I am going to try to keep to the facts as much as possible on this because I know otherwise you will just tell me everything is about my thoughts 🙂
My husband recently lost his corporate job 6 months after we moved country for it. We also pushed for the position because it was to a location that we had lived in before and I particularly have wanted to move back here for a while.
This was the 3rd international move we have made in 11 years and the 9th house move. Before we moved this last time he started talking about plans for the next move. I want to stay put somewhere and make somewhere home. I have never had a traditional career as such and have a support structure for my business here as well as some close friends who feel like family to me. With my husband being incredibly career focused (amount of hours spent working, it’s an observation not just a thought 🙂 it is important to me to start really making one place home. He and I agreed that we would not consider a next move for 10 years (once children had graduated high school at least).
I have felt uneasy throughout most of the marriage. Yes that’s a feeling which comes from a thought. My husband is an incredibly strong person which is wonderful in many ways and challenging in others. This is a thought as well, I know. And yet it still is a really difficult one to shake. And I have told myself somewhere along the line that I would be happy in our marriage if/once I was successful professionally (a lot of pressure on my business right there) with the “right” to have what I want too. Sounds strange to say. Obviously a self esteem thing. I’m aware.
Well now, after the job loss, he says he won’t find work in this city and is interviewing for roles even out of State. With my work in SCS I did a lot of thinking and decided it was really time now for me to ditch the emotional childhood and take responsibility. I told him I absolutely supported his decision to go for whatever role he decided upon but that I would not be moving. I felt so calm, happy and strong with this. It was like all the professional success etc that until now I had thought I needed in order to speak up calmly and resolutely for what I wanted, had not been necessary after all and that I had gone and done it anyway.
He responded and I gave him the space to, still feeling so calm and sure. I told him I was going to love him no matter what, that this did not mean separation or anything, but that I was simply not going to move this time and then blame the move and him for my unhappiness. I felt that that was taking responsibility for myself and being prepared that if he had a problem with me for that, that was going to be ok, his choice.
I feel like I have lost myself and that moving again for money, corporate etc etc is just so not want I want. It never truly has been but it suited me to go with it for a while whilst I remained in emotional childhood!
Well he accepted it for a couple of weeks but now again he is saying “we” will look at things again after 6 months.
I feel stressed when he says that and feel like I will spend the next 6 months waiting for the inevitable and dreading the next set of conversations. He says things like I am mean, a bad parent, wrecking his career etc etc. And on the flipside I feel like I just want myself back and that following him around, making his choices and career our continued priority is just me losing myself. I am going numb. I find it hard to parent, I worry about his anger outbursts, I don’t focus on my business and I just can’t envision continuing in this way.
I have thought about separation several times. Even before we had our children or got married. I must have been in such a needy place before him that our relationship felt like a better option than staying single. I know that I thought he would be a great parent, I actually admired his strength of character and yes… he was a great provider which I thought was important. But that came with a price (self inflicted perhaps) and in effect I have stopped providing for myself, in any form. There are some beliefs there that told me maybe that I had to be a smaller version of myself to “keep the powerful man”. Urgh.
Well, cut to now and I’m in the extraordinary position of really being able to choose whilst he seems to want to think of himself as powerless in terms of having to move where the role is, hates what has happened etc etc. I have told him we are absolutely a team, that now is my chance to really step up and contribute financially and also that I am absolutely prepared and in fact would want to downsize our lifestyle/finances etc (I think they have been a distraction sometimes) if it allowed some breathing space between now and him choosing his next professional steps. The level he is at professionally narrows the options (in his mind)
Now his new thought is that he “hates” this city because of the recent professional experience (I told him that was a shame and that if I could help I would but that unfortunately that is nothing I can help with and only his thinking can). But that is a whole other conversation than just about finding work.
So, if he strives ahead as he currently is with interviews etc, he’s likely to be working/living away. He tells me I am being inflexible (true) and that he shouldn’t have to be the one sacrificing everything, when I am sacrificing nothing. I don’t want to be deemed responsible to keep him happy at the expense of standing up for my needs. And at the same time, he is father to our children. But I just won’t respect myself if I move because he throws a tantrum if I don’t. And to be “the supportive wife”. I want to support my own life, my own career. And that is here.
Will appreciate your advice… thank you.