It’s been five months since my husband left us to work in Ethiopia and while the pain of separation had slowly numbed, I find myself struggle with something else: my feelings of resentment.
I know I’m not the first nor the last nor the only one whose significant other has “abandoned” the Family ship to look for dry land and a greener pasture. I know I’m not the first nor the last nor the only wife and mother who has to juggle children and work. Many had been through that hell and survived. My own dear mother among them. And many others (I personally know a lot of them) are going through the same hell and are surviving beautifully.
On a cerebral level, I do understand and appreciate his sacrifice. I respect his choice of leaving the coop in search of a better-paying job. Because ultimately, it is the family – the children, most especially – that would benefit. That’s what my mind has been telling me, but my heart is still flooded with anger and resentment.
You see, my dad was a seafarer before he retired and he was absent for most of my life. While I love him with all of my heart, we were not able to build a close relationship. It doesn’t help that we both are not talkative, so even when we see each other on Sundays, we don’t talk that much because we don’t have much to talk about.
So when I reached marrying age, I made sure that I will absolutely not marry an overseas Filipino worker. Yes, an OFW earns good money so my future family’s financial stability is mostly assured.
But I was (and still am) more interested in relationships than in money. So what if we don’t own a huge house or a car or get to travel everywhere? Getting our own place is always a good thing. A car would be convenient. Traveling would be fun. But those, to me, do not define a good marriage nor an ideal family.
That’s how I ended up marrying an engineer/lecturer. We were not rich but we were able to provide for our growing family. We were happily living and doing things together. Or that’s what I thought.
Then from out of the blue, the husband decided to accept an offer to teach in Ethiopia. I did not even get to discuss it with him, because the decision had already been made. It was shoved inside my mouth and I was expected to just swallow it and be grateful.
Grateful, I am. But also resentful. How can I not when I felt cheated? I chose someone who wouldn’t leave me for money, but I still ended up alone. I love my kids, I really do and I cherish every moment that I spend with them. But after I send them off to bed, I’m reminded of my loneliness. I have no one to talk to about my troubles. I have no one to share my triumphs. I am now alone.
I am being selfish but know that I certainly try my best to let go of my selfishness. I know that this is just a phase that I must experience and overcome. I just wish time would move much faster so I can move along too.
Photo Credit: WallpapersCraft