What it comes down to is this: after much thought, consideration, weighing, and prayer/personal revelation, I have decided to quit my job and move to Texas. I will move sometime in the next 10-14 days.
If you're new to this corner of the world, I'm a teacher. I teach high-school in a very small town. Not only does this decision have a huge impact on me and my life, it is going to have a major impact on my students, the kids I hold dear to my heart. They are my babies. I love them with a love you can only know as a teacher. I ache for the ones I know won't adjust well. I ache for the sub who's life may feel miserable for a bit until my students trust her more and miss me less.
I've received a lot of negativity about leaving. I've been told I'm being irresponsible and inconsiderate to break my contract. I've been told that I'm not trying hard enough to make it work, and that if I tried hard enough, I could last until the end of the school year. I've been told that I'm letting my students down. I've been begged by students to stay here. I've been told that "husbands are overrated anyway", in joking of course, but the message still stuck.
I've also received a lot of positive feedback about my decision. For most people, I've just explained it simply: "Well, my husband started a new job six weeks ago, and we are experiencing some family crises right now and after much thought and prayer, I feel like I need to be with him to help take care of my family." It's a simple answer that most people respect and/or admire. Even my students respect it. Some students have seen through that story, though, and have realized that it's not just "family issues" or "family crises." I've confided to a few people (the students who have seen through me, along with some faculty members) that it's not just "family stuff"--it is, in fact, marital stuff. My marriage is at risk. Only two people at school know the real issue comes down to porn stuff.
So, I'm moving to Texas, right now, in the middle of the school year, for what feels like a true effort to save my marriage (that "save my marriage" part stems from recent developments/disclosures/trauma since he moved to Texas).
My marriage is at risk. I hate saying that. But I'm trying to embrace it, I guess.
My marriage is at risk. My marriage is at risk. My marriage is at risk. [Betrayal trauma is real.]
I know I am not in control of what happens here. I know there are so many factors that are completely not up to me. I know I can only do so much, and I know I can't control his addiction. But, I do feel that I need to go to Texas. I have received spiritual confirmation, and no amount of people criticizing this decision or thinking of the alternative will make me change my mind. Sure, it adds stress, but I know this is the right move on my part.
I'm making a lot of sacrifices to do this.
I also have a lot of fear. There are so many what-ifs. [Betrayal trauma is real.]
I'm a little angry that I feel like my marriage is in such a desperate state. It's not fair. This was not supposed to be my life. And, heck, I've only been married for three and a half years. I'm too young to feel so much pain and heartache.
I keep learning new things about my husband's addiction.
I also keep having panic attacks. Like with chest pains and breathing difficulty. [Betrayal trauma is real!]
Sometimes I don't know if I can go on. But I do (and I realize that I have literally been carried by God for more days than I can count. He has certainly not left me alone).
I took some time tonight to list in my journal questions that haunt my mind:
Do I believe in love?
What is love?
Is love even attainable?
Will I be able to trust Ben again?
Is my marriage capable of being saved?
Will we ever have what I thought we had, or will we ever have something even close to that, or even better?
Can we make it joyfully?
Will I love him?
Will I desire him--and receive a good version of him in return?
As I pondered these questions, all I could think of was, "All can be made right through the Atonement." There is hope. If there was no hope, there would be no Atonement. I know Christ performed the Atonement. Therefore, I have hope.
Just because I have hope doesn't mean I'm not broken right now.
I am broken.
But I can be made whole.
So can Ben.
ps, I have a recent obsession with Christina Perri. I've always liked her, but her recent songs just speak to me so much right now.
So, in case you're interested:
"I've had enough. I'm standing up. I need, I need a change...I'm setting fire to the life that I know. We start a fire everywhere that we go. We starting fires, we starting fires, till our lives are burning gold."
The next video resonates with me because it's kind of desperate. And I feel like I can relate to the pain and desire to just want to love.
This one is dedicated to the lonely ache that takes the place where love and trust was:
I could list way more. But maybe I'll save them for my next post. Ha.