They Fought Over Chores and Decisions
Overstressed and Overworked
Laura Wyscaver was stressed to the max when we first met her in August 1995. A district manager of a food-services company, and mother of two young children, Laura, now 49, had been the breadwinner for several years while her husband, Tom, now 56, struggled to start his business, Ace Games and Party Rentals. Because Tom worked fewer hours and made less than Laura, he agreed to take over the household and childcare responsibilities -- and according to Laura, was not doing a good job at it. She says he constantly slacked off on making dinner or cleaning the house. Plus, she claimed that Tom was critical of the hours she spent at the office. "He makes me feel guilty for not spending time with him or the kids," she said. "I think he's jealous of my success."
Not true, said Tom. He was resentful that her family was last on her priority list. What's more, he hated being treated like her assistant. "I'm Mr. Mom, with all this responsibility," he said. But she was always in his face, he said, like a "dragon breathing fire," second-guessing his decisions about dinner, bedtime, or homework. On the brink of divorce, the couple consulted Denver-based psychologist Susan Heitler, PhD. Now, eight years later, we caught up with them:
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