426775) Journal
    Why are you so concerned about your job? If you've put so much work into your job that you've neglected your family do you really think you should get full custody of the children?

    I know it's difficult but think of yourself second to your kids. Your wife is not "the enemy" she is an ally you're struggling with at the moment. If you're working so hard you can't spend time with your kids don't have them for more than weekends you won't be working.

    Some times it's hard to think when you have a knife in your heart, but it's these times you need to.
  • Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zerbey (15536) * on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:08PM (#16426817) Homepage Journal
    In my experience, people in the IT industry have a lower incidence of divorce in general. It is more likely that divorce happens because you do not prioritise what's really important (work vs. relationship). Blaming it on your job is just silly.
  • My replies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killmenow (184444) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:08PM (#16426827)
    My questions are: How many of you computer Dads have also gone through divorce and have retained either half or full custody of your children?
    /me raises hand (full custody).

    Do you think your job had something to do with it?
    No.

    What were some of your hardest challenges and are your kids happy?
    1. Hardest challenges: being a single father with an eighteen month old son, learning to actually be a parent, growing up, staying focused on the job because...TADA! divorce sucks...regardless of what profession you claim on your 1040.

    2. Happy Kids? You don't have a teenager do you? Happy is a relative term. And, yes, my children are relatively happy.

    I also must say I think your thesis premise sucks. But good luck anyway.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bcat24 (914105) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:08PM (#16426837) Homepage Journal
    Yes, but raising kids right involves a stable home life. Kids of divorced parent may turn out OK, but who knows what kind of fear and hate they'll carry with them. Happy parents == happy kids. Angry parents == angry kids. (YMMV, of course. And no, I don't know this from experience, thank God.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:11PM (#16426897)
    I fixed a few errors and omissions in your summary of your current plight:

    I am graduate student and work as a web developer. I am also getting a divorce and I have a son caught in the middle. I believe my choices, including allowing myself to devote too much of my passion to my profession instead of my family had a part in it. For my graduate thesis I am writing a paper about Dads who work in the computer industry, divorce and custody. Since I cannot fathom how my own personal actions could have had any relation to this outcome, I came up with this thesis to cast the blame to somewhere else, making me look like the victim: I think our industry causes a high rate of divorce but I need some help from the Slashdot community. My questions are: How many of you computer Dads have also gone through divorce and have retained either half or full custody of your children? Do you think your poor choices had something to do with it? What were some of your hardest challenges and do your kids share your selfish lack of committment?"

    Note: I have no idea of any of the circumstances surrounding the submitter's real life, but his summary made it sound like he didn't really want advice, but just wanted help vindicating his newly formed self-victimizing attitudes about the whole situation.
  • Re:Bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:17PM (#16426981) Journal
    I would also suggest that, in my ignorant layman's opinion, turning your trauma into your new career is likely to impede your rebuilding your life.
  • by bcat24 (914105) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:17PM (#16426983) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, if you've come to the point of getting a divorce, it's a problem with you and your spouse. Don't blame your job, your health, your astrological sign, or whatever. They might contribute to the problem, but the problem was there long before then. If, e.g., you work too much and don't spend quality time with your husband/wife/kids, that's a family problem. Either you or your spouse (probably both of you) need to recognize that everything starts with you.

    Damn, I'm starting to sound like Dr. Phil. :)
  • Actually, no... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:17PM (#16426985) Homepage
    ... IT does not "cause divorce."

    Neither do trees. Or the weather. Or hockey.

    What may cause divorce are your choices in how to deal with each of these things.

    If you let technology, or the job, or your boss, take priority over your loved ones and family, that is your decision.

    Sadly North American society places the almighty buck ahead of everything, and that translates to a belief that The Job is more important than any other thing in life.

    There are people and places who have rejected these attitudes to varying degrees. In Europe, where work weeks are often quite less than the 40 hour minimum common here, and vacations begin at multiple weeks each year. In intentional communities, where a balance between work and life and family is central to the overall design of the environment. Or even with a small number of employers who have realized that happy and healthy employees lead to greater long term productivity and profits.

    So don't place the blame on "IT", place it on yourself and take long hard look.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Canthros (5769) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:19PM (#16427037)
    Yeah, dammit. Who are you going to believe? Your licensed and accredited marriage counselor, who sees lots of people with problems like yours, or some anonymous jerk on the Internet, whose advice can be had freely in any forum on the Web. Clearly, your marriage counselor is just bilking you into saving your marriage.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Mighty Bill (210350) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:19PM (#16427047) Homepage
    Careers do not cause marriages to fail. An individual's failure to recognize that the career is impacting the relationship, may be a contributing factor. Both husband and wife (regardless of who's in IT) have to take responsibility. If one feels they are being neglected because the job is consuming the other, then the neglected must communicate that to the consumed, and together they must solve the problem.

    I don't object to the OP's thought's, but IT is not much different than being a Doctor or a lawyer (or any other job that may have to deal with after hours commitements). If both parties want the relationship to work, then it will (with perhaps a few extraordinary exceptions). Just an opinion.
  • Come on (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:20PM (#16427055) Homepage
    Frankly, your "profession" probably had very little to do with your divorce. I'd bet good money that your personality (and hers) had an order of magnitude more to do with it.

    My wife and I are both in a position where we work long, hard hours. The thing is, we're both willing (and often do) drop whatever we're doing in an instant to help the other out--even if "help out" is nothing more than "just sit here with me for a while."

    Marriage, done well, is hard work. Marriage, done well, is telling your wife to put her feet up and relax while you do the laundry or cook dinner--never mind that you're both exhausted from a long day's work and you'd really rather just play video games if you had the choice. Marriage, done well, is moving to a new city so that your spouse can pursue a promising new job. Marriage, done well, is near-constant attention, care, and dedication. That said, it's easily the most satisfying, fulfilling, entertaining and educational thing I've ever done, and I don't regret a second of it.

    My grandfather-in-law had some sound advice on how to make a marriage work. He told me that marriage is a 90/10 proposition: each partner should expect to do 90% of the work themselves and only expect 10% from the other.

    How much did you give your wife and family? How often did you ask your wife to wait until you were done doing whatever it was you were doing? How many times did you tell your wife not to bother cleaning the kitchen or bathroom and instead do it yourself? How many hours a day did you spend "free time" in front of the computer?

    Do you genuinely believe that the fact that you write web pages played a significant role in the collapse of your own household?

  • Re:Oh please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:22PM (#16427085) Journal
    Everyone else in most 1st world countries work 40 hours a week. Infact its illegal to go over 45 or 50 in France. America as a result is leading in divorce. You may love what you do but when you age and you are in the death bed will you think of work or your wife?

    I want to hack all day and play too but its not a reality. Work less and see if you can work on a Saturday morning if you can cut down the hours for the rest of the week. If your workplace doesn't allow this then its time to move on and let them hire a college grad who does not have such obligations. There is increasing evidence that addiction to work is becoming common as people become more isolated due to the internet and TV in our lives. Hanging out with others is not as fun. You need to break that and show your wife she is important. If she works as well she wont be impressed about your hours.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A. Bosch (858654) <anonymous.bosch@gm a i l . c om> on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:22PM (#16427099) Homepage
    > Actually, I think many marriage councilors recommend never putting your spouse second.

    I couldn't agree more. Your parents will pass away. Your kids will grow up and move away. You're with your spouse for life, or at least that's the plan.
  • Re:my divorce- (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chirs (87576) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:23PM (#16427117)
    "Long hours suck the life out of everyone - but they are an unfortunate side-effect of what we have chosen to do for a living."

    I have to disagree with that.

    Everyone has a choice as to what hours to work. Granted, there may be consequences if you put your family before your job, but the choice is there.

  • Re:Oh please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mtrupe (156137) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:27PM (#16427221) Homepage Journal
    I totally agree. Too often I see people put the kids 1st and the spouse second. That's a really big problem. It's sad because it may seem like the right thing to do, but it just isn't.

    My wife and I try to make our children know that our relationship is the primary one of the family. It's important for us as well as for them... I think children feel safer knowing that their parents have a strong relationship. Just a hunch, and I say this as a son of divorced parents.
  • by zapster (39411) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:28PM (#16427247)
    Oh Geez, you think IT is problem job? Try being a salesman on the road 50 weeks a year, or a field engineer rolling out a multi-year project in China, or even field technicians for Fortune 500's that do multi-year rollouts, construction (from engineers to dump truck drivers) the list is very long and IT is not even close to being the worst. Get over it, get your life in order, pick which is more important to you, your work or your kids.
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:32PM (#16427345) Homepage Journal
    I'm the son of a man who's worked IT/EE/DOD for pretty much his entire life. He divorced my mother when I was six months old, and obtained full custody.

    I'll guarantee being in the profession had NOTHING to do with it. When I turned 18 I went thru every document concerning the divorce (and a few old cassette tapes with my mother's adoptive father telling my dad to ditch my mother and take me somewhere else,) and I can easily conclude it wasn't due to him being in the profession, it was a matter of morality and family economics (what should've gone to diapers, food, etc. to me instead went to my mother partying every night and getting FUBAR'd.)

    Now I will say that *YES* it's possible that working in the IT field, which is very demanding (sometimes requiring 30-hour shifts, from what my father's told me from his days at Texas Instruments,) will strain or destroy your relationship, mainly because your job keeps you away from your wife, or the job puts so much stress on you, that while you wish you could vent it at the job, you end up relieving it in unconstructive ways at home.

    But it's a little unfair to place the blame squarely upon your job. Tell me, what did you try to keep the relationship working? She should've known that you would have long hours. Somehow, knowing how many relationships I've been in for the past ten years, not all of it is squarely the fault of the job, or even your girl (well, minus my three lying and stealing ex-fiancees,) but usually upon you. There are always exceptions, but most filed cases I've seen are the woman leaving the man, for infidelity, spousal abuse, drug usage, conflicting interests, etc.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:35PM (#16427399)
    Yes, there's no pseudo-science involved in marriage counseling. Ask the experts, whose advice is resting upon copious amounts of research that you can verify and validate yourself. Truly a fool-proof plan.

    Most marriages end because you don't put the other person first! That's the ticket. Or you could always realize that "first" and "second" are stupid ways to look at your life, and realize that even if your spouse leaves you that you still love your children and want the best for them, and that there very well may be absolutely nothing you can do to preserve your marriage. It's not as if people just get tired of each other, and now there isn't any social stigma with opting out of divorce to force them to continue to be unhappy for the sake of others. Yeah, don't work 16 hours a day and be completely distant from your family, but don't delude yourself into thinking that your wife or husband will stay with you forever if you placate them at the expense of everything else.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zxnos (813588) <zxnoss@gmail.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:37PM (#16427447)
    did you ever call her and let her know you would be late? my wife is understanding when i communicate with her. then the next day leave early by the same amount of time. if your employer cant give you that, leave.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:40PM (#16427519) Homepage Journal
    Yes indeed.

    MOST women, almost ALL of them, in every nation of the world, have a tendency to see the universe around them as "part of their life".

    Its mostly about their dreams, their needs, their wants, the things that they deem important, things they think should be done or should not.

    It can be said to a degree that women live in "their-self" world, in which, the things in existence around are always seen as "part of" their inner world, self.

    In short, its "me", not in an overly selfish way, in fact a rather childish perception, but "me" again.

    Whereas men, because of the way our current civilization treats them, tends to understand the fact that there is a "me" and "the others" in the world, always. They are more aware that there are "other entitites" in the world, and they are apart from his self, and those other entities have their own agendas, feelings, plans, perceptions, and views.

    A short example - a man would think thrice before getting outta the car and yelling at some other car's driver, even he is extremely pissed of - the other guy can be a karate-expert, can be a psycho, can be district attorney, and even indeed, might be right to a degree - world is never black & white.

    Women on the other side, tend to behave like there are noone other than themselves while on traffic, even the traffic is an extension of their own selves' lives. Not somewhere filled with many other thinking and conscious entities, but a place they go to and back from work.

    This perception varies with income, the social situation in different countries, with education, and (though there are VERY few women in this situation) with a more developed soul, but overall in all over the world, the same generalization applies.

    This IT & computer thing is something that is closely tied to that matter.

    You might be going to work, doing hell lot of things there that your wife does not want you to do, but, overall, its ok - because you are doing this labor for betterment of the life you are a part of - her life - the baby, the family, the social position, income, amenities and so on. You, are a part of her life. And when you come home, you HAVE to continue being a part of her life, you will deal with stuff, you will watch tv, you will attend kids, eat dinner, listen to this or that and be told that you need to do this or that - all ok. In general, in house, your attentions and your concentration is always on something that is directly related to your wife, or something that she wants you to concentrate on.

    BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTtt

    There is a VERY big difference if you are in IT, or you are into games.

    Both computer games, and IT, are things that can totally get the concentration, creativity, and attention busy on them, your mind and social mind are totally busied and, what is more, satisfied, as their energy overage and desire to act on something is fulfilled.

    But, as in the very big but, this process generally totally engulfs your concentration - you are at that point totally taken off of the "self" life of your wife, or the parts that take place in it, and carried away to abstract or "virtual" concepts and environments. At that moment, you are no longer part of her life, because you are not interacting with any part of her life, or doing any benefit or enjoyment to any part of it.

    Just like cats get very annoyed with extreme attention you are paying the monitor and keyboard, and come and lay on the keyboard or mouse and try to take attention.

    If this trent continues, your wife, will increasingly see you negligent, as you are not concentrating on things that she deems important. Increasingly will she distance herself from you, if the attempts to forcibly get your attention back to what she sees as important via fights, emotional blackmail, social conscience blackmail, fails. Then, the divorce.

    Wo
  • by catfood (40112) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:40PM (#16427523) Homepage
    Checking with the college's Institutional Review Board would be a really good idea at this point.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:46PM (#16427663) Homepage Journal
    Amen. Too many people sacrafice their lives on the altar of their children's "wellbeing". It's like this, barring some catostrophic screw ups on your part, your kids will turn out fine, They will turn out even better if you don't in fact live your life for them, and instead show them how to lead a good life by example. OK, obviously a newborn will require a substantial amount of your time, but as soon as they enter school, the pressure is off, and you can being to wean them off dependance on you.

    Wean them off you, rather than smother them against your chest.
  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:48PM (#16427713)
    If you're going to blame this on your career and you're asking slashdot. Why don't you lay out exactly why the relationship failed and then get her to post her side of it. It would be good input for your thesis. In the meantime, I'm going to make some popcorn.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:48PM (#16427729)
    Generally speaking, I plan to love my wife, but the only significant things that people do are the things that affect the future. For most people, that's raising children and building things.

    Do you think that, on his deathbed, Einstein was thinking "Oh, I wish I had paid more attention to my wife" No, he was thinking "I wish I had gotten to finish my unified theory of relativity"
  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xpun8 (857535) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:59PM (#16427943)
    It's true. My choices at work nearly cost me my family. Wife 1st, kids 2nd, family 3rd, career 4th... Communication with and between all 4 is tops. Communicating with the boss that family is more important than job, showing family that it's true. Most IT isn't a 9-5 job, my wife accepts this, she also accepts that wacky hours and weird phone calls at all hours is what really pays the bills and allows us the freedom to have the toys we share with our family. Sacrifice..
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:59PM (#16427949)
    The proper response her is to ask when she is moving out. If the answer isn't "within the next 5 minutes", tell her she only HAS 5 minutes. No, she doesn't get to pack, or make arrangements, or any of that crap. Get the checkbook, cancel the credit cards, and show her the door. Immediately change the locks, and arrange for a time for her to come get her stuff, supervised. Close all joint accounts, maintaining scrupulous records of funds, etc.

    If someone is going to bail on a relationship with that little notice, they deserve the same consideration. This worked quite well for a friend of mine - he told her not to let the door hit her on the ass on her way out, charged head with the divorce, and is happy. She is miserable, because it turns out it was all a ploy on her part.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richy_T (111409) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:04PM (#16428027) Homepage
    Absolutely. You have to have enough confidence to say "Just because you have failed to adequately butget time and/or resources for project X does not make it my emergency". Working extra when it really is called for is one thing but if it becomes a way of life, that's where the problems lie.

    Rich
  • Re:Oh please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:14PM (#16428245)
    No way.
    I know plenty of really happy parents that have horrible children. Plenty of families that have gone through loads of trouble (deaths, divorces, sometimes multiple of each) and the children turned out great. I know from experience (personal and otherwise)
  • My story.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:19PM (#16428369)
    "True" love in high school. We were both going to do college and then have kids.

    She took one semester- said "THIS SUCKS" and went to work full time.

    When I was three years into college she decided, "We need kids now. You need to quit college and work two or three jobs like my brother-inlaw does for my sister." Then she unilaterally decided to have kid (Found that out years later in a tearful confession).

    Was she a bad person- really probably no worse than average.

    Were we both STUPID for getting married so young? YES.

    College takes a LOT of work and is completely unforgiving. If you miss a test- that's it, change schools or just quit because otherwise that is going to be on your GPA 11 years later. If you truly understand that, you can see the conflict when you are studying and she throws a hissy fit because you are not paying attention to her. You get fired from a job- who cares, you can get another one. You fail a course- you are screwed. Maybe so badly that there is no point in getting the degree any more.

    We finally broke up after 10 years together (8 married). She waited about 30 days into the separation period before she started cutting a path through our male friends (which pissed me off back then- but hell these days I figure why lose a good friend over a woman).

    Now-- how about those "working 60 hours a week" guys?

    Okay- 10% of them do get ahead. The rest get NADA, BUPKIS, ZERO.

    It took me about 8 years longer, but I had 20 hours a week more life during those 8 years.

    Having a wife tho? Under today's legal setup (welcome to divorce land- you are screwed guys- enjoy paying the mortgage for her and the new boyfriend who thinks it's okay to spank your kids) I personally won't be going that route. I have my own house, no debt, new car, nice clothes. I have several girlfriends (one for concerts, one for gaming, one for dancing, etc.). It works out great for me; they are happy (I'm open about being a bachelor up front which helps) and I don't have to turn the stereo down or clean house when I don't want to. Plus when I lose one or two (as happened in 2002) then I'm not devastated and I just load up a couple more. I personally do not think people were meant to stay together forever any more. I'm not sure people were meant to invest *EVERYTHING* into one single other person. You always have to give *something* up (this one goes to bed at 9pm- that one doesn't drink- this one doesn't like gaming- that one doesn't like going out dancing, etc.)

    Plus- in my opinion, when you give so much incentive to women to divorce- they are a lot less likely to stay married until the kids are 18. Basically, if you have a good income and kids: they win, you lose. The courts even go so far as to make men pay for kids that do not exist for years and unless you have a super lawyer you get to see the kids six days a month and every other christmas.

    ---

    Basic advice- if you want kids and to be married- at least wait until you are 25 to 27. And yea- don't work 60 hours a week. It's really stupid. Most women won't disconnect emotionally if you pay them any attention at all. Even 3-4 hours a week they can count on will fulfil their needs. But randomly coming home late, skipping important holidays, only touching or kissing them when you want sex, you are asking for the street.

  • by Bozdune (68800) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:21PM (#16428405)
    Your wife is an asshole. That's the moral.

    The way I look at it is this. Either you are flying signals ("I'm single! I'm looking! I'm available! Look at me!") or you are not. I'm going to bet that your wife was flying signals. If you look back at her behavior totally objectively, you'll probably see it. If you do, internalize this fact -- she was looking to get out.

    The best advice I can offer you is from my own experience.

    1) Don't hang around. She says she still loves you? Bullshit. She doesn't. She's not even THINKING about you. Move on.
    2) Don't believe her if she comes back. She says she wants to try again? She says she wants to "Renew your vows" (that's a rich one)? Move on.
    3) Don't let her set your agenda. Guilt trip about "staying with the kids while she goes away?" Sure, if you want to. If you don't, tell her to drop them off at your place, you'll deal with them.

    And don't -- absolutely don't -- let yourself be angry, bitter, unhappy. This is not your fault. It's not about your job or how many hours you put in. It's not that you didn't "work hard enough" at the relationship. Baloney. I know plenty of people who have ridiculous schedules and see each other rarely, but they're doing just fine.

    Remember: it's about her wanting to leave. It's not about you "failing" in some respect. Dry your eyes, forget your guilt, and find someone who wants to be with you. And if you notice her "flying signals," put her on the "temporary fling" list and start flying your own signals, fast.

  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 808140 (808140) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:29PM (#16428547)

    Not that old chestnut again. Have you actually ever bothered to read any of the statistics on welfare recipients? Of people on welfare who have children, only 10% have more than 4 kids. A google search for "welfare recipients statistics" turned up these two links as the first hits:

    While it is true that there are a number of single mothers on welfare, this is largely because of the following scenario (all too common):

    1. Woman has job.
    2. Woman gets pregnant.
    3. Father leaves.
    4. Woman takes maternity leave.
    5. Despite laws intended to protect her job while she is off, realities force employers to find someone to fill her position. She's assured that this is only temporary.
    6. Woman has a baby. By now, living without a wage and on her own has put her heavily in debt.
    7. As soon as she can, she goes back to her old job. She finds her position filled by someone new. Typically, she is let go soon after, obstensibly due to "restructuring." The fact that someone has filled her old position and that she must balance child-rearing duties with work, of course, are not the reason (this is sarcasm.)
    8. Her child demands a great deal of her time. With no one to help her and no money for a babysitter, her responsibilities make working difficult.
    9. The period of unemployment while she was pregnant makes employers regard her as someone "reentering the workforce." Compared to single men with no dependants applying for the same positions, she is regarded as a high risk candidate. Employers are extremely risk averse. Social stigma associated with single motherhood further reduces her attractiveness as a candidate.
    10. Reduced to this, she gets on welfare to help her get by. She works a job with low pay but relatively flexible hours, and tries to keep from getting further into debt.
    11. On average, within two years, she is able to transition off of welfare: her child becomes eligible for public pre-K programs around age 2.
    12. Once school frees up a substantial block of time, she can concentrate on getting a real job.

    The old 'welfare queen who has 20 kids and keeps having more to increase her welfare check' is a fantasy invented by men who have no concept of just how difficult bearing children can be. It also completely neglects that the marginal increase in aid for each new child is far less than the increase in costs of raising that child.

    Have you ever met anyone on welfare?

    They deserve your compassion. I make a lot more money than they'll likely ever make, but let me tell you, I don't know if I would have the strength or fortitude to make it with the odds they're up against. Working a job, taking care of their child, living in poverty, many of them going to school part-time... you should think twice before you judge them.

  • Re:Oh please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StormyWeather (543593) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:31PM (#16428581) Homepage
    Having to stay late to wrap up code for a release deadline.
    Why? Did your boss set an unrealistic deadline? Sounds like his problem and he should stay late to make the deadline. Oddly enough I've never seen a project manager work an 80 hour week with no comp time or bonus, but developers line up for that kind of idiocy.

    getting calls from the computer room in the middle of the night
    Turn off the phone. If the company requires you to answer the phone get another job, or write documentation so they can fix problems without you. I personally count every call after hours as 2 hours on the job that I take off during the week. The wife enjoys me coming home at 2pm on a Friday and spending time with her.

    getting a calls at 5:30pm from an irate spouse.
    She wanted to spend time with you, you wanted to spend time at work.

    And don't spout off about HAVING to work late, you don't have to do anything. I used to work 12 hours a day, and I never got promoted until I stopped being a slave to the job. Why is it us programmers can't do simple division and figure out that a big paycheck divided by 80 hours a week is no better than a manager a burger king.

    You loved your job more than her, hope you can surf porn in privacy at work so it makes a better substitute.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:32PM (#16428597)
    Aye.

    Welcome to corporate America where every project is priority "1A".

    Emergencies: Flood, fire, earthquake, riot.

    Not Emergencies: The boss really wants it by Friday. (doubly irritating when the boss is OUT on friday and until the following tuesday).

    Managers have no way to know how productive you can be. Their only way is to work you to the point of failure.
    So you need to fail mildly and early when you hit your real limits instead of killing yourself and working til you really fail (and they fire you for bad health, bad attitude, etc.).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:35PM (#16428645)
    I guess personal responsibility really is dead, huh?
  • Re:fuck equality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by not already in use (972294) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:42PM (#16428755)
    Men can stay at home, and women can work. Is that generally the case? No... but thats not my fault. It's not my fault that, by nature, men have higher levels of testerone that, when taken artificially, is considered a performance enhancing drug. It's also not my fault that women are, by nature, the ones who give birth to children, and go through a week period every month in which they become emotionally instable due to an increase in estrogen. And queue the accusation of sexism. But guess what... I don't give a fuck. It is only natural that men and women fall into different roles in society. Does this mean that women can't break the mold, and say, become CEO of a big company like say.. Ebay? Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart... both self-made billionaires. So really... don't give me this shit about equality. There is inequality going both ways. That's nature. Deal with it.
  • dito (Score:2, Insightful)

    by swanriversean (928620) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:47PM (#16428867)
    I'm from the same situation (devorced parents).

    Our young son is happiest whenever he sees mommy and daddy kissing or hugging. He usually wants to join in too. The rest of the time, you've got to ask really nice for a hug, especially if he's in the middle of driving his tractors or "reading". But when he sees us hugging, he can't drop whatever he was doing fast enough to join in.

    I think it is important for children to know that they are loved, but it at least as important that they know that the people who love them love each other. It kind of ties their whole universe together. And parents are the two most important (and most visible) people to a child, so they really need to see a strong relationship there. Before they're too old they'll know that mommy and daddy are *supposed* to love each other, and have probably heard them say it to each other too. If they see that relationship breaking down and missing love (or like I was as a child, told that mommy and daddy don't love each other any more), they'll feel a lot less secure about the love they're supposed to get from each parent, or from anyone else for that matter.

    Of course I don't think it is *easy* to do this. Marriage takes work like any relationship, like any job. And often, that work doesn't seem as fun or as rewarding as your professional work (I can speak for myself here). Still there can only be two people to blame when any relationship breaks up (and usually they both deserve blame too).

    What's the thought here anyway?
    Is IT really that much more demanding than other professions (doctor, lawyer, army personel, etc., etc.)?
    Anyways, its not the job's fault, its the person who chose the job over his or her spouse's fault.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:49PM (#16428901) Homepage Journal
    Well, I'm not sure which parts of the parent post are supposed to be sarcasm and which are heartfelt, but I'll add my bit :)

    People believe the lie that marriage is self-perpetuating. In reality, it's just as much work as any job -- if you think differently, then your spouse is probably the one doing all the work. People do "just get tired of each other" in that one day, they wake up, and realize "hey, there's no love here! Why am I married to this person I don't love?"

    The trick is that just like any software, a marriage needs maintenance as well as the original source code. You need to have a bug tracking system in place, be open to feature requests, and be willing not to give up. Love is just as much a discipline as it is a feeling you get from being around someone. If you work on it, it can get stronger. This is why arranged marriages, despite Western ideologies, actually work for some people. The couple goes into the marriage knowing it's not going to be an easy ride, and they'll have to work to improve their relationship.

    Being unhappy isn't something someone else does to you; you have to set boundaries, live with them, and if someone oversteps them, choose to a) move/redefine your boundaries, b) forgive them and make sure they understand where your boundaries are, or c) let them face the consequences of overstepping those boundaries. This way, if a spouse leaves you, it's not because you weren't working at your relationship, not putting it above your job, your stuff, your children, etc., but because your spouse was unwilling to work at your relationship.

    One thing about IT marriages: I bet you'll find it's generally the spouse of the IT worker who leaves, because the IT worker is too busy to notice that their marriage has stopped growing. By the time they do, their spouse has lost respect for them, and it's MUCH harder to redeem the relationship.

    Also, I think you'll find that this holds true for MBA jobs and travelling salespeople just as much as IT workers. GIGO, and all that (either yours, or theirs, or both).

  • Re:Oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pentavirate (867026) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:52PM (#16428969) Homepage Journal
    If we can just figure out how to elliminate step 3 none of the other steps would even occur. Men need to learn to step up and take responsibility for themselves and women need to make the men commit to the relationship before kids are even a possibility. If the woman "gives it away" (ie not require any kind of committment from the man) than she has no power to keep him when she needs him. This is very likely where the the marriage traditions come from. It's to ensure the security of a woman who bears children.

    So how can we elliminate step 3 for the benefit of society?
  • by JasonEngel (757582) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:15PM (#16429403)
    I fall into the category - tech worker, dad, divorced. I don't have any kind of custody of my son, basically because my ex is from a rich family and I was dead broke at the time from paying her credit card bills. I do have standard visitation, though, and I'm always pushing for more.

    Anyway, the point is, I don't think it's so much a question of the tech industry creating situations (lots of time in the office, high stress, bringing work home, etc etc) that lead it's people into divorce. I think, rather, that the tech industry is filled with people who lack the social skills required to make a marriage work.

    First off, techies probably got into the field because they grew up spending more time with computers than humans because they were the geeky social outcasts. Second, because techies were likely geeky social outcasts, they probably glom'd onto the first person willing to marry them (but not necessarily the right person) because of a fear they would never find anyone else (low self-esteem is rampant in the geeky social outcast crowd). Third, not many geeky social outcasts with low self esteem are able to handle confrontation, which is inevitable even in a strong healthy marriage, so they probably avoided the problems (long hours at work) or behaved to aggressively in response (the ol' "yell louder to win" routine). Neither solves problems, both just make problems worse. Eventually, someone calls it quits. Either the techie grows a spine and realizes what a mess he or she is in and jumps ship, or the non-techie spouse gets fed up with the loser and leaves.

    Raise your hand if this sounds familiar to you? It's basically the exact situation almost all of my divorced techie coworkers found themselves. It's pretty much where I found myself. At least I was fortunate to be the kind of techie who learned some self esteem and grew a backbone. While I may not have custody of my son due to my financial circumstances at the time, I do have a strong relationship with him, my experience has taught me invaluable lessons in how to make my second marriage a brilliant success, and . . . I guess i don't really have a third. But anyway.

    To sum up, stop trying to blame someone else for what really is a failure between you and your spouse. The fault lies solely between the two of you and not with your employer. Grow a spine, learn some self esteem, and work harder at your marriage than at your job.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gunnk (463227) <gunnkNO@SPAMmail.fpg.unc.edu> on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:23PM (#16429575) Homepage
    Okay, the grandparent's case is one anecdotal case, but I think you'll find it's one of many. Given enough cases in both directions you end up building statistics... we have 9 people in our IT unit and only one divorce (and I think it was HER career that caused the problem there, not his).

    Life is one big quest for balance. You choose your priorities. In this case we're looking at someone working in IT AND going to grad school. Full-time employment plus grad school means SOMETHING else is likely to give. Grad school + work + kids is a combination that really stresses a marriage to the max. Yes, it can be done, but you have to actively MAKE IT WORK. You have to make sure that almost every day you devote time to your spouse and kids. If you can't devote enough time to work + school + your family, be prepared to fail in one of those. It doesn't matter if the work is IT or sales or accounting or anything else.

    Unfortunately, we tend to manage our time by prioritizing whatever has the next pending deadline. Family seldom comes with deadlines attached, so it often gets pushed to "low priority" -- meaning family never gets the attention it deserves. It therefore gets neglected and that's where the failure occurs. The person involved ends up blaming their other activities rather than their failure to make their family a priority.

    I'm working quite a bit lately because I'm in the process of starting a company while working full-time. When I make up a priority list for the day and find it's packed I add a section for "personal life" which says I must do something to let my wife feel special, something to make my daughter feel special, and something to take care of my own mental health. In a pinch, I may neglect me, but my family is important, so I consider those "family priorities" to be drop-dead items. Sometimes the most I can do is give my wife a backrub for 15 minutes or walk the dog around the block with my daughter, but they each DO get my undivided attention.

    Most "job-related" or "school-related" marriage failures are really "time-management" failures. You can't "turn off" your family while you pursue other priorities. If you can't devote a little time every day to each important part of your life you will see the neglected portion fail whether that's school, work, personal health, or family. Something WILL give!
  • by Java Ape (528857) <(ten.063) (ta) (sggirb.ekim)> on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:29PM (#16429661) Homepage
    First, IT is not unique in being a demanding career. I'm getting to be a bit of a gray-hair, and have worked in several career fields. IT tends to attract people with obsessive/compulsive tendencies, which we politely describe as drive/curiosity/commitment. And yes, companies encourage our little work-a-holic souls to do their bidding 70 hours a week, if possible.

    In my opinion, a boss saying "you're indespensible" or "there's a dealine friday" is just an ego-stroke, designed to keep you working unpaid overtime for the company. I should know, I've taken that bait more than once. No one is indespensible, and if the company were serious about the production schedule, they'd hire enough staff to come in on time. We're being played. Worse, we offer up our families on the alter to our egos. Grad school is a huge time commitment - having done it, I'm not sure it was worth the price.

    Ultimately, companies rise and fall, whole fields of endeavor wax and wane, and the career that looks like gold today will likely be dross in time. Take time NOW for your wife, and kids if you have them. I know too many nerds that have a shelf filled with company awards, and go home to an empty house at night. No pretty little bauble on your brag-shelf will compensate for failure within the family. If your current job isn't family friendly, start printing resume's today.

    I left a "big" job a few months ago. I kept it because after the dot-bomb I was afraid of being unemployed. They gradually demanded more and more of my time, and were fairly generous with the compensation. Eventually, I found myself arguing my wife of 20 years (a rare occurance), and it became apparent I didn't know the name of the school my daughters went to, or the names of their best friends. The next day, I talked with my boss, and when she wasn't receptive to my needs, started looking for new work. I am poorer financially, but FAR, FAR happier than I would have been had I stayed. I hope my wife will be at my side long after I've bid a final farewell to my career, it would be stupid to ruin something eternal for that which of little worth.

  • by learithe (442716) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:29PM (#16429667)
    "You, by now definitely thinking that this is a macho post ... and im laying all the blame on women."

    Why, yes I am. I can't believe a post saying, and I quote, "women are faulty" got an "insightful" score. Of course, I personally have witnessed plenty of male chauvinist attitudes on slashdot, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. But I'm still really damn offended.

    Sure, women have a biological drive to find a secure, loving home to raise children. Even if we choose not to raise a family, we still are wired to be in and part of a loving, caring environment. It's not a fault, it's a virtue that ensures the future of the human race. There is a plethora of evidence that children raised without affection, attention, and love develop all sorts of horrible emotional problems. If everyone had your attitude, 21st century or no, we'd be a race of miserable, disfunctional people. Yes, there are plenty of ways to connect and interact with people through technology -- but that doesn't change thousands of years of evolutionary pressure to want to be with someone in a physical sense.

    Besides, if you never "get out and do something", you'll quickly become obese, lethargic, and die of a heart attack at the age of 40. Who wants to be married to that?
  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pnutjam (523990) <slashdot AT borowicz DOT org> on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:32PM (#16429707) Homepage Journal
    Don't 1/2 of all marriages end in divorce? I think any profession has a relatively high divorce rate. Marriage takes work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:33PM (#16429727)
    Holy crap. I've got to grab my hip waders, the bullshit is getting deep in here.

    It's because of WOMEN PSYCHOLOGY????? THe woman sees the world around her as part of HER life? Everything's a ME thing to the woman, where the MAN sees everything is about others, never himself??? The Woman needs to adjust to the 21st century???

    Holy crap.

    Mr. Women Psychology Sir - it sounds like you had a few too many BAD experiences with women. That crude blathering you spout here is not "women psychology" - that is YOUR take on women. And it's malarky, no matter how well it fits the psychology of the women you've known. And I feel badly for you in that case.

    To the thesis boy ... may I just simply echo a long chorus of /.ers that have said - don't blame the work - it's either you or her. The fact that you are trying to place blame on your profession? That quite strongly pronounces that it was you.

    You are getting a divorce - and - to PROVE that it was not YOUR fault your marriage failed, you are going to write a thesis, get the support of your fellow geeks here (at least that was the *plan*) - and get a soaring A++++++ grade that would affirm what you've always known - it's NOT YOUR FAULT!!!

    Take responsibility. Stop blaming your profession, or "women psychology" - or whatever else convenient crap excuse you can come up with which sounds convincing enough to assuage your guilty conscience.

    Dammit - be a man! Where the hell has honor and accountability gone?
  • Re:Oh please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pnutjam (523990) <slashdot AT borowicz DOT org> on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:39PM (#16429795) Homepage Journal
    I too make it clear that while my wife is "Mommy" to my dauAny mghters she is first and foremost "My Wife". It cracks me up when my daughter refers to her as "Your wife". I think children are usually first for mothers (men deal with this better), but a man should take care of his wife.
  • by Valdrax (32670) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:42PM (#16429833)
    Funny you should mention that when he's essentially soliciting anecdotal evidence in favor of his thesis by asking for people to tell their own stories.

    He's not taking a representative sample group and testing whether or not his thesis is true but is instead trying to find data points that agree with his thesis and ignoring the context of how many others disagree with it. It's not exactly scientifically rigorous work so much as an attempt to find other people to reassure him that he's normal, and that's it's less his fault than if there was no correlation.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crabpeople (720852) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:45PM (#16429895) Journal
    "So how can we elliminate step 3 for the benefit of society?"

    In western countries, its the womens choice whether to have the baby. Don't believe anyone if they tell you the man has any say what so ever. The argument then becomes, well if youre willing enough to sleep with someone then you should be willing enough to raise a family with them. I disagree with this, as I am sure most other people of both sexes would. So your question is how to elliminate relationships from going bad. Buddy, if you ever find a solution to that, please don't keep it to yourself. It's a similar question to "why do bad things happen?". Its unanswerable, they just do. For more reasons than there are stars in the sky.

    Some creative flamebait answers
    - Force all pregnancies to be supervised and agreed to by all parties, else aborted by the state.
    - Perfect contraception.
    - Give financial benefits/tax breaks to people who stay with their families.
    - Reinstitute christian or muslim moral values into the fabric of society.
    - Give fathers a legal say in whether a child can be born, disempowering women.
    - Give away all control of upbrining children to the state and leave the slaves^H^H^H^H^H people free to do work.

  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Achra (846023) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:49PM (#16429961) Journal
    Mod parent Doubleplusgood Truthspeak!

    Anyone that is in a healthy marriage knows that this guy is dead on the money. It took me until my second marriage to figure this out, btw.. I have no idea why there is this perception that if you meet the right girl, everything will just be peaches and chocolate and rose petals on the bed forever, no matter what you do.. All relationships are work. Period.
  • by c0d3h4x0r (604141) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:50PM (#16429983) Homepage Journal
    Don't blame the IT field for your divorce. Blame yourself (and your wife) for not ensuring that your ideas of marriage aligned before you got married.

    It sounds like your idea of marriage was that you would prioritize your job over your wife under certain circumstances. It sounds like your wife's idea of marriage was that you would prioritize her over your job under those same circumstances. It doesn't mean you always deprioritized your wife or didn't care for her. It doesn't mean she was too demanding or needy. It doesn't mean that either one of you was "wrong" for expecting what you expected. It just means your expectations were fundamentally mismatched.

    You need to find yourself a woman who has the same idea of marriage that you do. You both need to check continuously that you are on the same page as each other -- this is what those relationship advice articles mean when they are always talking about "communication". Find a woman who agrees with your expectations and tactics and who wants the same things out of marriage and life that you do. And the same advice would help your ex-wife: she needs to find herself a husband whose idea of marriage aligns with her own.

    As for the kid caught in the middle of this divorce, be honest with yourself: who is going to give that kid more time and attention and proper parenting? If it's not you, then do the kid a favor and let your ex play that role. Don't use the poor kid as a tool of vengeance (by fighting for custody just to deny your ex something she wants). Be the better human being and do the best thing for the kid instead of being immature and selfish.

  • by Anthony Boyd (242971) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:42PM (#16430649) Homepage
    Well, this topic is about to fall off the Slashdot homepage, so I guess my comment is destined to languish in obscurity. However, let's do this for posterity.

    There are many posts here making the point that it's ridiculous to blame your job for your divorce. They make the distinction that human beings make these choices, and the blame should fall there. It's a good point, although maybe some could have said it more kindly. But it doesn't change the fact that some work environments are extremely hostile to marriages.

    I worked at software reporting tools company for a couple of years. At one point, there was a Web site redesign scheduled. As the sole Web person at the time, I worked 2 90+ hour weeks back to back. It was something like 16 days on, each day up at dawn, home at nearly midnight. I was a (relatively) new father. I didn't once speak to my daughter during that time -- I only saw her sleeping at night. I was OK with this because it was a very short-term crunch. But I was a little sad. I launched the redesign Sunday night, got a few hours of sleep, and arrived at work Monday morning at 7:30 AM. I wasn't expecting much, but some acknowledgement of my hard work would have been nice. My boss was there, livid. I don't even recall what the problem was, but it was minor. She ripped into me. I defended myself with the truth -- "I've worked 16 days in a row, I haven't seen my family, there aren't any more hours in the day!"

    Her response? "You'll just have to find a way to do more!"

    You can say that the people in the marriage are always the problem. You can say that it's a cop-out to blame external pressures. And I agree to a certain point. I was at a crossroads, and I could have chosen my job over my family at that moment. It would have been my choice, my consequences. But I also know that certain types of people can and will take advantage. Certain people do NOT care about anything other than their own goals, and if they can manipulate a young, inexperienced worker bee into slaving away, so be it. If the worker bee crashes & burns, "maybe that worker bee wasn't cut out for the job." It is a fairly heartless way to interact with people, and to some degree, I think such people are not blameless for the pain that follows.

    Oh, and I'm still married. I work freelance, my own schedule. We have income that is nowhere near what I used to make, but I'm way the hell happier.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:47PM (#16430713) Homepage Journal
    People believe the lie that marriage is self-perpetuating. In reality, it's just as much work as any job -- if you think differently, then your spouse is probably the one doing all the work. People do "just get tired of each other" in that one day, they wake up, and realize "hey, there's no love here! Why am I married to this person I don't love?"

    I think that a worthwhile marriage is self-perpetuating. That means, though, that each person gets out more than they put in. This sounds funny, but the whole is more than the sum of its parts in several ways. Some of them are very simple; for instance, it's quicker for one person to wash all the dishes for two people than it is for two people to each wach their own dishes, simply because there's set up and take down for the process which is repeated if two people wash dishes separately. This is a simple, silly example, and it's not a big savings, but my point is that this sort of thing can happen all over your relationship if you let it.

    Also, perpetuating is taken to mean, like, perpetual. But nothing is. NOTHING IS FOREVER - except perhaps some things that we as three dimensional beings may not even be able to apprehend. Sure, marriages end. People fall out of love, although I would argue that means they weren't really in-love in the first place, just in-fatuated. My most recent ex-girlfriend claimed to love me, but my working theory (not that it matters so much because she's my ex and the current one is so much better - er, but I digress) is that she was in love with being treated like a valuable person, an experience that her prior relationships didn't really prepare her for.

    But who knows, it's all academic because she may never know what happened inside her head, and that gives me pretty damned poor chances of it. And, again, it's not really important. I don't have to understand everything even though to me the desire to do so is just part of geekdom.

    The important thing really is to form a relationship with someone who shares your priorities. I know a guy whose wife left him because he was always working to try to provide for his family. Well, his daughter has no self-esteem (and no, that's not my ex - it's my ex's cousin) and his son is in prison, and now he's got a girlfriend he doesn't have much time for, and a nice house house next to a golf course. He's got a hottub, but it's been a soup of algae for years because he feels like he has no time to maintain and/or use it. Is he happy? Not from what I can tell. But if he had hooked up with a woman who wanted to do her own thing, then perhaps he'd be happily married still. And, hopefully, they wouldn't have had any kids whose lives they could fuck up.

  • Re:yep... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 808140 (808140) on Friday October 13, 2006 @05:57PM (#16430879)
    The time that elapses between steps 2 and 3 is variable. Late-term abortions are generally held to be dangerous, not to mention the moral quandries associated with them. Sometimes the father is a dead-beat who doesn't leave (or leaves after the child is born), but provides no financial support, or worse, spends money.

    Personally, being pro-choice, I support a woman's right to choose. Were I woman, and were I in a similar situation, I might choose to have an abortion. But I think it's important to recognize the psychological strife that comes with ending the life growing inside of you. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that it's not an agonizing decision for most women, even those that are pro-choice. For me, respecting a woman's right to choose means also respecting her choice to keep the child. If she can't pay for it herself, I don't think giving her a measily 7000 dollars a year is too much of a burden on the American taxpayer, given the other things we pay for (like billion dollar stealth bombers the military doesn't even want.) But I'm making a value judgement there, based on my own politics. You might disagree, which is your perogative.

    Everything else aside though, the "just have an abortion" response is pretty callous, and if you think about it, it's easy for you to say because, and this is important, you will never have to decide whether or not having an abortion is the right decision or the wrong one. It's like non-smokers who tell a lifelong addict to "just quit smoking." It might be the right response, but it's much easier said than done. A person who has successfully quit smoking generally has a great deal more empathy for people who have trouble kicking the habit than people who have no frame of reference. I hate to sound sexist, but as men, we are biologically incapable of having a frame of reference when it comes to abortion.

    We will never have more than anecdotal evidence to bring to bear when it comes to subjects like pregnancy, period cramps, and abortion. A little bit of humility goes a long way here.
  • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vinn01 (178295) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:12PM (#16431029)
    Dynamics change.

    Your g/f will lose her understanding of your job when you get married and have a baby. At that point you'd better be around to help (unless she has a lot of family for support) because she will not enjoy being a de facto single mother with an absentee father.

    Deal with it.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday October 13, 2006 @09:58PM (#16432963) Homepage Journal
    If we find the toilet seat down, we put it up and do our thing. We dont yell or bitch about it being up or down.

    WHY dont women do the same ?
  • by r00t (33219) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:09AM (#16433837) Journal
    Some people fail at 2, 3, or more marriages. They drive up the numbers.

    The chance of any 1 person being divorce-free is much better than 50%.

    Tip: divorce runs in families. Be wary of this when you choose.
  • Not here... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PenguinBoyDave (806137) <david@dav[ ]eyer.org ['idm' in gap]> on Saturday October 14, 2006 @07:56AM (#16435129)
    Been in IT for 15 years and travel globally for my company. Three kids and twelve happy years of marriage later (to the same woman) the key for us was my finding balance between work and life. I know a lot of IT guys who can't put their computers down "computersexuals" as that is their only life. When 5:00 PM hits, I step out of my desk and into the Dad / Husband role. From 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM I work a little more once the kids are asleep (while my wife does her thing) and then we do our thing. It's all about balance.
  • Why just Dads? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PaigePB (620104) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @08:35AM (#16443151)
    I'm an avid Slashdot reader but have never been incited to post until now.

    My story is the complete reverse of what is being solicited.

    I was a 'stay-at-home' mom of a 2-year-old and a -3-month-year-old (6 months pregnant) when my husband developed a severe mental illness. My divorce was sudden and my prospects were bleak since I had a master's degree in a field that was non-lucrative, I had no prospects for child support (my ex was rendered unemployable) and little or no social security since he had been a freelancer.

    I moved my small family to CA just after the peak of the dot-com boom to be near extended relatives, too a good, hard, look at the world to see what industry would pay enough to support a family on a single income, would have the flexibility to allow for working at home or if extra hours are needed could be done in the evening while children slept, and which would reward self-starters rather than (or along with) those with formal degrees.

    IT was the answer. Specifically programmming.

    I found an employer who would hire a determined, untrained woman (job interview question: 'Can you write an ASP site', answer: 'Never heard of it, but give me a month and I'll have one written'.

    And that started my career as a working mom. I am now an R&D programmer - I would call myself an architect-in-training - for a good sized program. I train and review code written by others but always seem to find something new to explore that would benefit the company I work for. My employers understand that I require a flexible schedule but they apparently seem to find that this relationship is worthwhile for them.

    I entered the field for Machiavelian reasons. What I didn't expect was how much I would enjoy this career path - how much quality-of-life I would have when each day I wake up to learn something new or have the opportunity to teach someone else how to use what I've learned, all to benefit other people - users of our software, the company, our customers.

    My family is growing well. My at-the-time not-born-yet daughter is now 7 years old. I have remarried to someone in the industry - a CTO with a background in network administration.

    The IT lifestyle give me the flexibility to be a mom and help support my family. While this is not a 'magical' quality of the IT industry, intrinsic to it in some mysterious way and no other industry, it is the reason why I chose this career path and it worked out for me (with up-front negotiation with my employers) extremely well.

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