We all have choices in life

Many years ago I read an article from a married man who described marriage as work. Work that he had come across to realize that he had a choice to keep at it or to quit. I wish I could remember where I read the article let alone the author’s name.

When I first read it, it struck me as odd to think of marriage as a job and not a relationship. At the time, I had only been married for a couple of years. Yes, there were differences and obstacles but I couldn’t imagine married life as work.

Over the past five years I have been looking inwardly into myself because I’ve been feeling the need to change the way my married life has been shaping itself into. My husband works all day yet, he has time for the things and people that matter the most to him. He’s a hard worker. A family man. One to depend on. The sweet one. Every woman loves my husband because of those traits. Ideal? Sure, until you marry someone like my husband and realize one day, you are not on the top of his list.

Ten years ago I made the decision to accept staying home for my children and I have never regretted that opportunity. Now that my boys are in their teens and are developing a life that is their own (my eldest has already done this), I find myself in need to find the next part of my life. I want to return to work. A little more than two years ago, I returned to school earning my A/A and A/S. The timing could not be worse for someone in my shoes. With the economy in such a low state, finding employment has been extremely difficult. No worries, I plan to take advantage of this time and return to school for my B/Anext year in the fall.

Needless to say, I have had plenty of time to think about my decision to return to work. My husband doesn’t care what I do -go to work or stay at home- so as long as he has a home cooked meal and a clean house to come home to. *rolls eyes* Not bad. He’s so *supportive*.

Of course it’s wonderful to have such a choice but only if I had someone to share the rest of my life with. You see, we have not spent much time together for the most part of our marriage. (Remember, I’m married to a workaholic.) I love what I do. I love my life but it would be even better if I had someone to share it with. {Returning to work is not relevant, only symbolic.}

Last year we had a major blow-out. We tried counseling and have seriously considered a separation numerous times. I asked him for a divorce on three separate occasions. He wants it to work so, we’ve been spending more time together without the kids too. All parts of a decision to make it work because through it all we know we do love each other very much.

In this time I have asked divorced women I know personally, candidly, if they were happier now. They all have had different reasons for being divorced (no, not all were due to infidelity). Their marriages ranged from 10 to 15 years. (This is my 15th yr in my marriage.) The time span from their divorce to now also varied from 2 plus years.

I looked to them b/c I need to know what I really want. To start over again at nearly 40 or to keep working at my marriage? The consensus? All said yes and no to being happier now that they were divorced. ~frowns~ The answer was not easy to pull from them. They all were happier in the sense of the freedom they all had now that they were single again. Only a couple of them went off to find love with someone new. Were they happier with their new love? Not necessarily. They all advised me to keep working at saving my marriage. Not because my husband is so sweet. How ungrateful could I be? How dare I want more from my marriage? (All things I’ve heard from “happily married women”.)

A few days ago when I had my nails done, I was overhearing a one person conversation. Immediately I recognized the loneliness in her tone when she was speaking to her boyfriend over the phone. Predictably she stopped in mid-sentence and accepted to end the one sided conversation. How many times have I’ve done that? Uffff!! Muchas veces. She expressed her desires to her nail techs of a story book happy ending lifestyle. Ay niña, si usted supieras.

I’m mostly a private person- LOL! Yes I blog but there is so much I never share. Look at me now- pouring my heart out. I let go of my guard and heard the best advice ever from my nail tech that evening at the salon. She said, keep working to save your marriage. The down-side of divorce is loneliness and you will miss the companionship. She shared a lot with me and I am very grateful for it. As for  the other divorced women I have spoken to over the past year- they too shared with me a bit of regret.

Why have I disappeared from my home today? Why have I decided to share this story in such a public manner? My husband and I don’t want the same things in life. I’ve decided to stay in my marriage but I’m not a prisoner. I love to blog as much as I love my family. It’s part of who I am. If he doesn’t like it, then I will find a space where I can pour out my heart without disturbing his ego. La casa? Que se espere hasta que estoy bien y lista. {Again, doing as I please is not relevant, it’s simply symbolic.}

I’ve heard this before somewhere- you come to a crossroads only to find when make the decision to travel down one path, you find many more crossroads in every path you choose to take. I keep making decisions to cross in different directions. Through each path I take, I keep choosing to stay married. Marriage is definitely work. A job you sign-up for with free-will. A decision you make each day, each year, to make it last. Why? I’m not ready to let it go. It’s that simple. Will he keep trying too? Probably not for much longer.

Our problems are very complicated and we both need to compromise or let go.