Saturday, June 19, 2010

The trailing spouse: this woman's story

My cousin asked very poignant questions about the possibility of me packing up and moving again to follow ESC and where in all that would I find a place for my own dreams. I answered her comment directly but I am posting parts of it here because I thought others may be wondering the same thing.

I am living my own dream, even if it is while trailing his. Fact: I love to travel. Fact: I dream about living all over. Fact: He is more likely, based on his own career choice to be the one who will easily get work.

We decided before we got married that we would spend several years living the expatriate life, soaking up the experiences and then eventually settle down when we had children who were ready for school.

I made a choice to come over on his visa because the other choice was him on mine since the jobs that he was interested in nearby me had dried up due to recession. I decided that I didn't want to start off a marriage with an emasculated man and since he was willing to give it all up to come and be with me, I decided not to let him and come instead.

There are a million zillion things and dreams I have and marriage doesn't stop me from reaching them. In fact, my marriage is the conduit for a lot of them.

We are BOTH making sacrifices for the first three (or so ) years of our union that will have a HUGE impact on our lives later on.

Fact: His hours are RIDICULOUSLY long. Longer than even those in the same industry in the Caribbean. Fact, the quicker he gets higher, the more time we will have together.

Fact: His next appointment is seeking to place me also so I will have my own work even in the midst of him rising. It makes sense for me to transition into the industry to ensure long term job placement as his trailing spouse.

Fact: Even when he reaches Exec Chef, he will have really long hours, it would be wise to ensure that I have a chance to work part-time so that I can satisfy my desire to work part-time when we have children because the two of us cannot be hard hitting at our careers and raise a balanced family.

Fact: Even if he reaches Exec Chef and I decided that I wanted to head back full force into the game- switching Mom jeans for a smart business suit- after being sick of trailing him he would be willing to put his career on hold for me and mind the chilrun.

Fact: Two of us cannot give the same output at the same time due to the nature of our careers and expect anything but a failed relationship.


Anonymous said...

Mi luv, that thought never crossed my mind. Now is the time to have your adventures and experience the thrill of living and working in different places while you are young, plus child and clutter free. Your life and resume will be better rounded for it.

Bags packed, will travel!


Gia Fernandes said...

I'll drink to that! Cheers babe. You are doing just fine. I am so bloody proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Another fact is that if you spend a lot of time out of the workforce or even work part-time then your may never get back to a high level position. The idea of switching roles eventually sounds appealing but is very hard to achieve. After a break you may even want to go in a different direction and essentially start your career again.

I'm by no means trying to discourage you. I gave up my career to follow my husband overseas and don't regret it for a minute, but all that I gained has come at a cost in terms of my career.

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