Thursday, October 28, 2010

This post!

To publish or not to publish..........

I haven't seen my husband for the past 3 days because I've been working evenings at a temporary sub position at Regina Open Door Society. I get home between 9:30 and 10 pm and by that time he is already in bed. He's got to be up at 6 to get to work in time. I usually start my day at 11am; by then he's been at work for 4 hours. I crawl into bed at 2, 3 or 4 am just as my mom is waking up. My teaching day starts at 12:30, just after lunch, which feels more like my breakfast. I've always been a night owl. I get most of my productive work done after midnight. I just wish that my husband was more in sync with my not-so-normal schedule.

I miss him.

Yesterday he sent me an email: "Hello sweetheart......... I love you!"

I wish I could zip back to the time when this picture was taken - when we first started dating and didn't have a care in the world.

All the planning for our future in Canada put us (mainly me) into a buckle-down-and-be serious-about-life-mode. It made me go into super work mode. I worked so that I could save for our 'future', which was going to be an expensive one in Canada. I gave up my weekends in Korea so I could take on a third part-time job. I rushed to work after Korean classes to get to the Blue House in time to teach some more. And then suddenly three years passed. In that time of saving up for Canada I lost focus of what was most important to me.

The man who made me laugh. The man who didn't have a care in the world. The man with the carefree attitude.

And somehow in that time, being away from my husband (since he worked on Saturdays too) seemed normal. And I prided myself in the fact that I could go hang out with my girlfriends by myself during the few hours my husband and I had an opportunity to spend time with each other. I prided myself in not having to be home and cook for my husband. I wasn't at his beck and call. And he supported me in having a good time with my friends, because I told him that's what 'Westerners' do (side note: there was no way in hell that if he married a Korean woman that he would tolerate a situation like this). I prided myself in being a strong independent women.

But I think I've got it all wrong.

I know I've got it all wrong.

Now, the hard part is deciding what to do to make it all better. The little feminist in me is not winning when I abandon my own husband (okay maybe abandon isn't the correct word - it sounds too strong). But the point is that I got caught up in all the planning and preparations for having a future with him that I forget about the most precious spontaneous meaningful things in life.

Those things that are far more important than a few more hours at work to make a few more extra dollars. And part because of my own stubbornness and part because of other issues that involve my family in Korea*, I have let $ $ get in the way of my relationship.

And it's awful. And I hate it. And I need to find a way to get back to that place I was in that picture.

So I'm all ears! Anyone want to offer some advice? I love listening. Anyone want to sign up to be my life-coach? (kidding - kind of).

-- Signing off on this topic (but only for the night, early morning; it's 3 am)

* And I wish I could tell you more about personal financial issues that we have had to face, but out of respect for those Korean family members who access my blog and out of respect for my husband I don't have the right to do so............I'll have to play the Korean 'saving face' card! Maybe some day, some time down the road I'll write a book


Danielle said...

I wish I had some advice for you, but I haven't got it figured out myself.

It sounds like you know just what you need to do, it's just a matter of taking that step... I'll gladly push you if you like. ;)

Anonymous said...

Just so we understand the situation better, you've been through a financial emergency (or are still dealing with it) and so you can't reduce your work hours, right? Because you need the money? If the answer is yes, maybe the solution is to keep going for a bit longer. If you don't need the money, quit your second job so you can get home a bit earlier and spend some time with your husband.

Tanya said...

Haha welcome to the world of working. It is hard to balance home and work life. I too have not seen steve since sunday and for the past month I have gotten maybe one night in the entire week with him. It isnt fun but its sometimes the thing you have to do to get by.

Think of all those people how have someone who works shift work and the other works normal hours. They probably get to see each other once in a while but it doesnt mean they care about the other less and it doesnt mean they dont want to be around the other. They are just balancing their career with their personal life.

I dont see your move as being a feminist, I see it as being a realist. In today's economy we cant have women staying at home, making the suppers and cleaning while men go to work, its not economically feasible.

It is also not a feminist belief that we can have a career and enjoy it, again thats a realist. This is how the world (well at least western world) works. I think you have been living in Korea for a while now and have come to feel that it is bad and guilty that you work but you need to look around and see that it is life here and you dont need to feel like a feminist or a bad wife for working too much.

Things will get better, you are just trying to find your place in Canada's economy and be happy that you and sung hyun have found something so quickly.

Call me whenever if you need to chat.

Diana E.S. said...

Read Your Money or Your Life.

I'm serious. It might just blow your mind.

Anonymous said...

Asian husband from Asia thing sucks from the $$ standpoint. We used to send every extra dollar to them, but we were living in a tiny 2 bedroom apt with 2 kids and 2 jobs while they were using our money to buy a beautiful huge newly built townhouse. We put our foot down and explained that we could never save for a house at the rate we were giving them money. We agreed on a lesser amount (still a lot of $$), they stopped talking to us for 6 months until they needed money again. We said we agreed to X take it or leave it. So after 3 years of limited communication (still took our money though) they apologized and finally understood our situation.

Sante said...

Well...Surely I can answer this!! I'm "The Asian Husband" who's never been raised in Canada and it's my 4th year with my Canadian Wife...(u know we're just like u guys)
My advice is 'Use your common sense for what makes most sense'!. The family pressure that Asian Husband generally feels is way way more than what you could imagine.. and it's been like 1000years. However, 'Family' and 'Love' can just not be one way this really should be compatible otherwise that wouldn't last and promote the healthy relationship (incl u and ur husband too) Your husband may feel sympathy to his family and feel like paying guilty-feeling fines for not being with Korean family.(I sometimes feel this way but never financially involve c/z that's not how it should be) and You should know that there're LOTS OF Korean family who wouldn't want any support but just want to have good relationship with their son's my parents (they're very supportive and trying to find the smooth mid point where the difference btwn korean and Canadian culture) The situation you implied in the post btwn you and Korean fam is somewhat common in Korea but that doesn't mean they don't know what's right or not and there actually aren't many cases like that anymore.. for sure.

I'm sure you guys will make good decisions and get a long with both families! good luck.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog and lurking off and on for a while, since you were in Korea. After reading this post, I decided to share my situation. I have a regular office job that is almost 2 hours away each way. I wake up at 7am, get home at 8pm. My wife works a late shift, so she leaves home at 2pm, gets home at midnight. I try to be asleep before my wife gets home because I have a hard time waking up in the morning, but I never do. So maybe we spend 30 minutes together every night, and she also works every other weekend. We've been married for almost a year and a half now.

So our situation is kinda similar to yours, but our perspectives are different. Sure, we would love to spend more time with each other. But the way we see it (or the way we convinced ourselves) is that we're in this marriage thing for the long haul. 1 1/2 years (or 2 or 3 years this situation may last) is a short time of sacrifice compared to the next 50 years (hopefully) we'll be spending together. We'll work hard and try to be as financially stable as possible so we can enjoy our life later on.

But we still do enjoy our life now. We talk 2-5 times per day, each call around 5 minutes, and also occasionally text. I know things can improve and you'd love to be able to spend more time with your new husband, but try to enjoy the sacrifice. I think love is really thinking of each other more than being with each other.

Still a big fan and will continue to read.

Why am I here??? said...

Yes, I'll need that push Danielle!

Hey Anonymous, the answer to the question is yes and no. Also, how much money is enough? Have been out of Canada too long to remember how much it costs to live each month.

Hey Tanya, honestly I'm glad I'm not the only one! And yes maybe I am being a realist......and extreme realist!

Diana, I'm going to borrow that book from the library the next time I go.

Hey anony, I believe you commented about this another time. Or maybe it was another anoyn. Anyways, it's great that they finally came around. Are you Cindy btw?

Hey Sante, yes so far families are getting along quite fine. I'm trying to not let those money situations interfere with my relationship with my husband. He's kinda stuck in the middle.

Hey Sabastian, thanks for de-lurking. Your comment really resonated with me. I have to start thinking more long term. I guess I was just expecting my life to be this way forever........BUT it won't be. Btw, I love the list of things you need to do after your exam is done on your blog.....very nice!