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.