Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Separating the Questions of Career and Marriage

Reader sixdegrees writes in a comment:
It strikes me that you are still entangling the decision to move with the decision of what to do about your marriage. (quantum entanglement, anyone?) I think pulling these strands apart will help clarify the situation. My own reading is that you have already come to the decision that you need to divorce your wife. And you have come to the decision that you need to pursue other career options beyond your current job. These are separate decisions and should be kept so, in my opinion.

It would be nice to keep those decisions separate, but unfortunately, the decisions are not made in a vacuum.

I believe that the career question is the more urgent of the two, and needs to be answered first. The urgency is driven by two things: my employer's financial state and two very attractive job offers on the table.

My current employer is in an even creakier state than I once thought. During a working lunch on Friday, our CTO explained that they were working on a deal with a friend of our (cover your ears, Drunken) angel investor to help get some income going. The deal would be a consulting arrangement, wherein the two founders would come in to provide IT advice on acquisitions. Moreover, it was revealed that our angel investor had been providing "incremental financing", meaning just enough to keep the payroll met, for some time now.

You've already read about the two offers ad nauseum, so I won't rehash them again.

The question of divorce is important, but not something I would treat as a time-sensitive issue as I would the career decision. However, as we learned last week, my wife wants the two linked in some way. She used the term separation, but I believe she's saying, "This might as well be a divorce, but I don't want to have to go get a job so I have my own health insurance."

Over the weekend, we had another conversation, where she took a more conciliatory tone.

She apologized for being so angry with me on Tuesday. The said she didn't want our marriage to end.

She questioned whether I had thought the remote job offer through, making the case that by the time one subtracted out the cost of me keeping a residence out there and frequent trips home, we wouldn't be that much better off.

She said that I would miss out on the girls, and it would be tough for me to leave each time. She said she saw that with her preschool mom friends' kids, when her husband goes off to work his remote contract security guard job.

She also said that there wouldn't be much room for "alone time" (read: sex) when I was home because the kids would want so much attention.

She said that she didn't think I understood how much she needed the support of her friends.

She offered to see if one of the dance school assistant instructors could babysit for us a time or two a month so that we could go out for a few hours.

She also suggested that we find some activities to do together to foster a connection, like read a book, play Scrabble, or even start going to church.

She also asked whether I could go to back to school to take some courses that would allow me to find a job that I would be happy with here in our current location.

Most of the stuff she talked about was things I could change about myself. There wasn't any really anything new brought up or any real changes offered from her end.

In some ways, it almost seemed like she had moved from Anger to Bargaining on the Kübler Ross grief cycle.
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