I have less than a month until my husband moves out of the country for a year on a work assignment. I've been getting mixed reactions from people about it; the people who don't know that my husband and I are having difficulties feel really pity for me, but the very few people who know that there are problems are quietly congratulating me that I will soon be without a husband in the house.
Or, as my neighbor and confidante put it, "Hell, I started looking online for an overseas job for my husband but no such luck."
I've done this before, but never for so long. The last time he went away was for about six months and it was right when our marital issues had exploded. It was incredibly easy to visualize the marriage being over when he wasn't around physically.
We've been working on saving our marriage for what feels like a million years now, but now that he's leaving again it makes me wonder if it will come with the same relief I felt the last time he was gone.
What happens if he goes away and I make the decision that I just don't want him to come back?
Our pattern really does get exhausting. We have problems, he goes away for a while, he comes back, we have issues. It's so perpetual and so predictable that sometimes I get really sad just thinking about.
So I guess the question is whether this impending separation will bring clarity that it's just plain over, or if it will instead infuse some hope into our marriage because we'll actually miss each other.
I just hope it isn't simply another chapter in the already exhausting cycle we've had for the last few years.