Saturday, December 8, 2012

Every Day Matters

This was a big week for me.  On Monday, I went back to a "regular" work schedule, the one where I don't get two days off per month by working an extra hour every day.  I had just switched to that schedule in August when my husband left for his new job.  I realized working longer hours just for the sake of it (meaning, I didn't have pressing tasks that were keeping me at the office at night) didn't work for me at all.  Because that extra hour a day means a great deal to me.  I can exercise at a decent hour, eat dinner at the right time, sleep a little longer in the morning.  You now know how important sleep is to me.

Besides, if I need a day off to do something special, I'll take a day off.  Easy.

Tuesday night, my husband and I wasted over an hour arguing about stupid stuff on the phone.  And it was a total waste of time.  I've had a lot of "rock bottoms" lately but this one was pretty significant.  I felt horrible afterwards.  And angry.  I journaled in handwriting on paper (really!) about how unhappy I was and how deprived I felt in this marriage.  I even spent some amount of time on Wednesday reading an article on my bank website called "Thinking About Calling It Quits With Your Spouse?"  

After getting through the article and especially reading some of the comments members had left, I was convinced a marital split would compound my existing problems, not make them any better.  So praise God for some of those members who said divorce wasn't worth it and to stick it out.  And God turned my heart around on Wednesday.  I gave thanks to have a view of marriage that isn't all about me and my fulfillment despite subconscious and cultural beliefs that reinforce that idea.  And the pull is strong.

I made a very conscious effort Thursday morning to find ways to cope.  Healthy ways to live my life honorably and to do the best I could with the life I'd been given.  Yes, this sounds sappy but I can't give a better description.  And I'm the first to say that infertility and separation are very hard to cope with.  I'm living proof.  But, I know that some people at my church are dealing with much harder things.  For example, I have a friend whose husband just left her.  He lives in the same town and they talk all the time.  He doesn't make any move towards divorce but she was left nevertheless.  I know this is very painful for her.  But she is a faithful woman who spends a lot of time in prayer to give her husband a heart to love Jesus.

And I realized that my choices were for no one else to judge.  I'm not living a perceived archetype.  My husband went to a Christmas party last night with his parents.  He's known this family (the party hosts) for a very long time and ran into one of the sisters he had a big crush on when they were younger.  He said she said, "it must be so great to be back with your parents.  Your mom must be so happy."

I resolved not to get upset while he told the story.  Because I'd done that already and what's the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  So, I listened.  Then he said he was talking to the matriarch and told her I had applied for a job and got pretty close to getting it but no cigar.  She said, "Well, it's important to be near your husband and she might just have to take anything."   :)

Ok, so I got a little upset at that.  Because my husband, when he was looking for a job, wouldn't accept just anything.  He was looking for something that matched his experience, his education, and his ambition.  So, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?  I'm not leaving my job that is going so great and interrupt an upward career trajectory.  And that's what we're committed to.

My husband remind me that these people are simple (his word) and none of the women in the family work.  So, respecting a career woman is not on their radar.  I should mention the Crush said in response to hearing we can't get pregnant, "You can always adopt."  So their empathy track record is not so good.

I told my husband that I didn't expect to be counter-culture.  I was going to get married, have kids, work, but my husband's job would always be more important, etc.  You know, what the culture expects of you.  But, now we're working against the system and it takes wisdom (that I don't think I have yet) to live your life and not always argue with the people who want to gossip about you or try to subtly bring you down.  This is going to take work.


  1. Wow. It seems like there's a lot going on in your marriage, between IF and this time of separation. My DH and I are also living apart for a while, not indefinitely like you and your DH. But it has been really hard on our marriage, mostly because things end up getting swept under the rug because we literally have no time to talk about them. He's either working or too tired to spend a lot of time on the phone in the evenings. So I understand feeling deprived and like the marriage at time doesn't meet your needs. I'm glad God made change in you when you couldn't make it yourself.

    My in-laws find the idea of career women foreign as well. They don't really give me a hard time about it, but they don't ever ask me anything about my job. And since what I do is intimately connected to my values, they miss out on learning who I am.

    It helps me to remember that my in-laws are not my DH. As I said before, they do not share our values. It seems like your DH is supportive of your career and that you made the decision to live apart for a while together. So regardless of what your in-laws and their family friends think, your DH is in this with you. I recommend having female friends who are also committed to their careers (if you don't already). I find that there is a limit to the amount of time I can spend with women at church who've mommy-tracked and who subtly judge me for valuing my career as something more than a way to tread water until I get pregnant (which might never happen anyway.)

    Praying for the wisdom to swim again the tide!

  2. Yeah...I like my sleep too. In-laws can be so insensitive and did your dh bring up the conversation with his high school crush to hurt you? Didn't sound like she said anythign complimentary but since your dh is an insensitive goon...I guess it shouldn't surprise me that he told you what she said. I've had plenty of people say unintended hurtful things about our IF...but when something was mentioned in regards to my dh...I didn't share that. I didn't care what they thought and since they weren't dr' didn't matter. Right?

    I can't stand being away from my dh for a night...let alone all week. I see the strength in your relationship...not every couple could do this. I'm praying for you!!!

  3. I can relate to so much of what you write here.

    And, for what it's worth, I'm praying for you.

  4. PJ, I love your comments and the solidarity. I have to put a moratorium on put downs, however. I'm the only one that can insult my husband! :) HA! I did talk to DH and he said he would make a conscious effort to not tell me things he hears at parties if I'm known to be upset by such comments. Besides, he thinks I'm over sensitive to begin with. Which is pretty true in most circumstances. Thanks for the compliment on our marriage. I think we're doing pretty good and working on having a good attitude.

    Ladies, thanks for the prayers!!!

  5. You are in my prayers! I love how determined you are to work on things, it is a rare sight to see this day and age. God bless you and your DH!

  6. Hey, I know that feeling. I'm glad you've found the grace to keep plugging along. Being separated is bad for a marriage, period. It may be a necessary evil, under the right circumstances, but it will never be better than that - never less than an evil. And so it causes strain and real harm in all sorts of ways. I'm sure the issues with your in-laws just complicate matters. (I'm really mystified by the "back with your parents" comment - that's a 180 from the trajectory of an adult life, which should be obvious even to "simple" people.) Given that you're not looking at a job that will vanish in ten minutes when you have kids, I think you're right to wait for the right opportunity before you leave a job you like. Your career is going to be the principal focus of your time for many years. It should be something you are proud of and enjoy.