Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I miss my husband

There. I said it. I miss my husband. No, he's not away on some weeks-long business trip or stuck in Manhattan due to any apocalypse-esque hurricane. Nope, he's only about 20 miles away and for some reason that 20 miles feels like 200.

I guess I should preface this with the good news: J got a new job! Mostly thanks to me, since I'm the one that forwarded him the listing online when I saw it (and was slightly obsessed with him moving up the ladder to a higher paying, more prestigious position). Okay, I suppose it also helped that he went to an ivy league school and gained great experience at the law firm he was currently with, but I like to think that my emailing him the posting kicked off all this good news (however delusional that may be). After an initial call to come interview and another month or so of interviews later, J was offered the job, which he promptly accepted. Score!

In a nutshell this job is everything we wished for while he was in law school. Tony street address in one of the best buildings in the city's financial district. Marble lobby with gilded sculptures leering down at all who enter. An office on one of the top floors. A view of Coit Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid from J's window. Big clients and complex legal work. More money than I ever dreamed of having at age 30. After years of uncertainty thanks to the effects of a terrible economy on the legal profession, we -- or I should say he -- had finally joined the big leagues.

For those who've followed my blog over the last few years, you'd think this is all I ever wanted. Frankly, it was. But as is the case with my rose-colored lenses, I tend to only look at "how cool" a situation can be without measuring the negatives as well. Stuck in the path of a historical hurricane? Color me jealous. Lost in the wilderness for three days? At least you lived to tell about it. You were there when Lincoln was shot? Not only would I envy you, I'd also quietly sign up for more theater ticket reminders just in case.

So of course when J got the formal job offer, I was beyond thrilled. We celebrated with cigars and a bottle of Blue Label and stayed up all night talking about how different our lives were going to be now that he had this job. What I didn't consider was that every positive difference also comes with a negative one. I was blind to the the yin and yang until he started work last Monday.

It's only been over a week and I already feel like he's had this job for ages. How could I have thought this was all I ever wanted? Stupid, stupid me. I'm lucky now if he gets home before 8pm, and even when he does it doesn't matter because he's so exhausted from waking up early that all he wants to do is eat dinner and go to bed. He loves his new job so much that he often loses track of time in the office and only notices it's late when I call him and remind him that the sun is coming up in a couple hours (okay, it hasn't gotten to that point yet, but you get the point).

Only having dinner together once in the last seven business days is not all I ever wanted. Watching Anderson Cooper 360 every evening with Ava as my conversational companion is not quite the tradeoff I'd envisioned once J had a Big Law job. Handing Ava over to J when he gets home so I can do some things for myself like, oh I don't know, take a shower, tends to quell any quality time we can spend together throughout the week. I just want my husband back, but I guess this is the tradeoff. If I really want the lifestyle I've always dreamed of, then I've got to give something up...no matter how much it sucks.

So what's more worth it: time or money? I miss our time together but I can't complain about the money, so I don't argue about his long work hours because I know he's simply providing for his family. How else will we be able to do all the things we want to do, like eventually buy a bigger home, travel the world, make real estate investments, (hopefully) retire early, etc. etc.? Does that mean my silence has been bought? Slightly disturbing when thought about this way.

Of course J knows how I feel, but at the same time we're both realistic and know that it's better to work harder younger and enjoy money later than it is to work harder older and not have the time (or mobility) to enjoy it in your geriatric years. Over waffles on Sunday, I told J that I completely understand why he has to work so hard right now. I really do. I am, after all, the person who sparked all this off by emailing him that job posting. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. And as much as I miss him, I'm inspired by his work ethic and commitment to his craft. But at the same time I know myself and I know I can't do this forever. Thankfully he understood, and visions of me in my 70s waiting for him to retire while I lounge lakeside and alone on the banks of Como quickly dissipated.

For now I'll just have to take it day to day and hope it gets easier. At least he changed jobs at a time when caring for Ava on my own isn't as harrowing as it initially was (the thought of him making this transition when we first had her would have been mortifying, to say the least). And because he's in the city now, it gives me more of an excuse to head in and have lunch or dinner with him when I can.

But still, even after five years of marriage, I have this sense of urgency with him and our relationship. It's that butterflies-in-your-tummy, I-can't-get-enough-of-you urgency that makes you do crazy things when you're dating a boy you love, like stay up late talking all night on the phone, make out like teenagers in the rain, or drive for hours just to see him for a quick visit. It's a drug, that urgency, and for some reason I still feel it with J, which makes him working like this all the more harder for me to stomach. But paper covers rock and dollars cover wife, so again I shouldn't complain.

Regardless, I still (and always will) miss him.


eemusings said...

The grass is always greener, huh? I can sympathise. Everything has tradeoffs.

At least J is doing something he enjoys, which counts for a lot.

I love my job but my fiance hates his. He also comes home exhausted (his job is somewhat physical), doesn't get paid particularly well, doesn't enjoy his job, and doesn't know what he really wants to do (apart from help host Top Gear, which isn't very realistic).

Crystal said...

You're right -- it would be way worse if J hated his job. Every single day would be a struggle if that were the case. I'm sure your fiance will find something he loves soon. Discontent is often the best fuel when it comes to change. (Hosting Top Gear would be fabulous, though...)

Amber said...

Hang in there, girl. I feel the exact feelings towards my hubby that you describe and how lucky are we to even be so in love with our husbands? Many people never even get to experience that. Hopefully he can spend every free moment with you and Ava. And hopefully you two can enjoy some date nights soon!!

Loving that you're back blogging again! Loved the last two posts!

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