T quit his job. Yep. His last day was Friday. By 6:00 p.m. he was home. Home here with me. After four months of living apart, we’re under the same roof once again. Two empty houses sit back at home. Neither one of them are sold. Although we have an offer pending on my parents’ home, we’re not taking that for granted. Four previous offers have fallen through at the 11th hour. T had hoped to have a job offer prior to quitting his job and moving here. Hopefully, he will by the end of this week, but that hasn’t happened yet. Finally….finally…finally after months of living apart, T took a GIANT leap outside of his comfort zone. He said a mental “F*&# it” and joined his family.
It has been a major bone of contention. T was CHOOSING to live apart, because he was concerned about lawns, employment, and money. Even though I am making enough money for us to make ends meet, T saw dollar signs for awhile. We made a lot more money if we both continued to work. The money seemed more important to him than the 120 miles separating us.
At first it was strange and stressful, but before we realized what happened, both he and I became accustomed to living on our own. I’ll admit it. I enjoyed being head of my own household. I liked not having a man around! The girls and I enjoyed our “chick time.” We ate salads standing at the kitchen island. We painted our nails at the kitchen table. We watched NO SPORTS AT ALL. While we enjoyed our weekend visits with T, we were often just as happy when he drove away on Sunday nights, and we had the house back to our female-only selves.
As much as I enjoyed the girls-only time with my daughters, I grew increasingly concerned about my marriage. This was too easy. I wondered if we were heading for an amicable divorce, or even worse, I wondered if this new lifestyle would continue indefinitely. Were we going to become one of those “strange” married couples who stay married but aren’t married in any real sense of the word? After a month or so, I began to question T. What were his plans? Did he miss us (meaning me!)? Was he looking for a job near me? Or better yet, how was he going to find a job here if he lived there?
I know T pretty well. I knew that if I said the right words he would move here. I knew that I could influence his decision. I could use the kids, or our marriage, to push him to make the decision to move here. I could play on his sense of obligation and responsibility. I could play the “vulnerable woman” card. But I didn’t do any of those things. There was no way that I wanted T to move here, quit his job, and make huge changes in his life out of obligation or guilt. If he wanted out, if he wanted a divorce, if he wanted a marriage in name only, FINE. I let him take the lead on this one.
Prior to my move, even prior to me taking this job, T and I discussed our plan of action. We thought the houses would sell quickly. Wrong. We thought many things would be easier, that decisions would be easier, that change would be easier. As much as I had thought he and I had planned things out, it was apparent almost from the beginning that we had no way of predicting the enormity of the changes we would be facing.
It all came down to this. If T was going to change everything in his life to move here with me, it had to be his own decision. He had to make that choice from his heart and not from guilt. Finally, he made his own decision. He pulled the trigger. He’d had enough. He told me that there was nothing left there “at home” for him. His heart was here. His head was here. He decided that it was finally time to follow his heart and his head.
The houses sit empty of people. Furniture, clothing, memories…none of those things make a home. They’re just houses now. houses that we hope sell very, very soon.
Our life is here now, and we’re happy. Emily started a new job last week, and she loves it. Lola has six friends, and she has declared that’s “enough.” Too bad for the girls who didn’t make the inner circle of six! Apparently, six is all she can handle. 🙂
T and I drove into Chicago last night. We had dinner with our son and then met friends at a street festival. We had a great evening together. Best of all, we drove home to our home. Together.
We spent our Sunday sitting on the patio and doing a little yard work together. Yes, there was football on TV in the living room. There are big shoes laying in the middle of the hallway. Yes, those things are still annoying as hell, but I’ll learn to put up with them again. I’ve missed his companionship. I’ve missed having him around. I can feel the weight has been lifted from him. He’s happy and lighthearted. He’s happy to be here, and he’s told me such multiple times…and in multiple ways. 🙂