OK, thanks for the info. Most just ask for advice and tell us little. Where do I start? I too am in IT and went through some of the things you are having problems with. Let's start with dead end job. I had a few of those and quit them. It was hard because no one likes going on interviews and being turned down and we all seem to minimize what we bring to the table. We worry if we will succeed or even like our new jobs. I made the change after 5 years of going nowhere and I made more money by changing. I quickly learned that the fastest way to make more money is to change jobs. No one really cares anymore how many jobs you had or how long you stayed there. I have had 8 or more jobs in 45 years and the one I have now consumed about 25 of those years and is the second time I am working for the same company. The big difference is that now I get 25% of the profits. I had to leave and hold out for 3 years while I took on some jobs I hated, but paid very well, but in the end I make lots more money, work at home from a tropical location and get paid for 5 days but only work 3 in the summer and 4 in the winter. Plus the profit split. I used to be loyal to my employer until I found out that we are all disposable. Bottom line is what counts. I believe that my job is always to be looking for a better job. When I get a new job I update my resume and post it on all the job searching sites. I did got a job paying a lot of money that way. They chased me and finally asked what it would take for me to work with them. I blew them off with some ridiculous wage and they accepted. Then when I was interviewed, somehow they thought I told them I wanted $25K more than I had really asked for and I did not correct them. Employers will try to pay their people as little as they can.
My current company if filled with many people whose only job was with us and they are not ambitious, do not ask or try for promotions and are happy with whatever we pay them. We try to be fair of course, but we do not know their financial needs better than they do unless they speak up. So start looking for a new job. I have moved 13 times to get to my dream job and substantially increased my income during the process. We got to live in different States for a few years, made new friends and explored our new cities. It brought my wife and I closer since we only had each other when we moved, so we became best friends. My wife mentioned this just tonight and remarked ath we were each other's only friends many times. We also had cats, 3 of them, and moved them with us each time. Now I have one dog. No kids here either so I was free to accept jobs anywhere I wanted to. It prevented us from falling into a rut and kept things new and fresh.
As to not noticing your wife. I am the opposite. My wife tells me that I smother her with attention and love. I will always notice a tag sticking out and compliment my wife every chance I get. She is my world. I have left jobs because she was unhappy about the new place we lived. However, she recognized that I was building a career and that meant being away for a few months each year. She put up with it and never complained. In fact, we both got used to having a lot of alone time. Sometimes too much togetherness is not good.
Take an interest in your wife. Ask her about her day, her plans, her wants, etc.. That is just mental discipline and easy to learn. I have known a few cheating wives in my time and their biggest reason for cheating was that their husbands took them for granted, did not make them feel desirable and did not take them anyplace where they can get all dressed up and be admired by others. Nothing is as good for an ego than to have others look at you with desire in their eyes. So make the effort to make your wife feel like she did when you dated.
I have no friends at the moment, just acquaintances. Currently I am devoting most of my time to my work so that I can retire in a few years. It has paid off handsomely so far. I am, or used to be, very social when we planted roots for more than a few years. I had a group of friends to hang out with, but since I grew old, I am enjoying life by myself for a change.
The first time I was asked unexpectedly to speak to a large crowd I had to hold on to the podium to keep from falling. My legs felt like rubber and I thought that my voice was shaky. People said I did a good job, but I was scared out of my mind. However, my job required that I not only speak before large groups, but also convince large companies to pay my company large sums for our services. Over time I gained confidence and could speak to an auditorium of Kodak employees and meet with politicians like Ted Kennedy, Mayors, CEO's of Fortune 500 companies and government leaders all over Europe and Asia. Now my wife cannot shut me up. The secret was knowing what you are talking about and realizing that even if you know a little more than your audience, they will look at you as an expert, especially if you call yourself one.
Self confidence will not only take you far in life but women find it sexy. I had ample opportunities to cheat on my wife while overseas, but I turned them all down. If that was not hard enough, prospective subcontractors where always trying to throw women, money, boats, trips, etc. at me to gain favor. I never took anything from anyone because I want to be me and not owing favors to others.
I learned a very valuable life lesson. The greatest skill you can have to succeed, is to be able to sell yourself and/or your ideas. I was hired for every job I interviewed for and I sometimes interviewed for jobs I did not want just to see if they would make me an offer or for practice. Over time I volunteered for projects that would look good on my resume and completed them. That made me more and more valuable. So know your stuff and push yourself to speak before groups. If needed, have your doctor prescribe Xanax to get rid of the anxiety. I still keep some around. I often put myself in positions that made me uncomfortable or that I feared, so that I had to do what I did not want to do, but would be good for me in the end. Heck, I volunteered to go to Vietnam just to make sure that I had courage. That gave me a lot of self confidence until I entered the business world and had to learn a whole new set of skills. My self confidence did help in a way though. It told me that I could learn and fit into my new environment.
I believe that you can be happy without a lot of friends, or any. Being a loner is often viewed as a problem, but it gives you freedom. No more compromising on what restaurant to eat at or movie to see. No getting caught up in the petty disagreements that occur in a group of friends who get too involved in each other's business. I am free to do anything I want or nothing at all. After a lifetime of travel I am enjoying staying at home and not running to catch a plane or glad handing people I do not like. I live in a very large retirement community with 2,000 clubs to join so if I want companionship, it is easy to find. I just do not like joining anything. In a group you have to do what the majority wants to do and that is like two wolves and a lamb deciding what to eat for lunch.
One morning after working 7 months for a company that paid me enough to start looking for small mansions, I realized that I hated the job. Loved the money but I quit that day. I could not work at a job I did not like, for a person I did not like. I found a small company that paid me a third of what I was making, moved into a smaller house and have been happy ever since. My point is to do what it takes job wise to make you happy. If you are happy at your job, your life will be happy. The problem with some people is that they are not willing to do what it takes to get what they want. I do not let life bend me to its will. I try, and often succeed in bending life to my will because I will do whatever it takes to do so.
If you love your wife as I do mine, pay more attention to her. Do things to make her feel appreciated and desired and most of all, consider her needs and wants in every decision you make that affects her in any way. We have never done anything that the other was against. We always compromised or did not do it. People tell my wife that she is lucky to have a husband like me who is so obviously in love with her, and who wants to make her happy. Be like me and many other husbands out there. Show your wife that she is the center of your world. I gave up finishing college to take care of my wife who fell ill on the first night of our honeymoon. Most newlyweds do not call a doctor on the first day they arrive at a hotel. I did. I tried working 3 part time jobs but it was not enough so I had to quit college and my dream of going into IT, to support my wife and care for her. She never forgot that. I did eventually get the IT job of my dreams but I went about it the long way. I would write software for myself or the company even though it was not my job to do so. I started to have software companies ask me to work with them in return for free software for my company. That led to a full time job in IT at the same company I was hired to do a different job. I am in a good position of knowing all facets of my industry and how to design software for it. I found a niche that made my skills valuable and desirable. Find your niche and become the best you can at it. I am more qualified and better at the profession I had before I went into IT. I was picked as the alternate to a U.N. advisor who was in his 80's and could no longer travel much. I reached the top of my profession and having done so, disappeared to work for a small company with less stress and not forgetting what country I was waking up in or glad handing people I did not like.
I do not want to write a book and this is already too long. I just want to advise you to put your wife and marriage above all else. We did not have a monogamous marriage and yet my wife and I always put each other at the top of our priorities. We never worried about each other running off with a new lover or getting jealous. We had that close of a bond with each other that is still going strong 44 years later. Jobs come and go as do friends, but if you want someone who will be by your side when you are sick and need help, a loving wife is the best choice. Make her feel special and you will be rewarded ten fold. One more thing. I spoke to my doctor and learned that I was depressed. Depression is not like you see on TV or the Movies most of the time. It takes many forms and degrees. Once I was treated, I felt better about everything and my wife noticed the change in me and liked it.
It took effort to keep a 44 year marriage alive and loving. Our methods may not be to the liking of most people, but they worked very well for us and we are still in love. I got engaged to my wife 3 weeks after we met. It was truly love at first sight and we still do not know why.
I wish you luck. Working on your marriage is the easiest problem to solve. Finding another job is not that difficult if you keep trying. It is just a matter of playing the odds. I got a new job during a recession when companies were letting people go because I could handle the job of two executives for the price of 1 1/2. That is how I sold myself and it worked. The company saved money and I made more money.
I used to be shy and withdrawn. I was often criticized by my employers about that, so I made an effort to change and I did. I am a hustler in life. I owned my own home, nice sports car and was married by the time I was 21. My friends were still in college and I was a branch manager. They all eventually came to work for me.
They all divorced their first wives, but not me. Most called me immoral for my non traditional marriage, but they are the ones who divorced and cheated, which is against their religion, so that is the pot calling the kettle black.
My wife discovered her bisexuality after we were married. She was a virgin when I met her. I loved her enough to accommodate her need for a woman in her life, and she did it in a way that included me rather than cheat on me with women. It worked for me and in the end I had two women who loved me and whom I loved back. Funny thing is that I thought of my life as normal because it was the way I loved for most of it. It has been a fantastic life and a lot of fun. Good luck and work on bending life to your liking rather than being boxed it by it. Not having harmony at home can ruin your job, happiness and many other areas of your life. So work on that the most. From that foundation you can build the rest.