As you may retain in the "commenter on GT backstory" part of your brain (near the "different excuses the drugee on Michigan avenue says he needs money for" part), Husband and I live most of our week apart.
Upon choosing to move back to Chicago (always a part of the "Deal of Me" in our relationship and a part of his "I don't want to live in Wisconsin all my life" plan), we encountered some problems. None of the jobs he applied for wanted him. He's in the medical technology industry and there are some different certifications required across the country. Neither of us thought the difference would be so big in a 2.5 hour drive across the WI/IL border though.
So since JULY, I live in Chicago with the four cats and giant dog.
Husband stays with an ex-roommate/ex-girlfriend (it's fine, really) in Wisconsin during the week while he continues his work at the VA. Friday afternoon, he starts home, spends the weekend with me and then at 3:00 AM on MONDAY MORNING he drives back to Wisconsin for work.
This sucks. It is not a way we CHOSE to live but have done so because of necessity. We have been married a few months over a year and have no children. If we did have kids, this would not be happening at all (I would not have agreed to move prior to him having a job here).
October/November was MY target date to reevaluate the situation. That involved me saying to Husband, "We could move back to Wisconsin?" and him saying "No. That would feel like more failure than this does." Okay. FUN OPTIONS!!!!
Every other week or so involves a semi-argument (our "arguments" normally involve me saying how I feel about something, him feeling bad that I feel that way, and then both of us apologize for overreacting and then understanding the other person's point better) or him crying/feeling that everything sucks.
Yesterday, we're on our way to my relatives (first Thanksgiving there in 3 years) and he's talking about our truck and the weird noises it's making. In short, truck will break down (probably on one of his 3 am trips, in the cold, in winter) and that will make this miserable life an 11 on the miserable scale and probably unlivable (unlivable was not said... this was a previous "argument" in our relationship about using suicidal language while describing non-suicidal feelings).
This opinion was held after these suggestions and statements, etc:
- I'll look into car emergency kits this weekend. We'd need one anyways if we got stuck driving back from your parents'.
- I'll start putting money together for car repairs from the babysitting money. We'd need to have it checked anyways.
- I have faith in us. We've gone through a lot already and you started it, what with loving me for five years and improving yourself because you didn't want to fuck it up. (and my own work/struggles)
And then we walk into Thanksgiving. Where questions about life, Chicago, work, etc. happen. I drink what was left of the wine used for the gravy and focus mostly on the kids until we're about to leave and I get the question, "So you're not taking classes? Not using any artistic talents like drawing, painting (trails off when they were probably going to add sculpture)." This question never comes from a blood relative of mine but from my cousin's PIL, who (of course) went to high school with my mom. Yea! We do about 10 minutes of "hugging sandwiches" with the kids to get rid of the bad taste before we leave.
Driving back into town, we stop off at the couple I'm babysitting for so I can feed their cats. After mentioning that he didn't lock his door (not the BEST area, certainly not the worst), Husband says "Let them take it. At least we can use the insurance money to buy a different car. I didn't lock it last weekend either."
Fed up, I say "If you want to be miserable and frustrated, fine. It's a frustrating situation." Yes, this is what I sound like when I'm fed up (trust me, there are degrees).
He got better on the way home, noting that he should focus on what's good. But that he's angry so much of the time ESPECIALLY in WI. (In abstract terms) He wonders if this is the person he's always been (angry and bitter). I say, "I've never thought you were that person." Because I am teh awesome.
But seriously. This is getting... old and sadly routine. I was raised with parents (esp my mother) that lived in poverty/crisis thinking for most of my life (not that we were in poverty, but the thinking was similar). It's that thinking which kept my depression untreated and dental issues ignored. So yeah,
I cry when he leaves but not in front of him because there's nothing to cry about when he's here. I tell him how much I love him. I tell him we can move back to WI and then move back to Chicago when we're better able (even though it screws up a lot of things for me.... but I don't care because we're a fucking family). He's signed up for the certification test that's asked for by most Chicago jobs but I'm worried he'll be too angry and bitter to study for it.
I have tons of reasons/excuses why this time apart could be a good thing (those mostly had traction in the summer)
....and I've been doing my part by focusing on making friends/connections, reconnecting with my school, starting to read more and get back into academics, etc. But this has me cornered as well. I don't want to take a job that has weekend hours because that's our only time together. I can't seriously find a new place for us to live (w/o mold) because if we're moving, we might as well move back to WI.
PLUS, this stresses his relationship with his parents (his mom FREAKED when he told them we were moving and everyone kinda said "You have a government job with a pension. Why would you want to risk it?!?!"). He doesn't feel like he can talk about it with his dad or mom because (he fears) it's a situation he brought upon himself.
AND, I feel weird spending any one-on-one phone time with his mom
....since (during that freaking out) she kinda blamed me for the move insinuating that moving to be closer to MY family shouldn't matter because of HIS family (nevermind that he wanted to move and we're not talking about an overnight trip... although they can't drive very far because of health conditions and did I mention I feel kinda guilty about all of this because he still has both of his parents and is an only child).
We have so many things to be thankful for (which we both know). He HAS a job. He has a good relationship with his friend so he can stay there w/o rent (he contributes to heat when he has the money, he takes care of her dog when she's out, and we contribute to household goods whenever we buy stuff for the apartment... so we're def giving back to her). He has friends in Madison so he's not totally alone. We can afford (due to my mother) some emergency expenses. Gas prices are lower so that takes some burden off the budget. Our marriage is strong.
I know I can keep doing this. But it kills me to see the tole it takes on him. And I miss him. It interrupts our intimacy and the further development of our awesome marriage (not to mention getting into the position to have kids.... especially since our parents are old). I don't want him to NOT talk about his frustrations but there are so many right now.
Yes he has a therapist (once a month. Grrrr) and takes antidepressants (prescribed by a GP. Grrrr).
What I'm asking for by sharing this? Partially just to share. It is a near constant presence in my life that I barely talk about. Advice, similar stories, funny gifs, hospital connections in the Chicago area you may have... anything is welcome. The worst thing would be nothing... again, because there's not really an appropriate time in friendly conversation to talk about unending misery of a spouse.
TL:DR Husband and I have lived apart (unwillingly) for near 6 months now and it's taking a huge emotional toll. Husband's doomsday feelings about legitimate frustrations put a damper on Thanksgiving and is putting stress on our time together. It sucks and people don't realize it/there's never an appropriate time to tell people how much this all sucks while still staying positive.
[EDITED to add text-breaking relevant pictures for easier consumption]