Saturday, January 13, 2007

2am Surprised as Mrs. Suggests Far Far Away Lite

One of the topics discussed on this blog over the past couple of weeks is how damaging it would be for me to move a long distance away from the kids, should I separate or divorce from my wife, especially when the kids are so young (3 1/2 years and almost 2 years respectively). I think there is strong consensus that nothing good could come from the "Move Far Far Away" scenario.

What follows is not an attempt to justify that scenario under any circumstance. It is instead an exploration of the euphemisms that another commenter wrote about back in December.

Set the TiVO of life to yesterday evening, just before dinner. My wife asks me whether my resume postings from early Wednesday morning have netted any nibbles. I tell her that it's been frustrating because out of 10 or so recruiter e-mails and phone calls, I've only gotten one local job lead.

I then tell her about some of those leads. One was a contract position for a year out in Colorado, being pushed by some guy whose command of the English language was in serious question.

Two were from manufacturers of electronic gambling systems, like slot machines and poker consoles. Given her love of playing the video slots, I knew that would pique her curiosity.

Two of the leads included development positions with a big organization in a really big city out East. I said the salary ranges that they were talking were nearly double of what I was making now. Even if the salary/benefit/compensation package was as good as they said, it would mean a much higher cost of living for us, and an even unholier commute. I did a couple of phone screen interviews for one of the recruiters just for practice, and surprisingly did well on the technical questions.

Her response to my ramblings on the big job surprised me. She said, "Well, if they could work out a deal where you worked a four-day work week with longer days and three-day weekends where you could fly home, that wouldn't be so bad." I wasn't expecting that and responded with a curious, "Really?" She then said that she thought that would be better because she wouldn't want to move there. She encouraged me to keep pursuing the lead to see where it would go. In essence, she was floating the idea of a lighter version of the Far Far Away scenario.

This exchange made me think of several things in addition to the sobering thoughts discussion. One is the observation about my wife's preschool mom friend's marital situation.

Interesting side note, if you enjoy tinfoil hat speculation. The preschool mom friend is becoming a more frequent friend than her "best" friend these days, both in terms of spending time together and talking on the phone.

The big difference? The preschool mom has a husband who works as a security guard on long term contract for a client about two hours away, so he's gone most of the time.

The second was a comment made by the Drunken Housewife back in December, when she was talking about how to discuss a DADT relationship. Emphasis is mine.

I think that most spouses would not be able to discuss this so openly and rationally as my old friend and his wife and my far-out SF friends. I suspect that many spouses could live with this better if it were all done in euphemisms, so they wouldn't have to face the truth of what they were agreeing to. I hate that sort of thing myself, wishing to be honest about my actions, but most women (or maybe people in general) seem to do better in a state of denial. Something along the lines of "you know, maybe we could agree that I won't bother you for sex any more, and I will be just as good a husband and father as I can be, but I'll look somewhere else for some occasional companionship."

Maybe this is her way of saying something like this?
I'm not that into you, but I don't want to give up the financial security you give me, so I'd be willing to do without you for most of the week as long as you brought home a much bigger slab of bacon and give me a nice break from the kids over the weekend.

In essence, it would be a "divorce with joint custody in denial". And she'd still get to keep health insurance to boot.

Whether this is an accurate assessment remains unclear. It might be the product of an overactive imagination. Even if it is with her blessing, that doesn't necessarily make it the best thing for the kids or me, for that matter.
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