There is a lot of tension in my household these days. My husband and I have been short with each other. In my opinion, he has been withdrawn; from the household, from discussions about our future, from me. In his opinion, I have been doing flip flops daily about everything; my job, whether we should move, where we should go for a holiday. My husband is my best friend so when the two of us are missing, as we have been for several months now, it terrifies me. It feels like the foundation upon which I have built my life is crumbling.
We have both been struggling; he with a severe and extended case of insomnia and me with a 4-hour/day commute. But that is not all that is happening. We are going through an extended time of change and uncertainty. I lost my job 3 years ago and have been very unsettled since them on the work front. My husband started a new job 3 years ago and is away for weeks at a time about half the time now. My son left home two years ago for school and my daughter is finishing high school and preparing to leave home. So, everything is changing; our family unit is splitting apart; my work is taking me further away; and my husband’s work has him travelling around the world.
My husband and I are dealing with the changes and uncertainty in very different ways. I am trying to control the wave. I am fixing up the house for selling so we can downsize and possibly move closer to Toronto. I am also playing with all of the options in my mind; trying to figure out whether I stay at this job or quit; whether we move towards Toronto or stay in Hamilton. The pros, the cons, the possibilities. My husband, on the other hand, has withdrawn; from the projects being done in our home, from weekly chores, from discussions about our future. His withdrawl has been making me anxious, feeding my worst fears, and frankly, pissing me off!!
So, this week, I confronted him about it. As we talked, it all became clearer to me. He is as scared, anxious and sad as I am about all of the uncertainties and changes in our lives, but he is resisting the change. He is trying to stem the tide; trying to ignore the changes; trying to deny their reality. He has been away so much, he has not had time to grieve what is passing. He does not know what it is like to be the only person left in an empty home that once housed a family. I know that change is upon us so I am trying to find a soft place to land. I am trying to find a new dream around which I can build my life. But he is not quite ready to give up on the dream that was our little family.