Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

Advice Vixens

Hey Vixies i have a dilemma. I am here on an H1B visa and I work in a small town in the mid west. My husband works in New York and makes about 70% more than I do.
When we got married the understanding was that i would move to New York. I tried to find some thing there but there were no jobs available. We have been visiting each other 2 times a month for the last year. And we had decided that if I dont get anything by oct end I would leave and go to NY. My husband got his own apartment since i was moving there. (He was living with his roommates before). I tried to get remote work pretty hard in my company and managed to convince a team to give me remote work for one week a month. There is a 3 month training period after which i would be able to start working remotely for one week a month.
But me and my husband have already lived apart for one year. This new team also gave me a promotion and said they would be open to give me more weeks from home if the one week per month worked out.
But its too little too late.
I am 32 and i need to live with my husband before i even think of having kids. So my family is pushing me to leave. I am not sure if it would be any easier if we moved to a third place.
I just feel so frustated with the situation and end up taking it out on my husband. Why am I the one trying so hard and giving up stuff?
His job is very hectic and he has a lot less free time than I do. But I find my self growing resentful with this situation and having to quit my job while nothing changes in his life.
His green card date is nearly 6.5 years old and he may get his GC pretty early so switching employers is maybe not the best idea.
How do i handle this? My previous relationship ended because i would take out the anger for unrelated things on my ex without seeing his point of view. I wonder if i am doing the same thing in this situation? I sometimes wonder how ppl make it work? Like to give a sit com example:
In friends Monica starts finding jobs in Tulsa Oklahoma just because Chandler makes the mistake.
Marriage is about making allowances and doing extra and i have seen many of my friends do this as well in real life.
Why is it so hard for me? If I make this call to leave my job i want to be sure that i dont go there and make life hell for him. How do I get past this?
It could be a chance in life to figure out what I could do maybe an MBA maybe a CFA. But i just feel so mad that I have to move and leave my job while his life remains unchanged.

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    There's quite a bit to unpack here, and there's still some information missing....

    1. What is your perspective on your job, and what's your husband's perspective on his job? Is he working his dream job in NYC, while you're working an it-pays-the-bills gig in Gopher Prairie, MN? Or is he just grinding it out in NYC, while you're actually seeing some reward in what you do?

    One of you needs to move -- and it should be the one who can use this opportunity to kick start a new adventure.

    (And okay, it's within the realm of possibility that BOTH of you could move to Atlanta or Anaheim or Albuquerque and start afresh ... if BOTH of you can find worthwhile opportunities there. But if one of you has a fulfilling gig already, then staying in that location makes sense....)

    2. Does *he* want kids? And does he want to be an equal partner in raising those kids? The way this post is written makes it clear kids are important to *you* ... but leaves it unclear as to what his attitudes may be. Before either of you move anywhere, it is absolutely vital that you have a series of conversations about this subject to ensure you are on EXACTLY the same page -- both about wanting kids, and about his involvement in raising them.

    3. In what ways do you see that you are the one trying so hard, while you don't feel that he is trying? He certainly seems to be trying hard to forge a life in NYC that you could move right into ... but perhaps there are other things going on here?

    4. If getting frustrated with situations and unfairly taking it out on the people in your life is an ongoing pattern ... have you looked into consulting a therapist? Long-term embedded behaviour patterns are usually not one "quick fix" away from changing. But some professional advice and support can really help you get the tools you need to overcome this habit!

    Hope this helps -- please feel free to drop back in and give us an update and some more info!

    reply to Kal
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    Hey yes he is on the same page with kids. He is pretty good at his job and is in finance. I work in the automotive industry. We both work for fortune 500 companies. But I am not very career minded but i make pretty good money. I regularly save 50% of my income. I am pretty good at my job and while i enjoy it, it is not my life.

    He has a pretty hectic job while mine is relaxed largely because I have been doing it for so long that i am pretty quick at it. His company does not have a healthy work environment and I keep telling him to switch or do something new because he is always stressed. Also on the weekends we meet we dont do much because he is always exhausted.

    I tried to learn another programming language for 6 months along with my full time job and gave interviews for it but it did not work. I studied it pretty much every weekend without doing much else. I work in the automotive industry and there isen't much in NY for me. But i dont know where else there is.

    I have to switch careers and i think all my experience may be wasted because there are no relevant jobs there. I just feel frustated at making a new start.

    In my current company i talked to around 30 people hoping someone might give me an opportunity for remote work.

    Finally i got something in a new team and a promotion but just a week of work from home. I feel i have to decline it because its not enough but i feel really bad because who knows if i will get another job in the future.

    I hate the uncertainty. He tries hard in his job but he has not made any attempts to move to a common location for me. Also his company exploits him and this year he did not even get a raise despite putting in 50 60 hour weeks.

    I feel his job is not worth all this trouble I am going for. He kept saying how hard he worked in his company working on the weekends and how the new team members dont do that. But rather then do that his teammate actually just went and got himself a job in Google. I feel if you are being exploited not given your due you cant kill yourself trying to work for them. You just need to switch but my husband refuses to. He has been working for a decade.

    I hate the idea of my income going down to 0 and moving to such an expensive city but i feel like there is no choice.

    Do you think i have the wrong attitude? And i need to be much more graceful with this situation?

    I was always ok with it but since i got this new opportunity that seems promising i am finding it hard to decline it.

    And there is always a chance I may get work from home for more than a week a month after 6 months. The manager said they would be open to it based on my performance.

    I almost wish i had never gotten this chance then i could have just left.
    I am not a US citizen and i cant work on a dependent visa so getting a job is going to be really hard.

    reply to anonymous
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    Okay, now I'm starting to see where the frustration is coming from!
    In fact, right now, I'm hearing a lot of frustration, and not a whole lot of reasons why this guy is (presumably) the love of your life, who might be worth going to NYC for....

    Clearly, your husband is putting everything he has into a job that isn't currently rewarding him -- but he's hoping that it will somehow pay off down the line. Though he's stressed, the job still may be something that he enjoys ... or at least figures that he WILL enjoy once he reaches a certain level.

    Unfortunately, I'm guessing that a lot of his self-identity is tied up in this particular job. Which means that he will not leave it, unless there is a clearly much better offer on the table.

    But it takes two to make a bargain, and at this point, you had agreed that you will move to NYC if you didn't get something by Oct. 30. However, you *did* get something. Now the key question is ... is it an exciting enough opportunity to accept?

    Have you talked to your husband about it? Is he excited about your work opportunity? Or is he trying to get you to quit and come to NYC? His reaction may also answer some questions about where the right place to be is...

    reply to Kal
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    Hey thanks a lot for answering my question Kal.

    My husband is trying to be supportive. But my family is breathing down my neck that i need to quit right away. My husband thinks i should quit but he wont say it because he wants to be supportive.

    It would be tough and i am just getting a week a month. Ideally we should be staying together the whole time.

    The easier option would be to just leave but I want to take it up because it is a challenge and i want to see if i can do it.

    But it wont be as flexible as my current job where I come and go as I please and where I can take off early for flights. And the first 3 months i would still need to be in my town.

    I feel frustated that I am trying so much and he is so change averse that he wont even look for something outside his current job. He will never know what better opportunity there is till he looks right. But he wont even try. I know i need to let go and not pester him because it is his life but why cant i do that!

    I really vented out to him last night and he was understanding but i feel pretty mad.

    I dont think this is good for my relationship and when i get angry i start to see all the things wrong with the relationship rather than the positives.

    There are many of those too :). My husband is a nice albeit a little lazy person. We have a great time when we are together and we do love each other.

    Please feel free to call me out if I am being irrational here. I dont completely get why but I am seething.

    I guess i just want him to atleast make some efforts outside his comfort zone. I wish i knew exactly what i wanted from him. It would make life so much easier. But I am just mad.

    I made an appointment with a therapist but it is 2 weeks away and till then i would mostly have to answer on this offer.

    I can be really nasty ad bithcy when i am mad. I was a terrible person in my previous relationship and I feel i may be going the same way here.

    Do you think meditation will help?

    reply to anonymous
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    Of course you are seething. This situation is extremely frustrating. And you've been dealing with it for a while.

    It's a good bet the reason your husband is being taken advantage of at work is because he lets them and they've got his number. He'll stick around, even when it is obvious he's being exploited. So they keep exploiting him. But he won't leave because he's dealing with the devil he knows and has a very high tolerance for abuse vs. leaving the familiar. That's who he is.

    Also, from previous questions you've posted here in the past about him, he seems to be more tactical than strategic, reacting to events rather than planning for them. And you're more of a strategic thinker. Some couples can negotiate this difference, if either of them were to try and meet in the middle occasionally. From your previous posts, he appears to be unwilling to even try and his unwillingness has affected you in a number of vexing ways. Am I reading the situation correctly? Because if you're looking to have children with this man, keep in mind that this is the kind of dad he'd be. If his way of operating is frustrating to you now, it will exponentiate when kids are in the picture. Will you be okay with that?

    So what I would recommend is this: take the job. And definitely see that therapist. And schedule some couples counseling with your husband; a third party that can act as a translator between you two could either help the two of you reach some sort of middle ground or help you decide that this marriage isn't working.

    reply to Jill
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    I want to take it up because it is a challenge and i want to see if i can do it.

    There's your answer. This job will offer you the opportunity to be in NYC more than you are now, AND a potentially fulfilling challenge. And you can still go to NYC full time in a few months if you decide the gig isn't working. Take it.

    (As for the family pressure? If they want to tackle finding the perfect visa-hassle-free job for you that's A) available, B) pays well, C) in NYC, *and* D) in your field, they can have at it. Until they find it, you can safely ignore their opinions about what you should or shouldn't do.)

    Glad that a therapist appointment is on your agenda! I think it should help a lot. Couples counseling may also help too.


    Note that like Jill, I'm concerned that you and your husband may not be as in sync about kids as you think you are. Warning bells are going off with me that he's saying words that you want to hear, because you've made it clear that kids are important to you. It's true he may want kids ... but in a vague, abstract, they-might-be-fun-on-weekends-if-I'm-not-at-work kind of way. Currently, I'm not getting a sense that he's committed to the realities of the time and emotional commitment they involve.

    Please consider very carefully any clues he may have given you about how he perceives fatherhood -- I get the impression that his expectations may be very different from yours.

    reply to Kal
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    Hey thanks a lot for the great advice Kal and Jill.
    I talked to my husband and he asked in his company if he could get work from home for one week a month as well which would give us 2 weeks together.
    I am not mad now because he also is putting in some efforts. It is so good not being mad about things :)
    I got the offer from that team with a promotion and a 7% pay hike.
    But now i have another dilemma. I interviewed with a new team that would also be open to giving me wfh but i dont know how much. But i just interviewed with them today and i would have to wait a week before they got back to me. But i did not talk to them about how much remote work I needed. The team seemed nice and seemed to have liked me but can never say for sure.

    But the other concern is i dont have so much relevant experience as the first team which may affect their decision.
    Just wanted to let you know what happened next. :)

    The older I get the more dilemmas i seem to be facing where there is no perfect solution and everything has a certain risk.

    reply to anonymous
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    The older I get the more dilemmas i seem to be facing where there is no perfect solution and everything has a certain risk.

    Ha! Agreed...and welcome to life! Almost every decision you make will have some sort of trade-off or risk; the trick is trying to pick the path that is both the most interesting AND that has a reasonable chance of success.

    Anyway, having two teams that want you to work for them is not a bad dilemma to have! Try to pick the job that allows you to work with the team you connected most strongly with ... learning a new set of job skills is ultimately easier than learning to cope with people you don't like.

    Thanks for keeping us posted on how you're doing, and good luck with whatever gig you choose!

    reply to Kal
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    This is excellent news! Please let us know how all this turns out.

    reply to Jill
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    Thanks a lot!!! I declined the first offer. The second job i just interviewed with them but i have not heard anything back from them so far.
    It was more interesting than the first one. I just hope i did not make a mistake by taking this risk. Declining one job when i don't have a confirmed offer from another one!
    Just hope i get this second job!!

    reply to anonymous
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    Sure it's a little risky, but you declined a job that wasn't interesting. There are LOTS of those. You can get one of those later, if you need one.

    Fingers crossed for job #2!

    reply to Kal
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