My husband’s affair coincided with several other big changes in our lives – moving across the country after working at the same company for 16 years and living in the same city for 25 years, new jobs, and becoming empty nesters (until we weren’t anymore…youngest back again). I now know even one major change makes someone more vulnerable to an affair. Add to all of our changes the fact that my husband stayed behind for several months to pack up our house and get it ready to sell, and we hit the affair vulnerability jackpot! I now understand why very few people choose to do what we did – it is damn hard!
Surprisingly, even though my heart got broken, I do not regret the changes we made. I am an adventurer at heart – I love to explore and NEED to keep learning new things. I was starting to go stir crazy before the move – knew in my gut that it was time to reinvent ourselves.
And boy did I get a chance to do that. I guess I should watch what I ask for!!
In addition to rebuilding our marriage, I now also find myself needing to reinvent myself professionally. The job I moved across country for didn’t end up panning out, and I have yet to get back into the groove professionally. As a result, we have struggled financially as well.
Even with great credentials and work experience, I am getting very little traction in my job search. This has been really hard for me, because until now work has been one area of my life that has always gone well for me. Also, achievement was really important in my family growing up, so I think it became an important part of my identity and feeling of self-worth. Now, with this area not going well, I am forced to confront my self-image and learn to love and accept myself even when I fail at things…good in the big picture, but very painful to go through.
I think I’m also dealing with some ageism in my job search, which is bizarre to me. I am in my mid-50’s but don’t feel old in any way. I am not stuck in my ways, I love to learn new things, and I am open to change and new experiences. It is hard for me to understand why someone wouldn’t want to hire me just because I am in my mid-50’s. I’m sure part of it is a belief that my healthcare costs will be higher than a younger person, but that is a gross generalization that does not apply to me. I am fit and healthy and plan to stay that way.
We have very little money saved now since we have had to dip into our savings over the last few years, so not working is not an option for me. I expect to work for at least 20 more years full time, and then continue to work on a more flexible basis indefinitely. So it concerns me that the workforce may consider me to be “over the hill.”
So I am dealing with a lot of worries right now and wish that everything didn’t have to be such a struggle. I keep telling myself that this is just a phase, that the disequilibrium/equilibrium cycle is part of being human, and that it won’t always be this hard. I’m ready for the universe to give me a few breaks!