Trauma in 2013…

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The last while has been traumatic to say the least-but things have settled down. Since the events that broke the camel’s back took place, my husband and I have had a lot of tough decisions to make. The first was that we needed to separate so we could sort things out without making it worse. We did so by first finding temporary accommodation for him while I am in my parental home. Then, since he had an upcoming ticket home, whether or not he should return to his country to sort things out or stay. My belief was that it would be healthy for him to visit home but he was against it as he felt it would be the end of our marriage. It could have been. It definitely would have been harder to communicate or repair the situation from afar and the decision was in his hands. In the last while he has also found a new job and moved to a flat closer to his work that offers a more comfortable and affordable living situation. So, now, this is where we are. The logistics have been taken care of but where do we go from here?

Myself? In an ideal world, I would love for him to work out his issues which will lead to us being able to work out our issues and then we live happily ever after. The reality? Not likely to be so cut and dry! His plan is to get the help he needs and make the required changes in attitude and acceptance so he can win me back. He is desperate to undo all he has done but I only hope he realizes making such large changes and adjusting takes time. I wonder if he can be patient enough to get through the long road ahead.

So you may be wondering what lead to such drastic actions. It was not all a big explosion over the holidays but rather a slow build up despite my best efforts to get him the support he needs. One of the largest problems is that my husband is a bit emotionally unstable. He tends to overreact and explode in emotional outbursts over small things. Now, some of this is cultural and some is not knowing the norms of this country and I attributed these things to some of his behaviour over the year but now I am seeing that it is more. His irritability and emotional instability could also be linked to chemical imbalance or depression. Thus, we plan to visit an MD in the next while to sort this out. Another issue is his insecurity. Again some issues are stemming from this and that but I feel he needs assistance in sorting these out so I have arranged short term counselling for him. I hope the counselor will help guide him through this difficult time as well as shed some light on why he is reacting in ways that are not reflective of his past behaviour before he immigrated here.

These two things along with physically separating are a starting point. I have also had my own counselling session and signed up for follow up sessions (the counselor assures me I seem to be on the right track!). Now, for the next while, we both need to work on ourselves and function normally in this society. Him having a new job that is better and pays more is a good thing as he can see the progress he has made since he first arrived. The whole time he has been here he has complained about work and struggled with loss of status etc. This is an especially difficult issue for many male immigrants. I feel the next large challenge for him will be dealing with social isolation. He has been completely dependent on me socially and has not attempted to integrate in the past. Thus, this separation is especially difficult and he is constantly asking me to spend time with him which defeats the purpose of the separation. I have signed him up to be matched with a mentor and introduced him to a male drop in soccer group-but it will be up to him to make the most of these opportunities. I think it is really important for him to feel he has his own friends and connections as connecting with mine never feels authentic to him. I suppose we will see.

This is a very difficult time for both of us. I am struggling with a lot of guilt-and he is with a different kind-but we both, in moments of clarity, agree that this process may save our marriage as we cannot continue the way things were going. The last 10 months or so have been very heavy and we are both worn out. A mix of elements have brought us here and now is the time to detangle them. Geez! What a start to 2013.

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