So here’s a hypothetical situation for you.
Jesse and Gertrude have been married for 5+ years and have some kids together. Jesse is older than Gertrude, and employed full time. Jesse is also one of those rare/awesome guys who participate in household chores — despite the fact that he is employed full time and frequently travels for work, Jesse helps out with parenting and household chores/ maintenance. Gertrude, despite being a stay-at-home mom, does little to nothing to help around the house.
Jesse often comes home from an 8-hour day, or a weekend traveling for work, and spends the evening watching their children while Gertrude goes out to bars and parties. Gertrude does not work until their youngest enters school, at which point she begins volunteering and working 2-4 hours a week for minimum wage at the school.
Gertrude runs up obscene credit card bills, often on bar tabs. Gertrude has only a high school education, and despite Jesse paying for several college courses for her, she is unable or unwilling to finish (or even really get started) on a degree. After several years, citing frustration in her marriage (with a guy who supports her in everything she does and is the main responsible parent), Gertrude begins smoking pot in addition to her alcoholism problem.
So, to sum up, Gertrude is:
- An alcoholic.
- A pot smoker.
- Unemployed (and, due to lack of experience/ education/ ambition, unemployable).
- Blames her husband (who supports her financially and emotionally as a parent) for her unhappiness, and rather than hiring a marriage counselor chooses to become a pot-smoking alcoholic.
Gertrude cheats on Jesse. She doesn’t just cheat on him, though, she cheats on him with a guy he’s made no secret of despising. A third party learns of this situation 4 months into the cheating, but decides to give Gertrude the benefit of the doubt. Five months into the cheating, it is so flagrant and apparent that the 3rd party confronts Gertrude about her behavior, and Gertrude confesses all and breaks up with Jesse on the birthday of one of their children.
Jesse decides divorce Gertrude, but wants a civil, amiable divorce. To that end, he decides to humor Gertrude. The terms of the divorce that Jesse is pursuing are:
- 50/50 child custody split.
- Jesse will assist Gertrude financially until she is stabilized.
- Gertrude may not let her paramour parent or otherwise be an authority figure to their children.
Gertrude proceeds to get a house that she will share with her pot-smoking, pot-selling, part-time employed boyfriend and their equally useless/ unemployed friends. Gertrude is still unemployed. Jesse is still supporting Gertrude. And in this house of alcoholic, pot-smoking drug dealers, Gertrude will have their son 50% of the time.
How, exactly, does one point out to Jesse that he’s screwing over his life to help out a dead weight, drug-addicted alcoholic loser?